What is the best GPS unit for off road trail riding?

Garmin, Montana, Motorcycle, Trail Riding -

What is the best GPS unit for off road trail riding?

Over the years we have worked with many off-road trail riders who are looking for the best GPS unit for trail riding on a motorbike.

The key features we need to look at on a GPS/ SatNav when choosing a GPS for the trail riding are –

  1. The ability to display Ordnance Survey maps, so you can see the Byways Open to all traffic (BOAT), these are the legal rights of way for trail riding.
  2. A large glove friendly touch screen, making it easy to use whilst on your motorbike.
  3. Sunlight friendly, easy to read screen. The large advantage of a GPS made for trail riding is you need different screen technology, than that which you find on a smartphone.
  4. Rugged mount – One of the thing people don’t appreciate is the hammer a GPS unit will get when mounted on a trail motorbike. A solid mount made for a motorbike is essential.
  5. On road navigation – this may not be needed for all users, but many times you may need a road SatNav. If this is the case there are a number of GPS units that have the ability to navigate on both off road and also on road, giving you the best of both worlds.

Taking onboard all the above we then can now answer the question – what’s the best GPS unit for off road trail riding is -

  1. Garmin Montana 700
  2. Garmin Montana 700i

Off road maps for a GPS being used for Trail Riding

The key thing in the UK is you do need Ordnance Survey maps for off road trail riding, as these show you where you are legally allowed to go on your trail motorbike.

There are two scales of OS mapping – 1:25k and 1:50k

The choice is yours, but either of these map sets will be suitable for the trail rider.

The 1:25k maps show everything that the 1:50k maps do, but you also get the addition of detail such as – Open access areas, permissive footpaths and field boundaries. As none of these relate to trail riders most trail riders just go for the 1:50k option.

The 1:50k option is cheaper, shows you all the detail you are needing and in some ways, you get a less cluttered map screen which often can be easier to read whilst on your motorbike.

The key thing though is to buy your maps at the same time as buying your GPS unit. By doing this you will save a significant amount of money. On each of the GPS product pages just select the OS map you require from the drop down menu.

Mounting the GPS unit onto your motorbike –

  1. Garmin motorcycle mount, with cables to wire into your motorbike
  2. If you already have a ram mount or wish to mount on a nav tower you can just but a AMPS kit

We don’t just sell a box with a GPS in –

As purchasing your GPS is just the start of your journey, we don’t just sell a box with a GPS unit in.

We then give you access to our online resource, our online training platform which has training videos taking you through everything you need to know to get you grips with everything on your new GPS unit for trail riding.

These training videos for trail riders include –

  1. Montana 700 Series - Creating an Activity Profile in your unit for Trail Riding
  2. Montana 700 Series - Important Notes ref: Motorcycle Mount Kit & AMPS Rugged Mount with Audio/Power Cable
  3. Montana 700 Series - Importing GPX Trails from the TET Trans Euro Trail Website
  4. Montana 700 Series - Garmin BaseCamp - Creating a Trail Ride Track & Sending it to your GPS Device
  5. Montana 700 Series - Converting a Postcode to an OS Grid Reference to navigate to
  6. Montana 700 Series - Tips to overcome Postcode Searches or simply navigate to a Waypoint / Grid Reference with your Device
  7. Montana 700 Series - Navigating to the start of a Track or Route using Turn by Turn on Roads
  8. Montana 700 Series - Loading a Track that you have sent to your Device & Navigating with it

Best GPS units for Trail Riding –

  1. Garmin Montana 700
  2. Garmin Montana 700i
  3. Garmin Montana 750i

Further reading –

 1. The Garmin Montana 700 review for trail riding, dual sport and adventure motorcycling

2. Interview with Greg Villalobos, an award-winning film maker and trail rider

3. How to use a Montana 700 for trail riding

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