Alanf’s blog…
Scattered thoughts

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Motorcycle geek consumerism…

Author: site admin
Category: Bike Updates

I regularly complain about the seemingly rampant consumerism here in the US. It seems like everyone is generally focused on what to buy next, whether its new clothes, a new car, new toys or all the other things that indicate status and success in our society.

Despite my hippie ideals, in the interest of showing honesty and hypocrisy, I’ll admit that my own motorcycle obsession brings with it a certain amount of consumerism so ultimately I’m guilty too. Just a few weeks ago I posted a blog entry about looking for a new bike this summer and now I have a second example of this in that I’m ready to upgrade my ancient Garmin 12 GPS with something newer. Oh well, just color me an alpha consumer when it comes to bikes.

I have a few requirements for the new GPS:

1) Must have memory and downloadable maps, including European maps.
2) Must have a motorcycle mount available, preferably from Touratech.
3) Must have an external DC power option.
4) Must be usable both on a motorcycle but also handheld for hiking/geocaching.

Additionally, it will be a bonus if the GPS runs off generally available batteries like AA Nicads and I think color screens are usually easier to read that the black/white ones.

Garmin V GPS

So far, I’ve only been looking at Garmin because I like the products I’ve seen from them in the past. I currently have the search narrowed down to four models: The Garmin GPS V, the Garmin 60CS, the Garmin 276C and the Garmin Quest. The V is an age old design and has become a standard in the motorcycling community but its also nearing the end of its life span. It’s block design is also not the best for hand held use. The 60CS is exactly the opposite in that respect, perfect for hiking but maybe not the best for mounting on the bike. However, it also is rumored to have a better antenna which is nice for both hiking and riding. The 276C looks to be the ideal motorcycle GPS but I need to check around to see if its price is really justified by it’s functionality. Finally, the new Quest seems to be a great compromise but its so new there aren’t many people with firsthand experience.

I have a motorcycle friend who works for Cycoactive in Seattle, so I’ll have to check with him to see what an actual trusted salesman has to offer on the subject. I hope to come to a decision soon so I get the new GPS in time learn it before heading to Spain in March. If you have any opinions about GPSes, please post a comment as I’m thankful for all the information I can get at this point.

[image from Garmin web site]

2 Comments so far


January 27th, 2005 at 6:11 pm

I have used both color and b&w screens and when the sun is beating down on the screen it is hard to read the color screens. The increased contrast of the b&w is better for sunny days. (Which is what I plan to use the GPS in, mostly)


motorcycle loan guy
September 11th, 2005 at 12:39 pm

If you need to see the color, there are always ways to view it. I personally have a color res. and whenever this becomes a problem (which is usually never), I fly underneath some cover, (usually a tree) and map my next move there, it shouldn’t prevent yourself from enjoying the best that gps has to offer especially when riding motorcycles.

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