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Joined: Jan 17, 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 8:44 pm    Post subject: GARMIN COLORADO AND/OR OREGON Reply with quote

Hi. Has anyone used a Garmin Colorado or Oregon units on a motorbike. I understand you can buy the mounts from Touratech. I am not that bothered about the features on a Zumo (I have a Navman in my car) but would like the mapping that comes with them and also my other passion in life (other than motorbiking) is hill/mountain walking and wish to replace my old black and white Garmin eTrex.

Specific questions include: can the unit be mounted vertically (the eTrex has to be flat to work properly) and is vibration a problem. Garmin suggest it might.

Thanks in anticipation for any replies.
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Joined: Dec 25, 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Stephen,

I just bought a Oregon 300 to replace a Garmin Quest 2 which had started getting flaky, but otherwise was superb on a bike using RAM mounts.

It may seem off-topic, but I spent a long time researching what I wanted in the light of the Quest.

What I loved about the Quest 2:
Small: fits into bike suit pocket
Long battery life: never ran out on a journey. I guess life is 8h+
4 fields so I can tell what's going on. I used: ETA, distance to next, time to arrival, distance to arrival.
Memory: I put Bluecharts on it
Versatility: Bike car and boat
Built-in stand: the antenna flips up as a stand that works in any car with a flat dashboard

What I didn't like about the Quest:
Incredibly slow to calculate
Would sometimes lock up or recalculate spontaneously at exactly the wrong moment.
Inability to have useable routes on water.

What I didn't mind about the Quest:
Small screen size: I'm over 40 now, but it's still OK, and I know that screen size and portability are trade-offs. Being pocket sized is make or break for me.
Lack of speed camera info: I guess you could probably put that in, but I personally find speed camera alerts incredibly annoying, and I prefer to keep my observation skills honed.
Lack of voice commands on the bike: My first GPS was a XDAII with TomTom. It had its faults, and it stayed in my pocket and played me music, cutting in with directions as we approached a junction... no visuals. The Quest is the opposite, and that is fine, so long as I have the distance to next readout, so know when to look again.
Buttons not touchscreen

So with that context, all the Zumos were out of the question for being too big and battery-hungry, as was the TomTom Rider.

The Garmin Oregon points are:
Small, neat and rugged
Battery life is fine (est.6-8h with some backlight), and you can keep a charged pair of 2850 NiMh AA cells in your pocket
Obviously, it is waterproof
The screen is better than the Quest, but I haven't used it in bright sunlight. Even on a cloudy day, you want to keep it vertical to avoid glare from the matt screen.
Memory is enough to copy a country or two without using the micro SD slot.
I didn't need to buy new maps, as the Quest II maps (City Navigator NT 8) are licensed for 2 devices. Garmin have changed their policy for maps sold since then so most people won't have that benefit.
Most of the other features on the Oregon are irrelevant to me, but I believe it is better for routes off road.
RAM Mount available
It is easier to push buttons with gloves on while riding.
Car kit available (get the friction mount as well)
Only 2 fields. I can probably survive, but it is a bugbear
It only works vertically. I would prefer the option to have it horizontal, and then it would be simpler to have more fields like the Quest.
I don't see any reason why vibration would be a problem. It is solid state.
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