Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Garmin’s Two-Wheeler GPS Announced

Avnic Trading has announced the availability of the first full-featured, no compromises GPS navigators designed specifically for motorcyclists, the all new Zūmo 500 and Zūmo 550.

Motorcyclists have particular requirements that standard automotive navigators fail to meet: they wear helmets and gloves, and they and their equipment are exposed to the elements. The new Zūmo units use Bluetooth1 to link to compatible cell-phones and in-helmet speakers and microphone, allowing the rider to place hands-free calls or answer by simply tapping on the screen. Navigation prompts are also given over the Bluetooth link, announcing full street names so you can keep your eyes on the road. The screen is designed to be used left-handed, with riding gloves, with oversized icons and menus on a high-brightness, sunlight readable and UV-resistant display. The device comes packaged in a rugged waterproof casing (industrial rating IPX7) with a choice of silver or black caps with other optional colours available to match your bike’s colour scheme (and attitude!). An optional external microphone is available.

For entertainment on long trips, an MP3 player is included: songs are loaded onto the Zūmo just by dragging and dropping – no special software is required – and for additional storage there is an SD card expansion slot.

A locking motorcycle mount securely attaches the Zūmo to the bike with a standard 4 hole AMPS mounting, and is supplied with special security screws and screwdriver. Further security is provided by the Garmin Lock anti-theft feature: when enabled you need a PIN to use the device, which is de-activated when you are within 50 meters of a security location that you designate. The 550 additionally comes with a car suction cup mount with built-in speaker and a car power cable, so you can use it with four wheels as well as two.

A console shows trip information, including a re-settable fuel gauge, and proximity alerts can advise you of custom Points of Interest (POIs) such as safety cameras and school zones. If you are interested in knowing exactly where you have been, and possibly sharing that with others, you can export and view routes in Google™ Earth and join in online rider communities through

The units are supplied with carrying case, removable Lithium Ion battery, and AC charger, motorcycle power lead, USB data cable and the Garmap Southern Africa Version 1 CD and pre-loaded SD card for immediate use. The Zūmo 550 also includes City Navigator® Europe NT data and DVD.

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