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Thread: Zumo unit 550-motorcycle specific

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Whitefish Bay, WI, 3mi N Milwaukee

    Zumo unit 550-motorcycle specific

    By this time, I am sure that several hundred MOA members have purchased the Zumo unit. This is the unit that was recently reviewed in several motorcycle magazines.

    Now that you have it, is it all that it is cracked up to be?

    The one main question I have is: Is it really as motorcycle friendly as they say?

    Before I plunk down the $$$, I want to hear a lot of whoo-hoo's!
    "What is beautiful is simple, and what is simple always works"....Kalashnikov, inventor of the AK-47.
    Current bike: 2015 Yamaha TW 200, modified for road/street use with tire, sprocket upgrades. "Center yourself in the vertizontal. Ride a motorcycle...namaste' "

  2. #2
    Roadster Pilot ROADSTER PILOT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Thumbs up Zumo 550 and Nolan N-Com

    Great combination. You have to spend a little time to assemble the N-Com helmet and then figure out how to setup the bluetooth between the N-Com and Zumo, but after it is done, the Zumo is really quite amazing. I love mine. Shop around, I got mine at CompareMaster and saved over $200 off the list price. Same goes for bluetooth helmet.

  3. #3
    I just bought a 550--my first GPS. I love it. I have it mounted to the windshield stabilizer bar on my GSA with a Touratech MvG mount.

    Left hand controls.
    Intuitive design.
    MP3 player.
    Touch-sensitive screen; works with gloves.
    Clear, accurate map.
    Visible map in all kinds of sunshine.
    Runs on a battery when removed from bike.

    The 276 & 376 folks on another site take great joy in running it down, but it was money very well spent for me. I may buy an XM antennae and try that, but no particular interest in bluetooth. It's a great feature for those who dig it, though.

    Someone just sent me a complete listing of US & Canadian BMW dealers to download as well.

    What's not to like?

  4. #4
    Rally Rat RTRandy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Quote Originally Posted by SNC1923 View Post

    The 276 & 376 folks on another site take great joy in running it down, but it was money very well spent for me.
    I have the 276 and disagree. I think the Zumo is great! My buddy has one and it's superior in many ways. I love my 276, but I'm planning to switch to a Zumo before long.

    Another reason for switching is my new phone has Blue Tooth and I'm planning to use it through my Zumo to my Autocom.

  5. #5

    Love mine.

    I've had it since March. GPS, MP3, Xm radio, blutooth phone interfce all in one compact unit. Excellent product.

  6. #6


    My brother has the Zumo and I have the 276. Both units are great but each in their own way. I can use mine on my boat (depthsounder and tidestations) and it is therefore a tax deductable item for me.
    To say one is better than the other is going to go the way of an oilthread.

  7. #7
    Dee G flymymbz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Central WA
    Better half bought me the Zumo, he has a 376C. He's jealous. But, as a weather weenie, the Zumo does not display all the way cool weather info that the 376C does (we have the aviation weather package). I kinda miss that. Perhaps in a future update they will upgrade the weather capabilities.

    Other than that, I love the Zumo
    Too damn many bikes to list

  8. #8
    Rally Rat
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Tampa, FL
    Had the Zumo 550 first on my VFR, now on my 1200GS. First rate! Have not worked with the 276, etc (my last one was a 2620). Well worth the money. Great features, intuitive, love the integrated MP3 player, too. The left hand controls are great to have as well. I highly recommend it. You can get it from TigerGPS right now for $749 (

  9. #9
    Registered User ltrider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Columbia, SC
    Just got mine a couple of weeks ago and love it. I use mine in the car and on the bike. I've used the Bluetooth in the car, but I think I need a new cable to use it with my Autocom on the bike. You can get it at for $672.15 with free shipping (they had mine to me in two days).


  10. #10
    Registered User Kenn45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Edwardsville, IL
    I recently got the Zumo 550. It is my first GPS, so I have nothing to compare it with. Having said that, it is great. I have it connected to my Autocom using their 1300 cable, which is the correct one for my Active-7 Smart. The phone and voice prompts work fine; although, I will probably pull over to use the phone. I am running music off my iPod, not the Zumo. I put it on the 1150RT using the clutch resevoir mount from Cycle Gadgets. The only negative is that the security screw is a real pain. There is a Zumo forum, which has been very instructive. There is a guy in Holland making and selling security screws that screw out by hand. I really recommend it, since the screw is really only to assure the unit stays in the mount. It really isn't much of an anti-theft device. The new screw makes it very easy to mount and dismount the unit.

    All in all, it is a blast. I also use it in the cars. Enjoy

  11. #11

    Zumo and scala-rider

    Work great together. Zumo works great, easy to install. I just needed a bigger U-bolt from the local hawdware store for handlebar mount. Also POI and SW can be updates with a mac. All good.

  12. #12
    I've had the Zumo since the winter and finally got it put onto my '03 GT about 2 months ago. In order to mount it to the bike I also purchased the BMW mount for my bike and used the bits and pieces from both to attach it securely to my bike. I decided to go directly to the battery instead of trying to figure out which cable to splice into.

