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  #1  
Old 15 Oct 2010
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Garmin 60,real world usability

Hi all,
I have been trawling my way through the GPS info here, I am still not convinced that a GPS would justify the cost as at the moment I would probably only use it to find that hostel or campsite that you know is nearby but just cannot find!
I have looked at the various options for bike use & the one that I found myself going back to was the Garmin 60 CSx, I think in part because it is more compact so can just tuck it in a pocket when parked however I realise that this means a much smaller screen.....so my question is; does anyone have any comments on its use as a travel tool? Where do you have it mounted? How good are the maps & how easy are they to load?
I have zero experience with GPS so the more feedback the better please.
Cheers Andy
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  #2  
Old 15 Oct 2010
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Hey Andy,

The 60CSX is perfectly fine as a travel tool, I've used a 60CS for many trips. Screen size is on ocassion a bit small but with the zoom function you can adjust the screen so that you can make out the detail you require. It mounts right on the handlebar with a RAM mount.

Map choices are not specific to a model and you have the expandable memory card so you have more flexibility to load more maps. It's a pretty easy process, a bit of fiddling and you'll get the basics down.

Depends on where you want to ride for map choices. In places like Europe, North America there are very detailed regional maps available. Garmin world map is pretty blank for other continents so people use Tracks 4 Africa for places like east coast Africa & SA, Smelly Biker maps work fine for many places such as South & Central America, etc.

You may also want to look around a bit more as well. I mainly chose the 60 model as it was small enough to be a personal use model as well and could be carried in a backpack into the mountains. It is easy to take on and off a motorcycle but if you are using it just for motorcycling others will have experiences with different models that also come off quickly or that have locking mechanisms to allow you to just leave it on the bike, again of course depending on where you will be riding and leaving your bike. Best of luck with your search.
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  #3  
Old 15 Oct 2010
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I have the Garmin 60 CSx, use it all the time, it works great and I'm very pleased with the performance. No regrets on this purchase.
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  #4  
Old 17 Oct 2010
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I have never used one but I have travelled side by side with guys who do have them, so am able to make some good comparisons.

(1) the screen is a bit small for visibility. To navigate and ride offroad at the same time in challenging terrain seems not to work. To check the GPS, guys had to slow down or stop. Thats not the case with a Zumo ... you can see the screen and read the screen at high speed on dirt roads in my experience.

(2) the controls are very small ... there are not large glove friendly buttons or touch screens. Again to control the screen and make adjustments on the go, is difficult at best on a the 60. Again, in my expereince, people I have travelled with using 60s had to stop and remove gloves to do a lot of things I could do at cruising speed without slowing down on the Zumo.

(3) the weight / size is much less of an advantage than you might think. A Zumo 660, has something like 4 times the screen real estate, yet the 60CSx is less than 25% lighter than it (270 grams vs 213 grams).

There is no doubt you can do anything you want with a 60CSx, I know guys who have amazing trips with them, without any restrictions from the GPS unit. But everyone I know who uses one, has not traded down from a larger screen unit, while I know plenty of people who have traded up from the 60CSx. In summary, its a decent enough basic unit, but it imposes a few limitations on you that arent there with a dedicated motorcycle unit. And its not much smaller at all than a large screen unit.

It is cheaper than the Zumos, (about 10% less than a Zumo 220) and if you dont think you will use a GPS much, its something to consider. Personally if I was recommending a basic unit to people, I would also seriously consider the much newer Zumo 220 ... its lighter than the 60CSx, has twice as big a screen, is only marginally more expensive, and has the glove friendly touchscreen.

Also bear in mind, the 60CSx comes with no mount. You have to buy a mount for it and that will whack up the price considerably. The Zumo range comes with motorcycle mounts. The Zumo 220 actually comes with both car and motorcycle mounts. I just checked websites in the UK, and while the Zumo 220 comes with European street level mapping, the 60GSx comes only with a main highways on a European basemap. Again ... you are looking for more money to spend on maps. Once you factor in mapping, and mounting the unit, its going to work out more expensive than a 220, with a smaller screen and more weight.
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Last edited by colebatch; 18 Oct 2010 at 15:54.
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  #5  
Old 18 Oct 2010
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I thought about upgrading to something newer like a Zumo, but I've heard stories about inaccuracy on navigation trail rides etc. YMMV.

