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Garmin Zumo 550


Garmin will release a new GPS for motorcycles in October called the Garmin Zumo 550. The Zumo represents a new design for Garmin which is appears smaller (in depth) than the StreetPilot “c” series but larger than the Nuvi series. The Garmin Zumo 550 features a waterproof case and large buttons which make it easier for riders wearing gloves to access the buttons.

The Garmin Zumo 550 also includes Bluetooth connectivity so that you can answer mobile calls from a Bluetooth enabled helmet. Other innovative motorcycles includes fuel alerts… The Zumo can calculate fuel range and alert the rider when the motorcycle is getting low on gas. Of course at that point it will recalculate your route to the nearest gas station.

A tracklog feature is also included in the Garmin Zumo to allow you to download your tracks to your computer and later view them on a map through the Motion Based service or Google Earth.

MP3 music files can also be loaded onto a memory card and played through the helmet. Expect to pay about $1,077 for the Zumo 550 when it becomes available in October.

172 Responses

  1. I have a goldwing and don’t mind the hardwired headset. I’m thinking of getting the Zumo 450 or 550. Thought of going wireless, but reading the issues and complexity of bluetooth configurations with the 550 and not really needing it, I’m leaning on the 450. Question I have is will the 450 or 550 allow easy integration with the internal intercom setup of the goldwing. I don’t know if either would allow voice to text via the headsets intercom mic or interrupt music for the voice directions. Anyone have a goldwing and have a zumo connected via the internal intercom system of the bike?

    Dale Blount - June 29th, 2008
  2. I recently purchased a Zumo 550 for my BMW R1100GS along with AutoCom system. I like everything except for the sound quality of the downloaded mp3 songs I have on the SD card. However if I plug in my Ipod into the AutoCom directly and bypass the Zumo the sound quality is pretty good. Any ideas? I would like not to have use my Ipod because it’s not hands free and as simple to use as the Zumo.


    Ernst - July 6th, 2008
  3. First of all, are your downloaded songs the same quality as your iPods? If so, make sure your “on screen” volume control on your Zumo is all the way up. Press the left bottom speaker button on your Zumo which should display level bars on your Zumo’s screen. Then press the top left “+” button on your Zumo until the level bars are all the way up.

    Andrew - July 6th, 2008
  4. I did what you suggested and turned up the volume but to no avail. It still sounds like a bad transistor radio. To answer your other question the mp3 files are the same ones that are on my Ipod so the quality should be the same. Any other suggestions?

    Ernst - July 8th, 2008
  5. Reassure that you are plugged from the Zumo’s aux out and plugged into your bike’s aux in. If this is the case, I would notify Garmin. I’m not familiar with the “AutoCom” system and therefore there maybe a problem the way your Zumo is hooked up.

    Andrew - July 8th, 2008
  6. Thanks for the help, I’ve checked the input and output cables so I think your right. I’ll check with the manufacturer and BMW who installed it.

    Ernst - July 8th, 2008
  7. Researching GPS for my FJR and seems the Zumo 550 is what I’m looking for but hear conflicting reports on music quality and even if it works via bluetooth. Please help
    Question #2. Does the 550 have an “Audio In” jack where I could use my i-pod through the 550 to transmit to my N-com helmet via bluetooth?
    I appreciate help on this before I take the plunge.

    Brian - July 12th, 2008
    • Did you go for the 550? I had a FJR with the Zumo 550 and put my music onto the memory card of the GPS. You will know by now that the audio is out only.
      Sorry this answer is 2 years late!

      Phil - April 3rd, 2010
  8. Got a Garmin Zumo550, i am having problems connecting to the Autocom via its bluetooth adaptor. The garmin sees the Autocom but refuses to connect, any ideas? have used pass keys “1243” and “0000” as suggested in both manuals

    Colin Brown - July 13th, 2008
  9. I hooked up my ZUMO 550 to a 12 volt power source on my motor cycle it worked when i turned the motor cycle switch on. But when I started my motor cycle the Zumo when dead. I checked the the
    power going to the mount and that was ok. Does anyone have any answers ?

    phillip - July 24th, 2008
  10. You zumo goes dead when you start the bike since your starter motor takes a lot of amps to start the bike and lowers your battery voltage below the threshold that Zumo or other GPSs operate. It happens to my 230, 2720, etc. you should really not have your zumo or radio or other accessories when you start the bike. I assume your zumo runs OK after the bike has started.

