Review of the Garmin zmo XT - Best Motorcycle GPS Navigation Device

Our Verdict:

We suggest the Garmin zmo XT if you want a more rugged device designed for use on a bike than your phone for navigation or if you prefer to hide your phone from view. The zmo XT’s price tag of $499.99 is quite a bit if you already have a smartphone in your pocket, but the few functionalities that need improvement aren’t the only drawback.

In addition to the advantage of having a display and touch screen well suited to the work of navigation on and off the pavement, I like how it allows me to devote more of my attention to the journey itself.

This device is designed specifically for adventuring; it can withstand extreme conditions and produce high-quality images. Any adrenaline addicts out there? This could be the weapon you need. Be careful while setting those settings and selecting those buzz-oriented routes if you’re a leisurely rider since it will encourage you to try riskier options.

Reasons to buy

  • Exceptional links
  • High-Quality, Larger Display
  • Batteries that last longer.
  • The device is robust and water-resistant.
  • Without a mobile signal, the map and navigation will still work.
  • It is constructed to withstand the elements and be dropped without damage.
  • Screen operable when wearing gloves.
  • Taking the path less traveled may lead to some very amazing journeys.

Reasons to avoid

  • Unfortunately, you can’t just go online and get a globe map in a flash.
  • All that’s included in the price is a basic how-to manual.

Garmin zmo XT Review: Features and what’s new

The Garmin Zumo XT is an all-terrain GPS navigator with a touchscreen LCD that can be attached to a motorcycle, a 32 GB internal storage, and slots for additional storage via a micro-SD card. The 5.5-inch, ultra-bright LCD has a resolution of 1280 by 720 pixels.

The Garmin Zmo XT GPS comes with charging connections, a USB cable, and a rubber ball mount for mounting the display to the handlebars. This motorcycle GPS is equipped with a complete GPS and may be used both on and off-road.

Rider push alerts alert you to approaching junctions and turns while on the road. Wireless technologies like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth let you connect your phone with headphones and use features like music playback, texting, and calling without worrying about wires getting in the way. Its IPX7 water resistance and military-grade drop protection ensure its durability in damp environments. The battery life is around three hours on a full USB charge.

The Zumo XT is designed to resist extreme conditions, including heavy rain and dusty environments. The Zumo XT is a portable GPS that outshines the Garmin 595 in terms of screen size. In contrast to the Garmin 595, which only featured a Bluetooth system, the Zumo XT incorporates wireless connectivity through Wi-Fi. Plus, owing to Garmin’s enhancements, the XT’s battery life is twice as long as that of the 595.

The Zumo XT seamlessly switches between topographical and Bird’s Eye satellite imagery at the push of a button. The user may then choose the optimal presentation method.

This navigator’s visual design shines because it maintains features even when seen from a wide angle or off-center. Compared to other navigators, which disable secondary roads at 0.5 miles, this GPS enables you to zoom out to a distance of 0.8 miles while still displaying all secondary roads. Instead of randomly clicking about and losing your bearings, you may zoom out to find the specific little road you’re interested in visiting.

The Rider-Alerts are a one-of-a-kind feature that gives the rider advanced notice of hazards and challenging turns ahead. You will be advised of mandatory helmet laws while entering a state or foreign country. Additionally, it may alert drivers to certain areas’ speed traps and red lights.

Garmin zūmo XT, All-Terrain Motorcycle GPS Navigation Device


  • 5.5” ultrabright, glove-friendly display with crisp HD resolution
  • Access to BirdsEye Satellite Imagery with direct-to-device downloads
  • Garmin Adventurous Routing options find curvy or hilly roads for a fun and exciting riding experience
  • Easily manage and review routes, tracks, and waypoints across your navigator, and smartphone.
  • Access live traffic and weather, share routes with other riders, and get phone notifications via the Garmin Drive app

Read More: Rand McNally TND 750 Review

This Rider-Alerts function also offers current weather reports in real time. Discover if sudden storms or downpours are on the horizon so you can be ready for them. Since traffic updates are important to motorcyclists, the Zumo XT gladly provides them regularly. The GPS may be able to communicate with nearby radio or television stations to update the user on any issues that may have happened along the route or in the surrounding region.

The Track-Recorder app allows you to save your travel itineraries for easy access at a later date. This can help you plan future trips based on what you enjoyed most on previous excursions.

