Zumo or Nuvi 500 and 60Cx?

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by Deanman, Sep 3, 2010.

  1. Deanman

    Deanman Wannabe Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    422
    Location:
    Port Angeles, WA
    The Zumo line of motorcycle models are quite expensive, and in comparing features it seems I could get more features and value by getting a Nuvi 500 and a 60Cx instead of a Zumo 220 or 550. Any thoughts on this? I want a unit for dual sport riding on paved, and FS gravel roads, plus on trails not on maps. I also want a unit for hiking and being able to return to trails and places I've hiked or bicycled to. I need to be able to capture tracks of where I've been and re-use and share them.
    And I want all the usual driving features, for use in the car, truck and street bike.
    I don't need an MP3 player and can live without bluetooth.
    Anyone bought both of these? And if so, for the same reasons?
    Or would I just be wasting money? I mean, can I do what I want with just the Nuvi 500? It has better maps, but if I need to find my way back out of the woods, on foot or on a bike, will the Nuvi do that for me?
    Any input appreciated.
    #1
  2. dnrobertson

    dnrobertson Big Bike, Slow Rider

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,353
    Location:
    Frankston, Australia
    My first GPS (and I thought only GPS purchase) was a Zumo 550. For road bike, car and off-road riding (gravel roads, trails etc).

    I now own the Zumo and an Oregon 200 (for off-road). The Oregon has far more features for the off-road rider than the Zumo 550. ANd I don't miss the larger screen size of the Zumo when on the trails.

    My biggest problem with the Zumo, is its treatment of tracks created in Mapsource when downloaded to the Zumo. It messes with them and makes them unusable sometimes. The Oregon does nothing with them, so you can easily follow the track as designed by you.

    My mate has just bought a 60 Csx and I think a cheap Nuvi and the Oregon or 60 is a better deal than just one Zumo.

    Don't have any experience with the new Zumos though.

    David
    #2
  3. mcnut

    mcnut Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,757
    Location:
    Bakersfield CA
    I own a 60CSx and a NUVI 500 and have seen a ZUMO used.

    If your eyes are good get the 60 and some maps. The 60 handles tracks (and more) better the others. Only real downside for the 60 in your comparison is the screen size and some like the touch screens (until they quit working) Despite it's size the screen of the 60 is very sharp and about the easiest to see in bright sun. I also like the power options. Quality of map is only limited to what you care to buy.

    I only got the NUVI because it was cheap and had more up to date maps installed. Works good but is no 60. You might also consider the brand new 78 if in the budget.

    Bruce
    #3
  4. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp REMF

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2002
    Oddometer:
    8,940
    Location:
    Nebraska
    I have had my 60Cx since 2007 and bought a Nuvi 500 in Jan of this year.

    First off: If you don't need the Bluetooth I wouldn't get the Zumo 220. From everything I can find out it's nearly identical to the Nuvi 500/550 except for the BT. Don't know about track handling ( but I don't think it does). I'd like to see a review from someone who knows what they are talking about.

    60Cx:
    Can accept 20 uploaded tracks of 500 points each.
    Will record nearly unlimited tracks of your travels on the microSD card, but you can't access them in the unit, only download to your computer later.
    As mcnut said, I think the screen is easier to read in bright sunlight but it's also smaller.
    Good unit for hiking, fits the hand well, has provisions for a belt clip holder and wrist lanyard.
    Long battery life with 2 standard AA's.
    Robust Garmin round 4-pin external power connection. Can take 12v directly.
    Not as good at routing as the Nuvi.
    You CAN shut the automatic "off route recalcualtion" off so the unit won't recalculate your pre-planned route if you go off for fuel, etc.
    Hard to enter addresses (have to use rocker pad to select letters than hit enter).
    No voice directions, only beeps.
    Doesn't come with any maps. If you want to search for stuff and use "follow roads" autoroutes you will need an autorouting map set.
    "Follow roads" autoroutes limited to 50 points each, but the unit holds up to 50 routes. "Off road" routes can have 250 points each.