    Roger` - July 24th, 2008
  11. I was trying to route plan with the 550 and am having trouble. I thought you could go to Google Earth and pick points. Any help here?

    Kim - July 24th, 2008
  12. Regarding the Blutooth adaptor and autocom system. Was able to solve it. What i did was to unplug the bluetooth dongle from the autocom, then set the Zumo to search for headset. Next reconected the dongle to autocom,switched dongle on…and hey it connected, no pass key required ๐Ÿ™‚

    Colin Brown - July 25th, 2008
  13. Looking to purchase my first GPS unit for my KTM 530. I’ll use 90% street 10% dirt. The 550 looks like the one to get, but it is already 2 years old. Any rumors of a new version coming out before the holidays?

    Adam - October 27th, 2008
  14. I don’t have any info on newer Zumo models, however if it doesn’t happen in the first seven days of November I doubt we will see any before January. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Tim - October 28th, 2008
  15. For an FYI: I used the TomTom Rider for a 5000 mile, 12 day (almost) around the country trip. I would NOT recommend the TomTom, too many issues. The major ones are:

    (a)the external power connector (4 spring finger contacts) failed after 9 days of continuous riding due vibration. The contact fingers actually wore away the mating contact points of the TomTom. This has a double-negative of changing the operation of the unit, for when in the power cradle “rider friendly” controls come up on the display (large icons and limited / alternatve functionality)

    (b)just as bad, the bezel around the display is so thick that a gloved hand CANNOT use the controls when out of the “rider friendly” mode. You must remove your gloves in order to program the unit, even at stops

    (c)the “rider friendly” mode is WAT too limited – no access to POI besides gas stops (no food, no emergency responders, no other POI’s at all except gas) and you CAN’T reroute at ALL (only look for alternate routes)

    (d)the voice prompts are…disconcerting (as noted by other users): “Keep left, exit right 500 yards” is not usual voice ‘directions’ given and, with no text-to-speech, you have a hard time confirming those voice directions when distracted by traffic.

    A love-hate relationship, for certain, after 5000 miles…

    Rob - November 8th, 2008
  16. I have a GL1800 Goldwing and am seriously considering the 550. I have a question regarding the “tracklog” features. Does this allow the user to turn on the feature and the system will “track” your route as you go – like leaving bread crumbs on your trail? This would be an important feature for me as I ride with other bikers that know great routes and I’d like to take the trip and recall it later and also save the trip in my favorites.
    Anyone know about this?

    Dale - November 15th, 2008
    • Save some GPS coordinates as waypoints as you go. Later you can use those waypoints to route the trip. I have done that when I searched for covered bridges in Kentucky over several trips. I was able to put them all together for one trip. It should work for you as well on a single trip that you want to “replay” later.

      Phil - May 10th, 2010
  17. Breadcrumps are shown on the gps as dotted lines and if you upload the tracks to your PC garmin software, then the garmin map will show tracts too… but converting the tracks to a desription of right and left turns on specific highway names is the challenge. I don;t know how to do that….. or how to translate tracts into a garmin route that you can reload and follow just like a route you create. Don’t know how to do that either

    Roger - November 15th, 2008
  18. It is just about impossible to do that Roger, your best bet is to just create a new route from A to B as the tracks, then insert enough via points to force the same route.

    Tim - November 16th, 2008
  19. I’m considering a Zumo 550 for my three bikes … Is a memory card necessary, or does everything operate properly right out of the box? I intend to use a plug-in powerpoint, but may purchase additional cables for a hard-wire.

    Lou - December 19th, 2008
  20. No memory card is necessary.

    Tim - December 19th, 2008
  21. If you are looking for a good hard wire kit, JM-Corp has a good one. It integrates with some bike radios that have coms and headsets. Will also allow you to make and receive phone calls utilizing the zumos bluetooth through your headset

    ******About the only flaw with the system is that JM designed it to go on the right side, instead of the Garmin preferred left side. Much more safer to have your left hand just inches from your left grip than crossing all the way over to the right side of the handle bar with your left hand.

    Andrew - December 19th, 2008
  22. I tried installing the J&M system on a Harley Ultra, but couldn’t get it to work properly. Consequently, I had to send it back.

    John - December 19th, 2008
  23. I have heard there have been problems (none particular) with the Zumo models from a couple of people. I want to pick up a GPS for my bike but don’t know which way to go..Zumo or Tomtom. Any suggestions?

