Any suggestions on GPS?

I am looking at purchasing at GPS system and have narrowed the search to the Garmin eTrex Vista and the Magellan Meridian Platinum. Does anyone have any experience with either of these systems? Any advice would be very appreciated.



I use the eTrex Legend on my WR450. I use it with a Ram gps mount with an external power adapter that runs straight off the battery. I haven't had any vibration related issues with it yet (500+ miles so far) but I bought the 3-year no-questions-asked extended warranty, just in case. I didn't need the extra features or extra memory of the vista and used the money I saved for accessories. :)

eTrex Legend

Both are good. Have you used one before. My pops uses a Magellion and loves it, and I used a Etrex Legend and love it, but it has more stuff then I need currently. Are you going to put routes in it, or just use it to see where you are on the map. The cheaper Etrex's are pretty good, and like the other guy said, you can RAM mount and run power to the battery on the bike.

Check out a place called out of Seattle. They ride crazy and sell stuff.

I've used Garmins for years with no problems. I mainly used them on my mountain bikes but put my III+ on my motorcycles. I just used the standard bike handlebar mount and it never has a problem (vibration, etc). The Garmins are nice. Never used a Magellan though.

I use the new sport trak Magellan. It floats, waterproof design and compact as a cell phone. Nice Neoprene cover with window. I strap it to my fanny pack. Check it out at the GPS store online.


I was interested in the mapping ability of the GPS unit. I noticed that some of the units didn't come with mapping software. It sounds like I can't go wrong with either unit.


Did you checked out lowrance iFinder unit. It is much more powerfull compared to others. The only bad about it is that it is not water resistant and is less sensative that garmine.

Now John...

Are you worried about getting lost at the local track? All you have to do is follow it around and it eventually ends up where you started! Or, do what I do...follow the little 6yr old in front of you (if you can catch him!) :) it...although it's not working now. 2nd one I've had...first got run over...and replaced by them with a brand new unit for like $100 in a just a few business days. Good customer service...


Ok Larry, you got me there. Actually, I wanted to start mapping all of the Moab trails. I actually purchased the Garmin eTrex Vista today and I plan on taking it with me to Moab this weekend and mapping several popular trails. Are you and Trish planning any Moab trips soon?



I am...but I dont think Trish/Maddy will be joining. Sort of a "guys only" weekend over Memorial Day...with Dougie and a few other cats from Denver. This entire month is wasted packing boxes, etc...since we're moving to Minneapolis at the end of the month. May keep my bike out in Denver until Mem. Day...but havent there may be another riding opportunity before then, but probably hard to accomplish (since I'll have no vehicle to tow the bike with).

Dont know what your plans are re: Mem Day, but if you're available, we should hook up down there. Gotsta see the pix of the little one anyway...

Hope all's well with you...


You'll like your Etrex Vista. I've used the same unit for over a year now after owning a Magellan for 3 years. Both are solid and dependable units, although the Vista has a lot more features than my old Magellan.

The Vista has been in my truck on a Ram mount, in the fanny pack, on the handlebars, and even strapped to the back of the chest protector through a couple of desert races. It has yet to let me down. One thing I can say, don't try to use any sort of rechargeable battery, not even NiMH make my Vista happy. If you stick with the top brand alkalines you'll get long life.

Now just go out and get Topo! or another 3D topo map software and your all set !

Hey Blackie,

Here was the problem that I had this past winter. One of the riding buddies got hurt and it was bad enough that we could not bring him out through typical SAR in a timely mannor. I have a Garmin Venture which is good for mapping your routes and telling you where you are. The problem was we knew our position, great for AirMed, but we did not know what was the quickest way out. We sent one group forward because some thought we were beyond our half way mark and we sent a group back the same way we came in.

I knew at that point I needed to upgrade. I did purchase a Meridian Platinum and now that I can see trails, terrain, I did go back to see if we had any other better options that we could have gone to get help quicker and sure enough we could have saved a couple of hours.

I did look at the vista also and the major draw back that I saw was the display size. I personally like the larger display and I have loaded Montana, Idaho, Western Wyoming and Utah on the device. I recently went to Moab and tracked my entire ride, where I noticed that the battery life seems to be better that the Venture (for sale)that I currently have.

You are more than welcome to take a look at it if needed. I bought mine from a company in New York and saved money on this big time. GPS, Case, Car adapter, 64MB memory, Topo CD, I am about $330.00 in to it.

Good luck and let me know if there is anything else that I can answer for you. :)

Anyone have a good suggestion for a GPS unit with great mapping software, especially the ability to work with AutoCAD as I am planning on creating some maps of our local riding area.

Not sure exactly what you are looking for, but fyi, you can export mapsend topo to either a .txt or .xls file for importing into other programs. Not sure what a .txt would do in autocad, but I am curious. I could send you a file later today if you have autocad handy. :)


I think you meant .txt and .dxf. I think .dxf is an Autocad filetype, isn't it?

I believe that you are correct, but the files that the Mapsend topo exports are .txt text files and .xls excel files. I played around with it and it basically give you a history of your travel with Lat, Long, elevation, travel time, average speed, and heading. The average speed was good to see :), you can identify the open areas real easy where you get on the throttle. The readings are comma deliminated in the text file, which leads me to believe that you could import this in to CAD. Having the CAD program set up with X,Y scale you could plot out your route.

I have both exported files (.xls and .txt) if anyone wants to play with it.

Hope this helps... :D

I was thinking MapSource. I stand corrected! :)

John, I'm sure that both brands are great. I have an old school Garmin 12 (no mapping). But the thing is bullet-proof. If I were you I'de go with a Garmin.... I just got my dad the 76s Garmin that has a big screen and tons of features.... Good luck, Say hello to Blackie the wondercat..


The ideal with working with AutoCAD would be a .Dxf file, image files dont work well. A printout of, like suggested

longitude, latitude and distance would work well but take time to input into the program.I was hoping to find a unit that produce a file that would intergrate with the program pretty easly. have to think on it I guess. I know surveyor's use some sort of GPS unit to produce the maps they create.

I don't know about the Magellion for sure, but the Garmin Etrx has mapping capability. I think it 99 bucks for the program, and if you have a Cabela's magazine around it will show you the name of the software (Topozone USA???)

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