Author Topic: GPS Opinions Please  (Read 5414 times)

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Offline 46Alpha

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GPS Opinions Please
« on: May 24, 2012, 03:53:26 pm »
So I've been looking to upgrade my old Nuvi 760. I'm getting tired of not being able to load custom routes directly, so I'm looking at the Zumo 220. Anyone have any thoughts, experiences or wisdom they would like to share before I drop $400? I'd appreciate it ;D

Offline Gypsy JR

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Re: GPS Opinions Please
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2012, 04:05:16 pm »
Look at the entire Zumo line before you decide.

I absolutely love my 665. It is fast on recalculate and detour (critical on a motorcycle where you can go by a turn in a blink of the eye if the GPS is slow telling you about it) and can hold tons of routes and waypoints. Plus it will play stereo XM music with a GXM40 smart antenna, though only through headphones (bluetooth or wire). The weather and traffic costs $21 and change a month, but is worth every penny the first time you radar chart yourself around a bad storm. Unless you like riding in driving rain. Heh.

But in the end, get what you can afford, because the higher the model number in the Zumo line, the more power and capability the GPS has.
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Offline beegee

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Re: GPS Opinions Please
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2012, 09:54:38 pm »
here in europe , there is a new zumo 340/350 coming in august... in replacement of the 220 ;
the 660 is being replaced in the beginning of 2013 (5 inch screen)
;-)

Offline Gypsy JR

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Re: GPS Opinions Please
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2012, 12:03:50 am »
here in europe , there is a new zumo 340/350 coming in august... in replacement of the 220 ;
the 660 is being replaced in the beginning of 2013 (5 inch screen)
;-)

The 660 was replaced (superceded) with the 665. What is the new designation? I know Garmin is working on a 700 series, and they will have all the lane assist and traffic/weather detour (with displayed choices showing new travel time, etc.) power of the 3790 I have in my car.
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Offline Mad River Marc

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Re: GPS Opinions Please
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2012, 12:12:57 am »
I have a 550 and am pretty happy with it.


I thought the 665 has lane assist already?
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Offline Gypsy JR

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Re: GPS Opinions Please
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2012, 10:38:31 am »
Yes, the 665 has lane assist, but it is nowhere near as 3D graphic as the 3790LMT in my car, which besides being almost as thin as a credit card, has a very powerful processor and does stuff like detour recalculations so fast they seem instant.

This is what I believe Garmin is currently working on, transitioning the 3700 series technology into a shockproof, waterproof, dustproof unit that is glove friendly.

For instance, the 665 is not always glove friendly, though all in all it is. There are scroll down bars that have such a thin contact area you have a hard time using them with gloves on. And to do full monte lane assist and detour option display and choice, they need to rethink the touch controls more than anything else.
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Offline BDF

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Re: GPS Opinions Please
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2012, 01:06:27 pm »
The 550 is the darling of the long distance community too. Those four buttons on the left are worth their weight in gold when it is dark and cold; you can find those buttons with the heaviest gloves on and adjust the critical functions of the unit. It also has a very bright, daylight readable screen; the 6XX series is not as bright.

I am currently looking for a second GPS and would love to trip over a 550 at a reasonable price but it seems that just does not happen. The used units sell for $6XX plus and are pretty rare even at that.

I just picked up a refurbished (it is really new) 765T for just over $100 and it is functionally the equal of a 550 in most ways and superior in a few. The problems are that it is not waterproof (easily solved with a RAM Aquabox which I already have), it has absolutely no buttons, and the deal- killer is that the screen is not useful until dark. If you have the time to tinker around with a GPS that is fine but on timed runs, there just is not the time available to stop and shield the GPS while poking around looking for a fuel station, etc.

Once the supply of 550s is exhausted I think it will be time to look at something completely different such as a tablet running Windoze or possibly a daylight readable Android hand- held. I have always thought Microsoft Streets and Trips makes the very best navigation package around, and running that on a pair of 7", bright screen tablets with touch screens would be a reasonable alternative.

