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Which would you select?

  • TomTom 400

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  • GARMIN ZUMO 500 series

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TomTom 400 vs. Garmin ZUMO

8723 Views 86 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Teflon Mike
I'm thinking about getting a real deal motorcycle GPS. I've been looking at both the TomTom Rider(mainly the 400) and the Garmin ZUMO 500s.

I like the option of running it in portrait or landscape, which both do. I like the extra info the Garmin give you. I like the lifetime maps. I also like both showing traffic.

I just can not decide if I want to pay the extra money for the Garmin. My thought is my phone can do most things the TomTom won't, but having it on the GPS does seem nice.

Those with some experience with these please give me your thoughts so I pick the right one.
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Dunno. Good question. I went to tx with the tomtom 400 and was pleased with its performance. Easy install. Very comprehensive to set up and use. Although I have no experience with the garmin and could very well be a much better unit. However,I have no complaints with my tomtom. It does what it's asked.

One thing though, which I don't believe to be exclusive to the tomtom, is that I put in take twisty roads to location and I laughed at one of the roads it took me down. On the way to blanco, it had me cross 90 on some side road only to get back on 90 in a mile down the road to take to my destination. I guess it took the twisty route, but it threw me for a loop and can't really fault the machine or software.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's gotten to easy to just use your phone with google maps.
I've done that or used my handheld Garmin GPS to this point. I have a Garmin eTrex and it has worked well. It's waterproof, wireless, and has good battery life which are available everywhere being AA. But as I have more plans to get some longer rides done I thought an actual motorcycle GPS would be nice to have. Especially with them having Bluetooth and showing me text and calls on the screen and being able to use them easier with gloves as I have made a conscious effort to wear at all times recently.

Also a big perk is the screen. The Garmin I have works great but the screen is a bit small. My phone is a good size screen but even in its brightest level I have a hard time seeing it in the Texas sun.

My grand plan is to have a Ram mount so I can easily swap bikes and wire it with a SAE end to plug directly to my battery tender cord for easy full time power on either bike.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Dunno. Good question. I went to tx with the tomtom 400 and was pleased with its performance. Easy install. Very comprehensive to set up and use. Although I have no experience with the garmin and could very well be a much better unit. However,I have no complaints with my tomtom. It does what it's asked.

One thing though, which I don't believe to be exclusive to the tomtom, is that I put in take twisty roads to location and I laughed at one of the roads it took me down. On the way to blanco, it had me cross 90 on some side road only to get back on 90 in a mile down the road to take to my destination. I guess it took the twisty route, but it threw me for a loop and can't really fault the machine or software.
I wish I would have noticed you had it. I was playing around with the idea just before the trip but afterwards I've pretty much decided to get one. I would have given yours a look.

Do you have helmet coms? If so, how is the interface for reading text and answering calls their the GPS?

I just got some Uclear coms and have really enjoyed losing the boom mic of the SEMA system.
 

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I wish I would have noticed you had it. I was playing around with the idea just before the trip but afterwards I've pretty much decided to get one. I would have given yours a look.

Do you have helmet coms? If so, how is the interface for reading text and answering calls their the GPS?

I just got some Uclear coms and have really enjoyed losing the boom mic of the SEMA system.
No helmet coms, text or phone calls. I just use it as a visual aid and it does that well enough. I got it for christmas. I considered using the phone for gps, but it's a small phone and not weather proof.

The tomtom got me home and tbh, I can't really think of any complaints that I have about it. The touchscreen works well, maybe better than my phone. I read online reviews that said the processor is slow, but I didn't think it was. Everything seemed fine and come to think of it, I like it a lot. I guess it's just there and I didn't give it much thought, but now that I'm really dissecting it, it is a solid little piece of equipment. Again, the garmin could be 10 times better, but I'm not returning mine for one to find out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If you get a tomtom, this thread turned out to be very helpful

Tomtom rider 400 wiring install

The two big pieces of advise that I took away from it was to expect to reset the destination After every use and also go to the menu and turn on the avoid dirt roads option.
Thanks. I remember reading some of that.

My idea is to have one mount that will simply secure to my already mounted RAM balls. I want to wire this mount with a SAE plug so that I can drop it down the tunnel where the fork and bars come through on the Vision. This will drop the cord directly to my battery which already has a SAE plug on each bike. That way it will have direct power at all times.

The 08 I bought came with a ZUMO 550 which has helped me see I would like an actual GPS. It has some issues though. It is missing two button covers so the waterproofing is comprised. It is also out of date and out of serviceable life by Garmin so I need a new one. It is hard wired to a keyed source. The unit needs a battery so every time you turn the key off(filling up) it turns off. I don't like that. While I realize a new unit will have a battery that works I just think I'd rather have just one mount I could easily put on either bike when needed and completely take off to exchange with my regular X Grip I usually use.
 

