Garmin reliability? makes me wonder

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by Mike in Atlanta, May 26, 2007.

  1. JimC

    JimC Long timer

    Aug 28, 2003
    Sacramento, CA
    Buy a Magellan, you'll get what you are longing for!

    Jim in Sacramento
  2. WhistlingFool

    WhistlingFool Dixie!? I know a Dixie...

    May 1, 2008
    BRP early morning with no traffic
    My 4 year old refurbished, but new??, has been on a ram mount on my bike(s) for nearly 30k miles. The film delaminated and frankly I am surprised it still works given the punishment of being on a MC for that amount of time.

    I will note that on many occassions I found the Max Speed data a little unsettling, I mean I know its fast and we sometimes get a bit out of control, but somehow 360 mph:yikesjust doesn't ring true.. I always left it there is case my gps was ever used against me... i could point to that and say , "and you trust it?" :dunno
  3. SteveAZ

    SteveAZ Long timer

    Sep 23, 2002
    GPS's from any manufacturer aren't very focused on targeting the moto market. The few manufacturers that put any effort at all into the moto market (are there any others besides Garmin?) are mostly targeting touring users. Point being, they aren't trying to build units to suffer the abuse that most DP and off-road riders put these things through. The vibration and shock is really tough on complex electronics. That's one of the reasons people offer moto toughening service for GPS's. I'm personally amazed that they don't fail more. Many of these units are really tough. Would you expect a cellphone or digital camera mounted directly to the handlebars to hold up as well as these GPS's?

    The battery concerns are well documented. For units that use standard off-the-shelf batteries, take them out and hardwire. Otherwise you increase the risk of problems with the contacts likely a thousand-fold. On motos with lots of vibes, some sort of shock and vibration isolation is going to reduce failures considerably and lack of it also increases your chances.
  4. summerinmaine

    summerinmaine Hells Atheists MC

    Sep 27, 2003
    Humboldt Bay & San Felipe BCN
    I currently have four Garmins (StreetPilot, StreetPilot III+, Garmin V, and GPSMap 176C), and have never had an issue (except the battery vibe problem with the V).

    Maybe the difference is that I stick with the older stuff, as I'm not an "early adopter." My needs are basic, so I tend to get killer deals from the folks that constantly need the latest and greatest.

    I still hate the friggen unlock codes, though! :lol3
  5. markjenn

    markjenn Long timer

    Nov 9, 2003
    Bellingham, WA
    I must be pretty lucky - despite my risk of problems being increased a "thousand-fold", my 60CS and 60Cx now have gone literally thousands of hours on my thumpers (including a 640A) and road bikes without a problem powered ONLY by AA "off-the-shelf" batteries. (I use a GPS on five or six different motorcycles, and have little interest in running dongles for each one, and furthermore, it is very handy to be able to pop the GPS off the bike and put it away without fooling with a dongle each time. I typically can go 3 full-days of riding on two AA's with my 60Cx.)

    For the demanding environment of a motorcycle, it IS important to stabilize the batteries so they can't vibrate. There are lots of ways to do it (Garmin's foam, you add foam, paper shims, etc.), but the one that has consistently worked for many is to wedge a folded-up paper shim BETWEEN the batteries so they're pressed outward and stabilized against the sides of the battery compartment. This avoids the issues where you're placing foam/shims under or over the batteries which may put pressure on your SD card and/or cause the battery door to be wedged open, compromising water tightness and stressing the latch.


    - Mark