A major advantage the Garmin's have is the ability to plan your route on a desktop computer and load it into your GPS. Or plan a trip on Google Maps and upload the route to your GPS. As far as I can tell, any Garmin will allow you to do this. My brother has a very expensive Zumo. After looking at features and prices, I bought a nuvi 550. Waterproof to the same standard as the Zumo models. Garmin rates it as "motorcycle friendly", just like the Zumo's. Price is only $299 list, street price $249. It does not have bluetooth, XM radio, or an MP3 player. Since I do not want those features built-in to my GPS, I went for the lower price. The nuvi 550 is also a "multimode" GPS. It has a mode for walking (on streets), hiking (off-road), driving, and boating along with an 8 hour battery life and a user replaceable Li-ion battery. It has the track-back feature that will allow you to reverse your course turn-by-turn, which is particularly handy if you ride a GS bike off-road. You can take the trails that are not even on the map, and when you are ready to get back to the main road, the track-back feature will take you back exactly the way you came. Zumo's have this feature too, I believe, but I have never seen it on other brands.
I bought a lifetime subscription to the map updates last year when they reduced the price to $89. A single update is $49, and when the lifetime dropped below the price of 2 updates, it seemed like a no-brainer. They come out with updates about 4 times a year. I don't think the roads change that fast, but the points of interest definitely do. I have a Magellan I use in the car, and I have navigated to more than one boarded up restaurant. The other thing you get with the updates is updated software for the GPS device, which means better performance every time you update.
Another nice feature of the Garmin models is the ability to enter longitude and latitude coordinates directly. I can't do that with my Magellan. I have used that feature more than once to navigate to a Rally out in the middle of nowhere that publishes the GPS coordinates (invariably in Garmin format). If you are meeting someone, and you both have a GPS, the first one to arrive at the meeting place can read their location from their GPS and send a text message with the coordinates.
You can also save your track for a long ride to files which can be downloaded from your GPS later and displayed on your Garmin desktop software, or even in Google Maps.
Last year I took the nuvi 265 out of my car and used it. It was great to have the screen with all the road names. It makes riding more fun than stopping all the time and looking at a paper map as you explore new roads.
However, I love to plan routes on my computer that will take me through interesting little towns, historic sites, scenic areas and any other place of interest.
It sounds like I need to move up to a zumo that will let me plan routes. The lowest price one is $500 and it looks like it is programable for the input of routes.
It looks like I can use the same mount as the nuvi 265.
Great info on this thread. Thanks.
I have been using my totm tom xl 350tm in a joe rocket tank bag. The tank bag has small pocket/window for small gps and another for pocket window for my cell phone.. Not the best solution but work good for day rides when you want to take a couple bottles of water and some snacks maybe a paper map for backup.. and few other iteams..
I would love to have a zumo for all the reason listed above.. desktop planning... blue tooth... but for now.. I need few other things for the bike but zumo is on the list...
I wish the tom tom was capable of atleast two or three way points.. would make round trips so much easier to plan..