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I am taking the family out to southern Utah-Nevada-Cal. from Minnesota for a week of riding. Thinking I would like to put a GPS on my WR450 for the trip. Any suggestions on a make/model/software to get.

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For ~$250 you can pick up a Garmin GPSMAP 60CX on Amazon, which has one of the most advanced chipsets for picking up satellites and from what I can tell the fastest satellite acquisition as well as best coverage under cover. This unit also has a very intuitive set of buttons on it for marking waypoints etc.

Then go buy a 2GB microSD ($8) card and purchase the 24k maps for your area. The maps are expensive at $129 but worth it.

You can buy an etrex for cheap if you are worried about breaking it, but for the money the GPSMAP 60CX is great.

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I have the 60csx and the thing is bulletproof. I use it everyday for work and on the weekends mounted to my bars. The ram mount is also indestructible and reasonably priced. The etrex and legend model garmins have an issue with vibration over the long run.

cgpsmapper.com for free maps

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I have the 76Csx and it has all of the bells and whistles needed for backcountry use; it is also bullett proof, while zipping along logging roads at 50mph it has twice come off the mount. So don't use the Garmin mount go buy a RAM mount, I use the one with a short link so the unit is closer to the bars.

The 76 and 60 are the same units in a different package; the 76 is the marine version and the case is just a wee bit larger so it floats.

The package comes with Garmins Mapsource software for mannaging data on the GPS, I download free trails from switchback.com.

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Garmin Nuvi 500 hands down no question.

Drive, hike, bike or boat. With the rugged, waterproof, multi-mode nüvi 500, you can do it all. Packed with detailed street and topographic maps, nüvi 500 is ready for adventure both on and off the beaten path. Like the 550, nüvi 500 switches modes to navigate your active lifestyle and provides spoken turn-by-turn directions to your destination.

I love mine and although not advertised you can save your tracklogs and import/export them in mapsource. I even created my own custom maps. Search for "ibycus maps" in google.

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so garmin 60csx vs. 60cx? for the money. i dont know if the fancy altimeter will be worth it.

I bought the Garmin Rino 530 with the altimeter. I have absolutly no use for it and wish that I would have gotten the 520 instead and saved a few bucks.

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"The etrex and legend model garmins have an issue with vibration over the long run."

Not to hyjack the tread or anything, but i have been running a Garmin Legend on a RAM mount for a few rides now and it works great. Are there other GPS's that do better with the Vibration?

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is the nuvi 500 a jack of all trades and a master at none? Because really the road directions are not that important to me.

I wouldn't say its a master of none. I don't use the road directions either but it has it in case your want to travel with it. I love it for in the woods. I have a handlebar mount on my XRL and my ATV and its large enough to see while driving. It charges while you drive and has a 8hrs battery life. I've uploaded custom topo maps onto it. It does track logging too that most other Nuvis don't do. The hand helds IMO are great if you want to keep your GPS in your pocket and they do have handlebar mounts for them as well but I enjoy the larger screen of the 500.

I've had 2 magellan explorist 600s and I have a 60csx that I bring on geocaching trips but I prefer the nuvi500 for biking and ATVing. I highly recommend it but of course its all a personal choice.

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Last fall I purchased a Garmin Oregon 550 and love it. It's a touchscreen model that has a built in camera. Pic's are marked on the screen like waypoints. It makes re-finding cool areas or avoiding impassable stuff easier when you can see pics of the exact spot on you track. The city navigator software is great for traveling because it's full info/phone #''s for all kind of places like parks, gov offices, hospitals, pharmacies, gas stations, motels, restaurants, towing co's, etc......I mean almost everything that you might need while on the road traveling. My signal reception is great. My buddy has a Delorme PN40, and my Oregon 550 records more accurate tracks, has a more accurate compass, many more features, and is much easier to use. Yes, it was a little expensive but so far I'm impressed.

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I'm looking at a GPSMAP 60CSx. I'm wonder if anyone who uses this has tried carrying it in a back pack ( rather than on their bars). Or does the antenna need to be out? I'm just wondering because it says it will work in thick tree cover. I think it will be safer in a backpack than in the open. Any comments or suggestion would be greatly appresiated.

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Whichever model GPS you decide to buy it would also be a good idea to install a power outlet "ciglighter" on your bike and get the 12v adapter for the gps unit. You dont want your gps to run out of juice. Also it can power a small air compressor...its the best accessory i have ever installed...

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I have the Garmin 60cs (color, without extra chip) with the trail mapping program and it's fantastic. I has plenty of built-in memory for both my marine charts and terrain maps. You install everything from your computer, then take the unit with you.Works just fine in your backpack. In any case, you want one with the buttons on the front, not the side, for ease of use.

Just picked up a RAM mount, the one that bolts to your triple clamp, with a 1" rubber ball, and then the short adjustable arm. In fact, I got two, one for the street bike too, and can move the unit holder and adjust arm from bike to bike. There is no vibration thru the mount, it doesn't move a bit when riding. Way cool setup. Beats pulling it out of your pack, or your buddy's, to check your course or location. Super handy to use, will not leave camp now without it.

I used to not bother carrying mine since we usually know about where we are and can use landmarks. But we have had two occasions now where it was a lifesaver. Once was a blown motor, left them to get the truck, and could not drive it back in a bee-line due to terrain. So we had to do a 10 mile round-about way to get to them, just before dark, and drove straight to them with the GPS. Had I not put a waypoint in we would have been driving around all night looking for them. Also handy to find points of interest that you're trying to locate in the desert. On three different trips I tried to find the petroglyphs out in Johnson Valley, then drove straight to them with the GPS. Again, without one you're riding all over the freakin' place trying to find the specific spot you want.

Oh, and a pair of lithium AA's will power it for 24 hours. I carry a spare pair in my pack. No need to power it from your bike. And it gives you your elevation, average trip speed, average moving speed, top speed, and distance covered. If you navigate to a waypoint it gives you distance and time to arrival based on your speed, and there's a navigating rose to keep you on course.

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The reason for it being in the pack is mostly as a backup. The guy I usually ride with is like a living gps but if he ever got injured or something the other couple of us would be screwed lol. The problem is we go for 100-120km (60-70 miles) rides so we don't have much spare fuel for riding around lost lol.

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My Garmin 60cx works perfectly in a pack, in a dense forest. I use it in conjuction with Google Earth , fun stuff.

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The reason for it being in the pack is mostly as a backup. The guy I usually ride with is like a living gps but if he ever got injured or something the other couple of us would be screwed lol. The problem is we go for 100-120km (60-70 miles) rides so we don't have much spare fuel for riding around lost lol.

Exactly.

What do they say? "You can ride farther in an hour than you can walk in a day!"

But yeah, I carried mine around it the backpack before I go the ram mount, and only turned it on when I needed it. And I wear contacts for distance vision so I have to bring my reading glasses so I can read the freakin' thing.

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