    Chris - December 28th, 2008
  24. I have owned my Zumo since it came out and have had NO problems. My partner has the TomTom and says he has had a few problems, especially periodic loss of the signal, something that doesn’t happen on the Zumo. My partner was surprised I was able to still get a signal inside the house. It cost more, but has more features. Read a few reviews, especially the consumer comments. No matter what GPS you get, you should focus on a Garmin product.

    Andrew - December 28th, 2008
  25. To all: I am seriously considering a Zumo 550 for my 08 Ultra. I really appreciate the enormous amount of info on this website. Any other suggestions are appreciated. Thanks!

    Ray - January 9th, 2009
  26. Zumo 660 expected to be released 1Q 2009,est.price of $799

    Andrew R - January 10th, 2009
  27. I have purchased a Zumo 550…. Love it… I have it on my 09 ultra plugged the speaker wire into the aux in my advanced radio system and can recieve and hear a bluetooth phone call… but how do I get the Mic connected? I have bought the J&M wire kits… but that is way over kill when alls that needs to be done is the mic wire running to the zumo… surely there is an easy fix here some where

    Tom LaSure - April 2nd, 2009
    • I have the same issue. Had any luck???

      Chad - September 18th, 2009
      • I installed the HDBomm on ’09 CVO Ultra. It is a “wired” option, but works perfectly. Only my iPhone is using Bluetooth only via the Zumo 550. Try this website http://www.hdbomm.com. Jim also accepts request for additional information.

        Richard - November 26th, 2009
  28. I’m tossing and turning between the Zumo 550 and Zumo 660 which should be out soon. Both look like good units, but there are a few things that are tearing me between the two. 1) I want it now, so the only option is the 550. 2) I want stereo bluetooth audio, so the 660 is the only option.

    Wide screen would be nice, but who knows if it’s really that much of an advantage.

    GeoHunt Canada - April 9th, 2009
    • To me, the biggest advantage of the Widescreen is that the buttons and virtual keyboard are bigger, making input easier.

      Tim - April 10th, 2009
  29. I recentlty purchased the Zuno 550 and also purchased IMC CAMOS BTS300 wireless bluetooth stereo headset for my helmet. I successfully paired the camos bluetooth to my zumo but cannot get any sound through headset speakers. I was successful in pairing my phone directly to camos and received sound. Are the ZUMO and CAMOS incompatable and should I purchase a different bluetooth system? Any recommendations on a good quality, waterproof system that will allow gps, mp3, & phone compatability?


    John - May 13th, 2009
  30. I just bought a new 2009 Electra Glide Ultra Classic and there is a mount specicically made that attaches directly to the upper left side of the fairing. It puts the Zumo in the perfect position and looks like it was meant to be part of the fairing.

    John - July 7th, 2009
    • I don’t know, but when you find out please post it. I know ram makes one, but is and looks generic. A company with a first initial of J sells one with a kit, however they designed it to fit on the right side which is a lot less safe than designing it for the left.

      Andrew - July 7th, 2009
  31. I just purchased a Zumo 550….I am interested in subscribing to XM….I also purchased the antenna. I have a blue ant bluetooth wireless headset on my helmet….how can I get the xm to come through the headset? any help is appreciated.

    theresa - July 12th, 2009
  32. Have a Zumo 550. I’m switching carriers to AT&T and want to know if anybody has experience with any phones that work with AT&T nad the 550.

    Art - September 13th, 2009
    • Art– not sure if your question was answered but you can find a list here: http://www8.garmin.com/bluetooth/phones.jsp

      Tim - September 17th, 2009
      • Thanks, Tim. That list seems a bit out-dated. It doesn’t seem to have the newer AT&T phones. I’m hoping someone has a phone that works and I might consider that model.

        Art - September 19th, 2009
  33. does your headset have bluetooth and fm was thinking of the scala buthtooth with fm

    bob - September 26th, 2009
  34. I have used headphones from sony ericson model Stereo Bluetoothโ„ข Headset HBH-DS205 and both the music and directions come true fine. here is the link: http://www.sonyericsson.com/cws/products/accessories/overview/ds205?cc=us&lc=en#view=overview

    Ben - December 16th, 2009
  35. I am also the proud owner of a scala rider q2 that works as well but the music is MONO !!!!

