Everyone who uses a nav sys in their phone or in their car knows they still haven’t gotten all the bugs out. Not Garmin’s Zumo XT2, which didn’t once present me with “searching for signal” or spinning icons despite the complicated terrain over its week’s Ducati Diavel V4 test, setting off and arriving each day and night from a house on top of a curvy, swervy hill outside Los Angeles.
The XT2 consistently hit the bullseye whether heading out of town, downtown, over highways, residential streets and to clubs while my phone or auto map were still scratching their heads on the same routes, or saying “Turn right” followed by “Make a legal u-turn” too many times.
The other thing I loved about the XT2 was that as soon as I made an instructed turn, the name of the street of the next turn appeared in front of me rather than some units which might say “In 2.3 miles, prepare to make a left.” When you know the name of the next turn, it helps you anticipate and focus.
The XT2 attaches and detaches to your motorcycle handle bars relatively easily and you don’t have to hook it up to your battery if you don’t want to – I charged mine up in the house every day and got a good 6 hours with battery to spare.
Here are some good things to know for the 2023 model.
The Screen Is Bigger This Year
Your touchscreen is 6 inches across – a whopping 15 percent increase, and it’s brighter. When you’re riding at speed on a motorcycle, you want to look down and see your information in a split second, and you do with the XT2.
It’ll Keep All Your Biker Buds Together
Use the Tread app on your smartphone and/or zūmo XT2 device to track friends with the Group Ride Mobile feature. Or, if you wish, you can use the Group Ride Radio accessory and the Group Ride Radio Y-adapter Cable (each sold separately,)for tracking other zūmo XT2-equipped riders with no cellular coverage needed.
On and off-road maps included
Quickly toggle between on and off-road maps, topographic maps and BirdsEye Direct Satellite Imagery. You’ll have to experiment to get the most out of these features, but if you’re any kind of tech nerd, you’ll have fun exploring. In fact, the unit does a lot of things you’ll only find out by reading the manual, and experimenting, if you’ve got the time and desire, but it’s worth it.
Birdseye Direct Satellite Imagery Lets You Travel The Globe
As long as you’ve got a means to charge it, your Zumo should work all over the world, and you’ll use BirdsEye Direct Satellite Imagery to help you navigate. Download the maps directly to your device via Wi-Fi, free of charge – no annual subscription required.
You Get Motorcycle-Specific Rider Alerts
Get alerts for hazards along your route, such as upcoming sharp curves, speed changes and more. You’ll also be notified about state helmet laws and red light/speed cameras in your area.
You Can Manage Your Route Data Without Being A Tech Genius
With the Tread app, you can manage tracks and routes across your navigator and compatible smartphone, and it’s not that complicated.
You Can Listen To Music If You Wish
Stream music from your smartphone through the zūmo XT2 navigator, or play MP3 files stored on the navigator, all to your connected helmet or headset.
The motorcycle mount is removable without tools and you’ll want to take both mount and unit indoors so no one comes along and helps themselves if you’re going to be a while at your destination. (A lock is available for purchase.) There are two ball-mounts involved in installation, one for the unit and one for the handlebar, and both attaching them and removing them require delicate hands and tiny increments of movement, lest the whole thing collapse and fall on the ground. After you do it a few times, this will be less of an issue but at first, you will be Mr. or Ms. Butterfingers.
Other than that, the XT2 exceeded expectations. It retails for a healthy $599.00, a worthy investment if you frequently take your motorcycle out of town – and who doesn’t?