Sunday, March 18, 2012

GPS for motorcycles

GPS for motorcycles

GPS for motorcycles!

When selecting a GPS for motorcycles you should be looking at specialized equipment. They need to be able to handle vibration, be weatherproof, fuel-spill resistant and glove-friendly. More advanced units will add a Bluetooth connection to your helmet’s headset and some even offer live weather information. Garmin is clearly the leader with their zumo line. Here’s their entire lineup (the links below go to our pages for each model, where you can find detailed information along with links to hands on reviews from around the Web):

Garmin zumo 220

A relatively new model in the zumo line, introduced in the spring of 2010. The zumo 220 is now Garmin’s entry-level zumo.

  • 3.5” screen
  • Bluetooth
  • Speed limit indicator
  • Flat form factor
  • Our Garmin zumo 220 page

Garmin zumo 450 (discontinued)

The only discontinued zumo to date, the 450 has been replaced by the zumo 220 as the low end model. This is also the only unit that doesn’t call out actual street names (so you hear “turn right in 1/4 mile,” rather than “turn right on Oak Street in 1/4 mile”).

Garmin zumo 550 (discontinued)

The high-end model in the older, non-flat form factor line.

  • 3.5” screen
  • Bluetooth
  • XM Radio and Traffic compatible
  • Our Garmin zumo 550 page

Garmin zumo 660

The first flat-form factor zumo.

  • 4.3” screen
  • A2DP Bluetooth
  • Speed limit indicator
  • Flat form factor
  • Our Garmin zumo 660 page

Garmin zumo 665

The current high-end model in the zumo line.

  • 4.3” screen
  • A2DP Bluetooth
  • XM Radio, Traffic and Weather compatible (receiver included)
  • Flat form factor
  • Our Garmin zumo 665 page


Image courtesy sfxeric


  1. I couldn’t imagine riding my bike and looking at a gps device at the same time. Just seems too dangerous. I like to keep my eyes on the road at all times because you never know when another driver is not paying attention.

  2. I do Motorcycle touring as well as snowmobiling in winter, I would like a unit capable of street navigation as well as use of Topo maps. I like the lane assist but don’t care about MP3,picture view, etc. My stereo on my bike has weather,etc. but weather might be nice when used on sled. I have a $500 limit. not including topo map,or accessories, mounts etc.
    Would like your opinion, too many models for me too separate.

  3. the mini USB to powerlet cable I have tried to use on my motorcycle to power my Garmin Nuvi is 5v but the Nuvi came with a cigarette adapter and no converter so I’m assuming it is 12v. I cannot find a straight mini USB to powerlet cable that isn’t 5v. What’s up? Thanks

  4. I wanted a Garmin GPS Navigator for my XT225 Motorcycle for Green Trail riding (off-Road), but did not want to spend a lot of money on Zumo or even Nuvi 500/550 that are waterproof.
    The answer was to buy a weather resistant handlebar mount case and put a Garmin Nuvi inside it.
    My Garmin Nuvi 255 ($55), Arkon GPS032, waterproof Handlebar mount ($16.18), was shipped by (Free Shipping) to USA Address.
    I added a 12V Power Outlet and use a Dual USB. One needs a special USB cable that on the USB Mini B end that plugs into the Garmin, a connection to the 5th (or Pin ‘X’) Pin with a 17.3KOhm Resistor to GND (pin 4). I put 22kOhm in parallel with a connected 200kOhm = (22×200)/(22+200) kOhm = 19.81kOhm, and ‘I Limit’ is 450mA.
    Higher Resistance values reduces Charge Current to 150mA max, and Short Circuit leads to ‘USB A’ cable detected and 150mA as the ‘I Limit’.
    I also use SBC-10 ‘2000mA Solar battery Charger’ from CDR King (Php580), containing a 3.8V Lithium Cell. This gives me 4 x Power sources – i) Internal Nuvi 255 1250mA Battery, ii) External 2000mA Battery, iii) Solar cell capable of delivering 100mA charge current to SBC-10 internal battery and power to Nuvi, iv) 12V Power Outlet on motorcyle

  5. It would be very nice if Garmin (or another mfg) could add voice command to a motorcycle oriented (IPX7) unit. Voice prompts combined with the ability to control the GPS without taking eyes/hands to unit would be a huge safety bonus imo. I am thinking things like “route home” or “zoom in/out”. Am I asking too much for a unit that costs $800 ?

  6. As can do voice command over bluetooth on nuvi models and also devices like iPhone, not sure this is a bluetooth pairing technical issue and maybe more related to some lawyer stuff ?

  7. i need to know about bluetooth headsets with the zumo 665 can two headsets be paired with the zumo or any other gps to hear music to both also with a audio out of the gps can and or will the gps output bluetooth and audio out from cable at same time.

  8. Hello Garmin ?

    New Fed guidelines encourage more use of voice commands

  9. Are Topo maps available for the Garmin Zumo 220 and if so do the topo maps work properly with the zumo 220

  10. Is it possible to connect the zumo road tech to my radio with a 3.5mm jack and get the sound via the radio? Like I do with my blackberry

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