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Thread: zumo 550 paperweight

  1. #1
    Less is more. samuelh's Avatar
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    zumo 550 paperweight

    Well my 550 is dead. This unit is 2 years old. This is my 2nd or 3rd go round with garmin, sending me refurb units that eventually crap out after a few months.

    They offered me an out of warranty repair for $150, that has a 90 day warranty. At that price I'll buy a 220.

    I rode through a massive rainstorm the other day -- the last day that the unit was working.

    I wish there were more GPS options. A buddy of mine rides with a droid phone for a gps.

    I'm a little pissed because I bought this thing new, retail, and I have had nothing but problems with it.

    "The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something."
    --Randy Pausch
    (2011 C14 6500m) | (2009 G650GS - 20,135m) | (Suzuki GZ250) | (Honda 250 twin)

  2. #2
    Registered User Jim Rogers's Avatar
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    I bought a Zumo 660 back in the spring. It works great! But I recently broke down and got an iPhone 4. Among others, I bought the Garmin App (@ $34.95). I am finding that although it does not have all the luxury items of the Zumo, as a GPS unit it works great. In fact, since the majority of my riding is in cell phone coverage, I am seriously considering shifting over to the iPhone all together. The only real + for the Zumo, so far, is route planning. But, I am working on that one. Time and testing will tell. I always have the 765T for backup.
    Gear Up and Ride Safe
    Jim Rogers
    2010 R12GSA aka Heidi/2005 DR200SE aka Pennsy
    Yorktown, Va

  3. #3
    Yankee Air Pirate B1Pilot's Avatar
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    If it makes you feel better, I have a Zumo 660 paperweight... it lasted 26 months. I hoping I can splice the mount cables for my next version, but I too, find my iPhone easier to use.
    Chris
    2009 R12RT
    1995 K75 (traded to a good home)
    1985 Rockwell International B-1B

  4. #4
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Sorta depressing, sorta enlightening. Maybe I procrastinated my way through a GPS to an IPhone.
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200
    Part of the Forum Threadside Assistance Program

  5. #5
    Motorradfahrer jogitu's Avatar
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    Here is the thing with the apps for the phones. They require network connection to work. If you hit long areas with no service you have no GPS. The phone needs the towers to ping off of for position. It downloads some info ahead of where you are and will work for a bit off service but then will quit. If you doubt me on this put your iPhone on airplane mode and try using the map feature. On the trips I take this simply would not work and neither would riding in rain with my iPhone hanging out there in the wet. I use the Garmin Nuvi 550 which is bettery or power operated and waterproof. I don't need the voice in my ear to navigate.
    Kevin
    "I ride therefore I am"

    2012 1600 GTL

  6. #6
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    The experience recounted in this thread with the high priced Zumo models was one of the factors in my decision to buy the Garmin nuvi 550. It is rated "Motorcycle Friendly" by Garmin, just like the Zumo models. List price $299, street price $249. As a GPS, it does virtually everything the Zumo models do, it just does not have Bluetooth or an MP3 player. On the plus side, it has an 8 hour battery life and walking, hiking and boating modes.

    But even if you are lucky and get a Zumo that has a long life, I still think with electronic devices like a GPS, you are better off paying only for what you really need and save the money to buy the newer models later. We are very likely to see many new features in just a few years. At a minimum, the processor speeds and memory size will increase.
    Glenn
    2003 F650GS Dakar

  7. #7
    Rather Be Ridin' alabeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samuelh View Post

    They offered me an out of warranty repair for $150, that has a 90 day warranty. At that price I'll buy a 220.

    I am using a 550, my second one in about 4 years or so. I too paid the out of warranty $150 charge to get my second unit. In my discussion with the guy in customer service I asked him if I would be expected to pay the $150 if it happened again. The answer was... "Well...technically yes, but if you raise enough hell they (we) will swap it out for you". Fortunately it has worked great for a couple years with no problems since I swapped it.

    For me the features of the 550 such as the route planning and the XM and the Mp3 (I use all three) makes it a great unit for my purposes. So maybe it is time to raise a little hell with them...maybe they'll send you a spare to keep in the closet!

    Good luck with it!
    Vance Harrelson
    MOA Ambassador/ Director
    R1200GSA - G450X - G650GS Sertao
    "Always Remember, Whatever You Believe, You Might Be Wrong" - Paul Thorn

  8. #8
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    Misguided about iPhone Navigation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jogitu View Post
    Here is the thing with the apps for the phones. They require network connection to work. If you hit long areas with no service you have no GPS. The phone needs the towers to ping off of for position. It downloads some info ahead of where you are and will work for a bit off service but then will quit. If you doubt me on this put your iPhone on airplane mode and try using the map feature...
    Depending on the GPS app, you DO NOT need a phone signal. Most of the following was pulled from a posting I made last year regarding the iPhone 4. I assume that other phones MAY have the same capabilities. Its long, but it has some useful information

    I completed a 5400 mile trip to Banff Canada and decided to use my iPhone 4 as my primary piece of electronics. It was my phone, music (using S-Plugs), GPS, computer, camera and video camera.

