MO Tested: MotoPumps Garmin zumo XT Security Lock
Elegantly simple with solid theft deterrence
If you own a Garmin zūmo XT GPS, you’re well aware of the ease with which the unit can be installed/removed from its motorcycle mount with the simple push of a button. If you’re thinking about buying a zūmo XT, you should know about this, too. Think about how bad you would feel if you came out of a quick trip into a gas station to buy a bottle of water to find that someone has walked away with your $500 GPS. It really only takes a second. Because of this, there are several third-party manufacturers of locking mounts for the XT. However, they tend to be bulky and/or very expensive, and in one instance, weigh more than the GPS it is trying to protect. Rob Bandler at MotoPumps.com set out to create a small, light, and reasonably-priced lock to keep your GPS safe on your bike where it belongs. With the $70 Garmin zūmo XT Security Lock, he has achieved his goal.
MotoPumps Garmin zūmo XT Security Lock
- Out of sight when the GPS is mounted
- Barely noticeable when the GPS is removed
- Reasonably priced
- Can’t prevent all thefts
- Key tool hard to manipulate when mounted on same ring as the ignition key
- I’m all out of negatives
The secret behind the success of the Garmin zūmo XT Security Lock is that it’s simple where it needs to be yet complex enough to prevent easy theft. How simple is it? It’s constructed out of a single steel plate that fits almost every motorcycle mount that accepts the AMP GPS mount included with the zūmo. The plate is then powder coated for durability. The locking mechanism is a 304 stainless steel security pin that screws into place behind the XT once it’s mounted and prevents the Garmin release button from being depressed.
The complex part of the design is in the cylindrical key that is machined in such a way that no other tool can easily remove the pin. You simply insert the key, rotate the pin about 3.5 times, and snug it down. The GPS is now secure. Removal is the same but has an additional step. On the opposite end of the key is a small plunger that is used to push the pin far enough out of the mounting plate to grab with your fingers.
This structure manages to find a good balance between protection, size, cost, and security. While the lock won’t prevent all thefts, the GPS would probably be irreparably damaged if forced out of the mounting bracket, rendering it useless for resale or mounting to another motorcycle. With that in mind, I wouldn’t recommend leaving the zūmo mounted on the bike overnight in an unsecured area, but I have no qualms about going into a restaurant for a meal and leaving the XT on my bike.
Really, there’s not much else to say about a product that has a single job and does it well. The MotoPumps Garmin zūmo XT Security Lock is available exclusively at MotoPumps.com.
Can you use a GPS on a motorcycle?
Absolutely, take a look at the Garmin zūmo XT GPS reviewed here. Ideally, GPS units designed for motorcycle use need to be able to withstand both the harsh weather conditions and the extreme vibration that they are subjected to on some machines. These stresses will quickly kill your typical in-car GPS units. There are many mounting solutions for putting a GPS on a motorcycle, ranging from using the handlebar or triple clamp to specialized brackets for specific motorcycle models. Shop around, there are several motorcycle-specific GPS models.
Is a dedicated motorcycle GPS worth it?
While only you can make that decision, commuters, sport tourers, and adventure tourers have different needs. For commuters, unless you live in a very rainy climate, I’d be inclined to stick with a smartphone in a vibration-damping mount. In a climate more prone to wet weather, the cost-benefit ratio turns in favor of the XT because of its weatherproofness. In any other riding situation where you’re likely to travel off the grid, I think a GPS’ (like the Garmin zūmo XT) benefits more than offset the cost.
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