    Ben - December 16th, 2009
  36. Have read through these notes. Interesting history. The 550 still is a great workhorse and preferred it seems by some over the 660.

    I’ve been studying ad nauseum the various reviews and sites about the bluetooth mish-mash of the device. I am tempted to either go with corded headsets because they work with it, or else with the only manufacturer who seems to have come up with a complete replacement of the Zumo Bluetooth chipset with that of their own. The Z550 from Collet in Canada. http://www.collett.mb.ca/ You can use the module adapter alone with other bluetooth headsets and pair with it for true compatibility verses using Zumo’s non A2DP chipset. You could also use a wiRevoD1003 dongle plugged into the zumo to get your A2DP compatible stereo music coming out of the phono plug on the cycle mount stand.
    I’m still researching….

    Russ - December 18th, 2009
  37. I have hard wired a zumo 550 to my bike battery, when I put the zumo into the bike mount the zumo does not come on automatically. In order to turn it on I have to use the on/off switch and when that happens the battery bars appear meaning it is not on external power. I have checked the power cord and have 12 v at the end, have also swaped out the motorcycle mount with another and still does not work properly. Anyone else run into this problem and if so what did you do to correct it.

    Chris - February 27th, 2010
  38. Chris,
    Are you sure the Zumo is not on battery power? Do you see the battery symbol on the screen? Make sure you do not have the positive and negative wires reversed.

    Rick - February 27th, 2010
    • Rick, thanks for getting back to me, I rechecked the plug in connection and sure enough the pos and neg were reversed. Unit works great now. thanks for your help.

      Chris - February 28th, 2010
  39. The car cradle for my zumo 550 stopped sucking… really it just fell off and the suction cup has lost it’s suck!! I need a new cradle apparently as I cannot find a replacement suction cup. I was hoping someone here doesn’t need theirs or would be willing to sell me one. Please, I feel naked without my garmin!!! These things are a rip off to buy from Garmin!!

    Blake - March 23rd, 2010
    • Blake,
      Did you call Garmin? I think you can just replace the suction cup with the following part number:

      Part Number: 010-10747-00

      It’s only $14.00

      Rick - March 23rd, 2010
    • Try wiping the suction disk down with rubbing alcohol before you replace the cradle.

      Glen - March 28th, 2010
  40. I bougth the Zumo 550 for my husband for Christmas. I am buying the XM antenna for him for his birthday. He rides a 09 Road Glide now. I have called XM to try to get information, but each time I call, I get people I can’t understand. Can anyone give me advice on how XM works.

    I am hoping to give him the Nav Traffic and Nav Weather subscriptions. How do these work? We live in Northern Virginia. Will we only be able to get weather and traffic if we are so many miles from DC or another major city? OR do they work like satellite dishes- everywhere?

    How does NavTraffic compare with the traffic that Garmin includes with some of the newer models?

    The XM lady didn’t seem to understand my question about switching the unit from the bike to the car. Is it the antenna that is registered with XM to receive the signal so I have to move the antenna and cannot buy another for the car?

    Do people feel that the services are worth he subscriptions?

    Any other XM & Garmin advice I should be aware of?


    Dawn Elizabeth - March 31st, 2010
    • Also, can the antenna be mounted inside the fairing?


      Dawn Elizabeth - March 31st, 2010
      • Hello Dawn Elizabeth,

        As far as understanding the people at XM, I can relate. Try contacting them during regular business hours, morning or mid day. I believe their overflow or after hours customer service gets switched to another country.

        The Garmin 550 does work utilizing satelite, so as long as it can see the sky, it should work in the U.S.

        As far as the Garmin 550, yes, the antenna is what is registered, the numbers should be on the bottom.

        The antenna is sometimes installed under the fairing and yes, you can buy another antenna for your car which will add another radio fee for XM or you can do as I did. I put velcro on the antenna’s base and on a portion of my Harley’s fairing, dash side flat area just about the fairings speaker. This way all I have to do is take the unit from my bike mount, transfer it to my car mount, unplug the antenna from the bike mount, remove the antenna from its velcro and plug it into my car mount and set the antenna on the dash.

        Works as good for less monthly fees. Hope this info helps.


        Andrew - March 31st, 2010
        • Is it worth it? How does the traffic and weather work out? Any comparison with the cheaper subscription listed on the Garmin site that isn’t XM?

          Dawn Elizabeth - March 31st, 2010
          • I use the traffic and weather on my cell phone, it’s free. It will probably be a rare occasion using those additional features on your Garmin 550.