    It was attached to my ÔÇÖ08 RT using the RAM reservoir mount and cradle. I used the Griffin iTrip Autopilot to keep the phone charged up and also to have basic control of iTunes via the push buttons on the charger. I placed the charging socket right behind the mount.

    http://www.ram-mount.com/CatalogResu...5/Default.aspx

    http://www.ram-mount.com/CatalogResu...5/Default.aspx

    https://store.griffintechnology.com/itripautopilot

    I purchased the Navigon GPS software on sale for $50 so that I would have a GPS program that does not require a phone signal. The whole database is downloaded to the phone just like a ÔÇ£realÔÇØ GPS.

    Don't assume that the GPS is "basic" in function. Spend some time on the web site before you judge.

    http://www.navigon.com/portal/us/pro...iphone_us.html

    You can setup and save various routes right on the phone. You donÔÇÖt need a PC to do this. Waypoints and destinations can be added from the built-in POI database, map clicks, built in Google search, and even the phone's address book. The Yellow Pages app links to Navigon directly too, preloading the address into Navigon for you. You can also easily change up the route; reordering, adding or deleting points.

    The White Pages apps are another quick way to get somewhere. One click adds it to your contacts and then navigate from there. You don't have to type much if someone has given you a listed number. Just do a reverse phone lookup and add the address to contacts with one click and navigate from there.

    When selecting a destination, the program displays up to 3 possible routes for you to choose from, each with distance and time. You also have the choice of routing by shortest, fastest, scenic or optimum, which can be changed on the fly. In fact it was the only GPS I've seen that uses the secondary road shortcut to my house. Overall, IÔÇÖm VERY impressed with that software and its capabilities.

    During the trip there was only one route issue that came up after I detoured for gas but I could see the difference in the distance to go and time. It corrected itself when I turned and returned to the path it spelled out before. As with ANY GPS, preview the route before you go.

    Now one of the downfalls of the iPhone is controlling it with gloves on. It was usually workable with my RoadGear summer gloves but forget it with winter ones. FYI, I have heard that people get around this by sewing gold thread thru the finger tips so your ÔÇ£chargeÔÇØ will get from your skin to the glove tip.

    While that is a nuisance, the truth is that I had little need to control the phone in that manner. I preprogrammed my routes and waypoints in the GPS and kept all of my destinations as favorites, so that was no issue. I had basic control of iTunes with the Griffin and controlled the volume with the ÔÇ£hardÔÇØ buttons on the side of the phone.

    Overall this setup performed quite admirably. The music muted and resumed automatically when directions came up and I also got screen notifications of calls and texts. (These would need to be cleared of via a screen tap)

    The other issue with the iPhone is that it is not waterproof, but this was not a real problem for me. The Calsci screen kept the phone very dry while I was moving and if it started to get wet, I just unclipped it from the cradle and threw it in my waterproof jacket pocket. I was still able to get my music and GPS instructions even though I could not see the screen. Slipping a ZipLock over it may have worked too but I did not try that.

    The iPhone 4 shoots great photos outdoors, even in extreme overcast conditions. When I had people over to look at my photos, they could not believe that they were taken with the phone. They are that good. However, the performance indoors leaves a bit to be desired and the lack of a real zoom prevents it from fully taking over a standard camera.

    The iPhone 4 can also shoot 720P video. I was hoping for a little better results with that but its not all the phoneÔÇÖs fault. IÔÇÖm not the steadiest guy in the world so handheld shots were a bit jumpy and the lack of a zoom was a handicap as well. When I was braced, the video was not too bad but it would be nice if the phone had some sort of image stabilization.

    I was also hoping that I could get video while I was riding, but the buzz and bumps thru the bars made that almost impossible, unless I pulled the clutch and let it idle. Again this is not all the phoneÔÇÖs fault as I got similar results when I tried my Canon HV20 HD camcorder.

    The iPhone also has outstanding internet and if you need a ÔÇ£realÔÇØ computer, I could control my home computer via TeamViewer, a free software to remote control a computer, and yes, thereÔÇÖs an app for that.

    http://www.teamviewer.com/index.aspx

    What would I do different? Not much. Maybe move the mount to the steering head to remove some of the vibration that is present in the bars. It did not seem to be a problem but long term buzz MAY be detrimental the phone. Bring a compact camera for zoom shots.

