This Is Garmin's 2023 Motorcycle Navigator: 6" Screen, Detailed Maps, Off-Road Routing

Garmin's new motorcycle navigator 7 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution/Garmin
Garmin zumo XT2 navigatorGarmin zumo XT2 navigatorGarmin zumo XT2 navigatorGarmin zumo XT2 navigatorGarmin zumo XT2 navigatorGarmin zumo XT2 navigator
The number of navigation apps built with different goals in mind keeps growing, so, for example, if you're searching for a solution to provide route guidance in RV, there are plenty of worthy choices out there.
Google Maps often sounds like the best choice for turn-by-turn directions, but the truth is using it for anything other than passenger cars is risky and dangerous.

Google Maps does not allow users to define their vehicles, so the application can't provide custom routing based on dimensions and cargo. Special software from Sygic can do this, so you can always search for the right navigation app according to your needs.

Garmin comes with a different proposal. The company believes that you should stick with stand-alone GPS navigators instead of using mobile applications. Compared to a piece of software running on a mobile device, GPS units sport a very specific set of features. And zumo XT2 is living proof in this regard.

The company’s latest motorcycle navigator was announced earlier this year, and it comes with a great mix of capabilities for on-the-road and off-the-road guidance.

Let me start with one very important tidbit. The device packs a 6-inch display with touch support and a resolution of 1280x720 pixels. At first glance, this screen is a solid choice for a GPS navigator, but you'll have to try it out first to make sure it fits your need. Sure, it's a motorcycle navigator, so it can't sport a large screen because of obvious reasons, but 6 inches might be too small for some people. After all, it's almost the same size as an iPhone 14, so if you think the smartphone doesn’t provide enough screen estate for navigation, you might have a hard time getting used to the zumo XT2 too.

The true magic, however, resides in the feature lineup.

Garmin zumo XT2 navigator
Photo: Garmin
First and foremost, the GPS navigator was specifically built to be rough. As a result, it sports an IPX7 rating, which means it should theoretically withstand bad weather as well. That's critical for a motorcycle navigator because it can always start raining out of nowhere and this GPS unit was specifically developed for off-road adventures.

This gets me to the next big feature.

In addition to the standard navigation, which helps you find your way through nightmare traffic in a city, Garmin's new GPS navigator also offers easy access to popular paths shared by other riders. Additionally, it includes a database of adventurous routes, and you can choose from four difficulty levels. Most routes include hills, curves, and great sights, Garmin promises.

Because sharing is caring and critical for the rider community (and for Garmin's devices, too), the GPS navigator allows users to record ride data like speed, distance, and acceleration. If you pair the device with a phone using the Tread app, you can then share all details with other people online.

GPX file support is also available, so you can load custom routes or share them with others.

Garmin zumo XT2 navigator
Photo: Garmin
The Thread app comes in handy for a wide variety of other tasks, including a visual route planner. You can do all the planning on a compatible smartphone and then send the data to the GPS navigator. Additionally, users can get access to live traffic and weather conditions, as well as phone notifications (so you won't have to reach out for your phone to see who texted you)/

And last but not least, the GPS navigator packs BirdsEye Direct Satellite Imagery, so you can find directions to a specific place using satellite imagery. The maps can be downloaded via Wi-Fi, and Garmin promises it won't charge you for this.

And speaking of Wi-Fi, the device packs wireless connectivity for easy map updates. You won't need a computer to install the latest maps, so you'll get them conveniently right on the GPS navigator.

It's not hard to figure out Garmin's zumo XT2 is a feature-packed device, and given it sports so many motorcycle-oriented capabilities, it should become a very common choice among riders across the world. The parent company sells the device with the necessary mount and hardware to ensure a secure fit on your bike and with the required power cable to run it.

The built-in battery offers up to 7 hours of use per charge, though the autonomy drops to about 5 hours if you use the screen at 100 percent brightness without caring about battery life.

Given all the features mentioned above, the price tag makes perfect sense, so the zumo XT2 does not come cheap. You can get it in the United States for $599, though Garmin is also offering a bundle with a series of other accessories to power Group Ride capabilities. The bundle is quite expensive, though, as it's up for grabs for $1,100. It includes a Group Ride radio and a Y adapter.
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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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