    Nuvi 500:
    Doesn't accept uploaded tracks at all, need to convert to routes.
    Does record a good track log ("trip log") and will archive it and keep recording if you fill it. You can choose to view the current active trip log on the screen or not (same as the 60, you can't access archived trip log on the unit).
    Bigger screen.
    IMHO - horrible unit for hiking. Too big, the on/off button is right where you want to grab the thing, no provision for a belt holder or even a lanyard.
    Rechargable battery life - they say 8 hours, really *maybe* 6 if you turn the backlight off and mute the sound.
    Only external power is mini USB. Not as robust/waterproof and you have to have a cable with a transformer for 5v USB output.
    You can't shut off the automatic "off route recalcualtion", but since routes can have 250 points (vs 50 on the 60Cx) I just put a point pretty much at every turn. If you get off route it will just try to take you to the last point you missed. You can ignore it and intercept your route further along, at which point it will resume navigation and leave the rest of your route unchanged.
    Easier to enter addresses with the touch screen, especially since recent posts have shown how to change the silly ABC key board layout to QWERTY.
    Text to Speech (TTS) voice directions (speaks street names) but no way to get the audio into your helmet.
    Preloaded with City Navigator maps (lower 48 plus Hawaii and Puerto Rico) plus DEM (Digital Elevation Model) topo. IMHO the topo is pretty worthless, seems to just have elevation lines/shading but no additional terrain features or anything.
    The City Nav will be locked to this unit, so you can't use it on a second one unless you buy another unlock code.

    Bottom line - tough call. If you can get both AND equip the 60Cx with maps for less than a Zumo (and you don't need Bluetooth) then I'd say it might make sense to get both units. They also are going to need different mounts and power cords. They operate very differently, so you are going to have a steep learning curve, especially if you need to figure out 2 different units plus the Mapsource software.
    #4
  5. Deanman

    Deanman Wannabe Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    422
    Location:
    Port Angeles, WA
    Hey everyone, thanks for the replies.

    Dnrobertson, I have read about the Nuvi’s problems handling tracks, and that seemed like a problem for trails and abandoned roads. That’s probably the main reason to not get it as my only GPS.

    mcnut, thanks for your input. It sounds like the Nuvi is way better for in the car or on the paved roads. And better maps, bigger screen… Again, no unit is good for everything. Seems like Garmin builds compromise into every one of them.

    So, tbirdsp, assuming I were to settle on just the 60Cx (I don’t need the sensors on the S model) can you give me an idea of what I’d need to buy as far as maps, and how much that would set me back? And I’ve seen lots of places cited for free maps… where is the best place to obtain good quality maps?

    I can get the mounts for relatively cheap and it’s easy enough to wire them up, so I still may just pick up both and start learning, on the other hand maybe I’ll just get the 60 for now, and pick up a Nuvi 500 in a few weeks/months. Still pondering. But again thanks everyone for your advice.
    #5
  6. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp REMF

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2002
    Oddometer:
    8,940
    Location:
    Nebraska
    I would say get the 60Cx and buy the latest City Navigator NT maps. See if that will work for your riding before getting anything else. It shows way more obscure USFS/fire roads than you might think. I'm not really up on the free maps but I've heard the ones from gpsfiledepot.com are good.

    I've had to stop riding any serious off road due to injury so I have been using the Nuvi 500 more than my 60Cx lately. IMHO - the 60Cx can do street routing in the car at an OK level - the Nuvi is pretty much unusable for hiking though.
    On a street bike, the Nuvi works better - again IMHO.
    As you noted - everything is a compromise.

    If you do get the 60Cx and want to do any advanced routing take the time to read these threads (I see I've actually been using the 60Cx since 2006, not '07:D )
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=139836
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=407634
    #6
  7. Deanman

    Deanman Wannabe Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    422
    Location:
    Port Angeles, WA
    I ordered a 60Cx and it's on the way. It and other accessories should be arriving all this and next week. Cool! I've already downloaded the manual and have read it through. No substitute for using the device but it helps to get familiar with it.
    I'll be bying City Nav maps for it. Not sure on the topo yet, I'll wait and see on that for now.
    Thanks everyone for the great information.
    Dean
    #7