By far, the most popular GPS devices for Dual Sport rides are the Garmin 60 or 76 series. This tutorial is applicable to either the 60 or 76. The 60 series has a few problems that make the 76Cx a far better choice. The external antenna on the 60 can break off, several have popped out of the RAM mount (76 can’t), and the switches on the 60 are much smaller than the 76 which is a problem with gloves on. Many riders falsely think the buttons above the display the 76 is undesirable but 76 owners never complain. Bottom line: the 60 & 76 are identical in function, it is personal choice. When all the 60/76s have faded away, it looks like the next GPS of choice will be the 62/78 or the Montana. See here for a brief analysis of “Other GPSs”.
If you have a 60 or 76, these Setup Settings will help you set a lot of basic choices that make for easier operation.
These pictures will help you know you are on the correct setup pages in your GPS to make the setup settings. The 60 & 76 come with a “Base Map” installed that only shows major highways. You will find your GPS much more useful if you install more detailed maps. You will also find that it very useful to have a program on your PC that will download files with Tracks from the Internet, upload Tracks from your GPS, and download Tracks to your GPS. This PC application is called “MapSource”. Unfortunately Garmin sold both the PC application “MapSource” and a set of Maps as one product it called MapSource so it is a little confusing. You only need one copy (or version) of the MapSource application on your PC but you may want two or three map sets on both your PC and your GPS. To learn all about MapSource, Maps, PC installation, and Downloading maps to your GPS, go to Maps & MapSource.
Most riders use a RAM mount for their GPS. The only real choice in purchasing a RAM mount is picking the "Ball" that is attached to the bike. There is a universal "U-Bolt" attachment for handlebar, "Tabs" that are attached to an existing bolt with a tab that is available at several angles, and the new "Hollow Ball" that replaces one of your handlebar bolts. These pictures of various Mounts show some of the options. You can see and buy all the little pieces at http://www.cycoactive.com. If you have a button-bike and who doesn’t, you should add a hard wire power feed direct from the battery. You can buy the best kit at http://www.cycoactive.com Between your hardwire cable and your PC USB cable you don’t really need batteries. If you do use batteries, the much lighter Advanced Lithium super light ones (at $5/pair) are the ones to run. The lighter the better for vibration caused degradation.
Now that you have your GPS setup, powered, and mounted, you are almost ready to it ride. Aside from just observing where you are on a map as you ride, you will most likely want to follow Tracks. In order to go further, you need to know and understand Track Terminology and Definitions. If you are going to an organized Dual Sport event, this is how you will Downloading Tracks.
Time to Ride
Now that you have your GPS setup, powered, mounted, and Tracks Downloaded, you are ready to ride. Many first timers are intimidated and think they have to know a lot of GPS operations, nothing could be further from the truth. If someone else did all of the above for you and just put you on the bike, you would not believe how easy it is to follow your GPS. If you followed the recommended Setup Settings, the promoter Downloaded ride Tracks, and you have the Tracks set for the correct On/OFF, all you do is go the start location and turn your GPS on. After it boots (to the map page), set the zoom level to “0.2 Mi”. You should see the first track leading away from under the big black arrow which is you. Start riding and the map should rotate so that you are always riding up. The big black arrow should follow the colored Track as the map now moves down under the arrow. If the arrow gets off the Track, you have made a wrong turn. Go back and get back following the Track. In the city or if there are a lot of intersections, you may have to zoom in to “800 ft”.