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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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I'm planning a trip this August that will probably end up being about 4,500 miles - including riding the Going to the Sun road in Glacier park and the Columbia gorge.

I would like to get a GPS for the trip, and reading the reviews has made my brain itch. The Garmin zumo 660 does not seem to have lived up to its goal of surpassing the 550. In fact, I noticed that the price on the 550 went UP, and now it costs more than the 660. The 665 is loaded with features that don't interest me, so it is out of the question.

So, now, it sort of boils down to the Garmin 660 or 550, or the Tom Tom Rider.

Anyone have any experience with any of these units? I'm probably going to get a Cardo Scala Rider G4 for the trip, and a Shoei Neotech helmet, so a unit that talks to me through the Cardo has some appeal.

'07 America, AI removed, Hyde Bellmouth, long TORS, 125 mains
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012, 06:56 PM
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I wish I had some answers for you, but unfortunately I am in the exact same boat. I was kind of leaning toward the 550, but I have seen some decent reviews of the Tom Tom Rider 2, which has me trying to decide between the two. Sorry I can't help, but I will also be watching with interest.

The Mountains Are Calling, and I Must Go… - John Muir
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012, 09:17 PM
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I have a 550 and have been using it for about 4 or 5 years now it was $899 when I initially made the purchase. It was one of the best purchases I made for the bike. The 660 has more internal memory to hold the new map which won't load completely in memory on the 550. The portion of the map that won't fit in memory I load on the SD card. I don't notice any difference in speed when it reads from memory or reads from the SD card. I also am using a Cardo unit, the first one I used was the Rider and now have the G4. Both units function very well with the 550. I contemplated the 660 and 665 but I didn't see anything there that would drag me away from the 550.

Let me know if you have any other questions about the 550,

Monte
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Monte View Post
Let me know if you have any other questions about the 550,

Monte
Thanks for your input, Monte. The more reviews I read, (and the more my brain itches) the 550 keeps floating up to the top in terms of overall value and quality. Reading the reviews on Amazon about the Tomtom rider scared me off - there were as many 5s as there were 1s, and as many 4s as there were 2s.

One of the weirdest things about the 550 is that Garmin's website lists its MSRP at $650, but it seems to be selling online for about $900. I found it at gpscity.com for $680, but since that seems so far below the standard selling price of other places, I don't know if that is a bargain or an indication that the seller is pulling something funny - like selling refurbished units as new.

Ok, now a couple of questions.

1) how big of an SD card do you have, and how much of the map do you have load on it? 2) can you choose what parts of the map to load where? I never travel east of St. Louis on my bike, so I would choose (if I could) to load the western US on the unit itself.

3) some of the GPS units have lifetime map updates available for and extra $50, and I have read that lifetime updates cost about $80 if you purchase them directly. Country highways and interstates can't change that much, so are the updates mostly for city navigation?

4) What features do you like best about the 550?

5) What do you like least?

T'anx

'07 America, AI removed, Hyde Bellmouth, long TORS, 125 mains
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012, 11:18 PM
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I have an 8GB Sd card in my 550. You can choose what portions of the country to load to memory and if you never ride east of St.Louis then you can probably load everything in memory. I say probably because of the variables it gives for loading maps I believe there is a Western US option. I also keep some MP3's on the SD card for the Zumo to playback when I want some music. I saw them available for $650 at quadratech.com . I purchased the lifetime updates because what I have noticed over the time I have used the 550 is that not all the roads are in the map and some roads are in the map that shouldn't be (they were roads once but now they have been closed and removed) and roads in the wrong place.They are also updating the maps with new businesses. I have used the 550 to travel out west and will be running out west again this year and to Alaska next year. I want all the updates I can get when it comes to the road data. I don't run interstates or highways much, I tend to travel state and county roads. I enjoy the proverbial small town America. The only time I jump the interstate is if I need to make some time.
Features I like best and what I like least. I have a hard time answering that because I just really like the unit. I can't really think of anything I dislike well there is one trivial thing, when the phone loses connection it pops up a dialog box on the 550 to let you know. I have missed a few turns because of that damned box and there is no way to disable it without disabling the 550 speech for directions. I think it is just a solid unit. I have no regrets with purchasing the unit.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012, 11:38 PM
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For my 2 bits, I have the TomTom Rider 2... Very good. Especially when linked to the scala headset.... Directions spoken directly into your ear Very handy Bluetooth connection to your mobile phone, one touch navigation and call answering AND waterproof!!.....

Updateable online, SD cards for other countries...Simple.

Al'
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-20-2012, 07:10 PM
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I have a 450 and it works great for my needs - I didn't need the Bluetooth.
I know lots of guys that have used the 550 and others with the 660. I hear few complaints. Garmin is probably the most widely-used motorcycle GPS.

To me, the GPS is one of the greatest tools you can have on your bike. If you learn to use the computer-based mapping software you can create some fantastic routes and help you avoid interstates and other boring roads. In the last 4 years we've ridden tens of thousands of miles with the Garmin on board.

Good luck!

Kevin
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-21-2012, 07:42 PM
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Silverado, In regards to Garmin!!

2 months ago I bought a Garmin Fitness watch, was reading some of the Forums regarding Pro's and Con's about the watch. The biggest problem it has is battery replacement, simple enough request I thought so I e-mailed Garmin. 3 e-mails and 2 months later STILL NO REPLY!!. Now that's bloody disgraceful, all I asked them was for a "Garmin Authorised repairer in Sydney"

DO NOT BUY GARMIN PRODUCTS IF YOU'RE IN AUSTRALIA.... I warn you...

Get TomTom

Al.
P.S I've even bagged the **** out of them on THEIR facebook page, no reply
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 09:00 AM
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Anybody use their iPhone as a GPS with a BT headset? I'm getting ready to try it with my Sena headsets using the Garmin iPhone Map set.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Daycruiser View Post
Anybody use their iPhone as a GPS with a BT headset? I'm getting ready to try it with my Sena headsets using the Garmin iPhone Map set.
My daughter uses hers all over the world. She is now living in Hong Kong and has traveled Asia and Europe with it. It has both a "walking" and "driving" feature. She really likes it.
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