Zumo 660 or Montana?

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by kdennan, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. thebugslayer

    thebugslayer Been here awhile

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    I am a noob to GPS, but I mean "tracks" as in dual sport (i.e. dirt roads and trails) rides that others have created then saved as a file which I can download and follow.

    thanks for the follow up
    #41
  2. Emoto

    Emoto Sure, why not?

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    It turns out that in some cases dirt roads and even some trails may be present in routable map sets like CN or the recent Garmin topo sets. In those cases, you could use routes created from your friends' tracks to give you the turn-by-turn directions when available, if that appeals to you. Of course, if the tracks go over non-routable paths, then tracks will be your only option for following a prior way someone went. You'll have to get one in your hands and try using it to find out what you like the best, as everyone has their preferences. Personally, I like routes with audio alerts for turns whenever possible, but that's just me.
    #42
  3. thebugslayer

    thebugslayer Been here awhile

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    Given this, is there a meaningful difference between the zumo and montana?
    (although the montana doesn't have audio "stock" I think it can be added simply with a bluetooth doogle--not that I'm running helmet speakers anyway). Trying to choose my first GPS and it's a bit overwhelming.
    #43
  4. Bill Murray

    Bill Murray Been here awhile

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    Here are a few differences between the Zumo and Montana. Others can elaborate further and/or add to this "differences" list.

    The Zumo is better suited for using routes, compared to the Montana.
    The Montana is better suited to use tracks, compared to the Zumo. (The Montana can use routes, but there are some constraints).

    Routes will provide you with turn-by-turn instructions (on both units).
    Tracks have the advantage that they never get recalculated by your GPS.

    The Zumo includes Bluetooth, for wireless communication with your helmet headset (if you use a Bluetooth headset to receive audible directions).

    The Montana's base includes hardwire audio output that can be connected to a Bluetooth transmitter or hardwired into your helmet communicator.

    With my last Zumo (a Zumo 550), when you were routing using routes, you could search for various points of interest (like gas stations or restaurants) located along your travel path. I assume the Zumo 660/665 still have this capability. The Montana does not allow you to perform these searches while using routes (unless you want to re-route yourself to the location of that gas station or restaurant).
    #44
  5. Emoto

    Emoto Sure, why not?

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    The Montana does have audio output stock, either via a small jack on the bottom (when horizontal) or via a cord with a jack at the end off of the Rugged Mount. No blue tooth, though. Maybe that's what you meant. I don't use blue tooth because I don't want to chase after batteries (on the helmet unit) all the time.
    #45
  6. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    Well I just did a 3.5 month off road trip from Europe with pre drawn off map, offroad tracks on a Montana .... http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=834987 Several hundred thousand points ... turn by turn, preloaded for over 3 months of travel.

    So think you are missing something there :deal

    There was a guy with a zumo along with me, but his tracks all had to be loaded one day at a time, had to be converted to routes and then had to be filtered down to 250 points max per route. While the Montana took 3 months of high detail tracks all in one go.

    I think you are just not getting the potential of the Montana.
    #46
  7. Emoto

    Emoto Sure, why not?

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    Did you have a way for these tracks to alert you when you were approaching a turn, or did you do that by watching the screen?
    #47
  8. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    Not missing anything. I've used routes extensively and they work much better for navigation then tracks. The Montana has a limit of 50 via points, you can a hell of a lot more with 250 points.
    #48
  9. thebugslayer

    thebugslayer Been here awhile

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    Thank you Colebatch. Those are very helpful specifics from an adv legend. I'm slow following up your post because I got sucked into one of your ride reports. Legendary stuff.
    #49
  10. FiveG

    FiveG Been here awhile

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    I'm in this debate as well. Screen visibility/replaceable batteries are big for me. Don't care about in-helmet voices. Really like to be able to carry a bag of rechargeable batteries rather than plug the GPS into the bike.

    Does anyone have a picture comparing the two screens next to each other for size etc.?

    Also, I'm seeing inconsistent statements on tracks vs. routes (which I never understood anyway). Do tracks do on-screen turn by turn navigation? Because if the only difference is whether the annoying, nagging, spouse-from-hell voice won't work with tracks, I'm all in with the Montana.

    BTW, mostly will use for road, but portability between bikes (as opposed to wiring into bike) is important for me.

    Thanks.
    #50
  11. Emoto

    Emoto Sure, why not?

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    Tracks do not give voice directions. They merely sit there on your screen like a highlighter you drew with on a map. You have to look down and see that you are staying on it when it goes off, say, to the left.

    Routes, on the other hand, have both vocal and visual proximity alerts that you can set for how much in advance of a turn to alert you. At X distance prior to the turn, the voice says "in two tenths of a mile, turn left onto Main st." and the screen changes to a zoomed in view of the turn with an arrow on it showing you which way to go, which is particularly helpful when an intersection offers multiple choices because you already know which one to pick when you get there.

