Garmin’s just announced a new motorcycle navigation system, aimed at the adventure riding market. Called the zūmo XT, it offers some interesting capabilities that could change what you use your GPS for.
Plenty of riders have turned to using their smartphones for GPS duty in the past few years, so Garmin’s wisely decided to build a unit that doesn’t just tell you how to get from A to B. The zūmo XT also tells you the most exciting way to get from A to B, and offers plenty of other information when paired with your smartphone. Smart! Instead of using your phone to replace your GPS, Garmin just wants you to use it to augment your GPS.
Here are the deets. The zūmo XT has a 5.5-inch touchscreen HD display, with lots of brightness so you can use it in the sun. It can be mounted in landscape or portrait mode.
It’s got the new Garmin Adventurous Routing system, which is a clever new way of moving past turn-by-turn street navigation and showing the other options in an area, as in 4×4 roads, public land boundaries, etc.; there’s also birdseye satellite images, which can be downloaded without a subscription. You can plan a route by linking the GPS to your smart device, or computer. The Garmin Drive app not only syncs the GPS to your mobile device for easy file transfers, but it also allows riders to keep on top of real-time traffic updates, weather, gas prices and other useful information.
According to the press release, Garmin also offers “the HISTORY® database of notable sites, iOverlander™ points of interest, Ultimate Public Campgrounds, a U.S. National Parks directory, TripAdvisor® traveler ratings and Foursquare® content – offering millions of popular places to explore.” So, sightseeing is easier, and the GPS also functions as a safety device. You can pair it to a Garmin inReach Satellite Communicator for two-way texting, critical location sharing, and interactive SOS.
Bluetooth compatibility also means you can use it to set up hands-free calling, or use it as an infotainment system (store MP3 files on the GPS system and stream them to your helmet communicator).
The Garmin zūmo XT GPS is rain-resistant and meets the military’s 810G drop test. Battery life is 3.5 hours on 100 per cent brightness, or as much as 6 hours if you dim the screen; of course, it can also be hardwired. It’s supposed to be available this month for $499 US. More details and photos at the Garmin website.