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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I bought a Garmin 396 a couple years ago, health issue have kept me out of the saddle so I've only used it a couple of times. Currently I'm attempting to plan the 2nd day of my upcoming trip.
This thing is the worst POS I have ever spent money on. It may or may not connect to my laptop so I can use the half assed software it came with, which doesn't work unless the GPS is connected. That is unless you buy more maps SMFH. If I'm fortunate enough to get it to connect it may or may not maintain the connection.
I've tried planning from the GPS unit and I find that the touch screen works at it's own leisure. Also it may decide to connect at random while I'm trying to use it if I leave it plugged into the laptop to charge regardless of wether the GPS is in data transfer mode or not. It also locks up at random times while trying to plan or search.
The last trip I made with it I ended up using Google maps most of the way and only used the Garmin to search for gas stations.
I will say that when it works it seems to work reasonably well . If it gives me any trouble on this trip it will suffer the same fate as the money I threw away to buy the damned thing
Thanks to this 396 being a POS , I WILL NEVER PURCHASE ANOTHER GARMIN PRODUCT.
 

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Don't know where your located but there is a Garmin service center in KC. I've gone by there and they will update your maps and check it out at no charge if it's registered with them. I don't know if there are other Garmin locations across the US. For what its worth.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Don't know where your located but there is a Garmin service center in KC. I've gone by there and they will update your maps and check it out at no charge if it's registered with them. I don't know if there are other Garmin locations across the US. For what its worth.
I'm in SE Washington. I appreciate the advice.
But I'm pretty unforgiving when it comes to any kind of consumer product. 1 bad experience and I will write of an entire brand without a second thought. 2 bad experiences/trips in a row with this POS. Since this is a fairly spendy item I'm going against my better judgement and giving it a 3rd chance. Any issues at all on this trip and it will be in a trash can at one of my stops. I'll break out my spare phone and use Google maps before I'll put up with this nonsense.
 
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I gave up on Garmin a few years ago. They used to be nice little devices. In the old days I could plan a route on a computer, load it on the unit, and go for a ride. It was nice to not have to pay close attention to where the next turn would be.

Then the newer units decided to change my route rather than just use what I loaded. About that time, the maps became more difficult to manage. I felt like Garmin was accusing me of stealing every time I tried to upgrade. It was just too many hoops to jump through.

The last one I bought was a small Garmin Montana that was almost totally useless. I got rid of it when I traded my first CTX1300 away.

Now I just plan my routes on little cards that get taped to the bike.

I've been experimenting with the BeeLine devices. They are much simpler in concept and seem to work well so far. These devices are just peripherals for cell phones. Motorcycle sat nav
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I gave up on Garmin a few years ago. They used to be nice little devices. In the old days I could plan a route on a computer, load it on the unit, and go for a ride. It was nice to not have to pay close attention to where the next turn would be.

Then the newer units decided to change my route rather than just use what I loaded. About that time, the maps became more difficult to manage. I felt like Garmin was accusing me of stealing every time I tried to upgrade. It was just too many hoops to jump through.

The last one I bought was a small Garmin Montana that was almost totally useless. I got rid of it when I traded my first CTX1300 away.

Now I just plan my routes on little cards that get taped to the bike.

I've been experimenting with the BeeLine devices. They are much simpler in concept and seem to work well so far. These devices are just peripherals for cell phones. Motorcycle sat nav
Thanks for the recommendation Ken, that looks like an alternative I can live with.
I'll definitely be looking at BeeLine in depth once I'm off the road this evening.
 

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/sarcastic -- yeah all Garmins are trash - who knows how they stay in business.

/serious -- Each Garmin has their quirks and their software is severely dated. We are all spoiled by constant upgrades on our phones, and don't realize Garmin sends these units into the world for a WIDE use case for a WIDE audience and an even WIDER installation possibility. The advantage often for the standalone device is ease of use, but this is relative to the experience of the user. Single touch points of interest - no problem. Type an address - sometimes a problem. Trip planning - yeah troublesome. Anyways no one is gonna solve your problems with your Garmin 396 as you said you already wrote off the whole brand. Suggestion - none sounds like the world is out to get you :).
 

