An automotive GPS, once an option only for high-end cars, has become an increasingly standard item. But what about those who get around on two wheels? While you can bolt on a portable unit to your motorcycle, you’ll still be using something that was designed for use with cars. The lack of specific motorcycle GPS units is now being addressed by manufacturers, and Garmin recently announced two units designed with all riders in mind.
Garmin’s zumo 395LM and 595LM motorcycle navigation units are glove-friendly, tough, and weatherproofed against UV rays, bad weather, and even fuel vapors. The touchscreen displays of the 395 (4.3 inches) and the 595 (high-res 5-inch) are built to enhance visibility in direct sunlight.
Both devices include lifetime map updates for Southern Africa, and can point you to repair stations, dealers, and other points of interest. There is space to log your service history and keep maintenance records. The Dynamic Fuel Stops feature suggests when to top off by calculating the distance you’ve traveled.
With Roundtrip Routing, you can plan your route based on time, distance, or location. Preloaded Foursquare data offers countless destinations to explore, while the Real Directions features guides riders using landmarks and traffic lights. If you like the twisties, you can set the GPS to take you through curves and hills while limiting the use of major highways.
You can never be too safe astride a motorbike, so both zumo models include rider alerts to keep you apprised of the environment around you. You can be notified when a sharp curve is coming up; red lights, speed cameras, and animal crossings can also be anticipated before you might otherwise notice them.
The updated zumo series is compatible with Garmin’s VIRB action cameras, which you can control from the display screen. You can also monitor your tyre pressure with the optional Tyre Pressure Monitor Sensor system.
If you like to cruise along to your tunes, you can sync your smartphone or any other portable MP3 device and control it from the zumo. The 595LM can stream music directly to a headset or compatible helmet (you can also make and receive calls via spoken directions).