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Old 12-01-2012, 05:39 PM   #12
alcanrider's Avatar
Joined: Aug 2012
Location: Back in Superior, Colorado!
Oddometer: 113
Zumo 550

Originally Posted by Bill Murray View Post
Tom (Rider351):

If you are a 50% road/50% offroad rider, I recommend to take a good look at the Montana series GPS units.

I made the move to a Montana 650 from a Garmin Zumo 550. The Zumo 660/665 was my other option. Other than losing a couple of road-related features, like the Detour function and the ability to search for points-of-interest along my route while I ride, I have had no regrets.

Some features of the Montana that I especially like:
  • The ability to use tracks. I dislike my carefully planned routes being changed by a GPS. Tracks can be viewed and used to navigate, just like a route.
  • The ability to use multiple map sets, on the fly. CNNA, OSM, Topos, IMG maps made from your own GPX files -- the sky is the limit.
  • The ability to customize the Montana's screens.
  • The ability to swap the standard battery to three AAA batteries (something I have not had to do, but it's nice to know that I can).
  • A built in 5 megapixel camera (on the 650 and 650T), so you are never without one.

I have had no regrets with my choice. We have a very helpful community of Montana owners who can address your questions here under the humongous New Garmin Montana thread.

By the way, there is a good "Black Friday" sale currently underway at (where I purchased my Montana). There you can currently buy the Montana 650 for $450 ($505 with City Navigator NT, which you will need for detailed road maps).

Send me a PM, if you have specific questions. Good luck with your decision.
I have the Zumo 550, and it has been rated the best overall motorcycle GPS. A lot of offroad rough riding has been done with the 550. Plus you can load tracks, but switching the tracks to routes is much easier. Note the Zumo does not, I repeat does not change your routes that you input into the GPS if you don't allow it to in the settings. I know what the person who posted above is talking about, but you can redo the setting so it will not change your route. I use Garmin Base camp or Map Source along with Google Earth to input routes. The KML files are easily converted to GPX format, and as long as you have less than 500 points per route (very easy to do) it is able to be uploaded on the Zumo 550.

Tried the bluetooth, and was not to impressed with it. I did not try the bluetooth helmet, just bluetooth earbuds. The sound quality was horrible. The pricier helmets might be better with the blue tooth built in. Blue tooth to me does not have nearly as good as sound quality as wired, and I used wired earbuds. You can buy an attachment for the 550 were you can have XM radio and it does play MP3's. I had a 32GB SD card in the ZUMO, and somehow it got fried, and I believe it was my fault and not the ZUMOs fault.
I have never seen nor used the Montana, nor any of the other ZUMO models. I did research when I bought the 550 back in April, and all the research indicated that the 550, although a pretty old model, is still the most popular model of GPS made specifically for motorcycles. You can still use it in a car, or even hiking if needed, because it has a long battery life.

It won't cook or do the dishes, but neither will my wife, and now I am dead for writing that, or at least in the dog house

I am really not chauvinistic, so if anybody is offended by my joke, get over yourself. Now I gotta get the dishes done......
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