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Discussion Starter #1
I would like to get a Zumo but have a few issues that need to be resolved first. One is the ear bud/headset problem. A wired helmet (bluetooth or not) sounds great on paper but it really doesn't protect your hearing like ear plugs do. One could use earplugs with a wired helmet but does that mean you need an amplifier to hear anything? The earbuds that fit IN the ear might be a solution. Someone mentioned Big Ears ear buds and that looks promising. The KISS/cheap side of me just wants to use the foam plugs that I've been using and get a Zumo 450 instead of the 550 and just look at the screen as opposed to audio directions in my helmet. Mount it up nice and high so that I keep at least a peripheal vision on the road while looking at the gps. This might suit my temperment better than hearing music and or gps directions. I haven't listened to music yet while riding but I think that I might be distracted by it. Question for you guys that use a Zumo with audio directions in the helmet but don't listen to music. Does it startle you a bit when everything is quiet and suddenly you get a voice in your helmet giving you driving directions? For those listening to music, do you feel like you lose some focus while riding? If so, is it worth the risk? Some states ban it and I'm sure they have good reason to do so. Many of us here are ATGATT kind of guys (as I am) but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.....I plan on never using the cure (gear).

Barry
 

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Been listening to music while on the roads all the time. Not on dirt though, need the engine noise to know I am in the power band. As for the amp, I use foam ear plugs and an Autocomm unit with my TomTom Rider blue tooth adaptor. I very rarely use the sound, but in a big new city, I use it because you really need to turn off the display and just use the sound directions, a lot safer imho.

Pay the extra for the sound, at least you have the choice when you may need it.

Cheers
TS
 

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Crazy Old Guy
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I've got the 550 but the only time I use the sound is when I run it in the Jeep. I guess I'm a tight a$$, didn't want to pay the money to hook the sound up and I refuse to use the cell on the bike.
 

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Ditto.. I don't use the sound on the bike. I have it mounted up above the tach/speedo so it's near my line of sight.

However, according the the Garmin website, the 450 does not, "Speaks street names (e.g. "Turn right ON ELM STREET in 500 ft.") :" If it is like the older Garmins, it just says "Turn right in 500 ft" and you have to look down on the map to see the street name: not easily done on an mc. That alone was worth the extra $$.
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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I like a little music on a 500-1000 mile day. The earbuds isolate the outside sounds or I'd wear earplugs. I also agree text to speech for directions is very nice to have. An audio jack at the edge of the seat makes hookup very handy.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I like a little music on a 500-1000 mile day.
At 62, is it tough to put in those kind of miles in a day? I'm about to be 47 next Tuesday and think I'm pretty fit for my age but have a little tendinitis in the shoulder and knees get a little sore sometimes (arthritis?). My max in a day is 450 miles and wasn't too difficult.....possibly because I was having so much fun......but 62 is still 15 years away. I'll be happy if I can do 300 at that age let alone 500-1000. Grey, you de man!

Barry
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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It's probably easier for me to do than ever. I never had a bike so well equipped for it before. The seat to peg distance, the upright position, MP windshield, mesh clothing/heated gear for temperature extremes, real cruise control, Sargent seat with sheepskin on top and GPS with music make it easier to go a long way. Also, when I was touring in the old days, there was a national 55mph speed limit. The Yamaha XS11 with Vetter fairing and after market seat came close but I never really liked big heavy bikes. Riding is easy. Dismounting is hard. I have to move around to keep loose when riding or I would need help to get off at the end of the ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ditto.. I don't use the sound on the bike. I have it mounted up above the tach/speedo so it's near my line of sight.

However, according the the Garmin website, the 450 does not, "Speaks street names (e.g. "Turn right ON ELM STREET in 500 ft.") :" If it is like the older Garmins, it just says "Turn right in 500 ft" and you have to look down on the map to see the street name: not easily done on an mc. That alone was worth the extra $$.
Why is it worth the extra money if you're not using the sound?
 

