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Garmin Zumo 450


The Garmin Zumo line is designed for motorcycles and the Zumo 450 is the second entry (in the USA) for the Zumo line. The Zumo 450 is a less expensive version of the Zumo but still comes with many great features. So what makes this a “motorcycle” GPS?

Like the other Zumos, the 450 comes with a design that is easy to operate, even with riding gloves on. The buttons are big, sturdy, and located along the left side of the device so that you can operate it left handed, keeping your right hand firmly on the bike. The plastic used on the GPS is designed to be resistant to nature’s elements such as rain, and UV light. In fact, this Zumo is IPX-7 waterproof so no need to worry about the rain either.

For mounting, this GPS also comes with a standard 4 hold AMPS pattern motorcycle mount. There is a motorcycle power cable and security screwdriver to help protect your GPS. Another security feature is Garmin Lock which will only allow operation of the GPS with a PIN number. This can be overridden by taking the GPS to a specific, preprogrammed location.

There are also motorcycle specific software features on the Zumo 450. For example there is a resettable fuel gauge which will warn you when your fuel is getting low. And of course a natural extension of that is the POI database. Low on fuel? the Zumo 450 can point you to the nearest gas stations via the extensive POI database.

There are other software features that you don’t find on many other Garmin devices such as the ability to save routes. You can even save a route, export it to an SD card, pass the card along to a friend, and they can import the route into their own Zumo. This is a great feature for group rides where you want to stick together, but have the freedom to not necessarily travel as a tight pack. Everyone can follow the same route on their GPS at their own time, yet still traveling together.

The Zumo 450 is also designed to take a pounding on the road. It is protected more against vibration and is even built using plastics which are fuel resistant.

In the future the Zumo will also accept TOPO amps in the future for off-road locations. Expect to be able to purchase one of these in March.

The 450 is currently at the bottom of the Zumo line. However this does not make it any less capable of a GPS navigation system. Many people don’t need features like traffic receivers or Bluetooth hands free calling. For those who do, step up to the Zumo 550 which has an MP3 player, a traffic receiver, text-to-speech, and can even connect to XM satellite services.

Comparing to other manufacturers, you might want to compare the Zumo vs the TomTom RIDER, a gps also designed for motorcycle use. The RIDER has Bluetooth, but doesn’t have an optional traffic receiver nor an MP3 player.

28 Responses

  1. Does anybody know when the 450 is shipping and how much it will cost? It should be a nice compromise from the 500 for those of us who do not want to talk on the phone when riding.

    John Blowitz - February 27th, 2007
  2. It isn’t shipping yet, but should be within a month or so. The retail price is $857.13 but I expect retailers to start offering it somewhere around $699 initially.

    Tim - February 28th, 2007
  3. Is it possible to program a ride using the Zumo450 internal mapping system rather than a computer and then downloading?

    Kevin Adkins - July 9th, 2007
  4. Yes.

    Tim - July 10th, 2007
  5. After some work I was able to successfully load a route directly onto the zumo 450. These tips may help you do the same:

    1. Never assume the artificial intelligence will pick the exact roads you’d like to take. If there’s an opportunity for it to alter the route by taking a faster route or shorter distance it will. You have to put in a few intermediate Via points to insure you stay on the road you want.

    2. After putting in starting and ending points, when entering the Via points you’ll need to page down after each point to make sure they go in succession. Otherwise your route will be entered in reverse order.

    3. If you know the exact city/county that an intersection is located in then use the ‘Intersection’ function. Otherwise I’ve found that if you first hit ‘Near’ and pick your last Via point, the hit ‘Browse Map’ you can follow your intended route and place the cursor exactly where you want the next Via point to be. Then hit ‘Select’.

    4. Any intersections that have ramps for entry/exit, use the (+) to zoom in enough and place your Via point on the ramp to insure the turn will go in the direction you want. I’ve found that this zoom feature really helps with any questionable intersections or if there’s a quick jog and you want to make sure the Zumo picks it up.

