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Thread: Garmin Street Pilot III vs 2610

  1. #1
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    Question Garmin Street Pilot III vs 2610

    I just purchased a Garmin Street Pilot III, and find that in bright sun light the screen washes out badly. Even when I shade it, the details of the screen are hard to see. I have not tried it on my R1100GS. I can still exchange it for a Garmin 2610. I have been told that the 2610 has much better visibility, but that it might be difficult to use the touch screen when wearing motorcycle gloves.

    On the plus side for the SPIII: has battery capability, buttons can be operated when wearing gloves; on the downside, the screen appears that it will be difficult to read in bright sun. For the 2610, on the plus side, the screen is (I am told) easier to view. On the down side, it costs more, does not have battery capability, and may be difficult to use when wearing gloves.

    I would like to hear from folks who use either of these GPS devices. What advice do you have for me? Thanks for your responses.

  2. #2
    Registered User motofranz's Avatar
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    Sunshade SP III

    If you decide to keep the Street Pilot III you might want to MAKE a sunshade for it.
    I took a piece of thick black plastic and just cut a rectangle about three inches wide X the length of the SPIII and just taped it on.
    It helps a bit to block the sunlight out.
    The Garmin Sunshade costs about 25 dollars and I can't see that it would help at all.(not enough overhanging the screen.)
    Just my 2cents...

    John

  3. #3
    Cop's-RT
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    2610 ver 2620

    I am using a 2610 on my R1100RS with out any problems. Prior to this I tried a 2620 which I and Garmin found DOES NOT WORK on the bike due to the (Micro-Drive) does not like the harmonic vibrations on motorcycles and gives repeated (Map Storage error), (Map Storage error; bad format), and even locks up and will not function at all until reset. I have had no problem reading the screen or using gloves with the unit. Good Luck.

  4. #4
    Registered User DaveinOKC's Avatar
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    For those of you still in the "pre-purchase" mode, there's a heck of a deal out there on the Streetpilot III. A mail order store in my home town has factory warranted refurbished SP III units for $499. That's cheap. It includes nationwide map unlock, 128 meg memory card, all the cords & mounts. However, you would need a RAM or RCU mount to use it on the bike. The company is GPS Discount and I have had excellent experience with them. URL is:

    http://www.gpsdiscount.com/products/index.html?p=637

    By the way, they sell new Streetpilot III units for $589. As you probably know, that is basically the same unit as the BMW Motorrad Navigator without a dedicated mount. The SP III is less than half the price of the BMW unit. The 2610 and 2620 sound like great products but that nearly $1K price gives me a nosebleed.

    What do I use? I've got a Garmin GPS V, plus a recently purchased iQ3600. Both give great turn-by-turn directions. The iQ3600 is not waterproof at all, so I'm not sure about taking it out of the car and mounting in on the RT. I use an RCU accessory shelf & it works really well.

    Ride safe.
    Dave in OKC
    '87 K75

  5. #5
    Registered User docb's Avatar
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    Why not a Garmin 176/176C ?

    I have used a Garmin 176 with a RAM mount for three years on a H-D Road King. The unit is a waterproof marine unit with a LARGE screen. Even this screen can at times be difficult, depending on the angle of the sun or the type of sunglasses worn. It takes up to 128MB (recommended) and all three Garmin software packages(Metro, Topo and Roads and Recreation). Last price I saw was 499.

    BUT, the large screen is great!
    John

  6. #6
    What's that noise...? basketcase's Avatar
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    I'm satisfied with the SP III

    The SP III has variable brightness settings. If you momentarily press the power On/Off button, it will give you a chance to "scroll" the brightness options.

    Any screen will "wash" in the right severity of lighting conditions. So a sunshade may be as good as it gets.

    After installing a sunshade, fiddle with the view angle to get the shadow where you need it. Mine is mounted up high on a custom fabricated mount, so getting a shadow is not a problem.

    Sorry, I won't post a picture (as to protect my idea). My brother and I are working up this mount with a view to marketing it to K11 owners.
    '98 BMW Z3 Roadster, '00 R1100RT

    If you insist on exercising a right to burn our flag, first be so kind as to wrap yourself in it and then douse yourself with gasoline just before you strike the match.

  7. #7
    Registered User CGARR's Avatar
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    I just added a Garmin GPSmap 60CS to my bike along with a RAM mount this week. So far I have been very happy with the screen visibility.

    As a bike mounted unit it works well enough, but it does have some shortcomings that limit its usefulness in that capacity. First the buttons are too small to safely manipulate with gloves on at speed. Second, to have any really useful maps, you also have to order the $100+ map CD, and activate it for use with the GPS.

    On the up side, it is a full color handheld unit with mapping, and I use my GPS for enough other activities that I was willing to make the tradeoffs for a handheld model. So long as you are content just to have the map page up on the road, it is fine. Fortunately Garmin did see fit to mount the zoom in and zoom out buttons just below the screen, so they can be used with gloves quite easily. This allows plenty of detail, or an overall view with just a few clicks. The trip computer is a nice feature too, but it is just too hard to flip between screens while moving.

    All things considered I am happy with it. I had to make some trade offs based on my personal use, but I would still recommend it if you want something a bit more portable than the big boat/auto GPS units.

