The best GPS I have used on a motorcycle to date
Avaliado nos Estados Unidos em 19 de março de 2020
I'm not sure exactly how many GPSs (almost all Garmin) I have owned and used on a motorcycle. Somewhere around 10 I guess. This is the first "motorcycle specific" Gps I have tried though because until recently, the motorcycle ones were simply too small for my liking.
At the time of this latest review revision I have had it for about a year. However, between the pandemic restrictions/concerns and the lack of appeal to ride in our Florida heat and humidity, my actual use has been somewhat limited.
A few observations:
The screen is killer! Very bright and readable, even in direct sunlight with polarized sunglasses. Way better than any of the GPSs I have used in the past. BIG PLUS!
The data fields are very easy to read, and the speed indicator glows an impossible to miss pinkish red when you are speeding.
The GPS has a glove friendly screen. Maybe this year I will be able to escape Florida to try it out.
The 5.5” screen seems a perfect size. The last 3 GPSs I used were massive truck/RV 7 inchers. Big, easy to read (except in direct sunlight), and extremely competent, but way bulky. The brighter screen on this easily trumps the larger, dimmer screen on the others, and the much smaller overall size fits into the dash area so much better. Another plus.
The Zumo XT is Rain resistant. The automotive/truck GPSs I have been using were not. It has never been an issue, but it's nice to no longer worry about the GPS getting wet.
Amazingly, Garmin finally made a GPS with a standard 1” ball mount. No special cradles or adapters necessary. I didn’t use Garmin’s bar mount and arm though, instead opting to use the previously installed Ram clamp-on ball and a 6” arm I already had in a big ole’ box of extra Ram stuff.
When locked in place, the GPS seems to be very securely attached to the included dock/mount. You can remove the GPS in a split second by simply pushing a button on the back and lifting it off. No plug to contend with as the cable stays with the mount. Garmin has even included a nice little rubber cover for the contacts when the GPS is not installed. Installation is just about as fast. Simply clip it back on and go. This is all great as long as you have somewhere to securely store the GPS. Some may think not so great when you consider a thief can push the same button and walk away with your $499.00 GPS.
Wiring was straightforward and simple. Just a negative and positive wire you need to hook up somewhere. Mine is wired to a hot-all-the-time circuit so that I don’t have to have the ignition on to mess with the GPS.
Another huge thing I really like, and believe will make this GPS more useful when compared to any of the newer GPSs I have used, is that the map retains detail when zoomed further out. Unlike in a 4 wheeler or RV, on the bike I don't generally follow a pre-determined route. On the bike I often tend to just kind of wing it, with only a general idea of where I'm headed, using the GPS more as an electronic road atlas than just blindly following a route. With the map detail turned all the way up, you can still see secondary roads with the screen zoomed all the way out to the .8 mile scale. Most disable secondary roads anywhere above .3 or .5 miles. On this GPS, If you want to know where that little road you are thinking of exploring goes to, you might be able to see by just zooming out instead of having to scroll around and in the process lose all perspective to your location.
Usually when underway I disable the auto zoom and prefer to adjust the zoom level myself. So far the auto zoom seems to automatically operate at a useful level. I will try it for now. Time will tell…
UPDATE: Yeah, I got tired of it zooming in and out on it's own and just set it manually now.
So far my only big disappointment is how this GPS handles custom POIs (Points of interest). For the uninitiated and non-geeks, custom points of interest are lists of locations that may be of interest to you that would not normally be included with a GPS’s factory installed POIs. They can be compilations of a particular chain of resturants and/or retail stores, or they could be a certain type of attraction. The lists can be downloaded through a website like the POI factory, or if you want to really geek out you can make up these lists yourself.
On the Zumo XT, the custom POIs seem to load OK with Garmin's POI loader, but they are only accessible by digging into the menu system (where to/categories/custom POIs). A top level "where to" search does not seem to include custom POIs. I could live with that, but the worst for me is that there is apparently no way to make this particular GPS display custom POI icons on the map. Whether it's A Harley dealer, a covered bridge in New England, or the all important Taco Bell, it's always been nice to just look at the map and see if one is close.
UPDATE! After the last system update the unit started showing my custom POIs! Note that on the Zumo XT, "Up ahead" in the map settings menu must be checked to show your POIs. This also will show Garmin's less than worthless system icons for fuel, restaurants, and motorcycle related POIs, and it can make the screen a little busy, but I'll take it.
Speaking of POIs..... In the not too distant past I have found Garmin's pre-loaded POIs to be extremely inaccurate and frustrating to use. Way too many times, they have sent me on a wild goose chase to a business that was either somewhere else or nonexistent. A frustrating annoyance on a motorcycle, way more of a big deal in a large RV. Because of this, a couple of years ago I stopped using Garmin's POIs altogether and now always use other alternatives when searching for fuel, food, etc. HEY, REALLY.......THEY COULD BE BETTER NOW.......I don't know. I have been burned so many times, it will be a while before I attempt to use them again, if ever.
UPDATE: Against my better judgement, and for the first time since I have owned it, I let the GPS show me the nearest gas station. It showed it to be .5 miles away, so off we went. I passed a gas station on the way that the GPS didn't know about, and it took me about 5 blocks further up the street to a run down old building that was probably a gas station at one time, but obviously had not been for a long, long time....Perfect...
Later on that day, we were checking out an RV park for a future trip, and while sitting in the parking lot just for kicks I let the GPS search for nearby RV parks (A category this GPS claims to know). It did not know this massive, well established RV park existed.
Bottom line....If you need to find a place, do yourself a favor and forget about using Garmin POIs. Just search Google Maps on your cell phone, then enter the address into the GPS.
The weather radar overlay gathers data through a Bluetooth connection with your smartphone. I haven't had any showers chase me around yet to require street level, minute by minute updates, but it all seems to work well assuming you have a good wireless data signal for your phone. This is really a cool feature.
I have only routed a few short trips with it, but if it is like any of my other current Garmins, they will almost always find the address and you can be pretty confident they will get you there eventually, but will also sometimes choose some rather bizarre routes. Always take a quick look at the proposed route and please.....Always choose common sense over what any GPS is telling you.
This thing is pricey. Painfully pricey...... In fact, it is the most expensive non-marine GPS I have ever bought. So far, I have no regrets, and would buy it again in a second.
Update: After owning it for a year, I still think it's great and would not want to be without it.
I will probably update this review as time goes on and I learn more about it.
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