    5. If the planned route will take your over divided roads/highways be sure and put the cursor on your intended direction, otherwise you’ll find either a u-turn or exiting at the next intersection and doubling back to redo the section of road you just covered. (in other words if your highway is I-64 E or W, and you want to go east, pick I-64 E)

    Kevin Adkins - July 28th, 2007
  6. If you’ve looked at both the Zumo 450 and the 550, I’d love to hear what you decided upon, and some of the reasons.

    (I’d be using the gps 60% bike / 40% car.


    Phil - August 15th, 2007
  7. Phil – I chose the Zumo 450 for the following reasons:

    1. Don’t need the bluetooth capability.
    2. Text to speech is not improtant to me on the bike, I follow the visual instructions and have the volume off.
    3. No need to subscribe to XM radio, I use my 40g iPod.

    If you plan to use it often in the car the auto mount is included with the 550. Needs to be bought separately with the 450. Just wired it to the bike today as I had been using the battery. Battery is good for any rides under 4 hours.

    Kevin Adkins - August 23rd, 2007
  8. I am planning a motorcycle trip from Canada to South America. Are maps of Mexico, Central America and South America available for this unit?

    Maurice - October 7th, 2007
  9. Coverage in Mexico is currently limited to major highways. South of there I don’t believe there is any coverage.

    Tim - October 7th, 2007
  10. Had the Zumo 450 for 1 week and left for cross country trip. On the second day, the Zumo would not turn on. Checked fuse and power connection – both good. Also would not turn on when out of the mounting cradle using only the battery. Two days and 1,000 miles later, discovered solution on the Troubleshooting section of the manual on the CD – If display is “frozen” (in my case, “frozen” in the OFF position) press the power and + key at the same time to “reset” the display – in my case the unit turned on and worked without problem for the remainder of the trip… who know? Otherwise great GPS for a bike.

    Jeff - March 19th, 2008
  11. If you want to hear the GPS commands, is there a way to hear it inside your helmet?

    John - July 13th, 2008
  12. Does the Garmin 450 come with the ability to plug it into the motorcycle battery pigtail to power it if you are traveling longer than 4 hours (on the Garmin battery)?

    John - July 13th, 2008
  13. Does the 450 have a track log? I sometimes come across great roads while exploring and would like to remember them for future rides.

    Lisa - September 22nd, 2008
    • The Zumo 450 does have a trip log. It will draw a blue line on the map as you drive. You can easily turn this feature on and off or clear it from your screen.

      Al - January 6th, 2009
  14. This is a pretty good device all around. Its durable, easy to use for someone even in gloves, and it can be used in conjunction with Harley Davidson.com’s ride planner to plan your route.

    2 Problems I have with it:
    1) Don’t think it can be used as a GPS for both bike and car. It has a weird plug-in for the mount that gives it power (the only way to power the thing and use it at the same time is to power through the mount) and Garmin doesn’t sell a car adapter with that end. Also, they don’t sell anything that can mount it to the window of your car. It would be so easy for Garmin to make these things, but they obviously want you to own GPS’s for as many things as they can get you to buy them for, regardless of the overwhelmingly high price.

    2) If you want to be able to just hear it tell you where to go and not mess with putting in the wires to power it up, also out of luck! It requires power to use the audio functions. So you better resign yourself to getting this thing installed if you don’t feel comfortable wiring your own bike.

    Those two things get fixed, and I’d think it was PERFECT!

    Paul - December 18th, 2008
  15. Response to Paul-

    I purchased a car mount for my Zumo 450 from MountGuys.com, plus a power adapter for the car. Not cheap, but cheaper than buying a second GPS.

    Lisa - December 19th, 2008
  16. I have been using GPS in airplanes, helicopters, autos and motorcycle for a long time. This GPS is a must. Be sure to register it at Garmin.com. You will get a free map update. It works!!!!
    Q. Can you hear it inside your helmet?
    A. The motorcycle mount does not have an AUDIO OUT jack. The auto mount does.

    Q. Does it come with motorcycle battery pigtail?
    A. Yes, it does. It is not hard to hook to your battery.

    Q. Does Garmin sell anything that can mount it to the window of your car.
    A. Yes, I bought my auto mount from [deleted]. Again, you can not hear the sounds if the unit is in a motorcycle mount. It only works in the auto mount.

