Finding your way.

The hardcore and fun way is to still make use of maps. Current day gnarly adventurers deal with a lot more roads than 100 years ago. Spending time searching for routes and roads on a map steal time from the enjoyment of riding.

Zumo660 Garmin – Sagres Portugal.

There was this one time when I was still kicking against the use of a GPS. While riding into Cape town traffic in late afternoon traffic the small booklet map I was using to navigate fell onto the road and in an instant exploded like a car that overran a chicken. Papers were flying all over the place. With my wife on her bike behind me it was quite a challenging time to navigate the city while she tried to keep up.

Now, years later and having had the pleasure of riding in places like Cairo, Dar es Salaam, Kampala, Rome, Paris, Nairobi and many other cities with notoriously dubious reputations for bad traffic. I can honestly say the benefit of using a GPS makes life a lot easier and safer for travels. Not to mention routes through places like Turkana and Angola where there were no road signs and only off road tracks.

Using a good quality GPS will make a trip blast instead of a nightmare.

Pauli from GPS4Africa advised us to use the Zumo660. This man knows GPS’s like African beetles knows their shit.

Some thoughts:
  • It is a top of the range unit which can be used on the motorcycle or in the car.
  • It is a tough package and had to endure quite a bit of abuse over the last 4 years.
  • Routes and maps load fast, no need to go around traffic circles 2 or 3 times waiting for the unit to navigate.
  • Touch screen works well except with winter gloves trying to type Rome will end up as *&^E.
  • Viewing the Zumo in bright sunlight the screen is a bit difficult to read, best described as okayish.
  • The screen and interface is big and clear enough for use off-road while dealing with dust and bone jarring rocky tracks. 

There’s a new version now the Zumo 590. It is even better!

There are more features than what I will ever use, but here is the information: ZUMO 660

Physical & Performance:
  • Physical dimensions 13.5 x 8.4 x 2.3 cm
  • Display size, WxH 9.7 x 5.7 cm; diag 10.9cm
  • Display resolution, WxH 480 x 272 pixels
  • Display type WQVGA color TFT with white backlight
  • Weight 270 g
  • Battery removable, rechargeable lithium-ion
  • Battery life up to 5 hours
  • Headphone jack/audio line-out Yes
  • High-sensitivity receiver Yes
  • Water rating IPX7
  • Maps & Memory
  • Preloaded street maps Yes
  • Includes lifetime map updates No
  • nüMaps Guarantee yes
  • 3-D terrain view No
  • 3-D buildings and landmarks view Yes
  • Built-in memory internal solid state
  • Accepts data cards microSD™ card (not included)
  • Waypoints/favorites/locations 1000
 Features & Benefits:
  • Voice prompts (e.g. “Turn right in 500 ft.”) Yes (Internal speaker)
  • Speaks street names (e.g. “Turn right ON ELM STREET in 500 ft.”) Yes
  • Voice-activated navigation (operate device with spoken commands) No
  • Traffic compatible (routes around traffic with a receiver and subscription) Yes
  • Lifetime traffic updates (receive free lifetime traffic updates) No
  • Lane assist (guides to proper lane for navigation) Yes
  • Junction view (displays junction signs) Yes
  • myTrends™ (predicts your routes) No
  • trafficTrends™ (calculates routes based on predicted traffic flow) No
  • Auto sort multiple destinations (provides most direct route) Yes
  • Route avoidance (avoid highways, tolls etc.) Yes
  • XM® compatible for U.S No
  • Safe Navigation Features
  • Bluetooth® wireless technology Yes (with A2DP technology)
  • Speed limit indicator (displays speed limit for most major roads in the U.S. and Europe) Yes
  • Where Am I? (find closest hospitals, police & gas stations, nearest address & intersection) Yes
  • Enhanced pedestrian navigation (guides you as you walk around town) no
  • Photo navigation (navigate to geotagged photos) Yes
  • View upcoming points of interest along route No
  • Custom POIs (ability to add additional points of interest) Yes
  • Garmin Lock™ (anti-theft feature) Yes
  • Customizable Features
  • Garmin Garage™ vehicles compatible (download car-shaped icons to your device) Yes
  • Garmin Garage™ voices compatible (download custom voices to your device) Yes
  • MP3 player Yes
  • Audio book player Yes
  • Additional Specs
  • This USB mass storage device is compatible with Windows® XP or newer and Mac® OS X 10.4 or later.

One Comment

  1. Thank you for your useful comments. Had been looking at a used Zumo 550 . . . may reconsider for the 660 or 590.

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