Garmin has launched a new range-topping motorcycle sat nav, the Zumo XT. The TomTom vs Garmin battle has intensified!
Garmin’s former top of the range Zumo 595, has been superseded by XT and in this review we’ll help you establish the differences between the two and work out which one is best for you.
It’s worth mentioning straight off the bat that whenever Garmin or TomTom releases a new device the old one gets heavily discounted. Prices are changing daily but as I write this, the £549.99 Garmin 595 can be had for £385 but when a new device is on the scene the discounted ‘old’ models tend to get snapped up pretty quickly.
Back to the XT vs 595. Let’s explore their main features and see how they compare, so you can get the best sat nav for your needs.
Garmin’s new range-topping sat-nav
TomTom’s heavyweight motorcycle GPS is feature-packed, including World maps with lifetime free updates, motorcycle POIs, a RAM mount with lockable clasp, an in-car mount and a carry case. With WiFi route uploads, Bluetooth connectivity, live traffic updates, Siri and Google Now compatibility and hands-free calling and the ability to read your messages to you, it’s TomTom’s pièce de résistance.
Garmin Zumo XT Overview
Garmin’s newest motorcycle navigation device: Enter the zūmo XT. This tough, meant-for-adventure, navigation device has some marked improvements, setting it apart from its predecessor, the 595.
The zūmo XT features a large 5.5 inch screen with an Ultrabright Display, making it easy to read, even in harsh sunlight. The glove-friendly HD touchscreen can be viewed in both portrait and landscape modes. Battery life is an impressive 6 hours on a regular setting and up to 3.5 hours on 100% brightness. The device can also be hardwired to constant power. The rugged design of the zūmo XT ensures that it’s able to withstand rain (IPX7) and even the roughest terrain.
The zūmo XT comes pre-loaded with both on- and off-road maps. Download BirdsEye Satellite Imagery via Wi-Fi with no subscription fee and easily switch between street, topography and satellite maps. Garmin Adventurous Routing allows you to fully customise your route by choosing your ride preferences, be it winding roads or rough terrain. Track, save and share these routes with Track Recorder. Use the Garmin Explore app to review and manage these routes, either directly on the device or via your smartphone or computer.
Rider safety is enhanced with hands-free calling via your Bluetooth-connected helmet or headset. Rider Alerts warn you about any potential upcoming hazards, like speed limit changes or sharp curves. Incident Notifications send a text to a preselected contact with your location in case of emergency.
Further features include Garmin Real Directions, which give you spoken directions via your Bluetooth-connected helmet or headset, making sure you know exactly where to go. Explore the area you’re in using iOverlander points of interest, TripAdvisor and Foursquare. Listen to music stored on the zūmo XT or use it to stream music from your smartphone to your connected headset or helmet. Get live traffic and weather updates via the Garmin Drive app. If paired with a compatible inReach satellite communicator (sold separately), the zūmo XT allows for two-way messaging and location sharing, as well as an SOS capability. Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity ensures your zūmo XT has the most up-to-date software and maps available.
The Garmin zūmo XT motorcycle navigator RRP is £429.99.
The zūmo XT replaces the zūmo 595.
What’s in the box?
- Garmin zūmo XT
- Motorcycle mount and hardware
- Motorcycle power cable
- Automotive suction cup mount
- Automotive power cable
- Charging/data cable
Still a brilliant sat nav, now cheaper
Garmin’s heavyweight motorcycle GPS is feature-packed with a large 5″ screen. Including Lifetime European maps with lifetime free updates, a RAM mount and it’s IPX7 waterproof. It can be operated with a gloved hand (as you’d expect). Bluetooth connectivity, live traffic updates (when paired with your phone), speed camera alerts, petrol stations, hands-free calling and music control with Spotify functionality. It weighs 375g.
Garmin Zumo 595 Overview
Garmin’s range-topper Zumo 595 is another feature-packed motorcycle GPS designed for those riders who can settle for nothing less but the best. It comes with a large, 5” glove-friendly screen that’s really easy to see in bright sunlight.
Lifetime European maps let you plan the trip of your lifetime, whether you’re eager to explore the countryside or crave after a more adventurous route.
Robust design and IPX7 rating are weather-protection guarantees; you can use this device in all peace of mind even during the strongest downpours.
While this sat-nav doesn’t have Wi-Fi connectivity, it can still connect to your smartphone, headset, or helmet via Bluetooth, so you can benefit from hands-free calling while you’re on the road.
Other interesting features include photoReal Junction View and 3D terrain views for easier navigation. As you could expect from a best-in-class device, you’ll also get rider alerts for safety cameras, sharp curves, railroad crossings, and other hazards that might come up on the road.
Besides all the above, this device also includes a wealth of interesting perks such as tyre pressure monitoring, audio control, and music browsing via Spotify or Pandora.
What’s in the box?
- Zumo 595LM
- USB cable
- Battery pack
- Motorcycle RAM mount hardware
- Power cable
- Automotive suction cup
- User manual
How is the XT different from the 595?
Garmin’s Zumo motorcycle navigation devices have always been designed with adventure in mind. Rugged and tough, they have features such as Garmin Adventurous Routing, Garmin Real Directions and Rider Alerts.
Despite the larger screen, the new XT is also a lot lighter, weighing in at 262 grams versus 375 for the 595.
The new Garmin zūmo XT keeps all of the above but also boasts improved specs and features. It has a larger, brighter 5.5 inch display with a higher resolution. Wi-Fi capabilities allow you to update your device without the need of a computer. The battery life has increased from 4 to 6 hours. BirdEye Satellite Imagery means you have access to better maps.
The zūmo XT, at £429.99, is also cheaper than the zūmo 595, which retails at £549.99 on the Garmin website but it can be found for around £380 online.
Zumo XT vs. Zumo 595 Comparison Table
Two heavyweight GPS systems, the XT boasts better battery life, a larger screen, less weight and a few more features.
Check out the table below for a quick side-by-side comparison of Garmin’s cutting-edge motorcycle sat-navs.
|Garmin Zumo XT
|Garmin Zumo 595
|Yes (when connected to smartphone)
|Yes (when connected to smartphone)
|Check the price here
|Check the price here
The Best Motorcycle Sav Nav
If you’re still not sure which dedicated GPS device to go for, then check out our guide on the best motorcycle sat nav. We’ve pitched the two industry titans together and our detailed review shows you what to look out for, so you can get the best sat nav for your needs.
Motorcycle Sat Nav FAQs
Is it legal to use a Sat Nav in France?
It’s perfectly legal to use a dedicated Sat Nav device or a sat nav app on your phone while in France. However French law dictates that motorists cannot use a device which actively deters the effectiveness of speed cameras.
While this rule is fairly ambiguous and was introduced with the main aim of making it illegal to use radar jammers (which stop laser-based mobile speed cameras from working), if your sat nav warns you of an impending speed trap, in theory, the police could hand you a fine.
The reality is unless you’re caught at a silly speed or just plain unlucky, you’ll have no problems.