I haven't had any problems using the buttons with gloves or other wise. Screen isn't the biggest, but big enough if you remove all the stats from it. Most of the time the road/track is right ahead and all you have to do is follow the road. You have to turn at intersections and things where a quick look is enough. No different from checking your speedo. I don't ride alone a lot, so tend to stop at changes in directions.

I'm finding it more a thing of where to mount it so you can see it when standing up and sitting down. Colebatch has his zumo right at the top of the screen which is a good place.

The Csx has about the best most sensitive receiver in the business, and it's cheap. It's not the fastest with panning though. But no GPS will ever replace a paper map. Screen compared to a Nuvi or Zumo 550 is about 60% the size, but it's outdated (resolution) so won't do as much. It's bulletproof though (designed as a handheld), where as the newer models aren't always.

Map loading is very easy for any garmin GPS. I definately like being able to carry it around easily and use AA batteries. Some people think you're using an old mobile phone. Others think it's a sat phone.
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  #6  
Old 20 Oct 2010
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why is nobody talking about the Garmin Oregon series or Dakota? Are they not a good alternative? They have a bigger touchscreen than the 60CSX.
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  #7  
Old 20 Oct 2010
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Screen is not much bigger. Dunno about those really, have they got the identical or better receiver? Personally I like having the feel of the button through the gloves.

There are plenty of discussions and feedback on Advrider.
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  #8  
Old 21 Oct 2010
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I have used my 60CSx on my recent trip and found it great. When I set off I didn't have a GPS, as there weren't any decent maps for the countries I travelled through. If you have a Garmin that has changed now: Worldwide routable Garmin maps from OpenStreetMap covers the whole world, although it is far from complete or perfect.

For mounting I used Garmin's bicycle bracket, which did the job, although it rattled loose a bit, which I fixed by jamming a rubber band in between the loose parts.

With summer gloves I could operate the buttons easily, it just took some practice. Bear in mind that much more than zooming in or out while riding is a dangerous activity, because of the distraction.

As pointed out, the screen is a little small for riding. For this reason I upgraded to a Zumo 660. The routing on this is streets ahead of the 60, as it indicates the next turn and the distance to it, no matter how far it is away. The 60 only gives you about 20 secs advance notice.

I am disappointed by the Zumo's map display: grey lines on a white background are hard to see and it's almost impossible to tell dirt roads from sealed ones. For me, that is a killer.

GPS is now so cheap I wouldn't be without one.
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  #9  
Old 21 Oct 2010
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On the 60Csx you can add the distance to next and time to next on the screen. I only really do this when I'm going to a certain address of follow a route though.
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  #10  
Old 22 Oct 2010
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My experiences using 60Csx ona RTW trip

I found the 60csx to be great, when it worked.
I think the discussion around features and usability is interesting, but really feel the important thing is that is works, and does the basic tasks that you 'need'.

But I had to send mine back twice on my 18 month RTW trip, which left me GPSless for months. In Mongolia, among other countries, which was a pain.

In fact I'm about to send the GPS back again this week, for the third time, as it's having more problems.

That said I've probably just been unlucky.

I think the more important features are: SD card (so you can take more maps with you, AA battery powered (so you can chuck new ones in if bike power supply goes down etc), waterproof.

I hope this helps in some way. Good luck!
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  #11  
Old 23 Oct 2010
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What went wrong with yours? I had lots of trouble with the power button and the rubber cap has broken down twice, but no problems otherwise.
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  #12  
Old 23 Oct 2010
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garmin 60csx

I used one last year, i found it great in citys an alike but have to agree with colebatch that of road they are difficult to see due to the screen size, but all in all i was satisfied.

regards carl.
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  #13  
Old 23 Oct 2010
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Problems

In Istanbul it stopped working all together, it would turn on, but then just hang at the 'Acquiring Satellites' screen on startup. I did the update firmware deal and hard reset, to no avail. So it went back to Garmin UK, where they found it to be knackered and sent me a new one.

I got that in Mongolia, where it worked for 4 hours or so, and then wouldn't turn on at all.

So it went back again, and was replaced again.

Then on the Trans America Trail it had a bit of a weird one for a few days, and seemed to recover. Now it occasionally just powers down for no reason.
So it's going back again, and hopefully being replaced.
But as I said, I'm sure I've just been unlucky.

I see there's a new 62 series out, which are re-assuringly expensive. I wonder how they compare?
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