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Thread: Zumo 550 vs. 665

  1. #1
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    Zumo 550 vs. 665

    I currently have a Garmin 2730 but I'm thinking of upgrading. Is it better to buy a new "not refurbished" Zumo 550 for $500 or buy a Zumo 665 for a few hundred more? I already have the GM30 XM puck that I can use with the 550. The 665 comes with it's own XM puck. Will I be sorry if I don't get the latest and greatest?

    Doug

  2. #2
    Thick As A Brick r184's Avatar
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    Guess it depends if you have a lot of disposable cash? Both do the job. The 550 is used, but proven technology. The 665 is the lastest & greatest and will consolidate a couple items of hardware into one.

    I have a 660. Except for the bluetooth/MP5 player and being motorcycle "specific", a less expensive GPS would have done the job, but I "wanted" the 660. And once I got the 660, I did actually use the extra features quite a lot.

    Something tells me your "brain" wants the 550, but your "heart" want the 665. Well the saying goes "Follow Your Heart"!

  3. #3
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    These are the important things for me:

    The 665 is much faster and has much more internal memory. New maps, extra maps, and even new versions of city navigator for the 550 will make you choose which regions to install because it doesn't have enough internal memory.

    I sold both of my 550's.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

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    I ended up looking at the features on the Zumo models and determined that most were things I didn't need, want, or could accomplish in another way for a lot less money. What I really wanted was a good waterproof GPS. Looking at the current models available last year from Garmin, I decided on the nuvi 550. Garmin rates it as "motorcycle friendly", just like the Zumo models, but it lists for $299.95. Found it on the internet for $249.95 with free shipping and no sales tax. Added RAM mount for that model I found on ebay for $29.95 and the Garmin hardwire kit for another $29.95, both free shipping and no sales tax.

    My brother has a Zumo 450 and I have compared them side by side. The nuvi 550 has all the GPS features that the Zumo has. It does not have the MP3 player, bluetooth, XM Radio, or a speaker jack. I have used the nuvi 550 on a number of long distance trips and have found I do not miss hearing the voice prompts. An occasional glance at the screen is all I need to anticipate turns. I do not have any use for the other features. I do use an MP3 player. I have a number of SanDisk refurbed players I have bought online, never payed more than $15 for one. The one I use on my bike is a SanDisk Clip that is about the size of large postage stamp, fits in my shirt pocket, rechargeable lithium that lasts 15 hours.

    My experience with these kinds of devices is that they get cheaper, faster, and better as time goes along. I try to buy what I need in the short term and save as much money as I can to buy the newer models when they come out.
    Glenn
    2003 F650GS Dakar

  5. #5
    K Bikes Complex by Choice cjack's Avatar
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    I, on the other hand, want to experience the latest technology while I am still vertical. So I have bought the 665 and have to say that this XM Weather is the answer to 40 years of wondering whether I'm riding into lots of bad weather or just a brief shower. I love this thing...just returned from a 5000 mile trip out west and this 665 is awesome.
    BMWMotorcycles, fun when they're running...
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  6. #6
    Touring Panpsychist Theo's Avatar
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    +1 for the Nuvi 550 unless you HAVE to hear the spoken instructions.
    Theo

    2009 R1200RT, 2007 Shadow Aero 750 (sold)
    2012 MINI Countryman S, 2004 MINI Cooper S JCW, 2000 BMW 328i

  7. #7
    Registered User stkmkt1's Avatar
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    I have the 550. Here is my two cents. I recently updated my 2009 maps with the 2010 maps. They must be much larger in terms of bytes. I had to delete quite a bit of stuff off the Zumo before I could load the new maps. I needed all of North America, including Canada. That may be why. I am also having issues with the touch screen. It appears that it is becoming affected by sunlight, or maybe the heat from the sun. I have checked it for calibration, but sometimes it seems to just change screens on its own and sometimes when I touch the screen, it will do something else instead of what it should do.

    I would like to upgrade to the 665, but I've heard plenty of stories of how people are having problems with it. So for now, I'll stick with the 550. I was not impressed with the weather feature, but I really like XM radio.
    '09 BMW 1200 GSA, 2013 BMW 700GS, 2000 Goldwing SE, '09' V Star 950, '09 Honda Rebel,
    '77 Honda 750A. Holding at six til I get new garage built - need more room for more bikes!

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    Theo,
    The Nuvi 550 isn't going to work for me since I use the XM radio feature. thanks.

