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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let me start by clarifying my title. I don't just regret buying the Zumo. It's an expensive thing that fails to serve it's basic function- tell me how to get from A to B without using highways, dirt roads, and while sticking to the route I planned or giving me a sensible route to a place I'm asking to get to. It's the routing and planning where it fails miserably.

I've been on rides where I change my mind and want to go to another city- should be simple, right? Stop the current route, put in a new destination and go. If only ... no, what I get is a convoluted tour of a small mountain town, 2 u-turns and a 5 hour round about loop for a a 40 minute trip that bypasses the road I really want to go down. And yes, I know the road I want is paved and has been for at least 20 years.

Last night was the final straw. I spent an hour plus trying to get the Garmin to use a route that I initially planned in Google maps in 30 seconds. No matter what I did, it just wouldn't get there. Now, because of the way this thing works, close is not good enough. You can't just easily ignore parts of the route that are planned or it will keep trying to send you back to follow the parts you missed. No, you have to get the route right, and then ride that route.

I think the hatefulness of Garmin Basecamps is well documented so I won't say much there. Besides, lets face it, if you were out on a trip, you wouldn't be lugging your laptop with you to do the planning anyway so I practice using my phone or the built in trip planner to create my trips. Nothing works the way it should.

Here's the route I wanted to get:
Ecoregion Map World Water Font


Pretty simple, right? Counter clockwise loop that goes through some interesting mountain roads. Should be a nice long day. For those of you that know the area- yes, this avoids the highway and takes the frontage road instead of I-70. Also yes, the north bound portion to Longmont isn't very interesting, this was just a starting point.

So, enter the cities that I want to go through in the Garmin trip planner, calculate and ...
Ecoregion Map World Font Wood


There are definitely some strange choices being made there ...

After 40 minutes of trying to "shape" this route, this is the best I could get:
Map World Wood Font Rectangle


Seems pretty good until you look more closely at the impossible to get rid of and completely nonsense detours like this one:
Rectangle Purple Slope Terrestrial plant Display device

This should be a simple one- come into town from the west (left of the map) and turn right to go south up CO103. Instead there are a few blocks of detours and this trip up Soda Creek Rd for some reason.

Now, I hear you all ... The trip planner app is crap. Yes, yes it is. You should use the maps to gpx method. Yes, I did that too. Sadly, something is wrong there and despite exporting the essential turns only, the Garmin still thought there were too many turns and opted to do some very interesting routing, like this bit in Masonville:

Map Ecoregion World Font Line


Again, a weird detour with a turn around for no apparent reason whatsoever.

There were plenty of other fun issues with planning this route. It was actually painful to even get the Garmin to go through the town of Masonville anyway. Why is that? Try searching for Masonville, Co. You'll get Masonville Rd about 50 miles away, but you'll never get the town. This is true for me anyway, but it might have to do with some apparently logic about searching "nearby" as opposed to searching for town. This makes no sense since the town is actually in the Garmin location database and you can find it if searching on the map- just not when you are searching by text.

Well, there is my venting. If you've made it this far, thanks. That said, please don't tell me "Oh, you need to do x, y, z and it will work" or "You clearly didn't read the manual" or "Here's this thread about how to fix this or that" or anything else like that. I have been reading the manual and digging through the threads and trying very hard to make this work. I bought it for a reason and I want it work like it's supposed to. More importantly, even if there's a way to make this work like it should it's far too difficult to do it and that is the point.

It shouldn't be this hard to plan a route on a dedicated device that costs hundreds of dollars! I shouldn't need several apps and websites to get a basic route. It shouldn't be a major production to shape and edit a route.

Sure, maybe it'll take a few minutes more than it would on Google, but hours of fighting with it to do these basic things is simply unacceptable. I give up. I will chalk this up to a learning experience and instead devote my energies to thinking of the most satisfying way to destroy this thing.
 

