Garmin Launches Motorcycle GPS Navigator That Puts Google Maps to Shame

New GPS unit from Garmin 6 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution/Garmin
New Garmin GPS navigatorNew Garmin GPS navigatorNew Garmin GPS navigatorNew Garmin GPS navigatorNew Garmin GPS navigator
While many people believe the days of traditional GPS navigators are long gone, Garmin keeps insisting on these devices. And not only does the company believe they are must-have devices, but it also continues the work on new models.
The latest GPS navigation unit from Garmin is called zumo XT2 and is specifically aimed at motorcycles.

Built as a rugged and ultra-tough unit, zumo XT2 sports an IPX7 water-resistance rating, so theoretically, you can use it in the rain without fearing it would break down. The device sports a 6-inch display, and Garmin promises it’s brighter than the previous model.

Seeing something on the screen is extremely important for bikers, especially on sunny days. A 6-inch display might initially seem small (after all, the smallest new iPhone today sports a 6.1-inch screen), but Garmin says the UI was created to be easy to use.

Based on the company’s marketing materials, this seems accurate, as the interface is focused on navigation data provided to the biker. Users can see the real-time speed, the estimated time to the destination, the current street, and a detailed view of the map. Satellite maps are also available.

But what sets Garmin’s new product apart from the rest of the crowd (and eventually what makes a huge difference from the likes of Google Maps running on a mobile device) is how tough it is. Garmin says the device was built to withstand extreme weather and rough terrain, so handlebar vibration wouldn’t bother it. A mobile phone could go crazy due to the vibrations registered on a motorcycle, especially when going off the road, as its sensors would no longer be able to provide accurate data.

Garmin’s new navigator also comes with extra features, including support for Group Ride Mobile. If all your fellow bikers are connected to the Tread app or use the Group Ride Radio accessory, you can see their location on the map in real time. Garmin Adventurous Routing is also included should you want more journey customization options, including based on difficulty options.

Real-time traffic, weather information, and smart notifications are powered by the Tread app. Additionally, the GPS unit can provide alerts that remind of traditional apps like Google Maps and Waze, including for red light and speed cameras. The device can also send warnings related to state helmet laws, sharp curves, and speed changes.

The new Garmin GPS unit can be yours right now in the United States for $599.99. More capabilities, such as two-way messaging, location sharing, and SOS features, are available if you pair the zumo XT2 with an inReach satellite communicator. However, this accessory is sold separately, so you’ll have to spend extra to get the full feature package.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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