Flagship GPS devices can be highly expensive and often cost more than a high-end smartphone which has its own GPS capabilities. Certain types of GPS devices can be priced even higher such as those GPS devices that are designed for a special purposes. The Garmin zumo 665LM is one of the few GPS devices that hit the $799 mark. That kind of price exceeds any unlocked smartphone and even a lot of tablets. Plus, there are plenty of Garmin devices that come with far more functions than the zumo 665LM. But the Garmin zumo 665LM is a motorcycle GPS device and it has some special properties that make other GPS devices not as useful for motorcyclists. On top of that, the 665LM is rich with features which contribute to the high price.
The Garmin zumo 665LM somewhat resembles some of Garmin’s other 4.3-inch products in their nuvi lineup. But nuvi devices are designed to be mounted on dashboards so they are completely safe once attached to the car mount. These car mounts do not work on motorcycles and it would be senseless to attach a nuvi device anyway since the device can get wet if it rains. The Garmin zumo 665LM is designed to address these concerns. With an IPX7 waterproof exterior and rugged feel, the 665LM has what it takes to handle not just water but also fuel spills and harmful UV rays. The 4.3-inch touchscreen display may not have an extra high resolution that some other flagship products have but can respond to touch inputs even if gloves are worn.
Garmin devices are known for their ease of use and the zumo 665LM has those properties as well. The main screen greets you with the familiar “Where To?” and “View Map” icons which represent the main things you can do with the device. Any type of user should be able to figure it out. A “Tools” button is also present if you need to explore the other features.
What is a bit different however is the icon present on the center portion of the upper status bar. By default, the icon should look like a motorcycle which shows that the device is currently in motorcycle mode. You can tap that icon to switch to another mode such as a pedestrian mode to optimize the settings for walking or a car mode if you intend to attach the Garmin zumo 665LM to your car’s dashboard. A car mount is already included so you don’t have to buy one separately.
Planning a route is very straight forward after hitting the “Where To?” icon. You basically choose the category and enter your destination just like you would in a typical Garmin device. The graphics look nice and there are even some 3-D buildings so you can get a better sense of your surroundings. But for safe driving, it is best to stay focused on the road once you planned the route. Besides, there is a text-to-speech feature that lets the device issue voice prompts that will help you reach your destination. It will call out the street names so you know exactly where to make the turn. Once you reached the destination and you want to go back where you came from, you can conveniently use the TracBack function to follow your track log backwards. If you wish to plan more complicated routes, you can use a Windows application called BaseCamp to plan the route and send it to the zumo. A Mac version of this app is available as well.
If you enter a highway that is in the device’s database, you can take advantage of the Lane Assist with photoReal Junction view. The planned route should already tell you which exit to take but you still might not be able to make the required turn if you are on the wrong lane. The job of the Lane Assist feature is to tell you in advance which lane you have to be in. The photoReal Junction view also cleverly splits the map view so you can see your map surroundings as well as a photorealistic representation of the upcoming junction or intersection. Any important road signs can be shown in that view as well.
Like the cheaper Garmin zumo 660LM, the zumo 665LM has built-in Bluetooth so you can pair your smartphone to the GPS unit and have the unit act as a hands-free device. This is crucial if you really need to engage in hands-free conversations on your motorcycle. It can connect to Bluetooth-enabled headsets and helmets as well.
The only feature that is exclusive in the Garmin zumo 665LM model is the XM receiver. If you have the required subscriptions, you can connect to the NavWeather and NavTraffic services to obtain some real-time weather and traffic information. It is possible to connect to SiriusXM so you can enjoy satellite radio as well.
Most of the Garmin zumo devices including the Garmin zumo 665LM feature lifetime maps. But if you want to access important real-time updates right from your motorcycle, the Garmin zumo 665LM is your only choice. $799 is a huge hole in the wallet but you get a very capable waterproof and Bluetooth-enabled GPS device that has all sorts of uses even outside your motorcycle.