    I believe the Zumo 660/665 has a battery you can change out,although it might be some odd type rather than AA. The Zumo 350 has an internal battery that cannot easily be swapped out by the user. The Montana has a (odd type) battery that can be swapped out easily, but it also accepts AAs. I don't know what kind of bike you are running that you don't want to power the unit off the bike, but once you wire up the cradle that holds the unit, you don't have to fool with wires again and your unit charges as you ride, which to me seems ideal. :dunno
    #51
  12. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    The screen visibility on the Montana is much better then on the ZUMO. But to achieve that great screen visibility you're gonna have to run the backlight on all the time so battery life will be cut severely. Screen size is very close.

    Tracks do not do turn by turn navigation or notification of such. They are the equivalent of tracing on a map with a hilighter.

    I have multiple bikes and multiple GPS's. Hardwiring is no real issue. I use SAE plugs for power so it's only a matter of plugging in whichever Garmin harness and mount I need. Takes less time then swapping out a set of batteries.
    #52
  13. live2ridetahoe

    live2ridetahoe RN

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    I too am looking at these two units and am having a hard time deciding. I am thankful there are several forums and experience riders to help me decide.

    Most of my travels are on roads, with the occasional fire road/jeep trails up in the Sierra. I am hoping to do the WABDR and ORBDR this fall, and I have read that a GPS is handy for those rides. I have been riding with folks who have done rides where they preload rides into their GPSs and follow the tracks.

    I like the idea of downloading GPS tracks and doing someone else's ride. Can one do that with a Zumo or do you need a Montana?

    I have a BT Sena unit paired with my iPhone and really like it. I like the idea of XM with the Zumo unit.

    I was looking at the Montana that is preprogrammed with Topo, the 650t I believe. Do you need to by the North America city/street maps to navigate on the road? Do you have to load that on a separate card and insert it into the unit to navigate the streets?

    Thanks for all of your inputs. I really appreciate it.

    JG
    #53
  14. Ricky Chuck

    Ricky Chuck Red Green Rulz!

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    Great discussion. I have been an on-road rider with a Zumo 550, but I really want to start exploring the dirt roads of this country. So, if I were able to load an off-road route, say of FS roads or vague dirt roads cutting across the Jicarilla Reservation, or get off and explore back ways across country, I have two questions...assume there is a Topo program that would show where you were, if not by name, then by the locator? Are these marked by names like "dirt road", lol? Also, if I have uploaded an off-road route that follows trails and forks in trails and dirt tracks that split around...maybe these would be tracks, dunno, still trying to learn the jargon...if it was a route would it announce something like "turn right at fork in road", or are these by necessity tracks you would need to keep up with visually?
    #54
  15. Emoto

    Emoto Sure, why not?

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    Jargon help:

    "Route" - will announce upcoming turns. Requires that the road or trail be routable. Many small backroads like dirt roads in state parks are often routable, but some are not. I don't know how to know that in advance of trying to route over one.

    "Track" - as mentioned above by Albie, is just like a highlighter line drawn on a map. No upcoming turn announcements, nor will it announce if you deviate form the track; you have to keep an eye on the screen to make sure you're still on it. However, a track can be drawn over anything. In other words, it does not need the map beneath it to be routable. So, tracks are used to draw the way on things like hiking paths or across a field, etc. You can also use tracks when traveling on roads, but you will have to draw it along the road by hand just like if you were using a highlighter marker on a paper map. Routes on the other hand, will stick to roads and you can put in a starting point and an end point and the route will fill in the rest, all long the roads.

    Both the 660 and the Montana will do routes and display tracks. The 660 offers slightly more developed road routing features like "detour" to let you get around a closed bridge when following a route and that sort of thing. The Montana has a much more customizable UI. If you can play with both, see which one you like better. Both are excellent units.
    #55
  16. shipwrek12001

    shipwrek12001 Shipwrek

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    I use a 550...

    I wish I had a Montana..

    using the 550 for road routing works well, has the option to "detour". but using the 550 off road, it will always detour you to a road. it really doesn't like you going off the road. I imagine the 660 is the same software in a new body. I do use the 550 off road regularly and set it up so it doesn't know where it is going. remove any routing capability, including removing the city nav. map.

    I have only seen the Montana work, loading a track keeps it as a track unlike the 550 turning a track into a route. Just for that feature to be able to route or track is enough for me to want the Montana...

    but 6 years ago my choice was track or route with tunes... tunes won:D

    Montana with tracks, routes and tunes is a no brainer:lol3
    #56
  17. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    The only way you'll listen to tunes while using a Montana is if they're on a phone or media device. The Montana Rugged Mount has a cable out for voice navigation but no media playback capabilities.
    #57
  18. roadspirit

    roadspirit Been here awhile

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    Regarding the use of Montana for long trips, it can most certainly do it. I used one for my 5-month trip across South America, from Buenos Aires north to Colombia and then all the way down to Ushuaia.

    I used routes, tracks, multiple maps. It can handle all. I had no prior experience with any other gps device, montana was my first so I can not make any comparisons. But I'm quite happy with it.
    #58
  19. shipwrek12001

    shipwrek12001 Shipwrek

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    I was under the impression you could load mp3's on a chip and have them play (bluetooth) to your headset, like I do now with the 550...:huh
    #59
  20. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    Sorry to be the one to burst your bubble, Sean. The Montana has no Bluetooth or Media capabilities. You should update your rotary dial cell phone if you want tunes... :lol3
    #60