GPS Options?

suprhtr at suprhtr at
Sat Nov 13 04:26:27 PST 2010

I can only comment on the Garmin Zumo 450 (bought in 2006), which is now obsolete.  Some of my observations apply to the newer models, others probably not.

Good points:

1.  Operator interface for riding is good.  Buttons are large and on the left side.  Screen is big and easy to read while riding.

2.  All the mounting hardware was included in the price.  It came with a Ram mount and was easy to install (but I have the LSL risers with ZRX handlebars).  The docking station that attaches to the Ram mount is also good.

3.  My wife bought the car docking station and we routinely use it on long car trips.

Bad points:

1.  I'm not crazy about the mapping software that came with it and have never figured out how to load routes from DeLorme Street Atlas USA, which I like and use a lot.  This is probably my own failing...

2.  I do NOT trust the 450 to select good routes on its own.  My wife tried to punch in "Home" when returning from North Carolina and made the mistake of following the instructions without looking at where it was taking her.  It brought her all the way home on US 23, from Kingsport, TN to Chillicothe, OH!  Not the fastest route.  By the time she figured out where it was taking her, it was too late to find a faster route.

3.  I've never figured out how to reverse a pre-loaded route with just the GPS in my hands.  I've only been able to do it with the laptop, and then re-load the route.

4.  I asked it to find the nearest Starbucks in Albany, GA one time and it tried to take me though apartment parking lots that it thought were roads.  It has some bad data loaded, and map updates haven't fixed some of the known errors.

5.  The original battery crapped out prematurely.  Replacement was costly but the newer battery has done very well for the last four years.  Current models certainly have improved batteries.

I haven't invested in Bluetooth gear, and the 450 didn't have Bluetooth capability in any event.  If I bought a new unit now, I'd probably get one with this feature, since audible prompts while riding would be a huge advantage.


Paul in Ohio

---- "Robert Bessara (" <robert at> wrote: 
> OK..
> I admit...
> Normally I just click "Delete" everytime someone brings up a GPS navigation unit.
> Buuuut, now there is a chance that I'll be in California a while for work... I'm actually looking for a Car/Motorcycle GPS unit.
> The last (and only) time I used one was when I was stuck in California during 9/11.
> Drove from San Francisco to Bakersfield, and when I pressed the button for "Find me a gas station" or "Find me a store" it said "Does not compute!!"
> I'm sure that technology has progressed a bit in the last decade..
> Any recommendations for a car/motorcycle unit?
> Mahalo!
> Robert

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