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Thread: Favorite GPS

  1. #1

    Favorite GPS

    I'm gearing up to add a Zumo 550 to my 1150 RT. I'm interested to know if this is a good idea. I would like your input

    • Have you found the Zumo 550 a reliable GPS or would it make sense to go with a 660 or the 665?
    • What mount do you recommend? My thought is to mount it low between the handlebars.

  2. #2
    Registered User stkmkt1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Tremont, IL
    Until recently, I have had great success with my Zumo 550. But unfortunately, it is now acting quite strange. It seems to have a mind of its own. I caught it calling a McDonalds in Utah yesterday morning. It is bluetoothed to my Droid.

    It also is now having problems find its XM antenna sometimes, and it seems to like to change screens on its own. Its favorite is one in which you create your own route while driving.

    The touch screen is having issues to. Sometimes, it changes colors and does not work at all. Like when my phone rings and I try to answer by pushing the answer button.

    I've been reading that most Zumos start having these problems around 3 years of age. Mine is 1 1/2 years old. But it is used everyday.

    I've not heard much good about the new 660 - 665 series. They are touch screen only, no buttons. So if Garmin hasn't figured out how to properly build a touch screen, I'm sure that will be a BIG problem. i've also heard the 665 also suffers from many of the same problems my Zumo does. And they are newer units.

    I'm probably incorrect in my thinking, but I think some of my problems are related to the latest may update. I hade zero problems until i put the new maps in. The Zumo 550 has a very small amount of memory. So I think putting all of North America in it did it in. i had to delete all the voices and languages except for one of each.

    Overall, I really like the 550 and will be sending mine back to be refurbished. This costs a flat fdee of $150. But I really don't think the device should be having any problems. This ain't rocket science. My unit, when mounted on the GSA, is in the Touratech MVG mount. In the Avalanche, i use the mount that came with it.

    As I am seeing many people having the same problems with the units, I wish we could force Garmin to provide free replacements for these bad units. Seems a class action suit would be in order. Even though they are out of warranty, they should not be failing in the numbers i see on the Web.

    But I hate lawyers and believe there are other ways to solve most problems. Most issues going through the court system should never be allowed to be there in the first place. So I will work with Garmin and see if they have figured out just what the cause of these issues is. I have figured out that the touch screen does not like direct sunlight. And sometimes, the unit behaves like it should, maybe for as long as an hour or so. Then it just goes crazy.

    Sorry for the long post. Did I help you at all? Not sure. But these are my experiences.
    '09 BMW 1200 GSA, 2013 BMW 700GS, 2000 Goldwing SE, '09' V Star 950, '09 Honda Rebel,
    '77 Honda 750A. Holding at six til I get new garage built - need more room for more bikes!

  3. #3
    Riding where it's hot! AZ-J's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Scottsdale, AZ
    I love my 660! I use on the bike and in my cage.
    My bike shown here
    Jordan M, MOA #24434
    My Blog

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Eastern KY
    You might consider the lawyer that appeared on Seinfeld, he probably needs the work...

  5. #5
    DrPaul DrPaul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Bartlesville, OK
    Quote Originally Posted by rgilroy View Post
    What mount do you recommend? My thought is to mount it low between the handlebars.
    Too low. You want it as high as you can mount it without actually blocking your view of the road ahead. The farther your GPS is from your line of sight, the less you will/should look at it. I have the Migsel mount and fabricated a simple attachment for the GPS. It stays pretty dry there, even while stopped. PM me and I will send pics of my setup.

    I've traveled many thousands of happy motorcycle miles with my Zumo 550 and have never had a problem with it. I don't know about the newer models.
    DrPaul - 2008 K1200GT, 1973 R75/5
    2004 R1150RT - sold,1974 R90/6 - sold
    2002 R1150RT - sold,1987 K75S - sold

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Eastern KY
    PM sent in reaction to setup pic offering-please read the thread below this one prior to reaction,thanks

  7. #7
    Registered User rmarkr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Hi Mike

    I use both the Zumo 550 and 660 (on different bikes)
    The 550 is a solid, sorted and rugged device - perhaps the industry standard.
    The 660 has some issues that need sorting out - there is ample (negative) chatter on Zumoforums. I've spent a good bit of time with the support people at Garmin dealing with some bugs, with partial success.

    BTW quite a few problems were related to the SD card, or its data, in both units.

    "Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most" Mark Twain

  8. #8
    I see on Amazon you can pick up a Refurbushed Zumo 550 for about $350. do you feel a re conditioned unit is the way to go?

  9. #9
    Scottish Transplant Picinisco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    The Desert Southwest, AZ
    Garmin 2720. Can obtain used for a great price. Routes can be built on Mapsource and downloaded to the unit. It is extremely waterproof. Rode through a hellatious hail storm in New Mexico last year to no ill effect on the unit.
    2004 R1150GS 1978 R75G/S Frankenbike
    Gilbert, Arizona

  10. #10
    Registered User Greg_K's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    Just turned my Zumo 550 in to Garmin to have it swapped for a refurbed unit for the $150 flat fee.

    I was very happy with it until it started developing similar problems to STKMKT1's.
    My touchscreen started going bad a couple of months ago. At first, all it needed was to be recalibrated. Lately it started to act as if invisible fingers were touching the screen at random points and at random intervals. It became unusable so I had to ship it back. Should get a replacement unit next week (in time for the FingerLakes Rally).

    Four others in my local club have the 550 as well and none of them have had problems so far. I was an early adopter and got one of the first ones so maybe the later ones don't have issues like mine did.
    '04 R1150RT

    No matter where you go, there you are!

  11. #11
    Raspberry waffles Bob!!! kewlmoose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    SE Wisconsin
    I'm happy with my 550. I bought a Ram mount from that attaches to the top of the clutch fluid reservoir on the left side.
    82 R65LS - gone but not forgotten
    02 R1150RT
    "Oh good, my dog found the chainsaw"
    "I finally got my head together, now my body is falling apart."

  12. #12
    Proud Veteran SteveAikens's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Clovis, NM
    Quote Originally Posted by Picinisco View Post
    Garmin 2720. Can obtain used for a great price.
    I currently have a Zumo 550 on the bike. I just bought a Garmin 2650 for $74.99 on eBay - including everything it came with originally - in the box. It's a 2004 unit but does MapSource and handles Multiple Destinations that it will sort for the most efficient route. It also has dead reckoning capabilities to maintain routing when there's no GPS signal. Suggested retail when it was current was $1399.

    The 2650 is not to replace the Zumo, it's to provide more data without having to drill into the Zumo, as well as provide data differently than the Zumo does. I like the Zumo. There's just not enough data available since it really doesn't do split screens like older units do.
    Nom de Plume:
    Steve Aikens, Clovis, NM
    BMW MOA #6218
    IBA# 442

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