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I completely agree. I got a zumo XT over two years ago and it's horrible. This is just what comes to mind as I'm reading your rant:
  • It routes badly. If I just want to go from A to B, it sends me through large city centers or through every little town, even when set to "Fastest" routing mode. Manually shaping the route will then deduct both time and distance from the route. Sometimes it does insane routings like doing a detour through a neighbouring country (!), turning a 13 km trip into a 240+ km one.
  • It routes badly. I'm letting it get live traffic information from my phone and it often suggests route changes to save time. But over half of those are actually wrong, like it sending me off a highway and over a crowded inner city road. It makes zero sense and caused me a lot of annoyance more than once.
  • Maps are outdated. Roundabouts that have been there for a year aren't on it, speed limits are wrong. Private roads are marked as public and vice versa.
  • It is slow. Mainly the UI feels sluggish, which is a much bigger issue for me than it taking a while to calculate a route.
  • Pre-Routing is tedious and buggy. I did a two-week tour earlier this year through three countries and wanted to pre-plan the major trips. I had to do it all on the device because Garmin is phasing out support for the PC routing tool and switched to a crippled online version of it. It neither supports categories (some of us might have more than ten waypoints and want to sort them) nor routing.
  • Speaking of the crippled online version: You can search for places there by address and create a waypoint. So you just do that, sync it with the device and do your routing there? Wrong! The online tool saves waypoints by coordinates rather than by address. This leads to the zumo regularly being "unable to calculate the route" because it for some reason can't see the road that's < 1 m away from the coordinates given. In my case, I had to delete all the waypoints (Hotels, POIs etc.) and re-create them on the device. With the sluggish on-screen keyboard.
  • The Trip Planner is very buggy. Trips are calculated before they're saved, but opening them later, changing the departure time and therefore (!?) forcing a reccalculation may lead to a different route. I also had trips become completely corrupted and unable to be routed at all. Switching between shaping points and stops also leads to different routes sometimes.
  • More bugs: I had multiple instances where turn indications would fail. The device would give no turn indications other than for major roads (though it would display the correct route) and all on- and off-ramps would only show the number of the road, but not it's destination. Try finding the right ramp when a road has two different ones for two directions. I resolved it by manually deleting files in its file system and doing a restore with the PC software.
  • The screen supports capacitive ("conductive" touch with bare fingers) and resistive ("Glove Mode", requires pressure) input. Unfortunately the capacitive part can't be disabled. I regularly have issues with ghost touches in the rain where the device will suddenly do something because it senses an input that isn't there.

The only reason I got the zumo is because I can't use the capacitive touchscreen on my phone while riding and because my phone would likely overheat. It is however a shame what you're getting for your money with the zumo: Outdated hardware, buggy software, faulty maps, crippled online syncing. Any OSM freeware or even Google Maps on a $100 Android phone will perform so much better than this $500+ device. Sadly motorcycle satnavs are such a niche that it's hard to find something competitive.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Self Bias, good to know I'm not the only one here disappointed by this thing. Really, I'm actually pretty disapointed at the positive reviews these things get. I wonder what kind of routes some of the professional testers are actually trying out such that they give this thing positive reviews. Maybe they are just really good at using Garmin products?

It's really a shame these things have such a bad user interface. I bought it because I took my iphone on a trip and ended up destroying the delicate gyro and also over heating it several times. This seemed cheaper than replacing an iphone every trip. It also seemed like a good idea to be able to control it with gloved hands. In the end, I think I will just repurpose that old broken iphone and use it for navigation until it's completely destroyed. After that, probably some very cheap cell phone with a nice big screen will work just fine. If you cache the route and maps before leaving, mount it with some airflow and maybe put it in a water proof bag it'll probably be enough for 99% of us.

The old cell phone route worked well for me for years, and I ride a lot- at least one ~5,000 mile trip and year and several other smaller trips in the several hundred mile range throughout the season.

I really want someone from Garmin to read all this an explain why they just can't get the software right. Obviously it's a problem even if you read the "positive" reviews". Really, I want enough people to see this and avoid buying the thing in the first place.
 

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hours of fighting with it to do these basic things is simply unacceptable. I give up. I will chalk this up to a learning experience and instead devote my energies to thinking of the most satisfying way to destroy this thing.
I hear you. I'd suggest a subscription model where people pay a certain amount of money to you to do something to the unit.
Drop it from a second story window - $20
Hit it with a hammer - $40
Hit it with a big hammer - $60

Probably need to tune the details a bit, but it might work. People also bring beer and steaks and you all have a BBQ at the end. Party up, Send the video to Garmin. Get your own back. :)
 

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[Edit: Took an opposite turn from what nav indicated, to go the correct way...]

... It's an expensive thing that fails to serve it's basic function...
Did a 200 mile circle on a hard scrabble road overnight in the absolute middle of nowhere relying on "nav"...

Good thing noticed the one very differing landmark on the loop - seen after a second pass in an otherwise unchanging landscape of darkness.

Took an opposite turn from what nav indicated, to go the correct way...

Gladly switched back to post-it note shortcuts (taken from a regular old map) after so many overnight encounters within basically arms length reach of bulls, cows, bats, hawks, owls and mice in the headlights - and who knows whatever else outside the periphery of view during "rest stops"?

Satellite signal may be way to go over cellular if that helps?
 

