Buying a NEW GPS????

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    I’m going to be purchasing a new GPS for my bike, and I’m not sure which way to go here, Garmin Zumo of BMW Navigator?????

    Can any of you share your opinions about these two units?

    Pro’s – Con’s



    Mats Ceder

    I went with the Garmin BMW version VI I believe the latest version is.

    I like it for the simplicity and bike integration.

    A goold alternative is the Garmin Montana. Easy to transfer from bike to bike. Also run in AAAs if needed

    But skip the topographic maps. All lines looks like forest roads anyway



    If your bike has the GPS prep already, buy the BMW Navigator.   Has a bunch of features that integrate with the bike, as well as rudimentary media player (via bluetooth), and works with you cell phone for calls, and some network features..   Can also buy relatively cheap mount to transfer from bike to bike when needed (I use mine on my KTM).

    If you don’t have or don’t plan on getting the GPS prep for your bike (or isn’t available for your bike), there isn’t a good reason that I can think of to buy the BMW Nav V/VI over the similar Zumo line.

    The Montana is a good unit as well, a bit smaller screen than the Nav/Zumo and no sort of media features, but most agree that it is a better GPS.  Can load different maps, custom symbols and stuff that the Nav/Zumo cannot.




    Ok, I’ve been researching this some, and have kinda narrowed it down to three. Some have more features than others, but I’m trying to figure out if these features are really a need or just a want.

    Garmin Montana 680 – $439

    Garmin Zumo 395LM – $499

    BMW Navigator Adventure – $430

    The Montana 680 has lots a good features, but lacks and Bluetooth capabilities. Don’t know if I really want or need Bluetooth anyways. Comes loaded with TOPO maps, which is good for trails and off-road, which I do very little. But, for regular GPS maps you have to purchase the North America City Navigator for extra $$$. It does not come with a powered cradle, but is available for extra $$$. BUT, its color matches my F800, red & black, so thats really weighing in here! LOL!!!

    The Zumo 395 I can add the tire pressure monitors if wanted, and seems like that would be a good feature to have I would think??? Comes pre-loaded with maps of North America, and has some other motorcycle related features that may or may not be great. Comes with the powered cradle.

    The BMW Nav ADV from what I’m reading is basically the same unit as the Montana. Will need to load North America maps. Comes with the powered cradle and plugs directly into my F800’s power circuit.

    I don’t know. Maybe I’ll just purchase a tank bag with the map pocket and go OLD SCHOOL!!!!






    You can often find Montana’s for sale on Advrider fairly cheaply, any of the models in the 6×0 series are fine.  Differences here:

    Mainly the new models have both GPS and GLONASS, a little bit more memory on the newer models and perhaps a camera that you’d likely never use, being that practically everyone has a superior camera in their phone.

    Cheap powered cradles readily available.  And you know people that can get you the maps you need.  😉

    The BMW Navigator is more closely related to the Zumo than the Montana.   Neither are terrible.

    As for the map pocket… well, cheapest option for sure.  Maybe a roll chart is your style? 🙂



    Well, I ordered my new GPS. I got the BMW Navigator Adventure, which is the same as the Garmin Montana, but loaded with Motorcycle GPS Firmware, and loaded with North American maps. Price was the same as the Montana, and this model is intended for mounting to the F800 GSA.

    Also, all of the Montana accessories work with this BMW Adventure model, so cradles and what not are ready available. The model I ordered is for the F800 GSA, but I cannot find any where online that states this includes the powered cradle. Not to worried though, as the Montana cradle is readily available for around $35. Touratech also makes a “locking” cradle for the Montana, and I just might get that as well for piece of mind.

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    Mats Ceder

    Looks like a great choice



    Mats, I liked the idea of being able to use the GPS as a handheld for my other non-motorcycle endeavours, and I was seriously considering the Montana. But I was able to find this BMW unit brand new from MAX BMW, as they still had a few left. The nice thing with the BMW model is that it comes preloaded with North American maps, and some motorcycle related features. So you get the Montana with some extras, and that is what made me go this route.



    When you have a bmw wired with the factory gps mount Do you have to use the bmw navigator, or can you use other models as well? I really don’t want to spend $1000 for a nav vi. 🙁

    thank you



    hundredmph farmer

    You can use any GPS that you want, you will have just to  externally wire it to the motorcycle electrical  system to power it, plus the wonder wheel functions probably won’t function.

    Once you pick the GPS that you want you can go online and find many aftermarket mounting options and cradle mounting options.



    I had no idea that BMW had  a Montana based Navigator.  Looks to be based off the 600 and should be a good unit.  Map updates should be free, so you should be good to go.

    The powered AMPS style powered mount that you can buy from Amazon/ebay/etc  have a little security torx screw that does lock the unit into place to some degree. Just ensures that button isn’t able to be pressed and thus ejects the unit.



    Scott- check out the ‘Flea Market’ on   Can usually find a good deal on a used Nav IV or V which will work with your wheel as suckers upgrading to the barely different VI or buying a new bike.

    The Zumo 660/665 would fit in the BMW mount (the Nav’s are basically Zumos), and the mount would power it, but wouldn’t make use of the wheel on your handlebar.

    Anything else and you would just have to add your own bracket and power it as well, nor would the wheel do anything.





    The F800 GS has a factory wired accessory power connector under the battery cowl. Its capped off, but I was told I can buy the male end of that connector and use that to wire up a GPS powered cradle, which would make it wired into the CANBUS system. The F800 doesn’t have the “Wonder Wheel” so no issues with that for me anyways.

    Yeah, the BMW NAV Adventure is a Montana rebranded with BMW Motorad Navigator on it.

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    Thanks guys! I just found one on advrider. Hopefully that will work out. Or, if someone local has one for sale let me know.



    hundredmph farmer

    You mention the Montana 680, that is the same GPS as the Montana 610 only with an internal camera.  If you carry a cell phone or other camera then you probably don’t have a need for  a GPS with a built in camera.  Unless walking with the GPS in hand it’s a pain to remove the GPS from the  mount just to take a picture.

    As a rule the Montana 610 is cheaper than the 680.

    The Montana 610/680 is a good on-road/off-road GPS  but can be a bit complex to set up to use a lot of the special features. The Montana 610/680’s strong suit is off-road use as it has many built in features along those lines.

    The Montana 610/680 can also be rotated like a cell phone to use in portrait mode or landscape mode. This can be a plus in some situations depending on if you ride in North-Up routing  (north always up) or Route-Up (direction of travel always up).

    As for mapping on the 610/680, you don’t necessarily need the Garmin North American  mapping as there are some free or very cheap alternatives that will work great on the 610/680.  One of the nice features of the Montana 610/680 is the ability to load a number of maps then pick and choose the one that you want to use.

    The one down side to the Montana 610/680 is  that Garmin has added a feature that requires authentic Garmin mapping so it won’t work with locked pirated Garmin mapping. It still works fine with 3rd party mapping and Open Street type mapping.



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