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Discussion Starter #1
I will be getting a GPS for my new GT and am trying to decide between a Zumo 550 or a BMW navigator. I sort of like the BMW one as it comes with mounts etc ,so I dont have to go looking around. All I realy want one for is finding street destinations, eg, I want to enter Smith Steet, Smithfield and I want to be told how to get there in a simple manner. Another feature I would like is the POI setting which can remind me when I am getting close to speed and red light cameras.
Maybe at most a phone text coming up on the GPS screen might be OK.
Which one do you recommend for easiest use by a GPS dummy, the Zumo 550 or the BMW navigator?
 

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cr500 said:
I will be getting a GPS for my new GT and am trying to decide between a Zumo 550 or a BMW navigator. I sort of like the BMW one as it comes with mounts etc ,so I dont have to go looking around. All I realy want one for is finding street destinations, eg, I want to enter Smith Steet, Smithfield and I want to be told how to get there in a simple manner. Another feature I would like is the POI setting which can remind me when I am getting close to speed and red light cameras.
Maybe at most a phone text coming up on the GPS screen might be OK.
Which one do you recommend for easiest use by a GPS dummy, the Zumo 550 or the BMW navigator?
I just bought a Zumo for about 700USD. It comes with a RAM mount for the bike and a mount for the car. You just take it out of the cradle and turn it on in the next vehicle. I was able to mount the RAM easily on my BMW K12RS. So far, everything is easy to use. It has sound so a voice tells me when to turn and when I missed a turn the zumo recalculates to get me back on track. Too easy.
I may buy the optional xm radio antenna for 200USD. I have xm on my bike now. Both items are connected through autocom.
You can look at this zumo forum for info http://razorbiker.com/zumo

I've never tried a BMW III.
 

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The same BMW Navigator mounts will mount pretty much any GPS with the AMPS bolt pattern. You won't have the cradle that the BMW Navigator. But if you go with a Zumo, you'll already have buttons set up for left-handed use. BTW, if you don't want Bluetooth or XM, you might check the brand new Zumo 450 which is much cheaper.
 

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cr500 said:
I will be getting a GPS for my new GT and am trying to decide between a Zumo 550 or a BMW navigator. I sort of like the BMW one as it comes with mounts etc ,so I dont have to go looking around. All I realy want one for is finding street destinations, eg, I want to enter Smith Steet, Smithfield and I want to be told how to get there in a simple manner. Another feature I would like is the POI setting which can remind me when I am getting close to speed and red light cameras.
Maybe at most a phone text coming up on the GPS screen might be OK.
Which one do you recommend for easiest use by a GPS dummy, the Zumo 550 or the BMW navigator?

I have the Zumo and with the XM antenna it is still much cheaper than the Nav III. It comes with RAM mount which is very versatile. The antenna can be mounted right to the cradle with a cycle gadget mount. I just added traffic to the XM and it looks like it will be very helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I wouldnt mind having the blue tooth, soley so that I can get speed camera sms alerts on my GPS screen. Other than that I would rather a simple to use item. So is the ZUMO 450 different only in that it doesnt have XM and blue tooth? Any other opinions on Navigator?
 

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I may be confused, but if you are talking about getting SMS text messages that would normally be coming through your phone I don't think that works with the Zumo 550, or any other GPS that I have seen.
For the money I think you would be happy with the Zumo 550 if only for the added versatility that you can add on later.
I found the mounting hardware that comes with the unit to be of excellent quality. I am also having an autocom installed and will be connecting the Zumo and my radar detector eventually.
 

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From reading the specs it appears that the Zumo device uses a USB connection to the PC. Is this USB port accessible when the device is in the mount? If so,
can it be used as an additional drive, for MP3s, etc?
 

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Yes, but it's very easy to transfer files using a USB Flash Drive for example - every modern computer has a USB port or three - but every other physical format such as SD cards, etc. requires a more specialized slot, which only a few systems have built in. The various attachments to computers that allow an SD to then be accessed are just that - additional external attachments.

