Join Date: May 2016
Location: Gloucester, VA. & Manassas VA.
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
I just got done with a week riding event with my Garmin 396. Overall I think it worked well. It was easy to see in all lighting conditions and the glove friendly screen really is. I was able to make entries easily. I rode in very heavy rain like 2 inch an hour rain and it didn't affect it at all. The navigation worked well but I did get routed onto dirt roads a couple of times. That may have have been that BaseCamp and the maps in the unit had the roads as paved not gravel. Or that the only way to get to my next way-point was on gravel. The day after the rains I think there were road closures and it re-routed me while I was moving. This might be fine but it was sending me way out of my way and the map is to small to know if I wanted to do it while in motion. It was easy to bypass the next way-point to keep me going close to the route I wanted. I did the road it wanted to bypass 2 days later and there were several construction sites and to bypass them would have been a very long reroute. So it was probably correct. Notifications for delays and or construction were accurate. It was easy to bypass a stop if you wanted and it even knew if I stopped for gas early and asked if I wanted to reset the gas tracking. It did ask once when I stopped for a long light right next to a gas station. Gas tracking was correct also and I got the warning at the correct timing. Helmet law data notified about 5 to 10 miles before the border crossing. If selected you were able to read the notification. I got one construction notice 65 miles in advance and had to x out the box or it took up 1/3 of the screen. I liked that I could add trip information to the right side of the screen for additional data points. You can select from a large selection of information to display, 3 items. I could change them on the fly. There are other features that I didn't use yet.
I did have issues with the voice to my Sena SMH-10 com system. The first day the Garmin rebooted 4 hours into a 7 hour day and I lost the link to the headset. Re-synced to the headset but didn't work on day 2. Day 3 it worked good until I went through a school zone than did't reconnect. I unchecked the school zone and after a gas stop the turn by turn came back. Day 4 and 5 it worked great. Day 6 it did the reboot thing again and stopped working. So I think I found what was going on. I have an I Pod that I Bluetooth to the headset also and I don't think they play nice together. Days 3,4,&5 I left the I-Pod in the hotel room. This may be an issue with the Sena headset and not the Garmin. I am going to look for a firmware update for the Sena as I may be out of date.
Notifications are some what all or nothing. You can't select which ones give you a audio warning. If you want audio for one you get it for all. I turned off the school zone and speed reductions as the audio takes too long to go back to passenger intercom on my headset or not at all. The turn by turn is ok but with the long delay for the intercom switching it can get in the way just when you are counting on the passenger helping with where you want to go. Once again It may be my older Sena -10 unit.
You still have to be careful when navigating as any of my Garmin units will sometimes take you off the desired course onto a small road that it thinks is faster than the main road only to bring you back on to the main road. Usually behind that slow guy you had just got by. One will even get me off on a exit ramp just to get me back on. The cops will sometime set there just to catch people doing this during traffic slowdowns.
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