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Old 12-06-2012, 03:43 PM   #15
River Pilot
"Razor Six"
Joined: Sep 2012
Location: Cheyenne, Wyoming
Oddometer: 62
Originally Posted by Rwelch360 View Post
I don't mean to hijack a thread here, but I was wondering River Pilot, if you could answer a Montana GPS question for me?
I was thinking of putting it on my xmas list, and it would be dual purpose as in on the bike (DRZ400), riding 50/50 terrain and in the car...just riding on roads. Would I want city Nav? Don't they come with a base map? Can I search points of interest, like If i need to find the closest repair shop while on the road or trail? What benefit do you have with the TOPO map? Thank you. Sorry for the hijack.

Hello Rwelch360,

Sure, we can go ahead you get you some answers.

The Montana 6xx series come with different setups based on what configuration you buy. A good way to start is to bring up the Montana here and then compare the three Montana devices with each other.

Here are the answers to your questions:

1. Would I want city Nav? Yes, you will want and need City Navigator 2013.3 or newer. Suggest purchasing the Lifetime Maps retail card (Part # 010-11269-00) to ensure you always have the latest maps on the device.

2. Don't they come with a base map? Yes, limited at best and only used for context and reference in major areas of the world. You will only see major towns as dots and major freeways that aren't necessarily accurate in their detail level. Designed to allow you to get to major roads or towns but that's it. According to Garmin, "MapSource World Map software provides base-level map detail for the world. The base map detail includes city and political boundaries, major interstates, some highways and basic outlines of geographic features such as lakes and rivers."

3. Can I search points of interest, like If i need to find the closest repair shop while on the road or trail? Yes, when you purchase City Navigator. The Garmin basemap does not included searchable POI's.

4. What benefit do you have with the TOPO map? Excellent question. This is the one discussed most. Here are the details.
a. 24K USA Topos are "Routable" which means your GPS can provide "turn by turn directions". 100K Topos are not.
b. The detail of the elevations and 3D shading of a topo product are helpful for hikers or if one wants to get elevations for jetting or predict weather in higher elevations. When going at speed on a motorcycle, this is less necessary.
c. When looking at City Navigator and Topo side by side, the aesthetic difference is discernable. The roads listed and what they aestetically look like is slightly different. Since the data is compiled from different sources, they can appear to be similar but, ultimately different. Navteq provides the data for City Navigator (CNNT) and the Topo information can come from a variety of sources based on what country Topo is discussed. USA is generally USFS, BLM, USGS, NOAA and other local/state/federal agencies while international Topo's are acquired by Garmin. Garmin uses many other companies, agencies and data sources who gather, and are paid by Garmin or partner with them, to sell the data through Garmin's distribution. All of these various Topos can be viewed and reaearched by visiting the Garmin website and viewing each map independently. This explains why the Topo's in other countries look different and have different formats.
d. CNNT comes out four times a year and the xxxx.3 release is usually the one that has all of the previous years updates for roads in it. Topo comes out every four years. Last one was in 2009 for the USA so expect a release in the 2013 timeframe.

The interesting part about CNNT North America 2013.3 vs. Topo USA (24K or 100K) is that we routinely ride all of the outdoor roads in the USA and there have been very few times that we have seen a road not on CNNT when compared to Topo. Meaning, we look for a reason to buy Topo, thinking that it HAS to have something that CNNT doesn't but we find that with all of the udpates coming out four times a year, as well as where they get their data from, the CNNT product works great in the USA. We ride fire roads/single track/4x4 roads all the time and find that all of these roads are right on the map with CNNT. Begs one to ask, "Why would I buy TOPO for motorcycles?" Good question and open to further discussion.


We suggest purchasing the Garmin Montana 650, City Navigator with a Lifetime Maps retail card, the AMPS rugged mount with audio/power cable, the OEM screen protectors, vehicle suction cup mount, vehicle power cable for auto's and the carrying case. You can always add Topo by buying the 650t at time of purchase or at a later date. All of this should be about $700 to your door. You will be able to do on and off road riding with this setup. As an authorized Garmin dealer, we can get these items for you or help you get the part numbers together for your Christmas list.

Good question and good luck.

River Pilot Tours
Cheyenne, WY. U.S.A.
PH: (01) 307-222-6347
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River Pilot screwed with this post 12-06-2012 at 08:49 PM
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