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Discussion Starter #1
Read thru the GPS threads to the point of needing further guidance.

I'm going with Garmnin because of posts to the effect that it is the most intuitive. This is important for use by my wilfe in her cage.

As for my DL650, I want it to be proficient for gravel roads and such, moreso than highways.

The Zumo 660 is priced beyond my budget.

I think I've narrowed it down to these (in no particluar order):
nuvi 500
zumo 550
2610

So, which of the above 3 best serve for:
Dual use for bike and car.
Proficient for exploring off the beaten path.

Thanks for all advice and comments!

(And if there are any used units availble, please send along a PM.)
 

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I have the Zumo 550. As for dual purpose, cant go wrong. Comes with separate car and bike mounts, so can leave the bike permanently mounted and just take the unit into the car.

Also has settings for either vehicle (ie larger touch buttons for on bike when using gloves, but put it in the car and the buttons are more suited for fingers)

Unsure what the back road routing is like, I would assume if its on the map its in the GPS... But then you lot in the USA have much better mapping systems with all the extras than we get here in little old NZ...
 

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I've used the Nuvi 660 for car/bike for about three years now, but GPS units are getting so cheap, I decided to buy a 2820 for my bike and leave the Nuvi in my wife's car. Moving the Nuvi from car to bike to truck and back is a little rough on the wiring and mount - I've had to repair the wiring pigtail twice.
 

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+1 on the Zumo 550. I bought one used on the KLR board. I use it on my V-Strom, KLR and also in the car. This is the 3rd GPS unit I have owned over the past few years and by far the best. Of course now Garmin has come out with the Zumo 660 that is due to be available in the next few weeks. It appears to have a larger screen and does fix the one limitation I do not like on the 550 -- that being that the bluetooth feed from the MP3 player is not stereo but mono... sounds like AM radio. I manage this by taking a basic bluetooth dongle from Logitech, plugging into the audio out on the Zumo, then pair both the Zumo and the dongle to my helmet. Full stereo music, yet all other audio (nav instructions, phone, etc.) still come through the Zumo. As noted the 660 reportedly corrects this issue. One good point to the 660 release is that it might bring a lot of good used 550s on the market cheap!
 

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Zumo 450

Just bought a Zumo 450 off of Amazon a couple of months ago. I gave my 2610 to my brother for his WeeStrom.

The Zumo 450 is a unit without all the bells and whistles of the 550. I bought it for around $330. It was a great deal. It still has most of the features of the 550. You might want to check it out.
 

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Just bought a Zumo 450 off of Amazon a couple of months ago. I gave my 2610 to my brother for his WeeStrom.

The Zumo 450 is a unit without all the bells and whistles of the 550. I bought it for around $330. It was a great deal. It still has most of the features of the 550. You might want to check it out.
But it does not come with the car mount. That's another $100
 

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I bought a 450 too. Later found out that the 550 comes with a car kit. Then discovered that the car kit is way more expensive than the price difference between the 2 units. Love my 450 but I'd buy the 550, at minimum, if I was to do it over.

Just bought a Zumo 450 off of Amazon a couple of months ago. I gave my 2610 to my brother for his WeeStrom.

The Zumo 450 is a unit without all the bells and whistles of the 550. I bought it for around $330. It was a great deal. It still has most of the features of the 550. You might want to check it out.
 

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I bought a Nuvi 260W and Zumo 450 last year. I gave the 260W to my wife because I did not like it on my bike. After having the 260W in my car for a short while, I don't really like the Zumo for car use. Love the Zumo on my bike, but not so much in the car. I think this new Zumo that is coming out looks like it would be better for both uses. I like the 4.3 screen. But the price is out of my range, so I will stick with what I have.

Jim
 

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I currently have a Magellan CrossOver. It would have been great except the outdoor mode has issues with the GPS freezing for 5-15 minutes (it is a software issue, the unit works very well in auto nav mode) which makes it useless for me.

I will be getting a Garmin unit soon. The Nuvi 550 (the new Garmin crossover) is tempting, but I am leaning towards something hand held such as the Oregon. If I were not doing any trails, then the Zumo 550 would be the unit hands down. My decision to go for the Oregon will be based upon playing with it in the store for a while with my motorcycle gloves on.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Great info!!!

From this point forward, I'd like to hear specifically about:
BACK ROAD CAPABILITY.

How do these Garmin units compare when the asphalt ends?

THANK YOU!!!
 

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the nt2008 map is pretty good for my area. Most major and secindary NFS roads are on it.
 

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the nt2008 map is pretty good for my area. Most major and secindary NFS roads are on it.
Agreed! I have used mine for NFS Roads and it worked great. I would be hesitant to take my Wee on any off the beaten path non-marked trails anyway since I ride mostly solo, so see no need to add a more trail-type GPS.

