The 6 Best GPS Units for Dirt Bike Trail Riding (and 3 to Avoid).

best dirt bike gps.

Fast answers

Trail Tech Voyager Pro is dedicated to dirt bike use and contains some really awesome features. Well worth checking out.

Garmin 680t is the best in the Garmin range for dirt bike trail riding in my opinion.

Garmin 610t is the same as the 680t but doesn’t have a camera installed. the camo look is also really cool for trail riding.

Garmin 650t is the older model of the 680t and contains the exact same features except that the 650t has 3.5GB of memory, where the 680t has 8GB.

Budget Option – Garmin Etrex 20x is a solid option but it is not glove friendly.

Budget Option – Garmin GPSMAP 64st is highly recommended if you prefer a mini unit.

3 GPS units to avoid for dirt bike riding.

The Best GPS for Dirt Bike Trail Riding.

GPS systems cop a beating with most kinds of outdoor activities but nothing can wreck electronic equipment as quickly as a wild, high speed, muddy, vibrating, crashing, impact smashing dirt bike.

Also, dirt bike riders require a few really important features from their GPS units.

And so using the right GPS unit for dirt bike riders is just so important if you want your investment to last longer than a few weeks.

As I’ve been riding for a quite a while now and also riding with a bunch of friends around the world, I have used quite a few GPS units over the years.

Some were great while others were rubbish and so in this article I will be reviewing the GPS units that I thought were the best plus review a couple which aren’t so good.

 

#1 Trail Tech Voyager Pro GPS Review.

best dirt bike gps 2019. trail tech voyager pro

This is where the Trail Tech Voyager Pro GPS has changed the game. This unit is built specifically for the needs of dirt bike riders and I have to say that it is really awesome.

Now, previous to this model was the Trail tech Voyager and although it was an okay system, what I really didn’t like about it was not easy to use and it lacked topographical maps.

 If you have ever ridden on a long trail with GPS, you will know how important a topographical map is.

Topo maps show you a 3D view of elevation, hills, mountains, rivers, creeks and other obstacles which is crucial to dirt bike riding.

The Voyager didn’t have Topo maps and so although I liked the idea and the design, I just couldn’t really recommend it because following a line on a screen without any context was just annoying for me.

So the guys at Trail Tech heard the feedback from dirt bike riders and introduced the Trail Tech Voyager Pro and it’s a beast!

best dirt bike gps

Ok why do I love it? A few main points –

It is built specifically for dirt bikes and ATVs, it needs to be hardwired to your dirt bike so you will always receive constant charge.

Once you pull the unit off the quick release harness, the batteries kick in and you have about 2 hours of battery time left to roam with the device until you have to put it back onto the cradle. Power issues solved.

 Topographical maps! With topo maps, the Voyager Pro is as good as any Garmin.

 I can upload my GPX files into the Voyager Pro so I can explore new trails.

The Voyager Pro is built really tough and is waterproof to IPx7 standards.

The GPS location locks onto me and doesn’t go anywhere. It is super accurate.

best dirt bike gps

The screen is 4 inches, it is bright and I can see it under direct sunlight and it is glove friendly.

The Voyager Pro ticks all the boxes when it comes to the ultimate GPS unit for dirt bikes.

Additionally though, Trail Tech have also filled it with a whole host of really intuitive and fun features that make this unit even better.

Check out this list that is only some of the features available →

 A buddy tracking system so you can see up to 20 riding buddies on the trail with you (provided they have Voyager Pros installed)

 A GPS tracking screen to see all GPS units in your immediate area.

 Pair your phone to the device via Bluetooth.

 A gauge screen that includes speed, revs, bike voltage engine and climate temperature.

 Emergency beacon tracking so other Voyager users get a signal if you break down.

Watch the Video Straight from Trail Tech.

Accessories

If you are going to buy the Voyager Pro, I also recommend the aluminium protective case that you can buy directly from the makers of the Voyager Pro.

best dirt bike gps

The case will protect the unit in a crash and also from tree branches that whip the front of your bike as you are riding.

 This protector also comes with a couple of RAM handlebar mounting options for your bike. very cool.

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#2 Garmin Montana 680T.

best dirt bike gps 2019. garmin 680t

In my opinion, the Garmin 680t is the best Garmin GPS unit on the market today.

Why do I say this?  Well it ticks all the boxes needed for a dirt bike rider.

 Firstly the unit is made tough and it is IPx7 compliant which means you can drop it in a bucket of water and it will still function normally.

I’ve literally bounced it on some rocky ground a few times when I have crashed. It damaged the plastic but still works without any issues.

 The Garmin 680t has a really nice and bright 4 inch screen that rotates horizontally and vertically.

 You can still view the data on the screen under direct sunlight and it is also glove friendly, meaning that you can operate the screen without having to take your glove off.

 The Garmin 680t also comes with a dual battery system, made up of standard 3 AA batteries as well as a lithium Ion rechargeable battery.

 The dual battery system is a great idea for long adventure rides if you don’t want to hard-wire your GPS unit to your bikes electrical system.

The Garmin Montana with the standard mount.

 Personally, I have noticed that the 680t locks onto my position a bit faster than other systems.

 The Garmin 680t supports both GPS and GLONASS which helps when I’m riding under thick cover of trees.

 So what does the ‘t’ in 680t stand for? It means that this model comes pre-loaded with topographical maps.

You can still get topo maps on the other models but you will need to buy and download them manually from Garmin.

Topographical maps are essential for dirt bike riders as they show you a 3D elevation of your position.

With topo maps you can view mountains, hills, rivers and other obstacles that are coming up on the trail.

