The first thing that comes to your mind the moment you lose your bearings is an alternative that can help you find the way back without getting lost any further.
That’s why it’s important that you find a functioning GPS and keep it in working condition prior to getting set for the road experience. However, finding a GPS isn’t enough.
There’s a great deal that needs to be looked at before making assumptions on the performance, functionality and durability aspects of the selected device. So many unprecedented events may happen when you are barely prepared.
It’s wiser to prepare for the worst in any road experience. It’s common for impacts to occur. A good number of models get crushed in the process. When this occurs and you happen to have lost your way, a heavy-duty GPS is the only compass that could get you back home in no time.
Besides, some GPS systems come with emergency pharos installed. These could help you get out of tricky situations without jeopardizing your life. A durable device won’t get destroyed.
Models that are made using quality materials barely get damaged. As a prolific rider for close to a decade now, I’ve traversed different hills, deserts and forests.
In all these experiences, I carried different GPS designs with me. If there’s one clear thing I’m able to tell, it’s how the different devices worked and how some proved to be regretfully disappointing.
With this vast experience, today I’ll be sharing with you part of my encounters and worthwhile models you should invest in. I’ve provided all the affordable and user-friendly options, so that you don’t miss anything to look out for.
|① Trail Tech -TOP PICK|
|② Garmin Montana 680T|
|③ Garmin Montana 610T|
|④ Garmin Montana 650T|
|⑤ Garmin Etrex 20x|
① Trail Tech
This device has all your riding needs copied down into a software that will guarantee you an awesome and safe riding experience.
The clear bright screen provides you with excellent 3D views surrounding you together with your precise location so that you easily know where you’re heading.
With Trail Tech, you’ll know where all the hills, rivers, mountains and other landmarks are, so you won’t get lost. It’s a remarkable tech. I really love it’s ergonomic design, it makes it easier to hold and operate even with a pair of gloves on.
You can hardwire the model to the bike and charge it from time to time in case it’s battery is draining. When not on charge, the battery lasts for 2 hours. It alternatively supports the loading of files so that you can feed in information regarding the places you intend to explore.
- The device has a Bluetooth feature that supports connectivity to your mobile phone or other mobile gadgets.
- It has an emergency tracking system that can be activated in case of danger. With this, you could alert response teams for help.
- One accessory that keeps the device safe is the aluminum case.
- You can upload files to the GPS for the exploration of new places.
- It’s waterproof.
- It has a bright and clear screen.
- It’s quite technical to use and operate.
② Garmin Montana 680T
Fundamentally, Garmin is a renowned brand when it comes to the designing and supply of quality working GPS devices. Personally, I’ve purchased around 4 GPS models from Garmin. They haven’t disappointed over the years.
This 680T model is tough and waterproof. In case you are riding in a rainy weather, nothing will bother you much save for intense conditions. Besides, the screen’s resolution is quite good. The display is bright and clearly visible in both day and night.
Precisely, the screen is 4 inches large, one of the largest I’ve seen since I started dirt bike racing as a sport. The twofold nature of the battery system makes it a long lasting device out there. The batteries are made of Lithium ion and are rechargeable.
- The Garmin 680T is tough. It’s also waterproof.
- It has a bright screen, four inches in size.
- The binary battery system is perfect for all day long expeditions.
- A substitute for the main 3 AA batteries is a pair of rechargeable Lithium cells.
- It’s camera is 8 MP in resolution.
- A wide variety of topographical designs are stored in the device for easy access.
- It has a faster locking mechanism on geographical locations compared to most devices.
- It’s a pricey design altogether.
③ Garmin Montana 610T
This device is indifferent from the 680T design but with a few alterations. It’s cheaper and more conventional than the latter. Also, the 610T does not have a camera, something that the manufacturers might consider working on.
Regardless, it’s as sturdy and waterproof as it’s counterpart. It’s screen is 4 inches in size. It’s one of the few devices that come with a touchscreen display, so you can conveniently manage commands at the comfort of proximal contact.
With the Garmin Montana 610T, it’s very easy to navigate locations. This is because of the BaseCamp software that gives you access to storing data you can use for organizing prospective trips.
- It has a tough and durable construction.
- It’s a cheaper alternative to the premium designs.
- The model is waterproof.
- BaseCamp software allows you to organize trips by uploading necessary data.
- The 4-inch screen size is bright and touch sensitive.
- The battery lasts for a short time.
- It does not have a camera feature.
④ Garmin Montana 650T
Unlike the 680T that has an 8 gigabyte internal storage, the 650T has 3.5 gigabytes of storage. It has a clear camera that allows you to take note of your location or surrounds. It’s also waterproof, sturdy and reinforced with durable construction.
The 3D views the 4 inch screen size provides will give you a clear indication of wherever you’re heading.
You can’t get lost with the 650T. This device supports faster locking of locations. To plan better on forthcoming trips, you can pre-load the topographical designs and store them in the internal storage.
