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Touchscreen GPS?

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I'm looking to upgrade to a newer GPS, so I did some searching here and it seems the consensus is to go with a Garmin 60 or 76 series. While they are nice units with color hi-res displays, the one thing I don't like is the length - over 6 inches long. My handlebar area is already crowded enough, and my old eTrex is only 4.2 long. So I started looking for units that had the smallest overall dimensions with the largest displays (amongst the Garmin models).

What I found was that Garmin makes the Dakota models (3.9 long -shorter than the eTrex!) and the Oregon series (4.5 long) which are almost all display since they are touchscreen models and have no buttons. The Dakotas have the same res as the 60 series, and the Oregons res is even higher. Both are waterproof, have color displays, tons of memory, etc.

https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=145&pID=30926#specsTab

https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=145&pID=14902#specsTab

I've never owned a touchscreen device - is there some reason why they would not work well on a dirt bike? Seems that virtually no one here uses them, or is it that they are just too new?

Let's hear from you GPS gurus out there

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I have the 60CSX and looked at the new models recently. I like the touch screen but I use mine for hunting and I don’t think the screen would take much abuse.

I base this on my experience with the iPhone and other touch screen phones. I had an eTrex mounted on my quad and that thing got filthy with mud and dust. you should look at the Colorado series they are at least a little shorter.

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I don't have first hand experience , but I hear people complain about the visibility of touchscreen displays in sunlight. I guess they are difficult to see on a sunny day.

And like meyermetal already pointed out, the screen will definitely be more fragile and susceptible to damage.

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I'm looking to upgrade to a newer GPS, so I did some searching here and it seems the consensus is to go with a Garmin 60 or 76 series. While they are nice units with color hi-res displays, the one thing I don't like is the length - over 6 inches long. My handlebar area is already crowded enough, and my old eTrex is only 4.2 long.

What do you have on your bars?

From left I have Mirror, 76Cx, ICO Odo, Roll Chart Holder. Out front is stock Instrument (Odo, speedo, etc)

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Go try some out with your riding gloves, see if you can manipulate the touchscreen with your gloves on.

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My Garmin 2720 has been great, the large screen is easy to read (does get somewhat washed out in bright bright sunlight, but still readable) and worked fine with my regular summer gloves. A bit of a PITA with thick winter gloves...

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I have two touchscreen GPS units (Garmin & TomTom) that I use on the street, but I'd not want that on a dirt unit, myself. The screen gets filthy and you're going to do nothing but push that dirt around and scratch it up, and as was mentioned above they are harder to see in the sunlight.

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If you wanna upgrade upgrade to the 276. If that's too big the 76csx is the standard for off road. This is, of course, my opinion. I have heard not so good things about the Oregon though.

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Go try some out with your riding gloves, see if you can manipulate the touchscreen with your gloves on.

I have a zumo 550 that I switch between 3 bikes and use all year long, I have no problems with gloves, today it was 18F on the ride in. People complain about the bright sun, it really does not bother me and I have ridden over 60K with the zumo.

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I have a zumo 550 that I switch between 3 bikes and use all year long, I have no problems with gloves, today it was 18F on the ride in. People complain about the bright sun, it really does not bother me and I have ridden over 60K with the zumo.

IMO touchscreen is not a desireable thing on an off road bike. Also if you're going to be doing serious backcountry exploring avoid the Zumo/Nuvi. Stick with the units that store and display multiple tracks. The standard is still the 60/76 series. As Keithco said if you're after a larger screen then go with the 276C. There are several manufacturers that make good units but Garmin is the one almost all promoted rides support so my advice is to stick with them.

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I love my 478. 100% water and vibration proof. I rarely have to push buttons when riding and those that need pushing are pretty much dedicated. I loaded in it CN, Topo and R&R. So far, I have not had it fail to show me the road, trail or cliff!

I have a Nuvi I use in the car and the touch screen there is useful as in a car, I often am looking for a place. Off road, I already have a route created and loaded in. I might need to find the nearest fuel station but that is about it.

I have a skin on my screens to prevent damage. When the skins get messed up, I peel them off and replace. Two for nine bucks.

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I have a skin on my screens to prevent damage. When the skins get messed up, I peel them off and replace. Two for nine bucks.
Do this on my 60csx too, WriteRight are about $9 for a 5pack. One sheet will do my phone and GPS.

Saved the GPS screen from a few hard knocks.

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Sounds like the jury is still out with regards to the dirt worthiness of the touchscreens. Lots of responders with good insight but none with any direct experience with either the Dakota or Oregon. Hmmmmmmm. Not a good sign in my mind.

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Slow, impossible to see in bright sunlight. Sent it back for a Garmin 76, brighter the sun, easier to read. The buttons make software navigation easy. THeir is a reason why the Garmins are the defacto standard, readability.

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I've never owned a touchscreen device - is there some reason why they would not work well on a dirt bike? Seems that virtually no one here uses them, or is it that they are just too new?

Let's hear from you GPS gurus out there

Google the Zagg invisible shield for any touchscreen devices you want to protect. You can literally drag coarse-grit sandpaper across a zagg-protected touchscreen without worry. Replace it if it racks up damage...much cheaper than a new GPS.

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wow that invisible shield is pretty awesome!

I picked up a Garmin Nuvi 255 for my bike, even though it's a car model. i plan on taking some trips this summer and i didn't want to shell out $250 on one. I'm not going to mount it to the handlebars though, but put it inside a clear pouch on my tank bag. I think it will be pretty safe in there.

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I wouldn't bet on it, if its at all sunny the temps in that panel will get quite hot and fry it.

Like I said, my 2720 has survived just fine on its ram mount but admittedly I'm not doing much single track with it either. It would get in the way and probably get ripped off by a tree or something... :moon:

garmin1.jpg

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Great question and feedback. I've been running the 60 series for years and love it. Almost all of it's use is for rough off road riding. Been thinking about the Oregon but have wondered about the functionality of the touch screen. While it may be cool technically it sounds like it may not be as good off road as the older 60/276 models. Great info.

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