 Also, the 680t comes with an 8 Mega pixel camera and you can geo-tag photos with it.

 The Montana 680t can record up to 200 trails and 4,000 way-points, which is plenty for adventure dirt bike riders.

Accessories

The standard mount sits flush with your handlebars which is great, but if you want more options with positioning then you need to buy the RAM Garmin mounting kit.

This mount sits high off the handlebars for easy viewing and can be swiveled to suit. They are also super tough.

This mount will fit the Montana models 680, 650 and 610.

best gps for dirt bike trail riding 2019, RAM gps mount

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#3 Garmin Montana 610T.

 The Garmin Montana 610t is the EXACT same model as the 680t in features except that the 610t does not have a camera installed.

best gps for dirt bike trail riding 2019. garmin 610t

 If you don’t think you will need a camera, go for the 610t to save a few dollars.

 The cool part is that the Garmin 610t comes in a camouflage design to appeal to the hunting market.

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#4 Garmin Montana 650t.

 The Garmin 650t is the older model of the 680t and contains the exact same features except that the 650t has 3.5GB of memory, where the 680t has 8GB.

best gps for dirt bike trail riding 2019. garmin 650t

 Also, the camera is 5 mega pixel as opposed to 8GB from the 680t. Other than that, you can still save 200 trails and 4000 way-points so the lack of memory is really no problem.

  The 680, 650 and 610 all are glove friendly!

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#5 The Budget Option – Garmin Etrex 20x

The Garmin Etrex 20x is a small hand held unit with a 2.2 inch screen.

best gps for dirt bike trail riding 2019. garmin etrex 20x

It is a tough little unit I used for a few years until I upgraded to the Montana 680t

 It has 3.7gb memory available and the x model has TOPO 24k maps pre-loaded, which is full topographical mapping of north america.

 It is fully waterproof and will let you upload your own GPX files into the unit. It has a single AA battery pack that you can put rechargeable lithium batteries into.

 My only gripe with the Etrex 20 series is that it is not glove friendly.

 For the price though (just under $150!) it is a great deal.

  Now, there is also an Etrex 30x that is about $200. it is the same unit as the 20x except that the 20 does not have a barometer or a compass. 

best dirt bike gps
The Garmin Etrex 20x sitting in a RAM mount.

Accessories

I highly recommend the RAM mount for the etrex 20. They are tough and can handle any amount of punishment you can throw at them. They also give you full adjustable and swiveling options to move your GPS unit into your preferred position.

Garmin eTrex 20 RAM mount

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#6 The Budget Option 2 – Garmin GPSMAP 64st 

best gps for dirt bike trail riding 2019. garmin gpsmap64st

 The Garmin GPSMAP 64st is a tough and small hand held GPS device that is great for dirt bike riders that need a basic GPS system to use as a general guide but don’t need all the extras.

 The Garmin GPSMAP 64st comes with a dual battery system, 8gb memory and the t model has topographical maps already pre-installed.

 The only issue with this system is that it is not glove friendly. But if you are the type that only use it as a basic guide, then you won’t be playing with it much anyway.

 The 64st retails for around $200, so for the price it can’t be beat.

Here is the Garmin 60 series in action –best dirt bike gps.

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Accessories

Once again, I recommend the RAM GPS mount for the GPSmap 64st. The model below says on Amazon that it’s only for the 62 series but it will fit the 64st as well.

best gps for dirt bike trail riding 2019. garmin gpsmap64st mount kit

GPS Systems to Avoid.

The Garmin Oregon Series.

best dirt bike gps

The Garmin Oregon series of GPS units are targeted more towards geocachers and hikers and they are an awesome GPS unit.

 You can also use them for dirt bike riding as well but they are only about 40 bucks cheaper then the Garmin Montana 680t, which is the best in the market.

 In my opinion, I just can’t see the value of the Oregon when you can get the very best for a similar price with much more features.

My advice would be to stick to the Garmin Montana’s, Etrex 30 and GPSMAP series if you are going to buy a Garmin for your dirt bike.

Garmin Etrex Touch 35 series.

best dirt bike gps

Basically the Etrex Touch 35 contains all the same powerful features as the Montana 680t but it’s a smaller unit.

 Normally I would say that this is an okay unit to use for a dirt bike, except that there are no handlebar mounts available for the 35 model!.

 Also, the Etrex Touch 35 is not glove friendly.

 

 Trail Tech Voyager Review.

best dirt bike gps

 Unlike the Voyager Pro (reviewed above), the Voyager had the makings of a great unit but didn’t contain topographical maps.

 The display was also black and white only which meant that it was not really that competitive with Garmin.

 I found it was really hard to follow a basic line on a screen if I was charging up a mountain on a dirt bike. I just didn’t have any context for where I was riding and found it to be annoying.

 Conclusion

There are many GPS systems out there but few can be used for dirt bikes. Use my above guide for choosing the right GPS unit for your next adventure and you won’t go wrong. Also, after you make your purchase, be sure to spend some time figuring out the unit and learning all its features, as its best to do this while you are still at home and not out on the trail.

Remember also, that you will also need to buy the SD card and batteries separately so make sure you have a chat to your chosen retailer about getting the right accessories for your GPS unit.

I have assembled an exhaustive list of websites that offer GPS (GPX) trail downloads for dirt bikes only from all around the world. Once you have bought your GPS device, download some GPX files for your local area and give it a try, it’s plenty of fun.

If you are interested in learning about the history of GPS and how it all works, have a read of my history of GPS and how it works article here.

What is your favorite GPS unit for dirt bike riding? Let me know in the comments below and if you liked this article, please give it a share on social media.

Happy riding!

Title photo courtesy of Thumpertalk

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