- The 5 MP camera allows you to capture your surrounds.
- There are lots of maps stored in the device. These give you unlimited access to regions around you.
- It comes with 3.5 GB of storage. You can use this to store topographical plans for the future.
- It’s an expensive GPS model.
⑤ Garmin Etrex 20x
In case you are looking for an affordable option for your riding experience, then Etrex is the model to consider. It’s rather small compared to the preceding designs. It’s screen is 2.2 inches large.
However, this does not interfere with the performance of the design. It has a tough construction that keeps the device intact even in the middle of high impact crashes.
You can do so much with the 3.7 GB storage, this ranges from loading maps, uploading files, to organizing long road trips. It’s waterproof and the improved resolution makes it easier to see and operate in brighter days.
- Etrex is made to last. The outer shell of the device is reinforced with quality materials that make it tough and resistant to impact.
- It’s the most affordable option so far thus very good on the budget.
- The improved resolution gives users clear display.
- You need to install a lot of software to start using the device. This is not only strenuous but also tiring.
- The battery doesn’t last too long.
Factors you should consider when choosing the right dirt bike GPS
Ease of use
A convenient GPS is that which gives you access in the most comfortable way possible, while still ensuring you aren’t endangered as you ride.
Hand gloves are part of dirt bike gear. Removing them while controlling the bike is risky, so you may be forced to stop every once in a while when you need to map your locations.
This is time-consuming and sometimes makes the riding experience boring. Advisably, find a GPS model that is glove friendly. This means you can access it at any time, by simply touching on the control dials or screen in case it’s touch sensitive.
Touchscreen models are easier to use as well. Considering the placement of GPS designs, it’s sometimes hard to control the unit from the sides. A touchscreen is merely a click away thus convenient.
The moment you purchase a GPS unit, it’s important that you consult or check with the manufacturer if all the software you need has been downloaded to the device. Additionally, ask for instruction guides to help you throughout the process.
Knowing all the features and essentially how the system works will save you a lot of time, especially when you are lost and don’t know what to do. You need to catch every detail to the minutest one, as the unit will be your only helper amidst tribulations of the wild.
The 3-dimensional view is clearer and detailed. Devices with such features will not only make your riding experience easier but also improve your success in case you get lost and need to get back on track.
Other features that improve the performance of GPS devices include the Bluetooth connectivity and the remote temperature detectors.
What accessories do you have at your disposal?
For a GPS device to work impeccably, you’ll need a number of accessories.
Sometimes getting the device out of your pocket becomes strenuous, so it’s wiser to find a perfect mount. With a strong mount, the unit can be installed between the handlebars making it easier for you to access.
Other packages come with protective cases while some need to be purchased separately. The most common material used in making these cases is aluminium. The casing enhances durability of the unit so that it doesn’t get broken or crushed whenever an accident occurs.
Does your GPS support the storage and uploading of data for future use? Consequently, is the installed software capable of accessing random maps precisely anywhere around your location? If so, how fast is it?
First, the uploading of data or files to the GPS storage has two benefits, one, you can access the location you want anywhere anytime, and second, you’ll get a preview of the places you intend to visit and plan appropriately on the same.
The random access memory of your GPS should easily locate and lock your positions regardless of the remoteness of the place.
The unit won’t work without a charge. Therefore, to be on the safer side, it’s advisable that you find a model with a battery that’s easily rechargeable.
Units with dual systems are the best options. These come with rechargeable Lithium batteries. Likewise, there are models you can hardwire to the bike in case you need to recharge while riding.
Durability and emergency options
Durable devices are not only waterproof but also tough. The GPS unit should withstand the harsh circumstances, regardless whether it’s extreme sunlight, dust, dirt and rainfall. To make the devices safer, you can acquire hard shelled cases that are impact resistant.
Finding an emergency response team with nothing to beacon is like filling an ocean with sand. Breaking down and getting into accidents are unfortunate scenarios that sometimes happen when you least expect.
With a powerful GPS unit at hand, you can easily signal any nearby troupes or contact the response teams who can get you out of the frying pan in no time.
Your safety out in the wild depends entirely on what your GPS can do. If the unit barely keeps up with your locations, consider disposing it and finding another whose responses and mapping are much faster as well as precise.
So many options are there to consider, but the ultimate decision is entirely based on your safety needs and riding preferences. After applying these criteria, we found that the Garmin Montana 680T was the best pick for anyone in need of a safe and fun riding experience.
Just to highlight but a few unique aspects of the device, it’s reinforced with a tough construction that makes it completely waterproof. It has a 3-Dimensional view, close to a bird’s view but much clearer.
It’s 8 megapixel camera works perfectly. It has faster locking on locations and supports the uploading of topographical designs. It’s internal storage is large enough to store as much data as possible. Garmin 680T is a purchase that equals your money’s worth.