The best gps for motorcycle use is in my opinion the gpsmap276C (or the similar 278, 478). Unfortunately it is discontinued but there are a lot used units avalible in good condition and for reasonable prices, especially compared to new ones of the alternatives.
Of course there are pros and cons for different types.
You have full control over the behaviour of the 276C, i.e. you can control the auto zooming feature. This is not the case with most other units and it can drive you crazy when driving and the zooming of the nuvi or zumo has a life of its own.
If you want to enter an address and go there the nuvi550 and the zumos are better.
If you create a route in mapsource with waypoints or an offroad route with a track to follow along small roads and paths the 276C types are superior. This is the way I use my 276C most.
If you are used to the 60csx the somewhat "special" user interface with the 276C will feel familiar, pressing the small buttons with gloves while riding is normally not recommended...
A negative side of the 276C is that it uses the old, garmin special, memory cards that are small and expensive. Normally you get some of them if you buy an used unit. I manage good with two 128MB bricks and transfer the area I need before making a multi day trip down Europe.
Then of course you can have the best of both types as I have. One 267C for route following and the more advanced topics and one cheap nuvi200 if I just want to go to an address, most of the time it shows a topo map just for fun. The nuvi is not waterproof so in heavy rain I take it off and put it in my pocket even if it is behind a small windscreen.
GUI with large icons adapted for usage with MC gloves.
Premium models that have Bluetooth connection to headset or helmet with Bluetooth equipment. You can receive spoken street names etc. assuming that the Bluetooth equipment have the appropriate BT profiles.
From the zūmo 660 details at Garmin:
Keep In Touch
The zūmo 660 features Bluetooth® wireless technology so you can stay in touch while you're on the move. With it, you’re free to safely talk on your phone without having to remove your gloves or helmet. Simply connect your zūmo 660 to your Bluetooth-enabled headset or helmet and then pair with your cellphone to make and receive calls on the go. You also can call POIs through the zūmo’s Bluetooth interface — perfect for last-minute change of plans or a quick pit stop for food and fuel. And with spoken street names functionality, the zūmo 660 also will transmit voice prompts to your headset for wireless and worry-free navigation.
The new [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] is also a rugged multi-purpose unit that is useful for MC, trail, marine, car, geocaching etc.
Otherwise there's cheaper alternatives like nüvi 500/550 or the Dakota series plus the GPSMAP 60/62 series.
In that case I would go for the zumo660, if you can afford it...
Easy to handle, can do most things and is also a good gps for the car.
Drawbacks compared to 276C are that small roads disappear when zooming out and some other minor things. In fact you can see 16 times more roadinfo on a 278 than on the zumo660!.
Almost all shortcomings for the zumo is related to the software, the hardware is superior to the 278 in all aspects. So new firmware updates could make the zumo660 a fantastic motorcycle (and car) gps.
There is an excellent comparision between the two gps'es but unfortunately only in swedish, maybe google translate can do something but it is a pdf. Here for your info anyway [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
My vote would be the Montana. I had a 60CSX but the Montana is better in every way.
yes definitely, that's my opinion as well..
well... I'm using the Montana 600 on my KTM handlebar with the Garmin bracket and some rubber vibrating absorbent blocks mounted to it... working ok so far...
But.. yes.. the Montana is complaining that it can't find the right Garmin battery.. during the high frequencies vibration I guess... the battery is way to sloppy in it's compartment..
so I glued some thin material around the end and sides to prevent upper and lower movements of the battery...
Garmin always had problems with all its GPS'es on Enduro bikes... since I'm using this in the past, like the Garmin 48, Garmin 12XL, Garmin Rino's, Garmin 76S, Garmin 60CS even with the expensive TuraTech mount and now the Montana 6xx again... they will never solve the Enduro Adventure and its special demand on material...
Last edited by abrakadaba; 8th November 2011 at 10:57 AM.
Consider also, how and where shall you use navigation. On normal streets and routes Nuvis and Zumos would work fine. (or soon even all pone-navigators). If you need any off-road features, you should look at Montana. Garmin like all other manufacturers focus on cars driving in cities and main roads. That is where the big market is. Turn-by-turn voice navigation, traffic info, online tips and tricks... This is what all are offering. If you want go out from the main streets and even on off-road, you possibilities to select a good navigator is very narrow. Features like off-road tracks, good track management, going on waters... you need Montana.