I think my very favorite vehicular GPSs were the original Roadmate series from Magellan: a sane, useful screen layout, great interface to interact with the unit but they were too large and pretty delicate. My favorite waterproof GPS was probably the 2820 which is functionally about the same as a Zumo 550 but had a programmable display, more information displayed and a sharper display.

Brian


I have a 550 and am pretty happy with it.


I thought the 665 has lane assist already?
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Offline Mad River Marc

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Re: GPS Opinions Please
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2012, 02:53:27 pm »
The buttons are actually why I am hesitant to upgrade, they are an example of garmin "getting it right" with this unit,  easy to control even in my thick winter heated gloves... I've been eyeing the 665 because it has full A2DP Bluetooth but those buttons make me hesitate

The only issue with the 550 IMHO is the cradle.  I do not believe the cradle is truly waterproof.   I have gone through 3 cradles in the last few years (Same GPS unit) the first one started causing a "This accessory not supported" error whenever it was in the cradle.  The 2nd one stopped charging suddenly and the 3rd one actually started blowing the fuse instantly....  all 3 times I am guessing that water got into the guts of the cradle a new cradle which isnt expensive solved the issue but I don't feel that a "waterproof' gps should have these issues...

But overall it's a great unit and I would happily buy one again
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Offline A-train

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Re: GPS Opinions Please
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2012, 03:07:30 pm »
Zumo 660 owner here, It was a pricey buy however i do love it. very nice features with one major gripe, The 550 had a locking security screw that kept it from being removed from the mount without the use of a special tool. the 660 lacks that feature, and can quickly be removed without hesitation. Touratech makes a locking mount for a few bills, not worth it for me. and just yesterday i found a solution to this problem.

The release mechanism is a small push button that sticks out about 1cm from the base, It needs to be fully depressed inorder to release the GPS. simply by taking a zip tie, wrapping it around the stem of the button and tightening it down, the button cannot be depressed, not without a razor blade to remove the zip.

This is just enough to keep someone from squeezing the button down while the bike is parked, they could get it off with a knife, and anyone willing to pull a knife to get it is probably willing to go further anyway so nothing would really stop them to begin with.

Ontop of that, i grabbed two small 90 degree bend steel brackets and a set of washers, placed them between the ram-mount plate and the base with the existing bolts that came with the set. and now i have a nice little plate that can hold my EZpass at the perfect angle. Further covering the release button as well as saving me the hassle of doing the 'toll booth dance' fumbling for the EZpass.


anywho, I now recommend the 660, My father owns the 550 and that's pretty nice too.
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Offline BDF

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Re: GPS Opinions Please
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2012, 04:37:31 pm »
I agree- the 550 is not perfect but it is about the best GPS for hard usage on a motorcycle in my opinion. Touch screens are OK but when it is time to turn the volume down it is great being able to reach up with your left hand and find the buttons in the dark, in the winter, with all the dexterity that heated gloves (read: boxing gloves) give us.

I also agree that the entire contact system of the 550 was lousy- the earlier 2XXX streetpilots and the later 6XX series Zumos both have much better contact systems. The cradles do collect water and corrode- most of us have been through at least one replacement cradle if not more. That can be offset though if you smear those contacts with a big glob of grease when the cradle is new and work the contacts up / down to drive the grease down into the inside of the cradle. I use axle grease because it is the heaviest grease readily available and has worked now for a couple of years. The next problem with the machined, pointed pins of the Garmin cradle is that eventually they will wear right through the contact pads on the bottom of the Zumo. I lost one 550 to that problem so far and the current one is showing small craters right where the pins contact (and vibrate against them) them.

