Sunday, March 18, 2012


Garmin zumo 550 review


UPDATE: This model has been discontinued. For a look at current models, check out our GPS for motorcycles page. The Garmin zumo 550 GPS is designed especially for motorcycles. The zumo comes pre-loaded with maps of Europe or North America, and Bluetooth allows for hands free cell phone calling through the cyclist’s helmet. This high-end unit includes the SiRFstar III chipset for excellent reception, an MP3 player, and optional XM radio, traffic and weather. TMC traffic alerts are another available alternative. The touch-screen zumo comes with a RAM motorcycle mount, and for those few times you’re not on your Harley, there’s an automotive suction mount (with an integrated speaker) included as well.

Compare prices on the Garmin zumo 550 T

o see how the 550 compares to other zumo models, check out my motorcycle GPS buyers guide.

More Garmin zumo 550 reviews

I’ll be posting more hands on GPS reviews as they appear, but in the meantime, here are some… Other Garmin zumo 550 resources

Compare prices on the Garmin zumo 550 at these merchants:


About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.


  1. I’m quiet dissapointet about the reviews. I did not read them all but the one YourNav was quite long and I thought that this should be a very interesting review. What I realized half down the review was that most of the test was made in the CAR!!! NOT ON THE MOTORCYCLE!!!! Reason: there were no bluetooth headset within the box and they didn’t bother to buy one.
    I think that when buying something at this prize – the navigations should work with no problems and the real testing is:
    – if the bluetooth works good enough to give you the directions – even at high speeds as 130km/h – can you hear the speach when the wind is blowing
    – can you choose between wired/no wired connection also with mic (if the perception is not good enough with bluetooth)
    – can you use it as an bluetooth intercom between you and your passenger
    – is 3 – 4 hours battery enough or can you easily plug it into your motorcycle battery – I’m planning a trip to spain (from denmark) and I’m going to ride the bike maybe more than 4 hours a day.
    Has anyone testet it on a motorcycle on a longer period of time, maybe on a more-than-one-day trip? That would be interesting!

  2. John Moloney says:

    Only have my Zumo 550 2 days and am waiting for kit from Autocom to use on my bike, but works very well in the car. Only one point I would like to mention, it comes with a good carry case but it has no strap or facility for one.

  3. Simon,
    Those are excellent questions. The best motorcycle / GPS oriented forum I have found is
    A search there for zumo turns up the following threads:
    I would encourage you to post your questions there. If you do, please reply and let me know. I’d love to post a link to the answers.

  4. Hi Rich,
    Thanks for the fast reply – I’ve been at the forum and allready found much better information – now I’m waiting for the moderator to accept my account and then off to write some questions 🙂
    I’ll return when I have some interesting news!

  5. Hi again!
    I actually found a guy who had done his own review at – here is his review:
    Lots of other people did reply and it has been quite interresting! I did buy the Garmin 550 and got it yesteday – I’ve allready been on the road 🙂 – now I’m looking for at headset.

  6. Thanks Simon. I’ve updated my review, adding a link to the ADVrider post you cited. I’m glad it was helpful.

  7. Thomas Anderson says:

    The attachment to the battery cable comes incomplete. The battery cable ahould have the connectors, so all one has to do connect it, an go.
    The Garmin itself is great.

  8. The Zumo 550 and 500 seems to be twins. I have the 500, and there are problems with the track log (Active log, as the Zumo calls it). The CURRENT log is supposed to hold up to 10.000 entries, before being moved to archive. It seems that this is not the case, and I have several archived logs that are much less then 10.000 points.
    Second, empty archives are created (only XML heading) and no data. It is not clear (to me) if the track that is now missing was never written, or if the log got lost while being copied to archive.
    Version 3.30 is supposed to fix it, but it doesn’t.
    Any suggestions?

  9. Tage,
    I’m afraid I can’t help on this one. The following message forums might be a good place to ask though…

  10. I got my Zumo 550 from Cycle and they were very friendly and helpful with everything. I will never need another gps this one works great.

  11. I have one (since Christmas 2006). It’s cool when you get it working right with Bluetooth. I have a Treo 650, and a J&M bluetooth headset.
    Once I got them all talking, it was the bomb (some pains on setup).
    I was sold my old bike, and the Garmin was giving voice directions…don’t know that saving 30 sec by doing surface streets thru the Bronxs was a good choice, but, there I was.
    A couple of hours later, the phone rang, it echoed in my headset, and displayed in the Garmin. It popped up that it was my wife (got that from the phone). I of course answered it. She was like “so what’s you up to”. I said “I’m cruising down the Garden state parkway expressway at 70 mph… So what’s you doing?”
    It worked flawlessly.
    Bottom line, I got there, I could talk on the phone, and if I had music, I could have listened to that too
    Life is good when technology does it’s job.

  12. Sounds very cool. Thanks for sharing.

  13. I would avoid any of the Zumo series. There is a battery defect that a large percentage of all three of the Zumo series have. Garmin will not admit the defect, but it has been reported in the ZumoForums extensively. Also this defect has been reported in new units (out of the box) and any age thereafter.

    Perhaps if the sales drop, Garmin will fix the problem, instead of recycling a engineering problem.

  14. Rich Owings says:

    Thanks for sharing that information. Good to know.

  15. I’m quite disappointed with the reviews. I was hoping this would be one of the better ones on the market.

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