If a USB drive could be plugged in and used instead it'd be very convenient - though there'd be some worry about it falling out and environmental factors.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
BTW, I checked and it will be navigator 3 if I go for the BMW unit. How do the Navigator 3s compare to the Zumo?
 

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Well, for me in Canada, the Zumo is about half the price of the BMW Nav III. By not purchasing the Nav III but buying the Garmin unit directly, the price is about the same as the Zumo. But, with the Zumo being designed for motorbikes, it does offer more features (the XM Radio integration and MP3 integration as well as the bluetooth are all nice features). All I need to integrate for sound purposes now is my iPod and a Radar detector.

I plan to purchase the GPS mount separately (for the BMW Nav III) and use that for the Zumo.
 

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Don't forget that the Zumo 550 has Bluetooth capabilities that the Nav III doesn't. This makes it VERY easy to go wireless with a bt enabled helmet as I have done.

I have the Zumo 550, Moto Razr Cell Phone and a Nolan N-Com helmet that work great! No wires and the directions from the GPS come through loud and clear. I can also listen to the MP3's that I have stored on the unit as well as make/take phone calls using the bt connection to my cell phone.

I believe that the Nolan helmet is rated at about 8hrs before needing to recharge, but I haven't gotten to the point where I have tested that out. For this configuration you need the Nolan N-Com compatible helmet, N-Com Basic Kit and the N-Com BT Kit.

I know that I am going to get some responses for making/taking phone calls while riding. My only excuse is that I am on-call 24/7 as a requirement of my work. Otherwise it wouldn't matter to me - and there is always the IGNORE button! :teeth
 

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the NAV III has the VERY SAME BlueTooth capabilities as the Zumo 550
 

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the nav iii has MANY more option

it's a more rugged unit
but.... heavier (a toss-up, i guess)

of course, the zumo has xm radio, when the nav iii does not

also, the zumo has a battery and can be programmed off the bike
though that battery isn't good, with only a 4-hour window of opportunity to use

the nav iii has no battery.... but, it's much easier to do ON-THE-COMPUTER route planning than with the zumo

they are both good units
but..... honestly, the zumo is a DUMBED-DOWN product from garmin for folks:
1. who aren't computer saavy
2. who haven't used a GPS before
3. who don't care about doing extensive and complicated route planning on the computer
 

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Get the Zumo. You'll get a lot of bang for the buck.

I love the XM Radio part. Liked it so much I bought a Samsung Helix to use in the house or car too. You can also get the XM Weather on the Zumo if you subscribe to it.

It'll do audio books as well (bookmark so you can return to that section) with the newer 3.20 revision and also does Altitude now which the early version did not.

The new Sirf III chip provides better satellite acquisition than do any of the other Garmin's normally used on a motorcycle to date. That means it boots quick, and holds onto a satellite signal very well in dense foliage. No need for external antenna.

Screen is bright enough for daytime use and works well even with gloved fingers. Quality of images stored on it look very nice. You can do a slideshow if you like. One guy on e the Zumo board is making custom start-up splash screens for your bike. BMW one looks pretty nice when it starts up.

Rubberized pushbuttons on unit replace the need for the BMW Navigator cradle so the unit overall is smaller.

Handles very large data cards, some report up to 8 Gig SDHC cards now work since the 3.20 version. Lots of songs (mp3), Audio books, Topo maps, and images can be stored on it. It has a Share button that allows you to give someone else your trip plans. Some peopel are now doing Travel Guides (i.e. directions, photos, and audio) which the Zumo supports. Other are doing SpeedCam and Redlight Camera data bases for the Zumo with proximity alarms.

