New For Motorcyclists: Garmin Zumo XT2

Credit: Garmin

Garmin has announced its latest update to its lineup of motorcycle GPS units, the Zumo XT2.

The XT2 improves over the original XT in several ways, but it seems to be particularly aimed at two goals: Making on-the-road navigation easier, and helping you keep track of other riders in your group.

Navigation ease-of-use updates

If you spent time with an XT, you know that visual route planning, dragging and dropping your route on the roads you want, was easy… with the use of the mobile app. Route planning with the XT alone was more complicated. Now, you can do the same visual route planning on the XT2, and it has a larger screen (6 in across, a 15 percent increase in size) to make it easier to interface with the device itself. The screen is brighter too.

Of course, if you want to use the new Tread app to use your smartphone or tablet to design a route, you can still do that too, and the Garmin Adventurous Routing option is still there (which uses an AI algorithm to plan your route) as well.

Connectivity updates

Now, you can connect to other riders’ GPS units to see where they are, and have it displayed on your screen, obviously a handy thing on group rides when you get separated. This is done through a cellular connection, and Garmin offers a Group Ride Radio accessory that offers connectivity for when you escape cell tower coverage. The Zumo XT2 can also be connected to Garmin’s inReach satcomm line, so you really can stay in touch in the middle of nowhere.

Other specs

Aside from these updates, Garmin’s description of the XT2 sounds pretty similar to the old device: 32 GB of internal storage, which you can add to with an SD card, up to 256 GB more. It runs off the GPS, Galileo and 10 Hz multi-GNSS satellite networks, and comes with preloaded maps for your region—and you can add satellite maps by downloading. Thankfully, updates are over-the-air, through wifi instead of a cable connection. And of course it can connect to your phone and helmet via Bluetooth, like the XT, so you can hear your GPS instructions through your Sena or Cardo.

Of course, it’s weatherproof (an IPX7 rating). The built-in battery is supposed to last 6 hours, and those who’ve been long frustrated by Garmin’s reliance on Stone Age USB connectors will be pleased to see the new XT2 uses USB-C.

Canadian MSRP is $799, but you can be sure that sales will come along shortly. See the full run-down on the device at Garmin’s website here.

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