Garmin Zumo 665LM Review

Written by | Garmin Zumo, Motorcycle GPS Reviews

Garmin Zumo 665LMSince 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. 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. These and a host of other features, including an MP3 player and stereo Bluetooth mean the 665LM is the ultimate in motorcycle navigation.

As of 15/11/2017, this item is listed as “currently unavailable” on Amazon.com

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
  • high sensitivity GPS receiver
  • replaceable battery
  • large glove friendly screen
Cons
  • battery life
  • XM radio services only available in the U.S.

Bluetooth

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.

XM Satellite Radio

Of 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.

Design

The unit 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 this navigator are further enhanced by the specially designed screen that allows for easy viewing in all light conditions.

Some Criticisms

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.

Our Ratings
  • Navigation
  • Features
  • User Interface
  • Price
4

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.

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Last modified: October 18, 2018

2 Responses to :
Garmin Zumo 665LM Review

  1. 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.

  2. Hal Hackney says:

    I have the Zumo 665LM. I’ve had it long enough for the waranty to have expired. Prior to the 665, I had a STREET PILOT 2820. For my money, it was one of the best units. Unfortunately, this 665 was evidently NOT designed by a biker. And, it assumes you never need to use Basecamp to pre-plan routes and/or update your maps. Spoiler alert. This review rates the 665 at 1/2 star. It in my humble opinion is a piece of crap. Garmin has ripped off the public by evidently using the most outdated chips and components and uinder-powering this unit to an extreme degree.
    1. Need to connect to a computer to update your maps? First, remove the back battery cover to access the USB connector. Bump it and the battery will fall out. Place the unit on its face for the upload/download process. Design grade – D-, no F-.
    2. While using Basecamp to pre-plan a route, you must have your Zumo connected, even if you have downloaded the maps to your computer. Why? Ask Garmin (if you can find a way to do so.) Anyway, when downloading waypoint and routes to the old 2820, you accomplished it with two or three clicks. Click the download, select the things you wanted on your GPS and hit OK. On this one, you do the same, but before you can use those items on the GPS, you first need to “import” the data. And, when it starts to import routes, it takes anywhere from 10 to 15 MINURES per route, depending on its length.
    3. The unit supposedly has 4GB (although only 3.93 is available.) And believe me, that gets used up very quickly when loading US & Canada. My unit had 12 MB left unused until I deleted unused voices, texts, JPGs and other unused items. Now I have 30MB. This unit should have come with at least 8GB in the first place. Now, I purchased a 16GB micro-SD card and installed it. Is that used for anything? OK, for those who want to download photos and music, yes. But would you ever use it for either of those? Well, that brings me to the next problem I see with this unit. The Touch Screen.
    4. Touch Screen on this unit is really crude. Yes, you can hit the oversize buttons easily enough, but you have to really “hit” it to get it to register your touch. Compared to the 2820, this thing is really “clonky”. That’s my own word choice. I hate it. Saw another review where someone mentioned about how you have to use the “back” button to return from many selections which in traffic conditions is not handy at all. Someone forgot a “menu” button which would have served better than “Back”. But again, this unit was NOT designed by an actual motorcycle rider/user. While it seems strongly built, waterproof, etc, the brightness is still many lumens short of “seeable” in normal conditions. As many other revies mentioned, I built my own shroud around it to shade it from the sun. I thought my BMW K1200LT screen was bad in the bright sun. This one is even worse.
    As for features and usefulness, many other reviews I’ve read allude to many other types of failures due to Bluetooth helmet problems especially. To be fair, I’ve never had a problem with mine, once I got it connected to my iPhone and my HBC 200 units for my helmet. I cannot even say I care about music sound quality. I ride with my wife and never listen to music while riding. I had planned to use the XM radio maybe, but not for music. Since I don’t subscribe to XM, I haven’t used that feature yet.

    The only reason I quit using my 2820 was due to its untimely demise and Garmin’s policy of no longer repairing them. All in all, I detest this unit. I’m trying to make the best of it, but finding it very difficult. If I had to buy another unit right now, I would NEVER consider another Garmin. They fooled me into paying $779 for this unit plus another $125 for a lockable secure motorcycle mount. This mount is even better than the old 2820 knurled hex key on my old 2820.

    I truly hope this is helpful to anyone thinking about investing hard earned dollars into this ill-conceived hardware. Think again.

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