The Garmin Zumo 665.
After a long wait and some negotiation with the Mrs. , I got that GPS that I wanted. It was expensive. The unit was $896.94 with tax and shipping. But wait, you must buy more! It is capable of XM radio, XM weather and XM traffic. The ďeverything packageĒ from XM was $179.23 per year (or was that a two year subscription, the salesman was hard to understand.) Thought I was set. No. The weather and traffic didnít work. One short call to XM, again, revealed that I also needed to subscribe to the weather and traffic for $19.14 a month. Ok, now Iím set.
The XM antenna is a separate unit that is about three inches round and an inch or so high. It must be mounted facing up with no metal above it, plastic is OK. A replacement lists for $300 (only $210 on Amazon) so I wanted to hide it a bit. I made a little bracket from sheet metal ($9. 45 and $3.98 for some plastic glue) and I mounted it under the left fairing top piece of my í08 Concours 14. It slides in and sticks there with its magnetic base. I thought I was very clever, but maybe you can do better with Velcro or bailing wire.
I mounted the GPS to the Helibar riser ($160), which comes with a tab that accepts a screw in Ram ball ($9.00). The helibar takes some weight off of my wrists, itís a good thing. The Zumo does fit nice there but it gets a little sun. I needed a Glare-stomper shade ($17.96 includes shipping).
Next I needed to hear voices; Bluetooth voices. Unlike the Tomtom Rider 2, that I threw out, The Zumo 665 doesnít come with a head set. I needed one oí them. I chose the Scala Rider Q2, which lists for $298 but can be had for $199. I conned my wife into giving it to me for fatherís day. It comes with two head sets so she can point out her interesting observations about my riding talents, up to 100 yards or so away. Actually, I enjoy my wife.
Want to buy more? It stores MP3ís, but I suggest that you buy an 8 Meg Micro SDHC, to hold it all ($25.00, not included). There is a card in the Zumo box that will get you some FREE downloads, but the website wants you to sign up for an opt-out subscription with a credit card. There is also an offer for books-on-tape that the Zumo stores in itís own menu. Again an opt-out subscription required.
Howís it work?
Pretty good. It finds the GPS Satellites quickly, the maps are good, and it follows your directions even if they are wrong. However the menus have a steep learning curve and are not so intuitive (Iím a Macintosh man); I have to remember stuff! Iím 63 and I wake up in a new world every day!
The traffic feature is Ok and it will guide you around itís reported traffic problems but the information may be a little old. It reported a 10 minute delay on a deserted road at 5:00 am. I think some roads may report a delay all the time.
The weather feature is useable, when youíre stopped. Hit the weather icon while youíre riding and it will show you a 3 state wide weather map of clouds, fog and rain/snow. But thatís not very specific.
Neither is the forecast. I live 50 miles from L.A. and 100 miles from San Diego; it shows me the forecast for San Diego. In Western Arizona and Colorado it showed me the forecast for Las Vegas, it should have been cooler than 105 degrees at 10,000 feet.
It will report rain and such in your area. And it told me of a road closure before I got there!
The Scala Q2 works but it lacks tone quality for music. Kind of squawky. I keep to the talk radio or news while Iím riding a boring interstate. I havenít figured out how to play the books on tape feature yet.
I like the Zumo most of all for itís ability to find some out of the way roads that I hadnít thought of. You can do that with the Zumo 660 or 550. I canít justify the extra money at this point, but Iíve only had it for 3,000 miles.