And I think I am one of two people who really like the security screw. I still use the factory screw rather than the available thumb screws because I believe it adds just a touch of security. When leaving the bike in a parking lot for, say, dinner, I just leave the GPS in the cradle. It is unlikely anyone will take the time or effort required to find and unscrew that little fastener. When leaving the bike for longer I just take the GPS with me. The newer Zumos have a different design and it is quite clear that Garmin intends for us to take the GPS from the bike whenever walking away from it. Not a deal killer or anything but I do prefer the 550. The dimmer display and the total lack of buttons has been a deal killer for me though.

I am currently looking for a different, brighter display for a the 4.3" Nuvi series but so far have not found one. If I could retrofit something like a 765 with a brighter screen, I would go over to those in RAM aquaboxes. Not pretty but an extremely functional combination.... if I could see the screen during the day. :-(

Brian

The buttons are actually why I am hesitant to upgrade, they are an example of garmin "getting it right" with this unit,  easy to control even in my thick winter heated gloves... I've been eyeing the 665 because it has full A2DP Bluetooth but those buttons make me hesitate

The only issue with the 550 IMHO is the cradle.  I do not believe the cradle is truly waterproof.   I have gone through 3 cradles in the last few years (Same GPS unit) the first one started causing a "This accessory not supported" error whenever it was in the cradle.  The 2nd one stopped charging suddenly and the 3rd one actually started blowing the fuse instantly....  all 3 times I am guessing that water got into the guts of the cradle a new cradle which isnt expensive solved the issue but I don't feel that a "waterproof' gps should have these issues...

But overall it's a great unit and I would happily buy one again
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Offline beegee

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Re: GPS Opinions Please
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2012, 06:27:02 pm »
in europe the 665 does not exist ; the 665 = 660 but american maps (but 3 years old already...) -> the 700 will be the new one in 2013...

the 340/350 : you can find here a draft of the foreseen manual (got it from a european GTR site)  with some new specifications ;-)

http://motoblog.be:8888/media/zumo340-350.pdf

JR :
The 660 was replaced (superceded) with the 665. What is the new designation? I know Garmin is working on a 700 series, and they will have all the lane assist and traffic/weather detour (with displayed choices showing new travel time, etc.) power of the 3790 I have in my car.
[/quote]
« Last Edit: May 26, 2012, 06:29:52 pm by beegee »

Offline Gypsy JR

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Re: GPS Opinions Please
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2012, 06:56:22 pm »
in europe the 665 does not exist ; the 665 = 660 but american maps (but 3 years old already...) -> the 700 will be the new one in 2013...

Actually, no. The 660 exists in the US too, and the 665 is faster, less buggy, holds more user data (routes, favorites, etc.). I can put european maps on my 665 if I want, just like on any Zumo.

I won't buy a 700 series until it gets up into the 750-ish series range.
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Offline beegee

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Re: GPS Opinions Please
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2012, 09:52:08 pm »
thx for the update JR ^-^

Offline h2oplayer

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Re: GPS Opinions Please
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2012, 02:15:03 pm »
I had a zumo 550 on my last bike. When I sold the bike I let the zumo go with it. It was the best gps I have ever used on a bike period. It only does mono out on the sound so if this I important to you be aware.

I just set up a new bike and looked for another 550, they have become hard to find and expensive. I ended up with the BMW Navigator 4, this is really just a garmin 660 except the BMW craddle has 4 buttons on the left side similar to how the 550 was set up. So far I have been pleased with how it has worked. No issues on screen brightness or ease of access while on the go. The biggest down side is the price. I found this for less then the 550's I could find but more then the 660's.

The Bluetooth pairing has been great once you understand the sequence to pair in if you are pairing multiple devices. It came with free map update for life as well

http://www8.garmin.com/manuals/BMWMotorradNavigatorIV_OwnersManual.pdf

If you can live without the side buttons the 660 will save you a couple of hundred dollars.

Offline Cap'n Bob

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Re: GPS Opinions Please
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2012, 07:06:21 pm »
I had a zumo 550 on my last bike. When I sold the bike I let the zumo go with it. It was the best gps I have ever used on a bike period. It only does mono out on the sound so if this I important to you be aware.