    Al - December 27th, 2008
  17. I forgot to tell you that you will need to purchase a power cord with the auto mount.

    Al - December 27th, 2008
  18. When traveling i like to explore alternate roads. Does the zumo 450 allow you to pan out to see where the road intersects with other roads. When i zume out to see where the roads intersect or end some, of the roads disappear from the screen. Any suggestions or advice?

    David - January 5th, 2009
  19. “When I zoom out some of the roads disappear from the screen.”
    As you zoom out, the smaller roads will start to drop off. The larger roads will stay on the screen longer.

    “Does the Zumo 450 allow you to pan out to see where the road intersects with other roads.”
    Yes, it does. A very good feature of the Zumo 450 is that you can move your finger across the screen to scroll the map. That way you can move the map to see where the roads meet while the smaller roads are still showing .

    Al - January 6th, 2009
  20. I bought a zumo 450 for Christmas, installed the wiring harnes on my 2003 Goldwing and everything works great. The unit charges, the music sounds great through my motorcycle’s sound system. Then I forked out a considerable ammount of money for an Automotive Suction Cup Mount, Zumo (Garmin P/N:010-10860-00) so I could enjoy my new zumo 450 in my car and pickup. I also bought a cigarette lighter adapter to power it with. Every time I plug in the power adapter the 450 displays “This accessory is not supported.” The battery dosen’t charge, the speaker in the mount dosen’t work, the headphone out dosen’t work. I took it to a Garmin dealer to have the Geek Squad look at it, they didn’t know what’s wrong.
    Any help with this would be very appriciated since Garmin Support has never responded yet.

    Alan - January 18th, 2009
  21. “This accessory is not supported.”

    I have no idea why your auto mount will not work. I have the exact same product and it works very well. The only thing I would suggest is to return it to the place where you purchased it and ask for a replacement.

    Good luck,

    Al Castleman - January 19th, 2009
  22. Ok. I am trying to find a GPS that will work just as good in the car as on a motorcycle. I need waterproof, ease of use, but not all the fancy stuff, like the XM (which I already have in my car) and the bluetooth, but I would like to be able the use it while walking also and all that good stuff. I have no cluse about GPSs but I have been looking and the Magellan Crossover (which has some pretty negative reviews) this one (the Zumo) and the StreetPilot. Which would be the best of the 3?

    Trinity Foster - February 14th, 2009
    • Trinity

      I have been using the Zumo 450 for several months. I can tell you from my experiance it is a good unit to have. Great features. It does work well on my Harley or in my truck. As you may have read you will need to purchaes an auto mount and power plug. They are not cheap. The 450 is easy to use. On the Garmin web site you can download a PDF file of the user’s manual.

      There are units out there for about half the price but they are not water proof. I suggest you shop around on the Interent to see what the best price is.

      Al Castleman - February 14th, 2009
  23. I am interested in a Zumo 450 for use on the bike. Does anyone have experience with using it to connect to a cell phone? I understand that it is not Bluetooth, but is it practical to do it wired?


    Russell - July 2nd, 2009
  24. friend is visiting and has the Garmin Zumo 450…problem is that when initially powered on it takes 5 mins + to draw the first map…once the first map is up u can change or enter new locations and it down loads and draws withing 3 – 7 secs….any suggestions?????

    G Day - June 8th, 2010
  25. After a near death experience in South Dakota and speaking w/a fellow rider the next day who was able to avoid the storm we were in (70mph winds and horizontal rain) because he had a Garmin Zumo w/xmweather, he was able to avoid the storm. I believe he had a Garmin 220 and was happy w/that. I’ve read reviews on the 550 and 450 but would like more imput on the 220.
    After two H-D Ultra’s we prefer the ride on our ’09 GW1800, 12K in 3 months and loved every mile.

    Thanks for your assistance. Be safe Ride safe

    Frank Lovejoy

    Frank - September 9th, 2010
  26. Hi Alan,

    Have you found the issue with the “This accessory is not supported.” message? Mine worked fine, took my Zumo off when washing and not I have that same problem.


    lance - September 13th, 2010

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