Those cyclists who have a blog (like me!) may use this function to detail their journeys and share their track history with readers. It’s also great to be able to update loved ones back home about your travel plans. The microSD card slot is there in case you require more space than the 32 GB of internal storage can supply. Since you posted your route online, you don’t want bike thieves to figure out your home location


Like most other GPS devices, In-App Acquired Maps require an active internet connection to download maps. On the other hand, detailed maps of Europe, Mexico, Canada, and the Virgin Islands are already installed. Preloaded off-road maps for North and Central America provide the possibility of thrilling off-road excursions.

. This way, you may have a thrilling bike ride without worrying about getting lost in a strange area.

Consistent with our earlier claims, this GPS is meant for outdoor usage. Now you can let the GPS choose your route or customize it to your liking for a more relaxing trip. Your navigator may adjust the challenging route to fit your needs.

However, it is not limited to creating a fascinating route to a single destination; the configuration may be changed to provide a return journey. This means you may take whatever route and always be back at square one.

There is room for scheduled refueling areas. This navigational aid will figure out the intricacies in advance, so you don’t have to. It’s more than just a map; it’s a comprehensive manual. It’s simple to go off the rails while we’re on an adventure; we may, for instance, drive past our petrol station and into uncharted territory. This is impossible with the Zumo XT. It will notify you of your need to refuel, allowing you to plan your stops more efficiently.

The navigation gadget may link with nearby devices to broadcast a distress signal if necessary. Motorcyclists who want to go to remote locations would be well served by having this as a backup safety measure. It’s a last-minute support line, so don’t count on it — instead, drive safely until assistance arrives!

While it’s technically possible to use a smartphone while pedaling, most people advise against it. On the other hand, there are occasions (especially during long travels) when we need to make a phone call or change the music on the vehicle audio but don’t want to stop. The Zumo XT is useful for this purpose. When connected to your phone through Bluetooth, the device’s touchscreen becomes a hands-free phone, music player, and voicemail. The alternative, reaching for your wallet, is inconvenient and potentially dangerous.

Read More: TomTom Rider 550 Review

There is Bluetooth functionality. Reading a GPS while riding a bike is not as easy as it seems. You should look at the display to confirm the data on your headset. That’s why it’s crucial for motorcycle navigation systems to include Bluetooth technology so that you can get audio directions via your headset of choice.

The screen provides the most useful information from the whole navigation system. Even while riding, the 5.5-inch, high-resolution screen is easy to see. The screen’s ultra-bright illumination makes for clear images at any time of day or night. The 1280 x 720-pixel resolution is an improvement above previous models.

The touchscreen may be used while wearing gloves. This means the navigator has a very responsive touchscreen that can be used with ease even while wearing thick winter gloves.

Motorbike navigation systems, unlike car systems, cannot be plugged in during travel since doing so would interfere with the rider’s ability to focus on the road. In light of this, the ZUMO XT provides a decent 6 hours of battery life when using the usual brightness level and an incredible 3.5 hours while utilizing the highest brightness level. The navigator’s built-in charger ensures it stays powered at all times, which is convenient for long journeys. However, this information is moot if you plan to fix your bike’s device permanently.

It gets suspended by the use of a ball mount. This is a fantastic addition since it allows the GPS to be installed compactly on the motorcycle’s dash. Pressing a button in the back makes both installing and removing the navigation system simple. But this may be a drawback if you consider how easy it would be for a thief to take such an expensive object with only a few mouse clicks.

Read More: Garmin DriveSmart 86 Review

Garmin zmo XT Review: Pricing and date of release

As of March 2020, you may get a Zmo XT for $499.99. The new 5.5-inch glove-friendly zmo XT touchscreen screen features ultra-bright, HD resolution. The rugged zmo XT can be used everywhere thanks to its resistance to water and the fact that it passed the military’s rigorous 810G drop test. Bicyclists will also like the zmo XT’s versatility, which allows them to quickly switch between street maps, topographical maps, and BirdsEye Satellite Imagery for a bird’s-eye view of their route.