<snip>



Just to add: it only does mono using blue tooth. But if you go with a cord (like I do), you get nice stereo sound.

Offline Gypsy JR

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Re: GPS Opinions Please
« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2012, 11:45:42 am »
I had a zumo 550 on my last bike. When I sold the bike I let the zumo go with it. It was the best gps I have ever used on a bike period. It only does mono out on the sound so if this I important to you be aware.

<snip>



Just to add: it only does mono using blue tooth. But if you go with a cord (like I do), you get nice stereo sound.

Are you sure, Bob? I was under the impression the 550 couldn't do XM stereo and only did mono, period.

I had, as you may know, 3 of the 550s in the space of a year, with the last one blue-screening and locking up tight on the way to the 2011 National in the NY mountains. I had to download Navigator to my Blackberry, put it in the map pocket of my tank bag, and sync it bluetooth to my Schuberth C3 helmet to keep from making time-costly errors by taking the wrong roads.

Garmin was so embarassed they gave me a 665, slotted it into the 550 slot on MyGarmin, and let me keep unlimited maps.

I can say without reservation, the 665 is FAR BETTER than the 550s I had. It recalculates detours twice as fast, it rotates the screen instantly, and in pouring down rain last year it has never given me anything but excellant service. So now that I said that, it will die on me.  :truce:

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Offline Cap'n Bob

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Re: GPS Opinions Please
« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2012, 12:58:21 pm »
I had a zumo 550 on my last bike. When I sold the bike I let the zumo go with it. It was the best gps I have ever used on a bike period. It only does mono out on the sound so if this I important to you be aware.

<snip>



Just to add: it only does mono using blue tooth. But if you go with a cord (like I do), you get nice stereo sound.

Are you sure, Bob? I was under the impression the 550 couldn't do XM stereo and only did mono, period.

I had, as you may know, 3 of the 550s in the space of a year, with the last one blue-screening and locking up tight on the way to the 2011 National in the NY mountains. I had to download Navigator to my Blackberry, put it in the map pocket of my tank bag, and sync it bluetooth to my Schuberth C3 helmet to keep from making time-costly errors by taking the wrong roads.

Garmin was so embarassed they gave me a 665, slotted it into the 550 slot on MyGarmin, and let me keep unlimited maps.

I can say without reservation, the 665 is FAR BETTER than the 550s I had. It recalculates detours twice as fast, it rotates the screen instantly, and in pouring down rain last year it has never given me anything but excellant service. So now that I said that, it will die on me.  :truce:

  Yeah John, you probably just put the hex on it!  :))


   Anyway, I'm not sure about XM since I never went that route with it. But the MP3 player is definitely in stereo on the 550 (wired, not blue tooth). I have been using mine that way for years now.

Offline RideBellChain

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Re: GPS Opinions Please
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2012, 04:38:22 pm »
I have a TomTom Rider 2 and it's a good unit.  Waterproof, bang proof - it was dropped at 20 mph and survived - don't ask...  :)

I have a few gripes - mostly that the screen is hard to read during the day - not the map, but the text.  I was away this weekend and wanted to add weather, but they discontinued the service for their "Legacy" models which REALLY pisses me off because there's nothing wrong with the unit whatsoever, and it's simply TomTom taking away features that it previously supported just to get me to shell out more money for a new one.  It works FINE and I can't justify upgrading ($600+) for this feature.  I will shop elsewhere when the time comes, and that's a damn shame for TomTom.

I use the program Tyre all the time for plotting routes, and it only supports Garmin and TomTom...so I guess my next one will be a Garmin that supports routes and waypoints, and it will ride in a sealed container like other folks are doing. 

BOTH Companies are a rip-off in that they charge a LOT more for a "motorcycle" version...