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I also gave up on Garmin. But not because of usage issues. I had a Nuvi 550 which is very much like the early Zumo series (made for mc gloves and weather proof) and it worked flawlessly. It was getting old and map updates were getting bigger taking up more memory which meant removing map areas that used to be included just to make room for areas I really needed. I had a Garmin 255W for a very short time but that unit is not waterproof and does not work well with mc gloves and just not designed to use on a motorcycle. It cost more than I am willing to pay to update to newer units so dropped that idea altogether. Instead I use my phone and Google Maps Navigate. Sure there are some quirks but is very usable as I learn more how to use it. Since Google bought Waze they have been moving many features of that program over to Google Maps Navigate. My screen now looks very much the same as my old Garmin screen looked as for information provided and features keep improving. There is a quick link that will show nearby gas stations even. My current phone (Pixel 4) has the very same water and solids intrusion rating as all the Garmin units do (IP68) so I don't need to take any extra precautions for that and I was sure to get the phone with the max memory available so I can download all the maps I need for my trips to the phone and don't need a cell signal at all now. I am finding it easier to even plan my routes right on the phone. But while I'm home I plan routes on my Chromebook and use the link to send them to my phone so I can drop the route plan right on the home screen where I group them by trip.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
/sarcastic -- yeah all Garmins are trash - who knows how they stay in business.

/serious -- Each Garmin has their quirks and their software is severely dated. We are all spoiled by constant upgrades on our phones, and don't realize Garmin sends these units into the world for a WIDE use case for a WIDE audience and an even WIDER installation possibility. The advantage often for the standalone device is ease of use, but this is relative to the experience of the user. Single touch points of interest - no problem. Type an address - sometimes a problem. Trip planning - yeah troublesome. Anyways no one is gonna solve your problems with your Garmin 396 as you said you already wrote off the whole brand. Suggestion - none sounds like the world is out to get you :).
1st off I wasn't asking anyone to "solve" my problems. I was simply venting my frustration at having spent nearly $400 on a POS that works at it's own leisure about 50% of the time and that comes with software that requires a separate purchase to actually be fully functional. That's what I get for reading a few reviews then buying based on brand name and minimal info, I should have known better.
As for the comment about "world" being out to get me .... I'll refrain from commenting to keep the peace on the forum.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
I also gave up on Garmin. But not because of usage issues. I had a Nuvi 550 which is very much like the early Zumo series (made for mc gloves and weather proof) and it worked flawlessly. It was getting old and map updates were getting bigger taking up more memory which meant removing map areas that used to be included just to make room for areas I really needed. I had a Garmin 255W for a very short time but that unit is not waterproof and does not work well with mc gloves and just not designed to use on a motorcycle. It cost more than I am willing to pay to update to newer units so dropped that idea altogether. Instead I use my phone and Google Maps Navigate. Sure there are some quirks but is very usable as I learn more how to use it. Since Google bought Waze they have been moving many features of that program over to Google Maps Navigate. My screen now looks very much the same as my old Garmin screen looked as for information provided and features keep improving. There is a quick link that will show nearby gas stations even. My current phone (Pixel 4) has the very same water and solids intrusion rating as all the Garmin units do (IP68) so I don't need to take any extra precautions for that and I was sure to get the phone with the max memory available so I can download all the maps I need for my trips to the phone and don't need a cell signal at all now. I am finding it easier to even plan my routes right on the phone. But while I'm home I plan routes on my Chromebook and use the link to send them to my phone so I can drop the route plan right on the home screen where I group them by trip.
That's pretty much my current plan, seems way more user friendly and unlike Garmin's phones actually work the majority of the time.
 
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I have a friend who prefers the Garmin, I prefer my phone. Waze shows me where there's traffic (and cops) all in realtime. I can also navigate by voice command. No brainer for my case.
 

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I bought a Garmin 396 a couple years ago, health issue have kept me out of the saddle so I've only used it a couple of times. Currently I'm attempting to plan the 2nd day of my upcoming trip.
This thing is the worst POS I have ever spent money on. It may or may not connect to my laptop so I can use the half assed software it came with, which doesn't work unless the GPS is connected. That is unless you buy more maps SMFH. If I'm fortunate enough to get it to connect it may or may not maintain the connection.
I've tried planning from the GPS unit and I find that the touch screen works at it's own leisure. Also it may decide to connect at random while I'm trying to use it if I leave it plugged into the laptop to charge regardless of wether the GPS is in data transfer mode or not. It also locks up at random times while trying to plan or search.
The last trip I made with it I ended up using Google maps most of the way and only used the Garmin to search for gas stations.
I will say that when it works it seems to work reasonably well . If it gives me any trouble on this trip it will suffer the same fate as the money I threw away to buy the damned thing
Thanks to this 396 being a POS , I WILL NEVER PURCHASE ANOTHER GARMIN PRODUCT.
I have a friend who prefers the Garmin, I prefer my phone. Waze shows me where there's traffic (and cops) all in realtime. I can also navigate by voice command. No brainer for my case.
Wow, My Zumo 395 works great. It is a Zumo you have?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Wow, My Zumo 395 works great. It is a Zumo you have?
Yes it's a Zumo 396 lmt-s, which due to health issues, was out of warranty before I had an opportunity to use it.
$400 down the tubes.
 

