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Garmin Zumo XT

  1. #1
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Garmin Zumo XT

    Currently have a Garmin Zumo 665, which was a top-of-the-line unit when it came out - 10+ years ago. The maps are still good and my trip to Colorado went fine. But the screen no longer seems very bright, route recalculation is slow, and it has limited memory capacity - which I discovered when I wanted to add CO to the Northeast.

    For a lot of riding a phone app like Waze is better due to real-time traffic and police reporting. But phones still aren’t waterproof and are difficult to operate with gloves. Plus there is a lot of riding outside cell tower range.

    The Garmin Zumo XT is their newest moto unit. Much higher resolution, brighter screen, has topo maps, lot more memory easier mounting. you can link your phone via Bluetooth. $500. The topo maps makes it a lot more attractive for snowmobile use.

    Will I be the last one on the planet buying a dedicated GPS?

    https://www.garmin.com/en-US/p/679804

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  2. #2
    Awesomeness, Inc. MattR302's Avatar
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    Re: Garmin Zumo XT

    Pretty recent thread here Bike specific GPS

    I bought an XT this past spring before a NEBDR trip. I have a little experience with the 666, briefly had one on an old bike. The XT is clearer/brighter, quicker to load, easier to enter destinations. If you pair it with your phone it gives you live traffic/weather warnings. The wireless/Bluetooth feature makes it simple to find/download a route on your phone and transfer it to the GPS.

    Last year I bought a ruggedized phone and mount to use offline as a dedicated GPS. I didnt have time to play with it and go through the learning curve and try different apps. The XT is way simpler to use, plug and play. I say buy it.

    Regular price is $500, every few months it goes on sale for $400. Usually some on eBay around that price too. Id wait for Black Friday sales. Can definitely resell the 665 for probably $100-200.

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    Last edited by MattR302; 11-06-22 at 12:52 PM.

  3. #3
    I hardly know er Spooler's Avatar
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    Re: Garmin Zumo XT

    I have a Zumo XT and like it a lot. I just can’t get on board with using a cell phone as a dedicated moto gps, especially when I am so frequently totally out of cell service.

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  4. #4
    Lifer
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    Re: Garmin Zumo XT

    Just mounted the Zumo XT, loving it!

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  5. #5
    Awesomeness, Inc. MattR302's Avatar
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    Re: Garmin Zumo XT

    Zumo XT currently on sale for $400
    Here’s on on eBay for $385 https://www.ebay.com/itm/304715065235
    But if you can find a site that doesn’t charge tax on top of the $400, that might be a better deal

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  6. #6
    Lifer
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    Re: Garmin Zumo XT

    The XT is the first motorcycle specific GPS that may actually be worth the $. The interface is intuitive and responsive.
    The mount is a bit sketchy, but clean and compact. I wish it had a more positive lock or backup lanyard or something. I sometimes find mine isn't all the way seated.
    Garmin is like Apple with proprietary docks and cables. It's trash. Unlike Apple there aren't 48482 knock-offs available. Gotta buy the official cables and mounts.

    The fact that the device updates over wifi is gold. No more plugging the unit into a computer and swearing at it. Especially as the USB jack gets old and less reliable. Nothing beats having a 4-hour map update fail midway through because the USB cable got bumped!

    Software is still meh. Not intuitive. Those that have it down will tell you it is your fault for not putting in the time to really learn it. But that is a crap excuse for unintuitive software. My org is held to a higher standard here. Garmin should be too, especially at this price point.

    Bluetooth middle-man between your phone & headset is meh. Nice to get buttons for music play/pause/next/etc. But spoken directions have little value to me and the device plays notification chimes a lot (school zones, speed limit changes, corners!!). That's annoying. I'm sure there is a setting somewhere, but I haven't found it yet.

    Killer tool for situational awareness.