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I looked at setting up a Cardo unit on my lid and using Bluetooth to connect to google maps on my phone, I thought about it for a while and decided it was to much of a pain in the a**e....After looking around the net for a while I found the Beeline setup, a small unit on the bars operated by a phone app and you can keep your phone in a jacket pocket....I tried it and I was very happy with the setup,it was simple and just worked.... Motorcycle sat nav | Beeline ....watch the moto navigation video by Henry Crew

 

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I gave up on my Garmin several years ago for many of the reasons quoted in the first post (but I have never seen a more comprehensive list of the bugs 😄).
FWIW if you guys are considering iphones, my iphone 13 works fine with the quadlock system I invested in (wireless charging and vibration damping to protect the camera). It doesn't overheat while running my music and satnav through bluetooth to my Nolan headset. Yes you are right that the touch sensitive screen is a nuisance in particular when it rains and decides you want to switch screens or something. Previously if it did this I would have to stop and put it right because my gloves were not conductive, but I bought some brilliant stick on patches for the finger tips that work on all my gloves.
The app that I use is Copilot GPS cost about 30 dollars up front and has permanently stored internal maps of whole of Europe (or anywhere you download) I think I pay 10 dollars a year but this gets me Active traffic updates too. It has its limitations but by the looks of it not as many as Garmin still has .
Mike
 

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I couldn't justify the price for a Zumo, (I also use the same GPS on a dirt bike so it gets bashed around), so I got the cheapest Garmin that will import routes, a Drive 51.
After many hours on BaseCamp I think I'm using it to it's capacity, but despite my best efforts the Drive 51 will try it's absolute best to prove it knows better than me. This was made starkly clear when it 'improved' my route on a ride in very remote country, (Big River near Mount Terrible for you Aussies), to the point I was eventually concerned for my safety.

If you use waypoints instead of shaping points, unless you absolutely direct hit the waypoint it will continuously try to turn you around. A splash screen briefly comes up asking if you want to ignore the waypoint, but if you miss it bad luck.

All it needs is a command to turn off the AI when using a route, not too difficult surely.
 

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Beeline Moto. Simplicity in itself!
 
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I haven’t used mine much, but a severe shortcoming is lack of a Detour button that my 2010 Garmin had. This routes you around an impass on the road. Overall it’s not as useful as the 12yo model which has died
 

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I haven’t used mine much, but a severe shortcoming is lack of a Detour button that my 2010 Garmin had. This routes you around an impass on the road. Overall it’s not as useful as the 12yo model which has died
It is well hidden: You have to click on the three dots on the bottom right, then at the top "Edit Route". There's the familiar options of detour by road, by distance, ....
I had a TomTom Urban Rider before. Somehow it seemed more intuitive, even though the zumo has many extra options that theoretically would make it the better device. But it's always a hassle. Depending on the complexity of the route and whether I know the area or not, I have to focus more on the device than the ride, which is exactly the opposite of what I bought it for.
Also detours on the TomTom seemed to make more sense than on the zumo.
 

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I looked at setting up a Cardo unit on my lid and using Bluetooth to connect to google maps on my phone, I thought about it for a while and decided it was to much of a pain in the a**e....After looking around the net for a while I found the Beeline setup, a small unit on the bars operated by a phone app and you can keep your phone in a jacket pocket....I tried it and I was very happy with the setup,it was simple and just worked.... Motorcycle sat nav | Beeline ....watch the moto navigation video by Henry Crew

Nice solution you have. I paired my Android with my Cardo Freecom 1+ and use Google maps. Works great. Phone mounted on handlebars.
 

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Let me start by clarifying my title. I don't just regret buying the Zumo. It's an expensive thing that fails to serve it's basic function- tell me how to get from A to B without using highways, dirt roads, and while sticking to the route I planned or giving me a sensible route to a place I'm asking to get to. It's the routing and planning where it fails miserably.

I've been on rides where I change my mind and want to go to another city- should be simple, right? Stop the current route, put in a new destination and go. If only ... no, what I get is a convoluted tour of a small mountain town, 2 u-turns and a 5 hour round about loop for a a 40 minute trip that bypasses the road I really want to go down. And yes, I know the road I want is paved and has been for at least 20 years.

Last night was the final straw. I spent an hour plus trying to get the Garmin to use a route that I initially planned in Google maps in 30 seconds. No matter what I did, it just wouldn't get there. Now, because of the way this thing works, close is not good enough. You can't just easily ignore parts of the route that are planned or it will keep trying to send you back to follow the parts you missed. No, you have to get the route right, and then ride that route.

I think the hatefulness of Garmin Basecamps is well documented so I won't say much there. Besides, lets face it, if you were out on a trip, you wouldn't be lugging your laptop with you to do the planning anyway so I practice using my phone or the built in trip planner to create my trips. Nothing works the way it should.

Here's the route I wanted to get:
View attachment 791065

Pretty simple, right? Counter clockwise loop that goes through some interesting mountain roads. Should be a nice long day. For those of you that know the area- yes, this avoids the highway and takes the frontage road instead of I-70. Also yes, the north bound portion to Longmont isn't very interesting, this was just a starting point.

