Going to take your motorcycle out for a ride? You have two choices, you can either ride along the same roads that you have been on before, or you can risk some new roads that could be good, but also leave you with the possibility of getting completely lost. This is where a Motorcycle GPS unit comes in to play and will give you the added benefit of allowing you to explore new roads on your motor cycle but eliminate the risk of getting lost whilst allowing you to find your way home or that restaurant that you have arrange to meet your friends for lunch in.
The problem for bikers is that you don’t have a lot of room on your motorcycle for a bulky GPS unit meaning that you need to find a motorcycle GPS unit that will give you all your navigation requirements whilst at the same time giving you features that can help you whilst your riding your motorcycle.
Garmin Motorcycle GPS
At needaplan.com we always recommend that our user by brand named GPS units as they are generally better units that come with features that you can actually use because they have been tried and tested over many years. Yes, brand named motorcycle GPS devices are more expensive than those that you can buy from China, however they continually perform better during our test. Of the top 2 Brand Name Manufactures of motorcycle GPS devices is Garmin who are well known for their GPS motorcycle unit given they have been making them for the last 10 years. Over this time, they have perfected the motorcycle GPS device to give you the user a device that is small enough to fit onto your motorcycle, whilst at giving you enough features to help you when riding your motorcycle.
Garmin Zumo Series
Currently Garmin have two models in their motorcycle GPS range named the Garmin Zumo Series. They make the Garmin Zumo 590LM and the Garmin 390LM the difference being the size of the screen with the Garmin 590LM having the larger screen and slightly more features.
With both models comes Garmin’s fantastic detailed maps and free lifetime updated meaning that you always have updated maps with any road layout changes to make sure that you have the best navigation device possible. Battery Life is always a problem, especially now that screens have been every more detailed, however the Zumo series does well in this area and give you around four hours of battery life whilst providing you with navigation through 3D building on the maps and voice assisted street names to help you find the street that you want. Unlike many car unit, the Garmin motorcycle GPS units come with waterproofing meaning that you can use your GPS unit even if its raining and whilst the screen is fantastically clear and you will still be able to use your GPS in direct sunlight, a screen sun-guard does make this whole process so much easier.
Garmin are famous for their massive points of interest databases and the Zumo series is no exception given it comes with over 6 million points of interest all over the US with popular destinations such as hotels, restaurants and gas stations.
Garmin Motorcycle GPS Reviews
The Garmin Zumo 590LM Motorcycle GPS is rugged, reliable, glove-friendly and ready-to-ride. It comes with a 5″ sunlight-readable display, is water resistant (IPX7), fuel spill resistant, and has the capability of enduring UV rays and harsh conditions. The screen is very good and clear meaning that you will be able to see your screen even in the harshest of conditions including in direct sunlight, however a sun glare protector does make this much easier.
Having a 5-inch screen also means that you can take advantage of Garmin’s new dual-orientation screen where you can have two views on your motorcycle GPS unit a the same time. This means that you could have one side of the screen showing your route and the other showing the road speed limit and your current speed or maybe specific directions for an up and coming junctions.
The Zumo 590LM comes with Garmin very easy to use interface and menu system meaning that entering destinations and finding different features on your GPS unit is a complete breeze right out of the box. The in-built computer not only means that route calculations are quick, but the computer powers a lot of the extra features that come with this motorcycle gps device.
The 590LM is packed full of extra features to include Bluetooth technology with pairs the device with a receiver and speaker system which is built into your helmet therefore allowing you to speak to your device. The bluetooth system allows you to make hands-free phone calls and control your device with voice prompts.
If you like your music as you ride, you will be glad to know that you have the ability to control your MP3, iPod or Pandora right on your GPS’s display. In addition, dual orientation is possible, meaning that you can have either vertical or horizontal views.
You have the ability to monitor your tire pressure on the display by way of the Tire Pressure Monitor Sensor accessory. Real-time weather and traffic information can be readily accessed on the unit via the Smartphone Link2 app.
Included are free Lifetime map updates for the lifespan of the unit. This means you get the most up-to-date information such as points of interest on your routes. It also supports TOPO and custom maps for adventurous rides. The unit also features a Curvy Roads feature that lets you on winding rides. You can plan your round trip route by simply typing your requirements such as time, distance and location, and the rest is taken care of.
The Zumo 590LM also keeps track of your service history log. It keeps track of tire changes, tire mileage, chain cleanings and tire pressure among others.
The Garmin Zumo 390LM Motorcycle GPS is stylishly designed with a rugged outlook, sunlight-readable and glove friendly touchscreen and features a GPS navigation system that keeps motorcyclists on track. With the mount that comes with the unit, you can either make use of it on your motorcycle or car, hence making it a flexible unit to have.
The 4.3 inch screen display comes with a white backlight that makes for easy reading in the nigh time. The unit itself is not only water proof, but is resistant to fuel spills and UV rays, hence making it ideal to use in some pretty rough conditions.
You can make hands-free calls on this unit because it makes use of the Bluetooth technology. In addition, spoken directions are available via the headset. You can also call points of interest through the Bluetooth interface, which makes it a perfect feature for those last-minute changes in plans or for those moments when you need to make a fuel or food stop and need the nearest place to do the same.
You don’t have to worry about the pressure of your tire because when you make use of the Tire Pressure Monitor sensor, which is sold separately, you are able to keep track of your tire pressure in real time, with the results displayed on the screen.
The Zumo 390 is not only easy to operate, but it is lightweight and can be easily mounted onto your motorcycle. It includes lifetime map updates, comes with a new Curvy Roads feature and offers lane assist with junction view.