    All that said, I really like the RAM mount, this is the way to go for mounting mobile electronics (GPS, camera, etc....)

    '04 R1150 GSP

  8. #8
    What's that noise...? basketcase's Avatar
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    And another thing ...

    The screens on touch screen devices are tough, but for this purpose (motorcycling), I prefer buttons to a touch screen for several reasons.

    First, it helps keep the screen clear of the subtle residue that accumulates on touch screen devices.

    I.e., a smeared "cloud" of sweat, skin oil, dirt and grease, snot, tears, roadgrime, and who knows what else will gradually find its way onto a touch screen used regularly by a motorcyclist.

    That is, unless you are anal retentive about keeping a rag and itty bitty spray bottle nearby ...

    As I recall, the 2610 comes with a remote. Now, if you use a tank bag, I suppose there are possibilities for making use of the buttons on the remote. But then my second reason comes into play: Safety.

    The safety issues (distraction due to having to locate it, operate it, possibly dropping it, etc.) make the remote gadget undesirable to me.

    So, I've adjusted to using my left thumb to operate the buttons and don't have a problem with that. And in the interest of safety, about the only function I use on my SP III while riding is the In/Out view option. The rest of it has to wait until I am parked someplace.

    Just MHO.
    '98 BMW Z3 Roadster, '00 R1100RT

    If you insist on exercising a right to burn our flag, first be so kind as to wrap yourself in it and then douse yourself with gasoline just before you strike the match.

  9. #9
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    reactions to feedback to my question

    Thanks to all who have responded to my first posting. After writing, I decided to exchange the Street Pilot III for the Street Pilot 2610. Reactions: after using it several times, I generally like it. Compared to my old eMap, it is harder to read in direct sunlight, but is much better than the SPIII. (I ride a 1100GS, so do not have the fairing to mount stuff to. The GPS sits on a Ram mount on my handlebars, and is pretty much exposed to the elements, including direct sun light.) I have learned to control the tab buttons and zoom in/out buttons on the screen with my gloves on. I have experimented with using the remote and find that it is actually less distracting than trying to press the screen or buttons on the device. I do no major adjustments on the run, but like one of the responders said, wait until stopped to do that. Overall, I am satisfied.

  10. #10
    Registered User motofranz's Avatar
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    Sunshade for the SP III

    CARIC...
    I checked into the "Sunnshades" that are made for the SP III and it looks to me like they won't work because the overhang is too short .
    And by the time you pay shipping ,etc it will cost you about 25 dollars !
    Soooo I found a great flexable piece of thin black plastic that can be trimmed to suit and made a Sunshade that extends over the screen about 2-1/2 to 3 inches. It works great ! (and it's FREE )

    John

  11. #11
    I Used to Be Someone sheridesabeemer's Avatar
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    Thumbs up 2620 is fine on my bike

    I have not found this to be the case. Then again I have a K bike...
    My 2620 has been error free. It easy to use both the buttons and the touch screen. No matter the light conditions, I can see the screen clearly. I mounted it in what may be an unusual manner.
    In my tank bag, I put the 4 point bean bag mount under the map pocket, I then cut through the clear plastic around the mount, and attached the Garmin. It's easy to unhitch and take with me, or lock into the bag. I do have to keep enough "stuff" in the tank bag to prop it up, but that is usually my wallet and a water bottle. I have to be careful when I tilt the tank bag upon fill up.

    Look for the 2620 on Ebay at a significant savings.

    Originally posted by Copsrs
    I am using a 2610 on my R1100RS with out any problems. Prior to this I tried a 2620 which I and Garmin found DOES NOT WORK on the bike due to the (Micro-Drive) does not like the harmonic vibrations on motorcycles and gives repeated (Map Storage error), (Map Storage error; bad format), and even locks up and will not function at all until reset. I have had no problem reading the screen or using gloves with the unit. Good Luck.
    Gail Hatch
    SheRidesABeemer's Blog
    05 R12GS
    87 K75CT

  12. #12
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    I've got a 2610 on my GS and it works terrifically well. I've got a 512MB CF card in it, which holds about half of the country's maps. I think if I got a 1GB, I could pretty much fit the whole country on there.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  13. #13
    Human Version of M-1 tank oldcarkook's Avatar
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    Re: Garmin Street Pilot III vs 2610

    Originally posted by carlc
    I just purchased a Garmin Street Pilot III, and find that in bright sun light the screen washes out badly. Even when I shade it, the details of the screen are hard to see...I would like to hear from folks who use either of these GPS devices. What advice do you have for me? Thanks for your responses.
    Carl - I had the exact same problem! I adjusted the brightness adn contrast as per "Harpeaux's" suggestion and now it's great on a cloudless day at the beach!
    Here's some photos and details
    Experience is the comb that mother nature gives us when we are bald

  14. #14
    Puttin' heads in beds
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    2610

    I have used a 2610 for almost 10k now including a trip through Mexico and back up the Baja. It has worked flawlessly. To operate it with gloves on I use the ereaser end of a lead pencil. It can be attached to the bottom of the mount with velcro and it is always there and handy. I've also used a Streetpilot and GPS V. The V is really tough to beat but my 50 yr old eyes can't see that good anymore.
    See ya in Spokane!!

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