So, enter the cities that I want to go through in the Garmin trip planner, calculate and ...
View attachment 791067

There are definitely some strange choices being made there ...

After 40 minutes of trying to "shape" this route, this is the best I could get:
View attachment 791068

Seems pretty good until you look more closely at the impossible to get rid of and completely nonsense detours like this one:
View attachment 791069
This should be a simple one- come into town from the west (left of the map) and turn right to go south up CO103. Instead there are a few blocks of detours and this trip up Soda Creek Rd for some reason.

Now, I hear you all ... The trip planner app is crap. Yes, yes it is. You should use the maps to gpx method. Yes, I did that too. Sadly, something is wrong there and despite exporting the essential turns only, the Garmin still thought there were too many turns and opted to do some very interesting routing, like this bit in Masonville:

View attachment 791070

Again, a weird detour with a turn around for no apparent reason whatsoever.

There were plenty of other fun issues with planning this route. It was actually painful to even get the Garmin to go through the town of Masonville anyway. Why is that? Try searching for Masonville, Co. You'll get Masonville Rd about 50 miles away, but you'll never get the town. This is true for me anyway, but it might have to do with some apparently logic about searching "nearby" as opposed to searching for town. This makes no sense since the town is actually in the Garmin location database and you can find it if searching on the map- just not when you are searching by text.

Well, there is my venting. If you've made it this far, thanks. That said, please don't tell me "Oh, you need to do x, y, z and it will work" or "You clearly didn't read the manual" or "Here's this thread about how to fix this or that" or anything else like that. I have been reading the manual and digging through the threads and trying very hard to make this work. I bought it for a reason and I want it work like it's supposed to. More importantly, even if there's a way to make this work like it should it's far too difficult to do it and that is the point.

It shouldn't be this hard to plan a route on a dedicated device that costs hundreds of dollars! I shouldn't need several apps and websites to get a basic route. It shouldn't be a major production to shape and edit a route.

Sure, maybe it'll take a few minutes more than it would on Google, but hours of fighting with it to do these basic things is simply unacceptable. I give up. I will chalk this up to a learning experience and instead devote my energies to thinking of the most satisfying way to destroy this thing.
I recently purchased a Zumo XT and have been reasonably pleased with the way it works. My routes are pretty simple. I basically plan the route in Google Maps and then "force" Basecamp to follow that route by creating waypoints to mimic the Google Maps route. If Basecamp can't find the waypoint I want, I look at the coordinates of the location displayed in Google Maps and use them to create the waypoint in BC. Then I export the route from Basecamp to the Zumo. Yep, it's a bit of a pain, and as you say, it's not exactly convenient to carry your laptop on a bike trip. Sorry to hear the Zumo doesn't measure up; hope you find some good solutions
 

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Let me start by clarifying my title. I don't just regret buying the Zumo. It's an expensive thing that fails to serve it's basic function- tell me how to get from A to B without using highways, dirt roads, and while sticking to the route I planned or giving me a sensible route to a place I'm asking to get to. It's the routing and planning where it fails miserably.

I've been on rides where I change my mind and want to go to another city- should be simple, right? Stop the current route, put in a new destination and go. If only ... no, what I get is a convoluted tour of a small mountain town, 2 u-turns and a 5 hour round about loop for a a 40 minute trip that bypasses the road I really want to go down. And yes, I know the road I want is paved and has been for at least 20 years.

Last night was the final straw. I spent an hour plus trying to get the Garmin to use a route that I initially planned in Google maps in 30 seconds. No matter what I did, it just wouldn't get there. Now, because of the way this thing works, close is not good enough. You can't just easily ignore parts of the route that are planned or it will keep trying to send you back to follow the parts you missed. No, you have to get the route right, and then ride that route.

I think the hatefulness of Garmin Basecamps is well documented so I won't say much there. Besides, lets face it, if you were out on a trip, you wouldn't be lugging your laptop with you to do the planning anyway so I practice using my phone or the built in trip planner to create my trips. Nothing works the way it should.

Here's the route I wanted to get:
View attachment 791065

Pretty simple, right? Counter clockwise loop that goes through some interesting mountain roads. Should be a nice long day. For those of you that know the area- yes, this avoids the highway and takes the frontage road instead of I-70. Also yes, the north bound portion to Longmont isn't very interesting, this was just a starting point.
Please bear in mind that I have a European version of the XT so the terminology might be different.

Before dropping the XT from a second floor window,

1) ..try changing the profile (icon on top left of screen) to car (automobile?) rather than motorcycle. Check if this changes the proposed route.
2) Go into settings --> navigation --> avoidances and see what is set. Maybe allowing freeways or highways might make the route more "sensible".

P.S. I never, ever use the motorcycle profile and plan most routes on basecamp using the automobile profile.
 
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