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Thanks. I remember reading some of that.

My idea is to have one mount that will simply secure to my already mounted RAM balls. I want to wire this mount with a SAE plug so that I can drop it down the tunnel where the fork and bars come through on the Vision. This will drop the cord directly to my battery which already has a SAE plug on each bike. That way it will have direct power at all times.

The 08 I bought came with a ZUMO 550 which has helped me see I would like an actual GPS. It has some issues though. It is missing two button covers so the waterproofing is comprised. It is also out of date and out of serviceable life by Garmin so I need a new one. It is hard wired to a keyed source. The unit needs a battery so every time you turn the key off(filling up) it turns off. I don't like that. While I realize a new unit will have a battery that works I just think I'd rather have just one mount I could easily put on either bike when needed and completely take off to exchange with my regular X Grip I usually use.
Well, going back to the original question, I don't see how you can go wrong either way. If you're more familiar with the garmin, maybe stick with that. I think it has better reviews than the tomtom, and tbh, I have only used the tomtom on my tx trip. So I'm no gps expert by any means. Just letting you know that from my limited experience, the tomtom worked well for me and I had no hiccups or problems with it. IMO it's pretty sleek looking too. No complaints.... yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, going back to the original question, I don't see how you can go wrong either way. If you're more familiar with the garmin, maybe stick with that. I think it has better reviews than the tomtom, and tbh, I have only used the tomtom on my tx trip. So I'm no gps expert by any means. Just letting you know that from my limited experience, the tomtom worked well for me and I had no hiccups or problems with it. IMO it's pretty sleek looking too. No complaints.... yet.
I appreciate it.

The reviews are what made me create this thread. Each had some that were great and others that were awful. I was hoping to get some real world reviews here from people I could trust more than a stranger's review.

Many times it seems it is just user error or their failure to learn the product that causes them to have a bad experience and leave a bad review.
 

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I just installed the Garmin 590 on my Magnum. Hardwiring it to the factory stereo is the way to go if you want navigation thru the speakers, especially if you use a different bluetooth source for music. There may be a way to have the bike's Bluetooth do both but I'm not sure how. Since I was hardwiring mine, I didn't put a lot of effort into trying to figure it out.

The 590 comes with a motorcycle mount that has the wiring harness for wiring into the bike. It does require either soldering the pins for the tiny factory plug, changing both plugs to something larger and easier to work with, or cutting off the factory plug and connecting the wires directly. The latter two options would be the easiest way, but the factory plug is not impossible, just challenging.

The 590 also came with a second mount. It is set up for a suction cup windshield mount. I think I'm going to modify it so I can mount it on my M109 with a RAM ball handlebar mount (included, but not used for my Magnum install). Possibly a 17mm GPS ball mount that I already have on my bike. Since there are no speakers / sound system on the M109, I will just Bluetooth it to my Sena 20S and the Garmin will only need a power connection (also included in the box). I figured since this mount was included with the GPS unit, I might as well use it!

With all these extra items the 590 comes with, I think it helps justify some of the extra cost associated with the Garmin. I also prefer Garmin overall. Kind of like the way some like Android and others like iPhone.

I had used "maps" on my iPhone on my M109 over the last year or so. It works great as long as you have a cell signal, but it is worthless up in the mountains where you rarely get a signal. The layout and extra features on the Garmin makes it a lot more user friendly IMHO.

I can't say much about Tom Tom since I've never owned one. I've looked at them in stores and played with them a little a few years back. I always end up going with a Garmin for familiarity and features I tend to like on them better. Again, mostly personal preference there.

If you end up going with the Garmin and have any questions about the install, hit me up. Happy to help out where I can.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I just installed the Garmin 590 on my Magnum. Hardwiring it to the factory stereo is the way to go if you want navigation thru the speakers, especially if you use a different bluetooth source for music. There may be a way to have the bike's Bluetooth do both but I'm not sure how. Since I was hardwiring mine, I didn't put a lot of effort into trying to figure it out.

The 590 comes with a motorcycle mount that has the wiring harness for wiring into the bike. It does require either soldering the pins for the tiny factory plug, changing both plugs to something larger and easier to work with, or cutting off the factory plug and connecting the wires directly. The latter two options would be the easiest way, but the factory plug is not impossible, just challenging.

