Since you can't read a paper map while riding a motorcycle or scooter, Garmin created the zumo 350LM navigator, a multifunction device that works great on both two- and four-wheelers. It comes with a waterproof rubber case and a scratch-resistant touchscreen.
To install the Garmin zumo 350LM on your motorcycle or scooter, choose a secure spot with access to a power source and convenient wire routes. The package includes a motorcycle mount with a power cable and mounting hardware as well as a suction-cup mount.
You can fix the zumo 350LM to your handlebar or brake/clutch lever. A ratchet will make the job easier. The articulated mount allowed me to position the GPS at the right place and angle it without reducing visibility or restricting access to the controls. Plus, it produced little to no vibration on the road.
If you want to install the Garmin zumo 350LM in your car, then you'll need the aforementioned suction-cup mount and a 12V power adaptor.
To plug or not?
The device comes with a power cable that plugs in to the battery on your motorcycle or scooter. In my case, I had a tough time accessing the battery on a particular scooter, so I chose to let the zumo 350LM run on its own power. And what do you know? It lasted 2.5 hours -- more than enough time for this test.
With another scooter, it was possible to plug the GPS to a 12V outlet, but only after tricking the battery and fitting a 12V adaptor. You could probably save the extra cost if you have a single two-wheeler in addition to your car.
Using the Garmin zumo 350LM
The highly sensitive touchscreen, as well as the large buttons and keyboard, were designed to allow convenient operation while wearing gloves. The glare-free display remains easy to read on the brightest days, while the crisp 3D maps require just a glance.
The built-in speaker is powerful enough to hear directions at moderate speeds. That said, Bluetooth options allow clear spoken directions to be routed wirelessly into your helmet.
Simply enter a street and address number, and the Garmin zumo 350LM will list various cities and provinces or U.S. states. You can quickly find a gas station or restaurant, view your last trip or stop, and program a multi-stop route using your bookmarked locations or new ones.
While testing various scooters, the feature that proved the most useful was the actual speed readout. There's also a compass, backtracker, calculator, clock/alarm clock, and more. You can get traffic updates, free lifetime maps, and a multilingual lexicon.
All in all, I really liked the Garmin zumo 350LM. I would recommend it despite the high price (around $800) and the need for different mounts.
|Photo: Amyot Bachand
Waterproof and fuel-resistant
Easy to read
Great keyboard and search menu
Secure mounting system
Different mounts for cars and two-wheelers
May require trick plugging and 12V adaptor