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I have been having a blast with route planning and GPS's . I use MYROUTEAPP to chart my course and then load it to my TOMTOM 550 rider. Now the fun begins. If you load the route to the GPS it then changes. It may be a small change like taking a different road or it can be a major change like putting you on the hiway just for 1 intersection just for fun. MYROUTAPP also has different maps that you can chart on. Recently while working on a route the lines were looking like they were driven by a drunk. they were all over the road. It was only after selecting another map did i find that the road had changed and that was why my route was off the road. One map knew the change and the other didn't. Then if you load the route to a different GPS (like a garmin) you can almost be certain that something will be different. We usually split our rides into 2 groups to keep the numbers of the groups under 10 riders so we use the GPS and always end up at the same place but not always by the same route.
 

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I have a Garmin Montana. I’ve had very good luck with it. Great mount on the bikes. Works fine with tracks (used fir off road) and routes (more for road trips). They did change their planning program to “Basecamp” a few years ago. I do not like that for a trip planner. But others swear by it. I just have to take the time to learn it.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
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I use a Garmin Zumo 665 which includes Sirius satellite radio and MP3 player. I ride 10K-15K miles a year on my CTX1300. I have no issues with the Garmin GPS. I can create routes on my PC and transfer them to the GPS without issue. I used to use a Garmin GPS meant for an auto and had "issues" but the GPS acted exactly as expected. I changed to the 665 for the ability to import routes and the satellite radio.

I don't quite understand the problem the original poster is having. Can you be more specific?
 
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I use a Garmin Zumo 665 which includes Sirius satellite radio and MP3 player. I ride 10K-15K miles a year on my CTX1300. I have no issues with the Garmin GPS. I can create routes on my PC and transfer them to the GPS without issue. I used to use a Garmin GPS meant for an auto and had "issues" but the GPS acted exactly as expected. I changed to the 665 for the ability to import routes and the satellite radio.

I don't quite understand the problem the original poster is having. Can you be more specific?
1st issue: The GPS is iffy about connecting to my laptop sometimes requiring 4 or 5attempts to connect, if it connects at all. I've tried it on 3 different computers with 2 different cables so it is definitely an issue with the GPS.
2nd issue: The touch screen on the GPS works when it wants which is usually less than 50% of the time. For example what should be "one touch" directions to a gas station usually requires multiple attempts, if it works at all. I won't tolerate distractions like that while riding. I've had other people try it with the same results, again definitely a GPS issue.
The PC software is ridiculous, there is no valid reason the GPS should have to be connected to the computer for the computer software to display an actual useable map and allow me to plan a trip. I damned sure shouldn't need to purchase the maps separately online for the computer software to be fully functional without the GPS connected.
Overall it's simply junk. As stated earlier health issues prevented me from using it until after the warranty had expired, so it's to late to do anything about it.
$400 down the tubes for the useless POS. I'm 100% done with Garmin. It found its way into the trash bin as soon as I got home yesterday.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I gave up on Garmin a few years ago. They used to be nice little devices. In the old days I could plan a route on a computer, load it on the unit, and go for a ride. It was nice to not have to pay close attention to where the next turn would be.

Then the newer units decided to change my route rather than just use what I loaded. About that time, the maps became more difficult to manage. I felt like Garmin was accusing me of stealing every time I tried to upgrade. It was just too many hoops to jump through.

The last one I bought was a small Garmin Montana that was almost totally useless. I got rid of it when I traded my first CTX1300 away.

Now I just plan my routes on little cards that get taped to the bike.

I've been experimenting with the BeeLine devices. They are much simpler in concept and seem to work well so far. These devices are just peripherals for cell phones. Motorcycle sat nav
I tried the Beeline phone app out on my trip back home. Very effective and very intuitive. It would be nice to have audio directions as well. No complaints aside from that.
I'm going to add a bolt on MRA Xscreen soon. I think I may order a Beeline and mount it with the x screen clamp bolts so it's in my line of site. I believe it's small enough to be unobtrusive mounted there.
 

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Sounds to me like the GPS unit has hardware issues. I have used many Garmins in the past and haven't had issues. If the hardware is bad, the unit will never work correctly.
 
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Discussion Starter #19
Sounds to me like the GPS unit has hardware issues. I have used many Garmins in the past and haven't had issues. If the hardware is bad, the unit will never work correctly.
I agree it's definitely hardware issues. It's also the last Garmin product I'll ever own.
 

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I agree it's definitely hardware issues. It's also the last Garmin product I'll ever own.
I hear ya. The best GPS, in terms of navigation, was a Navigon. Incredibly "smart" in terms of re-routing and navigation but lacked the ability in running pre-determined routes. Easy to root the GPS and turn it into a Windows CE computer. That opened up a whole new experience in using the GPS to its fullest potential! The GPS was able to do things GPSs aren't supposed to do.
 
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