The 590 also came with a second mount. It is set up for a suction cup windshield mount. I think I'm going to modify it so I can mount it on my M109 with a RAM ball handlebar mount (included, but not used for my Magnum install). Possibly a 17mm GPS ball mount that I already have on my bike. Since there are no speakers / sound system on the M109, I will just Bluetooth it to my Sena 20S and the Garmin will only need a power connection (also included in the box). I figured since this mount was included with the GPS unit, I might as well use it!

With all these extra items the 590 comes with, I think it helps justify some of the extra cost associated with the Garmin. I also prefer Garmin overall. Kind of like the way some like Android and others like iPhone.

I had used "maps" on my iPhone on my M109 over the last year or so. It works great as long as you have a cell signal, but it is worthless up in the mountains where you rarely get a signal. The layout and extra features on the Garmin makes it a lot more user friendly IMHO.

I can't say much about Tom Tom since I've never owned one. I've looked at them in stores and played with them a little a few years back. I always end up going with a Garmin for familiarity and features I tend to like on them better. Again, mostly personal preference there.

If you end up going with the Garmin and have any questions about the install, hit me up. Happy to help out where I can.
Thanks for taking the time to write that up.

I have been leaning to the Garmin as I have one and have been happy with it. The only TomTom I've used was that of a partner I had at work. I never liked it as it was feature poor and seemed cheap. I was just thinking that the 400 seems to have been made to a higher standard than I had seen before. Since that was years ago I thought I should be fair and give them a shot. I do really like the look of the TomTom 400, pretty sleek.

Im not very concerned with the sound as I have always turned the voice guidance off all my devices and the few times I have used it I've just sent it into my helmet.

Have you had a chance to use the Bluetooth with your phone? As in take calls or get text? If so, how is it? I've seen pics of getting a call and see you can answer from the unit, which I like. I hate using the helmet mounted pod which is just one reason I got the Uclear system and ordered the handlebar control unit. What I'm really interested in is the text. What exactly does it tell you? I'd mainly just like to see who it is so I can decide if they are important enough to pull over and read.
 

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I haven't connected my phone to the GPS yet. I only have one good ride in since installing the GPS. Knowing who is calling was nice with the phone mounted up on the bars on my M109. We are planning to ride to the mountains again this weekend, so I'll try it out and let you know.

I've gotten use to using the buttons on the Sena 20S. So taking calls, making calls, having texts read to you and replying to texts is as easy as pushing a button and asking Siri.

I'm with you on that tho. Most of the time when I'm riding, everyone else can wait! I'll answer for my wife if she isn't with me, or a riding buddy that I'm meeting up with, but that is about it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I haven't connected my phone to the GPS yet. I only have one good ride in since installing the GPS. Knowing who is calling was nice with the phone mounted up on the bars on my M109. We are planning to ride to the mountains again this weekend, so I'll try it out and let you know.

I've gotten use to using the buttons on the Sena 20S. So taking calls, making calls, having texts read to you and replying to texts is as easy as pushing a button and asking Siri.

I'm with you on that tho. Most of the time when I'm riding, everyone else can wait! I'll answer for my wife if she isn't with me, or a riding buddy that I'm meeting up with, but that is about it.
The SENA system is easier to use than the others. Both my new Uclear and my Nolan B4 are three button systems and with gloves it is not always the easiest. I almost got another SENA system but wanted to try the Uclear as the SENA had issues in my Shark helmet, mainly making the mic rest on my face. The Uclear got rid of that but the three button pod is not great. Some of the features call for pressing more than one button to activate functions.

On the Hill Country ride I could have used a heads up on text. Usually I mount my phone on my bars but with the extended battery I have I couldn't use my Lifeproof case and with the misting rain I didn't have it out and missed a few text that were to related.

I miss my text being read to me. My old Nokia did that and the phone guy told me the S5 did it too, he was wrong. I don't see why every phone now days does not have that feature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I like the Garmin 660LM with lifetime maps I've had for a few years. You can get a good deal here, $314 plus 15% off:

Jet.com - Prices Drop As You Shop
I was looking at the 660 but some reviews scared me off. I may have to put it back in the running. You can grab them at a good price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

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View attachment 171513
I ran across this while looking at GPS. Looks like a great way to mount a GPS to a Vision. This would allow me to have my cupholder, X Grip, and GPS on longer trips. I've seen others screw a Ram ball into the dash of a Vision but I don't want to do that. This would allow a semi permanent option instead.

www.ebay.com/itm/RAM-Mounts-Glare-Shield-Mount-Holder-fits-Garmin-zumo-400-450-500-550-660-/192105538832?hash=item2cba61e510:g:IfYAAOSwCU1Yo9Aw
That mount would work for the 590 as well. It comes with a RAM mount ball for the back of the GPS cradle.
 
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