Jim
 

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I can also relate that I use my Zumo 550 regularly on forest service and state forest roads in WA and OR, and I have always generally found them to be pretty well covered by Garmin. Now as to the numbering system the government uses, that's a whole other story!
 

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I have a Zumo 450 (permenently mounted with no intention to ever use it other than on the bike)

if I were to do it over again I would serously consider the Lowrance XOG

I have a Lowrance XOG. It has everything I wanted. Somewhat waterproof, MP3 player and it was only $159.00 Can. No way I would pay what they want for a Zummo.
 

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Backroad Zumo

I'm very impressed with my Zumo 550. Riding in cottage country in Eastern Ontario I find that even the privately owned cottage roads are on the map.
 

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I use a 60Cx on my V-Strom, DRZ and in car. You can load Topo maps as well as the Metro/City so gives much better detail out in the boonies. Both sets of maps can be loaded at the same time, then select which you want to use from the menu. You do have to buy the maps seperately.

On road, it will still auto-route, but without voice warnings. It does have alarms warnings though.

Only thing I'm finding is the screen is getting a little small for my eyes. ;)
 

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Garmin Oregon GPS

I have posted this in other forums and thought it might be relevant here:
-----
Hi All,

I wanted to share my recent hands-on experience with a Garmin Oregon, the current flag ship of the hand-held outdoor Garmin lineup.

First a bit of background. I was an early adopter of automotive GPS technology when I won a raffle and acquired a Magellan RoadMate 760 GPS which won out in my features and hands on test compared to the Garmin StreetPilot at that time. When I got the motorcycle in Spring of 2007, a GPS was one of my first upgrades. I was happy with the Magellan 760 functionality but disappointed with their lack of map updates after over 2 years. At that time, Garmin was also being criticized for lack of updates so when it came down to the older Garmin Quest 2 or the new Magellan CrossOver, I stuck with what I knew and the better specifications of the CrossOver.

Two years later, the CrossOver has been a disappointment. The outdoor mode has serious bugs making it mostly unusable, maps difficult to obtain, expensive, and two years out of date by the time they are released. What I learned from that experience was not to purchase a product based upon specifications and future possibilities. It has to do what you want now. Future potential is quite often vapour-ware in technology, don't expect the company to live up to their potential once the product is out the door.

Now I am looking at another GPS and here are my list of requirements:

  • Handheld - I want to be able to take it hiking and such
    12+ hour battery life with over the shelf rechargeable and alkaline batteries - easy to change
    Supports both automotive routing maps and topographical maps
    Uses standard storage card and can handle 2+GB
    Screen is easy to read in daylight (CrossOver washes out badly)
    Can be used while wearing motorcycle gloves
Time and time again the Garmin 60CSx came up as the user favourite in my research last fall. The Garmin Colorado and Oregon have been around for a little more than one year and a little less than one year respectively now and six months ago the users of the 60CSx who were upgrading were/are having some issues with them. I was leaning heavily towards the 60CSx until Andy expressed his frustration with the 20 track limit, so I waited to see what would happen in the next 6 months since I wouldn't be using the GPS much over the winter anyway.

As it turns out, Garmin has been updating the firmware of the Oregon almost every other month, listening to users about the issues, and slowly improving their product. Wow, completely the opposite of my abandoned by Magellan CrossOver! (Side note - Garmin has recently released the Nuvi 550 which does exactly what the CrossOver was supposed to do - I will likely get one of these for my vehicle eventually) I recently had the chance to play with an Oregon at GPS Central here in town and was fortunate enough to have a bright sunny day to take the units outside and view the screen. I unfortunately didn't have my motorcycle gloves with me to give it the proper test, but I felt that if I could navigate the touch screen interface with my thumb successfully, that would suffice for now. Also unfortunate was my limited time due to another appointment I had to attend.

My focus was the user interface and the screen readability as my research has shown that the Oregon will do everything I desire and more. There is also a large and readily available map selection for this an most Garmin units (if I went to Europe with my CrossOver, I would have to buy a new unit, no external maps available!) My initial reactions were very positive. Garmin has placed much of the user interface buttons on the central part of the screen and the virtual buttons are large enough that my thumb easily operated them. A slight exception to this is data entry, but chances are one will be stopped and have taken ones gloves off for any serious data entry tasks where the touch screen makes a breeze with un-gloved fingers. The screen was easy to read in the bright store lights. I did discover that the back-light was set to the maximum, but this really was no surprise, usually one only dims the back-light at night time. They had a 60CSx in the store so I was able to compare the displays. There is no doubt that the 60CSx is easier to read, but it is a lower resolution and displays less colours. The heart of my comparison came down to screen readability, user interface, and tracks.