Garmin zmo XT Review: Specifications

  • Barcode (Global Trade Item Number) Critical Analysis: 753759256357
  • Type: 010-02296-20 by Garmin Sub-Category: Global Positioning System Navigators
  • Estimating the Lifespan of the Battery (hr). – Up to 6hours
  • Li-ion rechargeable batteries
  • Initially, you’ll get access to 8 GB of storage space.
  • The screen is 5.5 inches diagonally and uses a TFT panel with a resolution of 1280 by 720.
  • Micro SD card reader, a digital media device
  • Specifications: 8.8 inches in length, 14.8 inches in width, and 0.26 inches in thickness. 0.26 kilograms (cm).
  • The Manufacturer’s Warranties (months)  – 12 months

Garmin zmo XT Review: Overall Design

The new zmo® XT touchscreen offers a 5.5-inch display with ultra-bright brightness and crisp HD resolution, and it can be operated with gloves. The durable zmo XT is water-repellent and was designed to pass the military’s stringent 810G drop test. Riders will also appreciate the zmo XT’s versatility, which allows them to quickly switch between street map views, topographic maps, and BirdsEye Satellite Imagery for the best possible viewpoint on their journey with the press of a button.

The zmo XT can read GPX files that have been stored as “Routes” (step-by-step instructions) or “Tracks,” allowing you to go off the beaten path while still sticking to planned pathways (lines on the map). The Path functions are more helpful if you’re letting the navigation decide the route, while the Tracks functions are better suited to pre-planned trips. Tracks may double as a navigational aid if you produce a trail that the device would otherwise disregard. Compared to smartphone apps, the zmo XT’s route-following functions seem more user-friendly due to the device’s more readable display and quicker, more accurate zooming. The 5.5-inch screen is legible in direct sunlight and with any of my gloves on, and that’s just talking about the display.

The rugged design of the Garmin Zumo XT ensures that it will keep on truckin’ across any landscape or climate. Even the greatest motorcycle GPS can’t cut it since it can’t withstand wetness. The GPS has to be sturdy enough to resist the onslaught of such torrential downpours. This device has an IPX7 rating for water resistance, so you don’t have to worry about dropping it in the toilet or the sink.

Garmin zmo XT Review: Performance and Efficiency

The Garmin zmo gadgets have been standard fare on bikes for quite some time. Although most of Garmin’s motorcycle products have been designed for use on the street, the zmo XT is better suited to adventure and dual-sport riders thanks to key upgrades.

The zmo XT comes with an AC adapter, a mini-USB cable, and a rubberized ball-mount mechanism that is RAM-compatible. This kind of USB connection caught me off guard, given the widespread use of USB-C. The zmo XT is built to withstand the rigors of life on the handlebars, with an IPX7 rating for water resistance and a military-grade drop certification.

The Zmo XT is as easy to install and set up as possible. Additionally, the device provides instructions on connecting to Wi-Fi, upgrading maps and software, and installing the Garmin Drive mobile app on your smartphone (required for traffic and weather information). The most difficult part of installing the device was finding a good place to run the power wire. Setting up the Garmin mount arm and pairing it with my phone over Bluetooth was far easier than I had imagined. It took me zero attempts to pair two different brands of helmet communicators. Most users should be able to take it for a spin within 30-60 minutes after opening the box.

Basic functions like navigating to a certain address or finding a previously saved point of interest are intuitive and straightforward to use on this device. However, “adventurous routing” and “straightforward routing” are available alternatives.

The zmo XT does much more than get you to your destination; it lets you control your phone’s music, calls, and notifications, records your route, and helps you plan your next adventure. There are just enough phone controls to keep your hands off the bars and your eyes on the road, but they’re not good enough to prevent you from stopping to adjust the volume or send a text. The tracking recording works well, and GPX files may be exported and shared with friends using the included Garmin Drive program. The one area where I feel this device falls short is in trip planning; although it does allow for several stops and the provision of turn-by-turn directions between them, the user interface is clunky. Using the Drive mobile app or desktop interface, I can easily find a destination on my phone and enter its address to solve this issue.

Where to find it

You may buy it from several sites on the web, including but not limited to those listed below: eBay, Amazon, the official site, and more.


This Garmin Zumo XT review gives the impression that it is a high-quality device with many exciting features. The addition of topographical and aerial views is really helpful. Because of these enhancements, cycling on unpaved surfaces may finally be an exciting possibility. I plan to use this GPS when riding over the next several weeks while waiting for a more in-depth review.