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Garmin Zumo 550 GPS

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' started by Andymcm, Oct 5, 2007.

  1. Hi All,

    I just purchased the Garmin Zumo 550 and am trialling it on the way to Phillip Island this year. Anyone got any advice about specific pitfalls and shortcuts to benefits with this specific model? I just interviewed Tony Kirby from Two Wheels about GPS and motorycycles in general here: http://motorcyclemania.com.au/category/gps/
    so am pretty sweet on general stuff. Looking for specific settings hiccups and stuff.

  2. Doing a bit of site and review advertising are we? :p

    Just watch out for the replanning of routes if you deviate from the original route. It will replan to your destination okay, but may take you via a route you don't want to go, for example down the freeway instead of back roads. Mapsource has more replaning options than are built into the 550, so it may plan a slightly differently route.

    If you have planned a specific route in Mapsource, turn off route replanning before loading your route into the 550, so it will continue to follow the route even though you deviated (for fuel, coffee break, whatever).

    I don't have one yet, as I am really waiting for an updated version that supports the A2DP bluetooth profile, so I get mp3s via bluetooth in stereo. The current version only supports mono bluetooth sound, which is annoying to me. Unfortunately, there is no word or hint of an upgraded version in the near future, so I may need to go with the current version.

    There is a bunch of good stuf at Zumo Forums, although it could be better.

    So how are you connected to it for sounds? Using bluetooth, or hard wired. What brand did you pick for your helmet sound system? How does it work for you? Good, or not. Let us know. :grin:
  3. Thanks RoderickGI,

    By the replanning option, do you mean the recalculation option? That's what I could find which looked like it would do as you said. One thing with these is there is no quick start booklet to get you charged up and ready for the manual. It's start at the start of the manual and start reading. Not a bad thing but a very slow way to get going. Also manual is only on CD so best to print it out 74 pages.

    It's gonna be a step learning curve. Can't get the mapsource software to update from Garmin? Any one had that? Keeps coming up with connection problem? My next trick is to plan a route via some backroads and you need to do it in small bites or it does exactly what you said and takes you via a main road. Once again slow!!!!

    Audio is the next challenge, will be visual for this trip but want a helmet mounted mic and speaker system. What's a good one?

    Have tried the Earmold audio system with tubes and not to piss you off but I bought these and reviewed them after a trip to Alice Springs and back. If you've ever thought of buying these you will want to hear what I say before spending. http://motorcyclemania.com.au/category/earmold/

    Needless to say I'm looking for another option.

    I run the BMW flip top helmet. And need something which wil fit easy yet work? Preferabbly without wires but will take em if that is what's best.

    As for the review stuff, I've reviewed tons of stuff to help others work out if it's worth spending money on. I paid for all the stuff and tell it like it is. No favours.

    Welcoming more input to tame this beast.

  4. I was just poking fun about your site and reviews.

    Replanning = recalculation: Yes
    Don't know about getting mapsource to update from Garmin. Do know that any purchase of a Zumo today should have City Navigator Australia 2008 maps, or include a free upgrade to it. (Previously City Navigator Australia 2007 maps.) The GPSoz site now says the 2008 maps are included. They have a Melbourne Motorcycle Expo special on at the moment for the Zumo, $1320. I think it's time to buy. :grin:

    When planning routes, you can set your road type preference. "Avoid major roads" (or something similar) is what you want, but if there are no other roads, the Zumo will still route you onto a highway. Actually I think there are two settings that effect this: Your road preferences and avoidances. Yep, you will have to read the manual.

    Audio :!: Grrr, this is currently my major issue. I want to use Bluetooth in a flip top helmet, but in reality it still isn't a good solution. The BMW System V helmet is good, but I just found out today that BMW has withdrawn their bluetooth solution for the System V helmet from the market, as they were having too much trouble with them. Other solutions provide varying levels of functionality.

    I will probably start with the Starcom1 SH-550-04 (sometimes listed as SH-550) wired connection for a full face helmet, which has connectors specifically for the Zumo mic and stereo outputs. $245 from here, $110 from here. Your choice. :grin: An image of the correct SH-550-04 cable is here. There are other Starcom1 cables for the Zumo, which will cost you more, but you wont need. Don't get misled by someone.

    Only a wired solution will give you stereo mp3 output from the Zumo to your helmet. Bluetooth will be mono, unless you start adding more gear to compensate for the Zumo's shortcomings.

    I use the plain Earmold earplugs for hearing protection on the bike. I considered the versions with sound in them. Other people I know like them. I prefer to use plain earmolds and have loud speakers in my helmet. I'll have a look at your review. :)
  5. Thanks RoderickGI,

    I spent yesterday afternoon and planned and saved 6 different routes for my journey to Phillip Island. Will Know very soon how that works! LOTS to learn. The current Zumo still comes with the poxy 2007 software but I have ordered it at no charge. So hopefully it might be here when I get back.

    The sound options you mention are the ones I'd been thinking on. When I interviewed David "Davo" Jones http://motorcyclemania.com.au/category/iron-butt/ a renowned iron butt rider that's what he uses. And he spends along day in the saddle and reckons it works atreat for him, with phone, GPS and music all plugged in. I think bluetooth SOUNDS a great idea but at this stage I'm getting the vibe the wires are where the quality is at.

    I dropped my BMW non flip hemet ONCE and cracked the bugger so I had to re buy. I went flip top as the guys didn't sound too confident about are release of the bluetooth version. So jumped in.

    Anyway, out the door in a minute and off to the GP via the long way.

    Have agood one! I'm gonna.