    Is it perfect? No, but my advice is that if you have an iPhone 4, give it a try before you spend $500-$1500 on a GPS, XM and the like. Often, space is at a premium on a bike and with the iPhone you may have everything you need in one small device. No bother with tons of mounts and electrical connections. Also, when you are done riding, it is soooo nice to be able to stop and just unclip one small device and walk away from your bike.
    Dean Stuckmann - Wisconsin
    2008 BMW R1200RT
    1982 Honda cx500 Turbo
    1983 Honda cx650 Turbo

  9. 08-17-2011, 05:47 PM

  10. #9
    Registered User Jim Rogers's Avatar
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    Too Funny

    I was like Brewmeister. Then I discovered they (GPS units) come with an off switch. Just saying.

    LOL Sorry, I just could not help myself. LOL
    Last edited by Jim Rogers; 08-17-2011 at 07:55 PM.
    Gear Up and Ride Safe
    Jim Rogers
    2010 R12GSA aka Heidi/2005 DR200SE aka Pennsy
    Yorktown, Va

  11. #10
    Registered User Jim Rogers's Avatar
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    Backwards

    Quote Originally Posted by dstuckmann View Post

    Is it perfect? No, but my advice is that if you have an iPhone 4, give it a try before you spend $500-$1500 on a GPS, XM and the like. Often, space is at a premium on a bike and with the iPhone you may have everything you need in one small device. No bother with tons of mounts and electrical connections. Also, when you are done riding, it is soooo nice to be able to stop and just unclip one small device and walk away from your bike.
    I agree with the iPhone 4 writeup and then some. I can see weather maps, get weather warnings, find the nearest bike shop, lunch counter, gas station, blah, blah, blah. It does give you the internet in your pocket. And for me, although I do dearly love just getting out and riding, it is nice to have all that in my pocket when I want it. Unfortunately, I did it backwards, Zumo then iPhone.
    Gear Up and Ride Safe
    Jim Rogers
    2010 R12GSA aka Heidi/2005 DR200SE aka Pennsy
    Yorktown, Va

  12. #11
    Registered User kgadley01's Avatar
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    I have a friend who is on his 3rd Zumo 550. He has paid $150.00 for each exchange. I have the Zumo 450 that does not have bluetooth or XM on it. So far its been a great addition to my gear.
    AKA SNAPGADGET
    Lifes too short to ride an ugly Motorcycle

  13. #12
    Less is more. samuelh's Avatar
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    2 questions about the iphone as a solution: Is there a waterproof mount? Is there a way to charge it off of the bikes accessory port (that is also water resistant?)

    SH
    "The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something."
    --Randy Pausch
    (2011 C14 6500m) | (2009 G650GS - 20,135m) | (Suzuki GZ250) | (Honda 250 twin)

  14. #13
    Registered User Jim Rogers's Avatar
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    iPhone

    I am sure there is, somewhere. I use an Otterbox for my normal case/enclosure. The speaker ports and the headphone port are both still open but other than than it is encased pretty well. Another really great thing about the iPhone IV, is the batter life. I can't imagine riding in rain long enough to run it down and it recharges really really fast. I am taking a 6 hour ride tomorrow and intend to perform a test by leaving it on, running the Garmin GPS app, while in my pocket. My Zumo will be up and running for backup on this trip. (Going to a place I have never been before.) I will report back on Monday.
    Gear Up and Ride Safe
    Jim Rogers
    2010 R12GSA aka Heidi/2005 DR200SE aka Pennsy
    Yorktown, Va

  15. #14
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Garmin Montana

    After hearing all the horror stories with Zumos, when I finally decided to upgrade my Garmin 276C, I chose a Garmin Montana instead. I chose the one without the MP3 player or the camera.

    The reason: much more rugged and waterproof enclosure, and a tether point so that the GPS doesn't go far in case of a get-off.

    After going through Garmin's map unlock hell (I have yet get a Garmin device to work with its maps *without* 3-5 calls to tech support) and some teething problems with the early versions of the operating software, this thing is starting to work pretty well.

    Screen size is about the same as Zumo, visibility in full sunlight is acceptable, touchscreen works very well, and interface is a huge improvement over earlier devices.

    The "rugged" mount is only $40, and thanks to RAM mounts and a quick splice-in of an SAE connector, I just need one mount for all three bikes.

    One very important feature for me is the ability to plot routes on the Mac and then load onto the GPS. I'm pretty sure that iPhone apps and Nuvis don't do that... and without a signal, do iPhone apps tell you where the next gas is, etc? Don't think so.

    In the car, the Google app for iPhone does great... but I'd hesitate to expose the iPhone to the type of riding I do.



    Ian
    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
    ________________________________________________
    '67 Trail 90 || '86 R80 G/SPD+ || '00 1150 GS || '06 HP2e

  16. #15
    Clay
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    I too have had a situation with my 550..but instead of going thru Garmin's 150 buck return fees plus plus shipping costs..I fixed it myself. See zumo forums:

    http://www.zumoforums.com/index.php?topic=14121.0

    Yes you'll have to register but well worth the(free) membership if you're a Zumo owner.

    Oh..yes..it cost me 30 bucks + 3 bucks for the torx driver to fix it.

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