Have Garmin got their act together yet?

Daisy

Premier Member
#1
My Zumo 550 is on its very last legs and will have to be replaced with something newer. I've been reading some really disheartening reviews of the 395 and 595 and for the money they're asking ... well, tell 'em they're dreaming.
I don't need all the fancy Pandora/Spotify and fancy routing* and my bike already has TPMS -so just an easy to read map, phone connectivity and an onboard mp3 that will BT to my Sena in a reasonable semblance of stereo would make me happy. Unfortunately the reviews tell me the 395 has terrible, terrible audio and the 595 screen isn't anywhere near as bright as the old 550. And the speed readout and such are hard to read. Honestly, who makes a bigger screen and then shrinks the needed fields? Or puts shitty audio with a good screen and vice versa?
Have Garmin fixed these issues? Or have the children with coloured pencils and degrees in marketing still got the engineers locked in a cupboard?

I NEED a new GPS. Buying yet another secondhand 550 isn't an option and I've already replaced the touchscreen in one to no avail. I don't want to spend 30 tanks of fuel on something that I'll only have to send back ... with a wordy, pithy letter of complaint.

Somebody please tell me that the reviewers are wrong and its safe to buy one of these grossly overpriced waterproof boxes.

* If I'm not careful choosing between shortest and fastest, the 550 will already send me where I don't expect to go.
 

Grey Gentry

Premier Member
#2
My Zumo sends me places I don't need to go, sometimes. Yes shortest/fastest is the issue.
I can loan you a 395 for a trial to test the audio.

Speed readout is bigger on the data screen, where my Zumo sits most of the time.
 

Rusjel

Well-Known Member
#4
I too am interested in a new GPS. My particular issue is that I'd like to be able to load Hema off-road maps into said GPS.
 

Skidoo

Not Right Rider
Premier Member
#5
My Zumo 550 is on its very last legs . . .

* If I'm not careful choosing between shortest and fastest, the 550 will already send me where I don't expect to go.
Yes my 550 has been on it's last 'leg' for some time now too. It adds some excitement when I'm not paying close attention and end up somewhere where I don't want to go.
 

Vlad

Premier Member
#6
I use a 390 and have for years. There is no doubt it has short comings but I find it particularly effective when used in conjunction with Basecamp. That doesn’t allow you to wing it of course. I find setting up route preferences as much as you can helps minimise a bad route. I like my gps to be water proof which kind of limits the choices.
Russ I suppose you have had a look at the Hema HX-1, a little large perhaps and needs a water proof bag but has a great off road map set along with everything else.
 

Daisy

Premier Member
#7
Mine has reached the stage where the screen does a dance of random highlights and won't respond to touch - which is why we replaced the touchpad in the last one - and after a while it asks if I want to save the route. One day I might, and then follow it. Probably find Skidoo and Kimmie at the other end. :D
 

Nico

Moderator
#8
Daisy I've come from the old 550 to the 595, which I've had for almost a year now.
Still have the old 550 as a back-up (bit I doubt I will ever go back to it).
The 595 is very good, but as you raised, the screen brightness can be an issue, especially in direct sunlight with a bright colour in front of it (eg a map in the tank bag). I may play with making a small shade cover for the unit.
The updated maps come with terrain mapping, which can also hinder clarity a bit.
Small negatives however for what is a very good unit.
None of the simplicity of MapSource of course, so it has taught me to get better and better at Base Camp - that's a positive.
The speed readout you mention, along with all the numbers on screen, are always clear for me, and the great part of that is that you can re-arrange the trip data and readouts to be in any pattern and position you prefer.
When linked to your phone app it can also give weather readouts for points along your route and at the destination, display your messages and reminders and so on.
There are still things it does that I have yet to master, or even discover... but so far so good.
Once you get a grasp of the 595, it does make the old 550 seem a little too simple and somewhat limited.
Good luck!
 

Daisy

Premier Member
#9
Thanks Nico. The 550 finally died today, while I was looking for an unfamiliar turn - or more accurately, one that looks a lot like the one in a a different town - so it is in the box with the last one that died.
I will probably never use basecamp, mostly because my computer is neither from windoze nor the glowing fruit company. I don't use phone apps and location services are turned off.. Don't have an 'account' with any of the data harvesters. I do however, have a very nice tinfoil hat.
I actually liked the simpleness of the 550, especially when it was wired to the autocom. Once I went to the Sena though, the mono music was a problem. We've ordered a 595.
 

Daisy

Premier Member
#10
The answer is no, Garmin haven't got their act together. I got my 595 and I'm very, very unimpressed - and I haven't even turned it on yet.

First problem. I mounted it to the bike and found that there is five miles of wire that I don't need ... and can't cut. So I need to find somewhere to coil it up and tuck it away on a bike that already has lots of other stuff in those cavities.

Second problem. What sort of moron designs a thousand dollar GPS for a motorcycle without a security lock? Yep, the kids with the coloured pencils still have the engineers locked in a cupboard. Sure I cuold simply remove it and put it in my pocket - except that its the size of a dinner plate and weighs the equivalent of $100 in coins.

So my bike is still in pieces while I work out where to put the wire - and how to lock it in place without lumps of Borg designed ironmongery. Yesterday I had to go to Adelaide in the ute. I know! I'll connect up the car mount and try out my new GPS.

