Garmin Zumo 665LM Review

Garmin Zumo 665LM Motorcycle GPS with XM Satellite Radio

Editor's Rating

Since its release the Garmin Zumo 665LM has been attracting a lot of attention within the motorcycling community. With this model Garmin have once again consolidated their position as leaders in this rapidly expanding market. Based on the 660LM, an already full-featured model, the 665LM’s functionality has been further extended with the inclusion of XM satellite radio. These and a host of other features, including an MP3 player and stereo Bluetooth mean the 665LM is the ultimate in motorcycle navigation.

Garmin Zumo 665LMEditor's Ratings
  • Navigation
  • Features
  • User Interface
  • Price

Pros and Cons

pros: high sensitivity GPS receiver | replaceable battery | large glove friendly screen
cons: battery life | XM radio services only available in the U.S.

Features

  • XM Satellite Radio with weather and traffic information
  • Lane Assist with Junction View
  • 3D Buildings
  • Stereo Bluetooth and hands-free calling
  • MP3 player and audio books
  • Motorcycle console with digital fuel gauge and compass

Pros

In terms of performance, one of the best features of this GPS would have to be its fast acquisition which allows it to quickly show your position with very little lag time. The unit also comes with Bluetooth wireless technology that enables you to stay in touch while on the road. With the hands-free calling feature you are able to freely talk on the phone without the need to remove your helmet or gloves. All you have to do is connect the device to your Bluetooth enabled helmet or headset and pair it up with your smartphone. For added convenience you can also place calls to the thousands of points of interest that come pre-loaded with the device. Unlike most motorcycle navigators, this device also comes with an MP3 player along with advanced high quality Bluetooth A2DP technology. This creates powerful yet sharp and clean stereo sounds so you can enjoy listening to your favorite music or audio books. All you need is a compatible headset and you’re ready to go.

Garmin Zumo motorcycle navigator displaying weather informationOf course, the XM satellite radio is deserving of mention, and not just because it is the main point of difference between the 665LM and its counterpart the 660LM, but because it is currently the only motorcycle GPS on the market to incorporate satellite radio technology. A subscription gives you access to 170 commercial free channels, including sports, music, and news, offering excellent entertainment value especially on longer rides. With two additional addons, Navweather and Navtraffic, you have the ability to view weather radar graphics giving you a heads up on any approaching storms, and to stay up to date on traffic and road conditions across the U.S. Furthermore, this GPS is contained within a ruggedized frame that can stand up to the most adverse weather conditions and survive the shocks and vibrations that are part and parcel of life on the road. This claim is backed up by the fact that the device has been certified as meeting the rigorous IPX7 standard of waterproofing, meaning it can survive submersion in water up to 30 minutes to a depth of 1 meter. The credentials of the unit are further enhanced by the specially designed screen that allows for easy viewing in all light conditions. Like other models in the zumo range, a user friendly and intuitive interface is definitely one of the outstanding features of the 665LM, and the glove compatible screen means you can effectively use the device even when wearing thick riding gloves.

Cons

One of the drawbacks to this navigator would have to that the satellite radio feature can only be used in the United States, therefore this is something you should consider before purchasing the unit. This has bothered some users, especially those who travel a lot, because they then miss out on one of the key advantages of this particular model. Also, at 3 hours, it has to be admitted the battery life is less than ideal. This is an unfortunate but inevitable trade-off for a feature rich GPS, that also comes with a built in satellite radio receiver. However, the battery is replaceable so should you need to, you can always carry a spare for backup.

Conclusion

Other than the aforementioned issues and some negative feedback from consumers during the early days of its release, the Zumo 665LM has been, for the most part, well received. It is lightweight, durable, compact, and also very easy to use making it the perfect navigator not just for touring but for everyday use as well. The mapping is almost always on point and will reliably guide you to your intended destination. The added value and innovation provided by the satellite radio receiver and other features such as free lifetime map updates, means, that in terms of bang for your buck the 665LM still compares favorably to most other motorcycle navigators currently available.

1 Comment

  • chris garrett says:

    When Garmin produces a working model (radio enabled for Australia), I will think about purchasing one. I can’t understand why they don’t!!!!

    I guess I’ll be buying a Tom Tom instead – unfortunate and very disappointed.

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