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  7. #7
    Super Adventurer SRTie4k's Avatar
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    Re: Garmin Zumo XT

    Quote Originally Posted by Spooler View Post
    I have a Zumo XT and like it a lot. I just can’t get on board with using a cell phone as a dedicated moto gps, especially when I am so frequently totally out of cell service.
    Once again to correct the record, you don't need cell service for GPS on a cell phone. Every cell phone in existence has a GPS receiver chip that functions separately from it's cellular chip. There are apps that support offline maps and even routing.

    FWIW I've been a happy cell phone moto GPS user for ~6 years now. The last 4 of those years has been with a dedicated unit without a SIM card.

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    Last edited by SRTie4k; 11-28-22 at 12:01 PM.
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  8. #8
    Member DirtDawg21892's Avatar
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    Re: Garmin Zumo XT

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    The XT is the first motorcycle specific GPS that may actually be worth the $. The interface is intuitive and responsive.
    The mount is a bit sketchy, but clean and compact. I wish it had a more positive lock or backup lanyard or something. I sometimes find mine isn't all the way seated.
    Garmin is like Apple with proprietary docks and cables. It's trash. Unlike Apple there aren't 48482 knock-offs available. Gotta buy the official cables and mounts.

    The fact that the device updates over wifi is gold. No more plugging the unit into a computer and swearing at it. Especially as the USB jack gets old and less reliable. Nothing beats having a 4-hour map update fail midway through because the USB cable got bumped!

    Software is still meh. Not intuitive. Those that have it down will tell you it is your fault for not putting in the time to really learn it. But that is a crap excuse for unintuitive software. My org is held to a higher standard here. Garmin should be too, especially at this price point.

    Bluetooth middle-man between your phone & headset is meh. Nice to get buttons for music play/pause/next/etc. But spoken directions have little value to me and the device plays notification chimes a lot (school zones, speed limit changes, corners!!). That's annoying. I'm sure there is a setting somewhere, but I haven't found it yet.

    Killer tool for situational awareness.
    Thanks for that little review, I've been thinking hard about finally taking the plunge and getting a real GPS this year. It does seem like the best product for the money right now.

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  9. #9
    I hardly know er Spooler's Avatar
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    Re: Garmin Zumo XT

    Quote Originally Posted by SRTie4k View Post
    Once again to correct the record, you don't need cell service for GPS on a cell phone. Every cell phone in existence has a GPS receiver chip that functions separately from it's cellular chip. There are apps that support offline maps and even routing.

    FWIW I've been a happy cell phone moto GPS user for ~6 years now. The last 4 of those years has been with a dedicated unit without a SIM card.
    I’m totally aware of that, I just think a dedicated gps for the kind of riding I do makes more sense, not needing to mess around with making sure I have the right maps downloaded, etc, and I don’t love having my phone vulnerable out there on the bars. I could get a dedicated phone for that use, but then I’m not sure I see the advantage over a gps. The Zumo works for me.

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  10. #10
    Super Adventurer SRTie4k's Avatar
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    Re: Garmin Zumo XT

    Quote Originally Posted by Spooler View Post
    I’m totally aware of that, I just think a dedicated gps for the kind of riding I do makes more sense, not needing to mess around with making sure I have the right maps downloaded, etc, and I don’t love having my phone vulnerable out there on the bars. I could get a dedicated phone for that use, but then I’m not sure I see the advantage over a gps. The Zumo works for me.
    You don't need to worry about having the right maps downloaded when you have the entire US and Canada on your SD card.

    The advantage over a dedicated GPS is primarily price (used phone for ~$100, mount/wireless charger for ~$150), and to a lesser extent not being locked into Garmin's software (i.e. the ability to run the phone/app of your choosing).

    I'm not knocking a dedicated GPS FWIW, just want to make sure everyone is aware of the realities of both configs. It seems like a lot of people assume a dedicated GPS is the only option for motorcycle navigation. My buddy has a Garmin XT and he likes it, although does complain about it's absolutely awful track management. For offline A to B routing there really is nothing better, though.

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