Third problem. The ball for the windscreen mount won't fit in the cradle. It fits the one for the 550, so the problem is the cradle itself. By this time I've well and truly got the shits with it and got the toolbox out. I've sanded the ball and ground the cup. Nope. Still doesn't fit. The cup is at least a millimetre too shallow and the ball will never go in far enough to lock.

Fourth problem. I also have to allow an evil Windoze computer into the house so It can connect to Garmin Express.

Massive fail from Garmin. And I haven't even turned it on yet.
 

OX-34

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#11
That's a lot of hassles Daisy. I'm biased. I have 6 Garmin GPS devices (7 if you count the one still hiding in the grass west of Wagga Wagga).

I think the 5 miles is to make sure any installation forward of the tail light can be accommodated. The power cord can usually be cut for a more aft installation, but it depends on what you plan doing with the audio wires.....

Maybe Touratech have a security mount? On my 550 I ditched that enormous mount that came with the sale and just used the Garmin, sans security. If I'm worried I take it off, but most of the time I'm asleep next to the bike.

As for the ball/window mount... I have 2 x 590s (590, not 595 though) and the mount worked just fine. Pop the ball into the socket - hard - and all was well, so that is a strange thing that your doesn't fit.
 
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#12
I will probably never use basecamp, mostly because my computer is neither from windoze nor the glowing fruit company. I don't use phone apps and location services are turned off.. Don't have an 'account' with any of the data harvesters. I do however, have a very nice tinfoil hat.
hahaha ;)

Seriously though, I understand your challenges.
That length of cabling is quite ridiculous. But being on an adventure bike, nothing looks untidy, so all mine is just coiled up in behind the headlights.
And I have to agree with you on the lack of a secure mount.
My solution?
A. I found that a small padlock clips around the push-button release on the mount and gives a simple lock-up solution if I have to leave the bike a lot on a ride.
B. If not in a hurry on a ride, I just take the 595 out of the mount (as the release is one of the quickest around) and secure it in top box or pannier.

So, Daisy, my recommendation?
STAY CALM and press on!
I hope it all works out for you.
 

Daisy

Premier Member
#13
I think the 5 miles is to make sure any installation forward of the tail light can be accommodated. The power cord can usually be cut for a more aft installation, but it depends on what you plan doing with the audio wires.....
I have it mounted between the bars on the GTR and I'll cut the power wires as they only need to go to the Fuzeblock mounted under the right hand panel. Its the integrated audio and usb that are a hassle.
Maybe Touratech have a security mount? On my 550 I ditched that enormous mount that came with the sale and just used the Garmin, sans security. If I'm worried I take it off, but most of the time I'm asleep next to the bike.
Yes there are mounts available that would be perfectly suitable on a GS or a Tenere, but a bit brutalist on a sleek rhinoceros. I actually think Nico's idea of the little padlock might be the solution. The 550 was mounted between the bars and I rarely had a need to remove it.
As for the ball/window mount... I have 2 x 590s (590, not 595 though) and the mount worked just fine. Pop the ball into the socket - hard - and all was well, so that is a strange thing that your doesn't fit.
If I'd stuck it to the windscreen first like the instruction said, it probably would have broken the glass. I got a vernier and measured it. the socket is shallower than the old 550 mount. The balls are the same size. If I can find my Dremel I'll give it a good fixin'.
I googled and it seems Apple has a version of Garmin Express, though I have not tried it. https://garmin-express.en.uptodown.com/mac
All the computers in this house are Linux.
 

Tele

Premier Member
#14
I have an Apple MacBook Air and the Garmin Express download for Mac seems to work fine. Basecamp also connects and operates OK (I think). I have not taken the time to really explore Basecamp and I am basically inept at the application. (My fault entirely). Thankfully the K16 comes with a dash integrated mount for the Garmin which "self secures" when the ignition is off. Easy to remove when you need to (with the ignition key). Best wishes Michelle for the continuing adventures with the Garmin!
 

ED535

Well-Known Member
#16
I know that my 590 was only 15 months old when it stopped working.
The cause was vibrations.
I put it on my KLR650 and took it to lots of places on dirt roads, and the battery connection point on the main board tore itself off and with part of the board as well, that only stopped it working because the battery needs to be connected even if it is in the cradle and powered by the bike.

If anybody has a 590 with a broken screen, but an intact main board, I am be interested in buying one.
 

Nev..

#44764
Premier Member
#17
I know that my 590 was only 15 months old when it stopped working.
The cause was vibrations.
Were you just using the stock Garmin mount? I've always mounted my expensive GPS units in an equally expensive touratech mount, which is also lockable, but the main feature is the rubber shock absorbing mounts in the touratech GPS mount which resists transferring all of the vibration through to the GPS.
 

Daisy

Premier Member
#18
I have mine on a ProjektD mount between the bars. The mount is basically a flat bit of stainless folded to the correct angle. It wasn't so bad with the 550 on it, but the weight of the 590 is making it bounce around. I'm getting a bit concerned that this might cause some damage. Anyone know of a better mount for the GTR? Handlebar mount won't work for me because reasons.
 

ED535

Well-Known Member
#19
Were you just using the stock Garmin mount? I've always mounted my expensive GPS units in an equally expensive touratech mount, which is also lockable, but the main feature is the rubber shock absorbing mounts in the touratech GPS mount which resists transferring all of the vibration through to the GPS.
Yes Nev it was the stock mount. I think the unit is robust in most ways but the USB port and the Battery connection are week points that Garmin could beef up. The Touratech mount is a great bit of gear but we as customers should not have to spend another 25% of the unit cost to protect the GPS from itself.