Just my $0.02...
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Re: GPS Opinions Please
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2012, 12:09:29 am »
The Zumo 550 is what I have also, had one for 5-6 years now. Awesome GPS. I have the GXM30 receiver for XM radio too. One problem with the 550 is that the internal memory isn't large enough to accommodate the newest map updates. They're too large. You can't get all of North America, for example, to completely load. You can do this, however, by loading the Basemaps onto the SD card and then deleting the old basemap file(s) from the internal memory. I did this awhile ago and it works great, loads the map set fine still. There's a procedure for this on the Zumo Forums, where they go into it in great detail.

As with other interactive electronics, the 550 has a few other glitches, but they're easily handled with some light reading on the same forum. It's a great unit and I don't go anywhere without it.

www.zumoforums.com

Offline Keith

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Re: GPS Opinions Please
« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2012, 03:14:37 am »
I had the zumo 550 for 4 years and have had the zumo 665 for a year - it is pricey but is extremely feature-laden - the weather radar has saved me individually and two groups from a soaking by a minor course deviation, the stereo bluetooth for tunes is great, and it is a great intermediator between your cellphone and helmet (answer via see h or screen touch, voice dial, etc,}  it is WAY faster to calc than the 550 and never loses satellite lock.  Xm radio is cool too.

Offline ZG

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Re: GPS Opinions Please
« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2012, 04:02:21 am »
How much do you guys with the 665 pay a month/year for the sat service? I think that's the only difference between the 660 and 665 right??
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Offline Gypsy JR

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Re: GPS Opinions Please
« Reply #21 on: May 30, 2012, 12:26:27 pm »
How much do you guys with the 665 pay a month/year for the sat service? I think that's the only difference between the 660 and 665 right??

The 665 has a faster processor, and more memory, than the 660. It will hold more user data. Not sure if the 660 did stereo wired and bluetooth though, the 665 does.

The NavTraffic and NavWeather (full feature) is about $22 per month. $21-something.

I had both prevously for $17 / month and out of the blue XM Radio upped the price to $22.

But it is worth it if you ride long distances a lot, because you can avoid traffic problems and weather problems (sometimes if its very localized). With full NavWeather, you can see the live radar map (not sure who the provider is) and get local weather just like going to weather.com or accuweather.com but on your 665. I have navigated in between thunderstorm cells before using the radar map (which shows the roads underneath it, so you can pick a better route around the weather).

I may only use the features a few times this season, but the first time it offers be a detour because a bridge is out, or because of a major traffic accident, it will have easily been worth the cost, for me. YMMV.

Before anyone pipes in about the 550, yes, the 550 does the same for NavWeather but it is notoriously slow on NavTraffic and not once did my 550 offer me a traffic-related detour.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2012, 12:31:16 pm by JR »
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Offline ZG

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Re: GPS Opinions Please
« Reply #22 on: May 30, 2012, 04:57:50 pm »
How much do you guys with the 665 pay a month/year for the sat service? I think that's the only difference between the 660 and 665 right??

The NavTraffic and NavWeather (full feature) is about $22 per month. $21-something.


 :-\

Yikes, that's like $264 a year!

I agree if you do lot's of long distance rides it could be justified, but I only do a couple a year so for me that just seems excessive for the monthly service cost...
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Offline Gypsy JR

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Re: GPS Opinions Please
« Reply #23 on: May 31, 2012, 09:31:15 am »
Well, ZG, you do get XM radio as part of the deal.  :rotflmao:
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Offline Raymond

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Re: GPS Opinions Please
« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2012, 11:44:03 am »
Well, ZG, you do get XM radio as part of the deal.  :rotflmao:

Which means you still have use it a lot to justify it. Riding through the Rockies and Sawtooth I lose the sat signal a lot... Make justification harder... Then if you REALLY want to get your money's worth out of the unit/XM you have the transfer the GPS from bike to car to truck, back to bike, to truck to car...  You getthe picture.
I have a GXM30 I stopped using after the XM/Sirius merger and they jacked the rates up. iPhone4 will a number of apps compensates for all the stuff I'm "missing". And my iphone holds more (like all of my) music. Made a reasonable offer, I'd sell the GXM30 since it's just collecting dust.
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