GPS Garmin NUVI 550 multi review - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 4 Old 04-07-2009, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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GPS Garmin NUVI 550 multi review

Bought a NUVI 550 multi use GPS this spring and have about 1,000 km usage so far. My needs were a GPS that was easily viewable, has a bright screen, has North American NT loaded, a micro SD card slot, and can accept GPX files, is paperless Geocache friendly, can accept topo maps, is waterproof and has bluetooth for voice to helmet turn directions. It also needed to accept routes and has approx 8 hrs battery life on a lower screen brightness. The rechargeable battery pack is also replaceable so if needed a second could be carried. The last need was it to be mac friendly which only Garmin is.

Very pleased with this GPS. It does everything that I want and a bit more. It is 1/3 the price of the ZUMO 550 and has most of the features. It does not however play MP3 files for music.

I had intended to mount it centred on my Pat Walsh shelf but like most people I found this has too much flex. The shelf needs to be firmed up more. I have it mounted on the left side of the handle bars with a Ram mount and it will stay there. It is easy to use even with my winter ski gloves on. I am in Ottawa and there is still snow on the ground!!!

If you are in the market for a GPS that can both navigate and be used for some geocaching then this is worth a look. If you have a premier membership with geocache.com then your downloads include all of the info on the cache and there ends up being an icon of the cache on the map. That and I downloaded one of the motorcycle icons to indicate where I am. He even leans into tight turns.

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post #2 of 4 Old 04-08-2009, 12:35 AM
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I've been considering this unit since I do quite a bit of Geocaching as well. Why did you choose the 550 over the 500? Just curious.

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post #3 of 4 Old 04-08-2009, 07:08 AM Thread Starter
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The only diff that I can see is the 500 is US Nav only (lower 48 states) while the 550 is pre loaded with all of North America / Costa Rica.

I have installed a 4 gig micro sd and will be adding Canadian Topos to the unit. You can then select the map set you want. This will help with riding fire roads and geocacheing away from main roads.

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post #4 of 4 Old 04-08-2009, 09:49 PM
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Yeah, I see you are from Canada, so you would want the one with all of NA on it. Looks like the 500 comes with only the lower 48 US States but does come with Topo maps for them too. So, either way, you would have to buy additional maps to complete the maps for Canada I guess.

I think for now I am just going to stick with a factory-refurb Garmin 2720 on the bike/in the car to get me close to the cache and my handheld (Colorado 400t) to find it once I get there.

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92 DR350S
07 TT-R125LE (son's)
07 Shadow VLX (sold)

"The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life." - Theodore Roosevelt
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