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.