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Garmin Zumo 660 GPS for Motorcycles Review

written by: Tolga BALCI•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 2/27/2010
4

Going for a ride on your bike? Or maybe leaving your bike and taking the car? Can the Garmin Zumo 660 be a good navigation assistant for both 2-wheelers and 4-wheelers? We'll answer that question in this review.

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    Introduction

    Garmin’s Zumo series is specially designed for bikers, and the Zumo 660 stands at the top of that series. But, just because it is specially designed for bikers, that doesn't mean that you can't use the device in your car. It only means that some enhancements of the product, such as making it easier to input information while wearing gloves, allow bikers to use it more effectively.

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    Specifications

    Rating Average

    The Garmin Zumo 660 measures 13.5 x 8.4 x 2.3 cm (W x H x D) and weighs 270 grams. The touchscreen color TFT is 4.3" in size and supports a resolution of 480 x 272 pixels. The battery lasts up to 5 hours, and the motorcycle and car power adapters are included in the box.

    The GPS receiver chipset is not disclosed by the manufacturer.

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    Design

    Rating Average

    Garmin Zumo 660 Although the unit looks somewhat fragile with the full screen, looks can be deceiving. The unit is waterproof (IPX7 standard), meaning that it can stand immersion in water up to 1 meter. The color display is very nice, readable in direct sunlight, and images are crisp with vivid colors. The feel of the product is high quality, as you would expect from Garmin.

    The power button is located at the top and the audio jacks at the left. The mini-USB connector and the microSD card slot are located at the back of the device.

    The bike and vehicle mounts are included in the product’s box.

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    Features

    Rating Average

    Because of the wind noise that you experience while riding, it is normal that you will not be able to hear voice navigation prompts from the device, especially with a helmet on. Garmin addressed this issue correctly and has placed one headphone jack under a weather cap at the left of the device and used a A2DP compatible Bluetooth chip, which enables you to stream the voice commands or your MP3 music/books directly, with stereo sound.

    Garmin Zumo 660 Display Compared to other budget and intermediate level products from Garmin, the Zumo 660 features 3-D buildings, lane assist, a junction view, and a digital fuel gauge, letting you see all the information about your trip and your vehicle at a glance.

    The Zumo 660 has millions of Points of Interests (POI) and you have the option to add your favorites. You can also save your routes and share them with your biker friends or view your tracks in Google Earth.

    Speaking of Google Earth, the Zumo 660 has the feature to download Panoramio images to your device and navigate to the points with ease. You can use Google Maps for this purpose.

    If the built-in memory is not enough for your music, routes, and tracks, you can always expand Garmin’s memory with microSD cards.

    The Garmin Zumo 660 also features a “where am I" button, which immediately shows your location in latitude/longitude and shows the nearby addresses of hospitals, police stations and gas stations.

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    Price to Performance

    Rating Average

    The Garmin Zumo 660 lists at USD 799.99 from Garmin and USD 727.28 from Amazon.com. Amazon does not display the price, you will have to add it to the shopping cart first. Since it is specifically designed for bikers, it does not have as many competitors, but it still offers a good price to performance ratio.

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    Overall Evaluation

    Rating Average

    The Zumo 660 is a good unit with some shortcomings. The unit is not able to display the names of towns/cities, just road names; this makes it is difficult to figure out where you are approaching. And sometimes, surprisingly, it can not find the names of towns. Lastly, there are some issues with the MapSource software. You need to make a couple of tweaks to make the unit work as intended. We will have to wait for a fix from Garmin for all those issues. Aside from these facts, it is a very good device to use when hitting the road.