    I also spent the extra money and got the NOLAN N-COM helmet with the basic kit and the bluetooth kit. The helmet and add-ons ran about $600 at my local dealer.

    My personal cell phone has bluetooth as well so everything works very well together. The trick with the NOLAN helmet is to connect it to the ZUMO 550 in the bluetooth HF mode. By using this configuration I am able to hear the directions from the GPS, MP3's that I have stored on the SD card and make and take cell phone calls.

    I just got back from a trip to FLORIDA from NEW HAMPSHIRE and this combination worked flawlessly for me. It was great to be completely wireless!

    My daughter now wants the same setup for her helmet while she rides with me!

    Here is a pic of the GPS mount....

  13. #13
    Registered User tburk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Colorado & Arizona

    Very happy with my Zumo...

    So it isn't perfect. But it's plenty good enough for what I need it to do. So far I just have it mounted on the GSA's left handlebar, where it's quite convenient to operate and see without obscuring any views. No bluetooth helmet (yet), and I love my iPod with Etymotics, so that will probably continue to provide music for those long trips. I'm fairly certain that I'll eventually get the XM to go with it, and I like the capability to do so even though I'm not using it now. I am waiting on reviews about the traffic information. My impression with XM so far is that they are several hours behind what's happening on the busy highways in metro areas. If that's the same info they use to route you around traffic, it's probably worse than useless.

    I don't much care for the map's motorcycle icon (too large and gimmicky for my taste), and switched to the delta-shaped pointer...much better.

    I have had several earlier units (GPSIII+ and Vista), both of which are quite small and not particularly car- or motorcycle-friendly, compared to the Zumo's relatively large touch screen.

    *added 6/3* I find the screwdriver locking mechanism on the motorcycle mount to be inconvenient and clumsy at best. The little special screwdriver will certainly become lost at some point. I'll probably soon order Touratech's Zumo locking mount (now in stock, I believe).

    The thing I think I dislike most is that I have not yet figured out how to find campgrounds, particularly state and national park ones. I suspect one has to download poi's for those, and I haven't yet made the effort to do that. But I think Garmin should have thought to include campgrounds in the database. Or maybe they are there and I haven't found them. Case in point: 2 weeks ago I travelled to Canyon Point campground near Heber, AZ. All the little road loops into the campsites were on the map, but there was nothing I could find naming the campground, or that it even was a campground (could have been a housing development - you just could not tell by looking at the gps map). The loops were even correctly labeled on the map. But one could not do a search on either the gps or the City Navigator (PC) software and find Canyon Point Campground.

    A big plus is the mounting gear. Everything you need is in the box. I can now use it on my bike and all the cars, easily transferring it from one to another. One doesn't have to scrounge around the internet, etc., to find all the bits and pieces to make it work with versatility.

    Garmin has already upgraded the firmware, which gave us better information (compass comes to mind). I'm still on the learning curve for sure, but on the other hand, it's pretty intuitive to be useful right off the bat.
    Last edited by tburk; 06-03-2007 at 06:26 PM.
    They make cars too?

  14. #14
    Rally Rat
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    grand forks, nd

    highly recommended

    after a bunch of research ,lots of which had already been done by Boxergrrlie ,I opted for the Zumo 550; got to use the (included) auto attachment on a winter trip to Florida while awaiting the melt of the snow in North Dakota, and it worked great; most difficult decision was the mount; again, lots of good advice via the forum and finally, with the help of the company reps, selected the Touratech 01-040-0671/065-0140/1 combination for my R12; some work to install but well worth the effort. in sum- highly recommended....wj

  15. #15
    I have never had a GPS prior to my Zumo 550. I like it. My favorite feature is to be able to go riding, then press Go Home. That way I don't have to worry about where I am.

    Down side is that the strap that holds the weather cap onto the bottom of the mount cracked and failed after about three weeks. An e-mail to Zumo resulted in advising that there was no warranty on accessories, and that I should just buy a new mount ($70). Ouch.

    Eventually, it broke free. I carried the weather cap around in my coat pocket for a few days, then left it at home.

    Yesterday and last night, it rained on the bike at work. This morning, I mounted the Zumo and headed for home. I started getting strange message such as: the serial device requires external power and the odometer not incrementing. When I stopped for gas halfway home, I removed the Zumo to let the mount dry. When I did, I noticed some greenish looking corrosion on the bottom around the pins that contact the underside of the Zumo.

    This afternoon I was reading the Zumo forum about all the folks having the same problem with the strap failing and how Garmin was replacing the mounts for free. I decided to call there rather than try another e-mail. The technician agreed to swap the mount. When I told him about the error messages, he told me that they were signs that the interior of the mount had shorted out, that it was ruined.

    It appears that the weather cap is quite important in protecting the electrical contacts in the mount.

    In any event, the replacement is supposed to arrive here Wednesday. He said to swap any components that I needed, and to return the old parts and remainder of the new mount to them via RMA.

    He said that Garmin is working on another formulation for the strap that connects the weather cap to prevent this problem in the future.

    The agreement to replace the components of the mount was a vast improvement over having to buy a new mount for an inexpensive rubber component.

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