Today, Garmin announced the next generation of the popular zūmo XT motorcycle GPS, the Garmin zūmo XT2. The XT2 builds on the feature set of the XT and advances even further by expanding the screen 0.5 in. to 6.0 in. and increasing the brightness for ease of viewing in all lighting conditions. Additional features include: moto paths preferred by other riders, ride summaries feature via the Tread smartphone app, Group Ride Mobile feature, and pair with a compatible inReach® satellite communicator.
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.
The Garmin zūmo XT is the company’s top-of-the-line motorcycle-specific GPS. While the Garmin Montana 700 series has gained popularity within the adventure-touring community, I opted for the zūmo XT to review for a couple of very specific reasons. Although the Montana 700 has built-in inReach communication capability, I opted to combine the zūmo with the Garmin inReach Mini 2 ( reviewed here) because I decided that, even though the combined cost was higher, I would rather have the inReach device on my person in case I got separated from my bike in a crash. The other feature of the zūmo that swayed me towards it was the updatable database of motorcycle shops that is included. Being out in an area without cell service and having the capability to plan a trip to the nearest bike shop, particularly in the Southwest where there are significant distances between cities, seemed like a good thing to have.
While motorcycling is filled with a variety of herds, many of us, myself included, primarily ride alone. I always have, despite working in the industry and having tons of friends who ride. However, riding alone has its issues. How do I send for help should I have a mechanical issue or an accident when there is no cellular reception? Then there are the people on the other side of the riding equation, who are wondering where I am when I’m overdue. While cell service is much more ubiquitous than it was a decade ago, rides still frequently take us out of range of cellular towers. Regardless of whether we are alone or in a group, the situation can arise where we need to reach out to someone unexpectedly. That’s why GPS trackers, which used to be the province of backpackers and other remote explorers, crossed over into motorsports. Originally, these devices only sent out their location and preset messages. Now, the ability to send and receive custom messages has entered the market. Unlike many of the other two-way message satellite communicators, the Garmin inReach Mini 2 packs this capability into a small, easily carried package.
Adding a motorcycle GPS to your riding repertoire can expand your horizons beyond your imagination. There are products on the market to suit every rider’s needs, whether off-road, on-road, or adventure. All the units covered here are specific motorcycle GPS products or units otherwise lend themselves very well to use on a bike. Your typical automotive GPS units aren’t built to the same standard as motorcycle GPS units and the often harsh environments we find ourselves in. While it’s important to compare features of the units themselves, two key elements to maximizing the benefit of motorcycle GPS units are the mapping products available and the computer or mobile device user interface. As you get deeper into this technology, you will find yourself spending more time on your mobile device or computer laying out your next ride, exploring with Google Earth, and ultimately, downloading and editing tracks you’ve actually recorded on the ground. Choosing a motorcycle GPS with the type of maps you want and the pre- and post-ride user environment are key considerations before purchasing a specific unit.
If you read MO Touring: Building A Lightweight Adventure Tourer – Part 1, you know that I spent the first phase of my build focusing on protection, travel-worthiness, and luggage to transform a dual sport motorcycle into a lightweight adventure tourer. Although largely a success, a couple of short shakedown tours pointed the direction for further upgrades. Consider this the polishing draft of the project, in which I hone down the rough edges before committing to a longer tour.
The first thing you need to know is that we are not trained professionals. The second thing you need to know is that we’re not trained medical professionals either. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, we wanted to put together a basic overview of what a macro look at motorcycle-specific first aid and best safety practices might entail. We won’t be touching topics like, how to clean wounds, how to splint a leg, or how to reattach an appendage. I mean, yea, we’ve seen Frankenstien, we could probably stitch someone back together. Seems easy enough, but we’ll leave that to the pros and mad scientists.
We ride motorcycles because we like to. It’s the most fun way to get from Point A to Point Wherever. As motorcyclists, we have enough stress to deal with from work, and road hazards. Any little extra way we can relieve stress is welcome. This time of year, some people get all worked up over basketball. Forget your brackets, fill up your cart with some sweet deals on motorcycle gear and accessories that will make your ride a little easier.
It’s safe to say you ride – or at least have an interest in – motorcycles, right? Of course. So by extension, the very fact you’re reading these words means you own an electronic device. Which also means you’re open to the idea of combining your ownership of motorcycles with the usage of electronic devices. Sure, we hear people say they ride their bikes to get away from the emails and phone calls and other electronic noise that bombards their everyday lives, but at the end of the day, technology is supposed to enhance our lives. If you’re one who believes in this idea, then read on, because in this motorcycle gadgets buyer’s guide we show you some cool and/or useful devices that will make your riding experience just a little bit better.
Our Garmin Virb XE action camera is quite the world traveler. In our possession since its introduction last year, our Virb XE has been put to task aboard Honda’s exotic RC213V-S on Portugal’s GP racetrack in Estoril, as well as in the Karoo region of South Africa during another Honda launch, the Africa Twin. While in South Africa the Garmin went fishing (waterproof to 50 meters) on a great white shark diving expedition. So far, it’s proven to be a durable, dependable unit capable of not only recording excellent video, but also acquiring data with its G-Metrix system.