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I was recently taking a drive with a friend of mine and he was carefully observing how my GPS navigation system worked in the car. We were exploring unknown roads and destinations and my friend was amazed at everything the GPS could do and how much easier it was to find your way around.  My friend is a die hard motorcycle enthusiast and he mentioned that motorcyclists really got left behind when it comes to motorcycle GPS navigation systems.

Being a tech buff I told him I recently saw an advertisement for a GPS navigation system which was designed with the avid motorcyclist in mind.  I decided to back track and find the GPS system that I had heard about so off I went to my local electronics store and found several motorcycle GPS systems to test drive.  The following information represents what I found during a Garmin Zumo 550 review which provides motorcyclists with just about everything they need:

garmin zumo 550 on bike

Garmin Zumo 550 Portability

Listening to my friend I kind of wondered underneath if it really was possible to apply a GPS system to a motorcycle despite the fact that the unit was advertised as being designed for a motorcycle.  Hence the reason for me to pay a visit to the local electronics store to see for myself.  I looked at a few different units before coming across the Garmin Zumo 550 Portable which I found to be very portable and full of motorcycle friendly features.

The unit is designed to be very easy to operate while you are driving a motorcycle while containing most of the features installed on an automobile GPS navigation system.  I was impressed with the durable construction of the Garmin Zumo 550 with a touch screen that is made for gloves and left handed controls to make it easy and safe to use while on the road. The removable lithium ion battery lasts for about three hours and is rechargeable with an AC adapter.

Garmin Zumo 550 Navigation

The Garmin Zumo 550 is preloaded with a comprehensive selection of maps and many navigational features to allow avid motorcyclists to travel anywhere and still find their way.  Some of the preloaded features include housing accommodations, fuel stops, restaurants, ATM locations, and voice recorded directions that help you get to your location. Also the Garmin Zumo 550 provides detailed text and voice guided directions and offers a text to speech functionality.  You can also calculate your routes and find detours in the event of construction which is under way.  The unit can store many routes which you can download to Google Earth to visualize your trip.

garmin zumo 550

If you have a motorcycle helmet or Bluetooth headset with a phone installed you can take advantage of the Bluetooth wireless technology which allows you to talk on the phone while you are driving or call points of interest with the easy to use Bluetooth interface. If you have a lot of contact numbers you can easily find what you are looking for by simply entering a few letters of the contact name. The phone options are easy to access safely while you are driving and the icons for operating the phone are large so you can easily find them without taking your eyes off the road to search for them.

There are over 6 million different points of interest in the database and you can also load the optional CD to add to the number of points of interest.  The software will also allow you to monitor when you are speeding, gauge your fuel supply, and receive notifications such as when you are getting close to your destination.

The mapping feature has 2D or 3D capability with customized colors to view the map by day or by night.  There is also a sensor feature that detects when it is getting dark and will automatically switch the maps from day mode to night mode.

Garmin Zumo 550 XM Antenna

You can also receive real-time traffic updates with the Garmin Zumo 550 XM Antenna which is an optional unit and comes with a subscription plan.  The antenna provides you with real-time traffic updates from Clear Channel Total Traffic Network and if you travel a lot the extra cost is well worth the investment.  You can also enjoy radio reports with this service and there is a built-in MPS player which will allow you to load your favorite media via an SD card and listen on installed speakers or through a Bluetooth headset.

Garmin Zumo 550 Manual

The Garmin Zumo 550 comes with a comprehensive manual and is also available in PDF format from the Garmin website.  The manual is about 70 pages and includes clearly explained information on how to get started with the device, where to find specific features, how to use the main pages, instructions for using the hands-free features, how to obtain traffic information, using the XM radio option, tips on managing your files, how to listen to MP3 files from the SD card, and how to customize the device to make the features you use the most readily available.

Overall, the Garmin Zumo 550 is a great buy for everything you are getting and since the unit is so portable you can easily use it to find your way around on foot or place it in your automobile.  I found it to be extremely motorcycle friendly with great mounting hardware, high quality waterproofing, and great functions with the latest software updates.  If you have been searching for a unit to use on your motorcycle and you have been shopping for a Garmin Zumo 550 best price I found a great deal on it here

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