            Andrew - March 31st, 2010
  41. Does anyone know what average speeds the Zumo 550 uses to calculate the arrival time. On the Mapsource software you can view and edit the speeds for different road types, e.g. motorway, etc.
    My arrival times always seen optimistic campared with Mapsource or the RAC Routeplanner.

    Phil - April 3rd, 2010
  42. Any ideas on how I can get the GPS to quit sending me through random sub divisions? I can see that it might be quicker or faster as the crow flies, but I know for a fact that it isn’t faster or quicker to go through a neighboring subdivision to get home. I have had this issue on trips. I think the unit tries to figure a direct line and send me on the side roads in attempt to get to that straight line. Is there a way around this?


    Dawn Elizabeth - April 3rd, 2010
    • Are you using fastest time as opposed to shortest distance?

      kim mccall - April 3rd, 2010
      • I thought it did the same thing with shorter distance. I’ll try it again and double check. Thanks!

        Dawn Elizabeth - April 4th, 2010
  43. I have a Garmin Zumo 550, and a new iphone. After pairing the two, the iphone will receive calls, and dialling out works, but the contact list from the iphone does not download to the GPS. Any suggestions?

    John - May 19th, 2010
  44. John,
    For comparison, what version of software are you running on the Zumo and on the iPhone? I also use the Zumo 550 and an original iPhone with no problems.

    Rick - May 24th, 2010
    • Rick,
      Thanks for taking the time to respond. I have it all working again – I
      deleted the GPS from the phone and vice versa, switched the iphone off
      then on again, then paired the phone to the GPS, and the contacts then
      downloaded automatically to the Zumo.

      John - May 25th, 2010
      • John,
        Glad you got it working.

        Rick - May 25th, 2010
  45. I recently bought a Zumo 550. Successfully paired it to Schuberth C3 helmet with SRC (bluetooth acoustic collar), and Phone. However, when listening to mp3’s thru the bluetooth the sound quality is poor mono. When I plug the helmet into the audio out I get glorious stereo.

    Any ideas?


    John - June 1st, 2010
  46. The Zumo 550 only transmits mono via Blu Tooth (this is due to the version of blu tooth used on that unit. The Zumo 660 uses the upto date blu tooth version, that allows steroe transmission. Both unit output Stereo via line outs.

    Colin Brown - June 1st, 2010
    • Thanks for that, guess I’ll have to plug in to hear decent music. Can’t say I’m not disappointed that a new device can’t cope with the latest technology though ๐Ÿ™


      John - June 1st, 2010
  47. John,
    Its not the fault of Garmin, it is what was available at the time regards to blu-tooth technology, the 550 is what; 5 years old now?

    I always found early blu-tooth hit and miss connection wise. I have mine hard wired to an Autocomm unit into a schuberth C3 helmet..works great. Will be getting a 660 next and prob go blu-tooth then, as the autocomm can connect via blu-tooth too. It all depends when I change the bike (Triumph Daytona 955i). Enjoy the zumo ๐Ÿ™‚

    Colin Brown - June 2nd, 2010
  48. Will a Zumo 550 receive the new NavWeather subscription via a GMA 30/30a antenna? The full blown WX Weather subscription is too expensive & overkill at 99/month. I can’t find a way to get NavWeather (for a 550) on the XM site. I know the new Zumo 665 does NavWeather.

    Les - June 2nd, 2010
  49. Does anyone know if it’s possible to listen to XM via bluetooth headset with the Zumo 550? I get the nav directions, but not XM.

    Patrick - July 23rd, 2011
  50. I’m buying a used Zumo 550 with the optional XM Ant for $425 shipped. I think (hope) this is a good deal. I’m shocked at how much these sell for after 5 years. I’m not planning on using the XM ant, but it’s part of the eBay auction so I’ll probably sell that and use the $$ for a fresh map update. if anyone is interested in the XM Ant let me know.

    I have a couple of questions. I’m hoping to use the Bluetooth to pair my phone (EVO Shift) and a BT headset in my helmet. I have not yet purchased the helmet BT part. Any suggestions? I’m not concerned with stereo sound, mostly just calls and getting prompts from the GPS. Mono is fine for that. Any tips on which headset to buy? Also – can I setup a 2nd helmet with the same bluetooth headset and communicate helmet to helmet?

    Phil - July 24th, 2011

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