In short I was expecting much worse from the Oregon screen with the reviews I had seen (http://garminoregon.wikispaces.com/First+Impressions) and I came away impressed. I have used a lot of LCD screens over the decades, and while the Oregon is not the best, it is certainly above average. I still have to spend the time and do a proper glove test, but I feel that will be a positive experience as well. I will be adding an Oregon to my equipment for this season of riding and it likely seems the biggest sacrifice I will have to make is the occasional stop to smell the roses, view the screen at a more comfortable angle in bright light, and/or enter detail on that interesting waypoint or trail. Considering the riding I want to do, that is not really a sacrifice at all.
 

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I have posted this in other forums and thought it might be relevant here:
-----
Hi All,

I wanted to share my recent hands-on experience with a Garmin Oregon, the current flag ship of the hand-held outdoor Garmin lineup.

First a bit of background. I was an early adopter of automotive GPS technology when I won a raffle and acquired a Magellan RoadMate 760 GPS which won out in my features and hands on test compared to the Garmin StreetPilot at that time. When I got the motorcycle in Spring of 2007, a GPS was one of my first upgrades. I was happy with the Magellan 760 functionality but disappointed with their lack of map updates after over 2 years. At that time, Garmin was also being criticized for lack of updates so when it came down to the older Garmin Quest 2 or the new Magellan CrossOver, I stuck with what I knew and the better specifications of the CrossOver.

Two years later, the CrossOver has been a disappointment. The outdoor mode has serious bugs making it mostly unusable, maps difficult to obtain, expensive, and two years out of date by the time they are released. What I learned from that experience was not to purchase a product based upon specifications and future possibilities. It has to do what you want now. Future potential is quite often vapour-ware in technology, don't expect the company to live up to their potential once the product is out the door.

Now I am looking at another GPS and here are my list of requirements:

  • Handheld - I want to be able to take it hiking and such
    12+ hour battery life with over the shelf rechargeable and alkaline batteries - easy to change
    Supports both automotive routing maps and topographical maps
    Uses standard storage card and can handle 2+GB
    Screen is easy to read in daylight (CrossOver washes out badly)
    Can be used while wearing motorcycle gloves
Time and time again the Garmin 60CSx came up as the user favourite in my research last fall. The Garmin Colorado and Oregon have been around for a little more than one year and a little less than one year respectively now and six months ago the users of the 60CSx who were upgrading were/are having some issues with them. I was leaning heavily towards the 60CSx until Andy expressed his frustration with the 20 track limit, so I waited to see what would happen in the next 6 months since I wouldn't be using the GPS much over the winter anyway.

As it turns out, Garmin has been updating the firmware of the Oregon almost every other month, listening to users about the issues, and slowly improving their product. Wow, completely the opposite of my abandoned by Magellan CrossOver! (Side note - Garmin has recently released the Nuvi 550 which does exactly what the CrossOver was supposed to do - I will likely get one of these for my vehicle eventually) I recently had the chance to play with an Oregon at GPS Central here in town and was fortunate enough to have a bright sunny day to take the units outside and view the screen. I unfortunately didn't have my motorcycle gloves with me to give it the proper test, but I felt that if I could navigate the touch screen interface with my thumb successfully, that would suffice for now. Also unfortunate was my limited time due to another appointment I had to attend.

My focus was the user interface and the screen readability as my research has shown that the Oregon will do everything I desire and more. There is also a large and readily available map selection for this an most Garmin units (if I went to Europe with my CrossOver, I would have to buy a new unit, no external maps available!) My initial reactions were very positive. Garmin has placed much of the user interface buttons on the central part of the screen and the virtual buttons are large enough that my thumb easily operated them. A slight exception to this is data entry, but chances are one will be stopped and have taken ones gloves off for any serious data entry tasks where the touch screen makes a breeze with un-gloved fingers. The screen was easy to read in the bright store lights. I did discover that the back-light was set to the maximum, but this really was no surprise, usually one only dims the back-light at night time. They had a 60CSx in the store so I was able to compare the displays. There is no doubt that the 60CSx is easier to read, but it is a lower resolution and displays less colours. The heart of my comparison came down to screen readability, user interface, and tracks.

In short I was expecting much worse from the Oregon screen with the reviews I had seen (http://garminoregon.wikispaces.com/First+Impressions) and I came away impressed. I have used a lot of LCD screens over the decades, and while the Oregon is not the best, it is certainly above average. I still have to spend the time and do a proper glove test, but I feel that will be a positive experience as well. I will be adding an Oregon to my equipment for this season of riding and it likely seems the biggest sacrifice I will have to make is the occasional stop to smell the roses, view the screen at a more comfortable angle in bright light, and/or enter detail on that interesting waypoint or trail. Considering the riding I want to do, that is not really a sacrifice at all.

Any more tests with the gloves on? Garmin has $50 rebate right now until end of April on the Oregon.

http://www.gpscentral.ca/products/garmin/oregon-400t.html

Looks like a great unit if a gloved hand can zoom in/out and change pages easily.
 
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