    Doug

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    From the looks of it, it looks like the best thing to do might be to wait for a price drop on the 665. My 2730 still works fine but it would be nice to have some of the added features that the 550/665 has. But I'm sure as we get closer to the holidays there will be a price drop or a promo of some kind. Thanks for al of the input.

    Doug

  10. #10
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stkmkt1 View Post
    I would like to upgrade to the 665, but I've heard plenty of stories of how people are having problems with it.
    It's the typical Garmin issue of the software lagging the hardware by six months. The Zumo 550 was the same way. The last update to the 665, a week or two ago, fixed most of the shut down issues. At least the dangthing is usable now.

    Up to date gripes are here: http://www.zumoforums.com/
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  11. #11
    Proud Veteran SteveAikens's Avatar
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    I run the Zumo 550. Just did a re-calibration of the screen and updated the maps again. The last update I did resulted in a faster display. I ran this unit on my RT-P and now have it on my R12RT. Other than two unexpcedted power-downs, which I restarted with no ill effects, the unit has been reliable.

    OTOH, during my latest long ride - 5840 miles - the routing really went south a few times. Once, it wanted me to go in a circle for whatever reason. At the time, I was in NV and just out riding so I decided to follow the directions and see where it took me. It sent me off I-80 at exit 46 at Fernley, back on back to exit 43 and back again at exit 46 to get to US50 to Fallon. Took 50 across to Panguitch, UT.

    Overall, I think if my 550 went south - I'd replace it with another 550. Mine does what it needs to for me.
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  12. #12
    Touring Panpsychist Theo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbaliko View Post
    Theo,
    The Nuvi 550 isn't going to work for me since I use the XM radio feature. thanks.

    Doug
    Ah...yes. The Nuvi is only good for directions and photos. I'm not a big consumer of audio when I ride. I HAVE been known to listen to Car Talk podcasts on my iPhone via bluetooth, but I get laughing so hard I fear it affects my concentration!
    Theo

    2009 R1200RT, 2007 Shadow Aero 750 (sold)
    2012 MINI Countryman S, 2004 MINI Cooper S JCW, 2000 BMW 328i

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    Quote Originally Posted by cjack View Post
    ....this XM Weather is the answer to 40 years of wondering whether I'm riding into lots of bad weather or just a brief shower. I love this thing...just returned from a 5000 mile trip out west and this 665 is awesome.
    I think I saw a magazine ad for this feature. Looks very interesting. I assume you need to pay for some kind of XM radio subscription for this feature to work. Is that bundled with the regular XM radio audio subscription? Can you buy just the weather data alone? What does it cost?

    I have noticed that Magellan has introduced some new models that include a lifetime traffic subscription.

    An example of what I alluded to in my reference to new features in the future is construction data, closed bridges, etc. I expect we will soon see WiFi enabled GPS units that include automatic continuous map and software updates. You have probably heard about a number of new cellular smartphones that act as a WiFi hot spot. That means that any WiFi equiped device, like your notebook computer, can get internet access through the cell phone service you are already paying for. So, if you are carrying a hot spot cell phone, and have a WiFi enabled GPS, you could do the weather, construction, traffic, map update, software update activity without paying a subscription fee.
    Glenn
    2003 F650GS Dakar

  14. #14
    Proud Veteran SteveAikens's Avatar
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    I just posted this elsewhere:

    I don't know what models it's available for but I added NavWX and NavTraffic to my XM subscription for my Zumo 550 for 3.99 a month.

    http://www8.garmin.com/xm/info-nav-weather.html
    http://www8.garmin.com/xm/info-nav-traffic.html

    Not sat images or realtime but adequate for my use. It did cover the horrid weather I ran into returning from OR a couple weeks ago.

    Call XM and ask if it's available for your unit.
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    BMW MOA #6218
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  15. #15
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    I'll chime in here with a related question: We are going to buy a unit -likely a Nuvi 1450 for use in both car & truck. What are the disadvantages of using the same unit for my bike in a waterproof case? I have plenty more questions: Will a "car" unit give me twisty road guides for bike riding? Will voice commands be heard by a person like me with poor hearing- & I'll ad-inside helmet through a speaker I don't own yet?
    Have any of you looked at the total setups for bike use that are listed on ebay? The seller has new & refurb both in many models and they start at much less than a Zumo # whatever. I'm listening and thanks!!!
    I just followed a fellow member(return from RA Rally) with some of Statdawgs waypoints/route across many k's of VT,NY,PA via side roads and I'm sold!
    What I don't want is whatever the various Dishnetwork people use.On three seperate occassions of different persons trying to find my house in a rural KY area they have succeeded in getting lost in a county with all 911 addresses! Usually to the tune of many miles

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