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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a list of things to buy this winter. A Garmin Zumo XT being one of them. I’ve been waiting for Black Friday sales and crossing my fingers some things on my lists go on sale. Just found and pulled the trigger on the Zumo. Most retailers have it for $399 right now including Garmin themselves. Just in case any of you were sitting on the fence, quite a few Garmin things are on sale, too.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've been wanting a new one. Read this is the good one to get for Garmin motorcycle stuff, right??
While everyone has opinions, I did my research and as far as motorcycles go, most really like this. The only thing that I have seen as negatives sometimes is:

The battery connector plate it mounts on had problems in the past (wouldn’t charge), but Garmin re-engineered it and will replace the early ones. I still see people have some issues with it but most deal with it and if needed will just get another one ~$30) if Garmin won’t replace it.

Sometimes the tracking can be off unless your diligent with their base camp software or Google Maps and export/import tasks. Minor issue.

The curvy road choice, it can leave a bit to be desired sometimes lol.

There may be more but these are the ones I remember from a couple of months ago when making up my mind. With the weatherproofing, mounts included, extra bright display and 5.3” I will deal with the possible issues. Oh, and the arguments that ensue over wiring it to switched vs. unswitched lol
 
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I've had one since they were new, and I've only had a few issues with it:

1. SUPER heavy rain can register as touches on the screen. This can be alleviated somewhat by orienting the screen more vertically.
2. Occasionally it will just lock up and/or reboot. I've swapped out units and the replacement does the same thing.
3. I listen to music/podcasts on earbuds while riding on long trips, and sometimes the Zumo can decide that IT wants to be the playback destination over my earbuds. That kind of thing is difficult to change while in motion!

The only current big gripe I have with it is that recent software updates REMOVED weather-radar animation while you are moving. It won't animate the map unless you come to a full stop (utter bullshit). I'm arguing with Garmin right now about this.

Otherwise: It's a fantastic unit. Works great in the heat/sun/rain/cold and it's my go-to unit for when I'm driving too (I bought the car-mount suction cup for an astonishingly-high amount of money).

Edited to add: It has a nice sharp hi-res screen too. Here's a screencap from my ride on Chief Joseph Highway back in 2020.

Water resources Ecoregion Map Nature Slope
 

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I'll chime in with a year of use..... the current pricing has come up before at least twice and will likely again if your budget can't handle it right now. It is a great GPS nonetheless.

I put a GlareStomper shade on it, saves all that wet stuff. Otherwise no reall need for it except for those rare direct sun/reflection issues.

The revised cradle is far more resistant to the former bent pin problems of the initial release version, but be careful to install it in the cradle and check it is firm. Occasionally give your contact points and pins a soak with contact cleaner as preventative maintenance, work the pins up and down, helps them move freely.

Did not know the new software removed the weather animation.... jeez, but I can live without it given I have to spend data dollars once I cross the US border. Have not checked the Zumo forum, but that's a decent place for the latest... Garmin's tech support on your initial contact, isn't a real technical person, be persistent, elevate it if you can to a real tech. They might be steering us towards a weather subscription service...?

Music from the phone is OK but could use a bit of bass boost and volume (earbuds excepted), might be a phone setting or equalizer app for that....

Music played from the Zumo's mp3 player misses the first half second of a song when it starts a new song.... don't know the answer yet. I don't play a lot of music, but I'd like it to work properly. No such issues with music from the phone if I want music....

When me and my buddies are paired up with Sena 20's, the GPS broadcasts the spoken directions to them as well...... and music, and that situation is not good/useless. I complained to Garmin, again, I'd like to talk to a real tech..... unless I'm doing something wrong..... dunno. Well I don't usually play music much when riding......

If your routes are going off, it's a sign you need more waypoints or shaping points, that usually fixes that, but there still is the odd quirk. If you know where you're going, sometimes you have to outsmart any GPS... turn that auto recalculate off. 590 series isn't much better, but every time Garmin updates the software, THEIR idea of what we want isn't always want. Shoulda kept it simple like the old 550 days, but no, we need all these phone-like app features. I often wish they would do a user survey and ask us riders what we really want or don't want, and design accordingly.

Still a great GPS, best one I've had so far. Chief Joseph highway rocks, I've been there a few times..... the plan is to go again in 2022 as part of a 3 week trip.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I’m betting the Garmin lawyers advised to turn off weather animation. Seems to be the default for most companies to remove things that you will look at beyond a glance or a finger press while riding/driving. Definitely annoying. Animation is so helpful in determining which way it’s going and how long you have before you’re getting wet lol

I have a radar app on my phone (RadarScope), intended more for purists and storm-chasers (I’m neither), I got a pro subscription so I can get longer animations, lightning strikes, and storm tracks (this would suffice for lack of animations for me). It’s pretty cool to be able to pick any radar station too (don’t need the subscription). Overall it’s overkill but extremely accurate and if I need to zig-zag between the showers when riding it’s very helpful.
 

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In my car I can't type anything if the vehicle is moving..... but I can push buttons to navigate the menus... In the XT, there is a similar mode..... try typing a search for a restaurant you know.. you will get a screen asking you something like Pillion or Passenger mode, to which you press Yes and then your pillion can reach around you and type into the GPS which is mounted on your dash shelf.... get my drift? Be careful though, I have caught myself drifting...... better to stop.
I didn't really think the weather animation had much to do with that......
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have tried 2-3 times to see a text message on my watch cause I just didn’t want to stop. Pull the jacket sleeve up, pull the glove down while flipping my wrist and balancing the bike.….and now I’m headed for that ditch. Yeah it don’t work very well lol Will enjoy at least seeing them now to know whether they’re worth stopping and replying :)
 

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The XT section of a dedicated Garmin SatNav forum is worth reading. All the problems people have with them has kept me from buying one.

To be fair, though, people aren't going to post there if everything is hunky-dory. It's still the best GPS unit I've ever owned, and I've been using them since the early days in the 90s when "selective availability" was a thing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The XT section of a dedicated Garmin SatNav forum is worth reading. All the problems people have with them has kept me from buying one.

I’ve seen a lot of that, also went 5-6 pages in just reading along (even saw you tell someone to breathe lol). Most things I saw were solved by knowing the odd quirks or they made a mistake in setup that is haunting them. The rain thing and the Bluetooth/headset/phone combo stuff disturbs me more. Although, I don’t ride in the rain if at all possible. With that said, I have read that setting this up (headset/phone/XT combo) requires a particular order or all kinds of frustrations happen.

The Basecamp oddities, well, it’s old software. It’s rather cumbersome to use and 13 years ago when I was pretty good with it and my Garmin Oregon GPS, it was quirky back then too. You had to know the tricks to get around bugs (that Garmin won’t admit too). Software UI (user interface) is not Garmins strong point by any stretch.

Many of you require the complicated route planning and that’s an area I don’t need a lot of. Just a bit better than Apple or Google maps. If I regularly planned long trips and lots of routing, I will probably have to fight it and become really good with basecamp routing again and explore. I’m OK with that, been a computer/network engineer and some software development for 30+ years. Detailed complication is my life….for now lol
 

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To also be fair, the 590 series has a few of the same routing issues, and a slightly different bluetooth but very similar behaviour...... XT kinda ups the ante with the Drive app...... the bluetooth is older at 4.1, but that's a hardware thing as I understand it.... new devices have BT 5 at least.
Did the latest update today to firmware 6.3, MP3 music plays from the SD card just fine with no headset ...... might be a lag issue with my Sena..... which I'm replacing anyway as a Christmas present to myself.
 
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