The battery is a very convenient feature if you are away from the bike and want to do some re-routing or add some addresses from the phone book while you're hold up in a motel room. No need to carry a AC adapter or laptop. Also, you can tell it to run on the internal battery should you get off the bike for a quick snack or gas. It won't shut off like the Navigator and resume a new track log on restarting. Battery is user replaceable too, unlike the Quest series.

The guy that maintains the BMW dealer list has added support for the Zumo on his site. I don't know if the Zumo files will load into the Navigator though. You can call out to the dealer using his POI Loader info into the Zumo.

Linky: Find BMW Motorcycles Dealers with GPS
Looks like it will become the defacto standard for all motorcycle GPS units. BMW doesn't support the Navigator II+ anymore - and mine isn't even one year old! The III will no doubt be in the same boat before too long. The GPS industry is very quick to come out with something newer.

You can also get other cover-caps should you not like silver. It also comes with black, although I'm not sure if it would be best in the heat. My old Navigator II+ needed to go back to Garmin for heat issues (i.e. heat would lock up the moving map). Warranty fix though.

With the money you save, you could get a GadgetGuy mount and put the XM Radio antenna and Zumo on his bars for a clean setup. Also a little more theft proof than the RAM mount the Zumo comes with.

Garmin also makes a $70 aluminum mount should you not like plastic mount it comes with.

If the 550 is too expensive, you could opt for the cheaper 450 and save $100, but you lose the XM ability.

Now, quit reading and just go buy one! ;)
 

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ClearwaterBMW said:
the nav iii has MANY more option

it's a more rugged unit
but.... heavier (a toss-up, i guess)

of course, the zumo has xm radio, when the nav iii does not

also, the zumo has a battery and can be programmed off the bike
though that battery isn't good, with only a 4-hour window of opportunity to use

the nav iii has no battery.... but, it's much easier to do ON-THE-COMPUTER route planning than with the zumo

they are both good units
but..... honestly, the zumo is a DUMBED-DOWN product from garmin for folks:
1. who aren't computer saavy
2. who haven't used a GPS before
3. who don't care about doing extensive and complicated route planning on the computer
What makes you say that the Nav III is more sturdy? Have there been more reported failures of the Zumo compared to the Nav III? If so, could it be because the Zumo comes with both an Auto mount and a MC mount which leads to the unit being used more?

You mention that the Zumo has XM music, but you didn't mention the traffic and weather. Does the Nav III have any of those features?

What about internal/external memory? I don't know what the Nav III has there, and honestly I don't know what the Zumo has for internal memory, but I know that it has an SD slot that you can use to increase it's external memory to at least 4gb.

Why do you dismiss 4hrs of battery life when the Nav III has none? Isn't the ability to walk into a restaurant or cafe with the unit and do some trip planning useful?

I've been using GPS's for many years prior to the Zumo and find it VERY simple to use. Which is great while I am on the bike since I don't want to mess with the unit while driving.

Both units are made by Garmin, an industry leader for many years. Both units have there good points and shortcomings.
 

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ClearwaterBMW said:
the nav iii has MANY more option



the nav iii has no battery.... but, it's much easier to do ON-THE-COMPUTER route planning than with the zumo

they are both good units
but..... honestly, the zumo is a DUMBED-DOWN product from garmin for folks:
1. who aren't computer saavy
2. who haven't used a GPS before
3. who don't care about doing extensive and complicated route planning on the computer
Can you elaborate on item 2 and 3 above?
 

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hazard said:
Can you elaborate on item 2 and 3 above?
the ZUMO was meant to be a CAR-LIKE unit, in that they were trying to keep COMPUTER time to a minimum
many of the features were (at least initially) deleted or "HIDDEN" from view
 

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I have the zumo 550 and the 2820. I like both.
For motorcycle use, I prefer the zumo. Easier to see and operate.
I don't know that "ON-THE-COMPUTER route planning" is. Many people prefer one GPS over another based upon what they are use to. I have no trouble with either. Finding functions on each is a little different, but the most important things are always the first things you see or can find.
 
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