Zumo or Montana?

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by TxTiger, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. TxTiger

    TxTiger Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2013
    Oddometer:
    202
    Location:
    North Texas
    I have read a lot about gps units over the past couple of weeks and the more I read the more questions I have. There are some pretty good deals right now on garman units and the Zumo 350LM is down to $499. I also like the Montana 650 real well. I am looking to use this not solely on my motorcycle but my riding will be both regular roads and backcountry routes. No hiking or backpacking.

    Where I get confused, and this because I've never used a gps before, are the pros and cons of various functions. Being able to create routes, sharing routes, geocaching, etc.

    I probably don't know enough to know what I don't know, so I'm looking for advice. I'm really not looking to spend big money like the expensive 660/665's Zumo's unless I need what those have over the less expensive 350LM or 600/650 Montana. The 350LM at $499 seems like a pretty good deal with the lifetime maps, but is a Zumo good for backcountry discover routes like the handhelds?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.
    #1
  2. Mastery

    Mastery Mr. Funny Man

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,203
    Location:
    Hoosier Daddy?
    Based on your two statements above, I'd recommend that you spend some time learning the basics of what a GPS can do before deciding on what GPS to get. Each model does something a little bit different; each has different features, and different way of managing those features.

    You need to figure out if you want a GPS to create journeys (plan routes), share your journeys (sharing), go find things (geocaching), or as a simple way to get from point A to B while driving (using the address feature)...or one of the other dozen reasons to use a GPS.

    Once you figure out what you want to do,use the Search tool here...lots of threads to educate you. Then, ask specific questions...lots of people here will help once you have come up with some narrowed reasons you want a GPS.
    #2
  3. TxTiger

    TxTiger Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2013
    Oddometer:
    202
    Location:
    North Texas
    Great advice and you are correct. I do need to learn the basics and go from there. Thanks.
    #3
  4. Dorito

    Dorito Dreamer and Doer

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,456
    Location:
    Maryland
    Hence the high price tag, but the Zumo 660/5 handles tracks fabulously and would be great for your BCDR. I would not recommend the 350LM for anything other than single location navigation.
    #4
  5. Emoto

    Emoto Sure, why not?

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Oddometer:
    20,841
    Location:
    SE Mass
    What is "single location navigation"?
    #5
  6. riverflow

    riverflow Project P̶r̶o̶c̶r̶a̶s̶t̶i̶n̶a̶t̶o̶r̶ Finisher

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,186
    Location:
    Danville/Louisville, KY
    Pretty sure this is right. Navigating straight from point A to B, as opposed to storing a route so that you can store multiple waypoints during your journey from A to B. Basically, single location navigation tells you where to go, but being able to store routes allows you to save the path to get there.
    #6
  7. Dorito

    Dorito Dreamer and Doer

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,456
    Location:
    Maryland
    Riverflow is correct. The one trip we traveled with the 350LM a wingmate was horrendous. If you are lucky enough not to have the software freeze on you, then way it deals with basecamp routes is awful.

    However, it did find POI faster..still not recommended though :D
    #7
  8. Baggi'tard

    Baggi'tard Assventure rider

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,550
    Location:
    Farmhouse Inn, Tellico Plains, TN
    I have a Zumo 350LM, get the Montana. The Zumo sucks for BDR or TAT or whatever else because it won't take tracks, you have to go through all sorts of machinations to get it to take routes that will keep you on the minor roads and trails. I am more than disappointed with mine for a bunch of reasons. I have four Garmin's, this might be the last one too. If you like to ride your motorcycle on 8 lane interstates and have to be told what friggin lane to merge into, then the Zumo is all for you.
    #8
  9. Emoto

    Emoto Sure, why not?

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Oddometer:
    20,841
    Location:
    SE Mass
    What is a "wingmate"? No idea what your first sentence means. Sorry.

    I used a 350LM for almost exactly a year and some thousands of miles before getting the new Nav V. It never froze on me[1]. I routinely made Routes of 200-400 miles of all small backroads with many turns in BaseCamp, and pushed them to the unit, and it followed them. Of course, there is a learning curve about making routes with way points and via points, and one must have the same map set on the unit as in BaseCamp and also set as many preferences the same in both places as possible, too. I would not call it either simple or intuitive, but once mastered, produces good results. Since it does not display tracks, it is for the street rider only, but in that domain, does a good job.

    [1] Users who enabled the fuel range feature on the 350 did experience freezing. A recent patch from Garmin corrected this problem. I never used that feature, preferring to use my trip odometer, like I have been doing for 30+ years, so I never had that problem. :dunno

    Edited to add: I also have had a Montana 650T for a little over a year, and ran it side by side with the 350. I tended to follow a route I had made in BaseCamp and pushed to the 350, and displayed a track (of the same route) on the Montana. Even this tiny road was on CNNA and my route was following it on this day; you can see that it is telling me I will need to turn left in 1.0 miles. The Zumo route navigation allows one to make a "detour" and choose to avoid a specific road or a specific distance and will then put you back on your route. It will also allow you to search for (gas, food, lodging, etc.) while you are navigating a route, and then if you select one of your search results will ask if you want it inserted into your route. Both of those are very nice features that I have used multiple times. The Montana has neither of them, but it will navigate a route. They are both good units. Montana is better offroad where there are no routable roads, the Zumo is better on the roads that are routable.

    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. Dorito

    Dorito Dreamer and Doer

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,456
    Location:
    Maryland
    The Zumo 660/5s are entirely a different beast. They handle tracks as you would expect the Montana to handle them, except they can only do fewer points per track. Which really isn't a big deal as I hardly need 10,000 points to find something big enough to ride a motorbike on!

    We've had decent results running them on the 450/550s.
    #10
  11. Buckee

    Buckee Ah, Grasshopper...

    Joined:
    May 17, 2013
    Oddometer:
    125
    Location:
    Northern Neck of VA
    Is the new Monterra still too new to be entered in this conversation?
    #11
  12. Ridin'nFishin

    Ridin'nFishin Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    666
    Thanks for your info, could you give us a little more?

    At what zoom level do you loose the detailed roads, on both your units?

    I have a nuvi 500 and I have the detail at .3 loose them when I zoom to .5

    Thanks



    #12
  13. OneEffinName

    OneEffinName Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    512
    Location:
    VanIsle, BC
    As of a couple of years ago, the Zumo did a pretty poor job of topo map display as compared to the Montana. So unless the Zumo has improved this, I would say:

    Zumo for street

    Montana/Monterra for off road
    #13
  14. MotoBoss

    MotoBoss Bad Influence

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,880
    Location:
    Martinsville, Indiana USA
    Well damn. After reading this thread I hope I'm not up for disappointment. I just bought a Zumo 350LM. My only problem is how to wire it to my bike! Any help?

    By he way I own a 60Csx for the tracks but wanted a road worthy unit for a planned trip out West later in the summer.
    #14