Ok, . . .

I've been watching this thread . . .

You have to make two distinctions:

1) Is it for "finding your way back home"?

2) Is it for "production mapping/cartography" and the above?

If it is for (1) then any old GPS unit from $100 to $500 will do just fine . . . for most people that is all they will ever need. The higher-end models in that range will allow for color display of background/basemap/topo images and of course that is cool and can be of assistance in a variety of situations. Normally this kind of device can be mounted on the bars using a variety of mounting devices. I've found it very much "in the way" in with most devices.

If you want to make a "real" map of a riding area using GPS, plan on spending $5,000 to $10,000 for the appropriate equipment, associated software, and possibly base mapping layers. The cost is high, but the results are amazing!!! We've used Trimble GeoExplorers (in a small backpack) with a remote mounted antenna on the helmet and have captured some incredible trail detail at a very high level of accuracy (+/-40 feet). Because the data is captured using this methodology in a know coordinate system you can easily overlay it on basemapping from,, or if you live in Kentucky using basemapping for FREE from The results allow for the publishing and sharing/selling of "trail maps" to interested folks . . . you can obviously find your way back home with this sort of device as well.

I think it is cool that the off-road biking community is embracing this technology!!! Very Nice!! :)

I own a Garmin Legend and bought a Garmin Vista for the office. They are both basically the same but the Vista has more memory, an electronic compass, a barometric altimiter and more options. I was like you when I first bought the GPS, something basic and cheap. Now that I'm fluent with mine and have also used the Vista, I would spend the extra few bucks for the Vista. It's well worth it. I was down south a few months ago and actually saw a Legend and Vista side by side in a display case for the same price. The Legend is about 300 bucks Canadian. A lot of guys complain that the screen is too small, but I know guys with larger units and they leave them home a lot. The Garmins are very small and I pop mine in my pocket when I'm not on the bike. It also comes stock with lots of built in maps. I flew down to the Dominican Republic to thaw out after my winter camping episode and took my GPS. Every street and town was in there. If there were any streets up here, I'm sure they'd be in there too. :)

Hey Ken-tuck,

You don't need to spend that kind of dough for mapping. The ExpertGPS program I mentioned above sells for about $70 and works with most handheld GPS units available today. It downloads maps while you are working from TerraSever and/or a few other places for no additional charge (most of these are USGS maps so are as accurate as you are likely to find without surveying yourself). You can also scan a paper map and easily calibrate it to the route or track from your GPS. This system might not be as accurate as what you are using, but I found a particular tree from a map I made in my house inIdaho when I was riding in Kansas! Close enough for me.

I think you can still download a trial version of ExpertGPS for free.


Can you do me a favor? I have a friend I ride with that lives in Kanloops BC. We both have Magellan Meridans. We can't find any decient maps of centeral BC, either from Magellian or third party. The pictures of the maps finding your bike are better than anything we have. Could you look at the Kanloops area on your CD and see if it has good maps? If so it would be worth it for him to invest in a new GPS.

Thanks - PS am still working on a cost for your heat shield.

Hey Groundhog

Thanks for checking on the heat shield.

The GPS map of finding the bike was from Search and Rescue and they use FUGAWI software. It's a bit more high tech than the Garmin stuff I have. Here's what Kamloops looks like to my software. Not a great lot of detail. The easiest way for me to post it is to print to PDF and then convert to JPEG, and it gets a little blurry in the conversion.





Thanks Frostbite, thats good info. Its probably like buying a bike. At first basic works, then you want more, and more, and more, and more...

Here are pics of my Magellan SporTrek Pro mounted on my WR400. The mount is from Magellan and the rubberband is for insurance :thumbsup:




SXP that is my set up! How does the sport track hold up to long term vibration? Have you had it mounted for a while? Thanks :thumbsup:

I don't always ride with it, but so far it has never given me any problems. It popped loose from the mount once when the brake hose pressed on the release button (hence the rubber band around the top) but I fixed that by rotating the unit so that even with the forks at full extension the cable doesn't press on the button.

I'd say the GPS has about 1000 miles combined desert/mountain riding.

I've logged over 8000 miles with my GPS. Mostly in SoCal and some data in Colorado and Baja.

If you really want to get into the GPS mapping stuff check out

web page for Cal GPS data

Dan - We should get together and compare notes/ride some time. I'm also in HB

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now