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Personally I'll never go back to a "Quiet" GPS.

I like not having to look down at my GPS to see how far before my turn or the name of the street, my GPS tells me everything I need to know ahead of time. I also listen to music on longer rides through the MP3 player on my GPS. If I use my dedicated MP3 player (which has built-in FM radio and more memory) I have a Radar Override that mutes the music and lets me get alerts from my GPS.

I do use wired ear buds and have never even tried the Blue Tooth capabilities on my GPS. I have absolutely no use whatsoever for a cell phone on a motorcycle and will not use mine while riding. If someone needs to talk to me they can leave a voice mail and I'll call back. If I need to talk to someone I'll pull over.
 

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Why is it worth the extra money if you're not using the sound?
Because it is worth it to me to see "Turn right on Wood St. in 500 ft" instead of "Turn right in 500 ft." There are a lot of 3,4,and 5 way intersections in New England and with the older Garmins (that don't have the street name) I'd make wrong turns sometimes. I sell off my old GPS models as new ones come out, so the net cost is usually inconsequential.
 

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I'm using a Zumo 450 with Shure E2c earphones. I put a 4GB card in my Zumo so I can carry lots of music and I listen to it all the time. I keep the volume low and its just like listening to music when you're driving the car. The Zumo turn commands are good enough and it shows, at the top of the screen, what the streetname is if you're unsure of your turn. When listening to music, the sound fades and the voice comands occur. Not startling at all and I love the fact that I can focus on the road and not worry about navigating because the Zumo gives ample warning for upcoming turns.

If I was to do it over, I would get the Zumo 550. Not because of the Bluetooth or spoken street names but because the 550 comes with the car kit. The price of the car kit alone is much greater than the difference in price between the 450 and 550.

The E2c earphones work as ear plugs as well as phones so they mute much of the outside noise even if you have the music off.

E2c
 

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I'm surprised no one mentioned it. Just go with the in helmet system and wear earplugs too. I use a Collett communicator with in helmet earphones and you can actually hear the voices BETTER with the earplugs in. It helps block the extraneous wind noise and let you really hear the voice. I was very surprised that I could hear better with the plugs but very pleased. I find that I only put the volume slightly higher with plugs then without, nothing needed an amp.

-GW
 

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I have the zumo 550 , use the cardo scala rider q2 headset , connect through blue tooth and I love it . I use the spoken directions and also run a 4 gig card in the zumo for all my music . I do use the cell phone through my zumo as well but only answer calls from my business . If my office is calling and they know im riding , I know its important . 90% of the time ill pull off the road to answer the call but sometimes if i need to i can ride and talk . plus the cardo scala rider q2 does bike 2 bike coms at 500meters which I think is the bomb . oh and i always use earplugs with no problem hearing the directions or music
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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I wouldn't use bluetooth for music. It doesn't support stereo.
 

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Zumo550, Ear Buds and Music

I can't imagine using my Zumo without 'sound' as I'd be glancing down at a screen (small as far as I'm concerned) just when I really should be heads up with my mind on the cars also trying to figure out where to turn.

Knowing that a little voice in my head is going to give me notice (lots of) when to turn I can concentrate on what's going on around me rather then glancing at notes trying to read (dang were are my reading glasses anyway) notes and trying to find rarely every visible street signs.

I listen to music for longer rides and if anything I believe it helps me stay sharp and alert. Maybe I'm not so into my music that I forget I riding it just keeps my mind from wandering and taking a mental holiday thinking about other things going on in life. It's just me the road and some light tunes.

I can still hear the sound of the engine, the little Kachunk and I shift, horns, etc. I think key is getting a really good set of ear buds that fit properly not some 20$ skull candy that forces you to crank your tunes to hear your music which would I think block out the world. I've done the cheap earbuds and that was the reality... hand to crank them so loud to hear my tunes that the world disappeared. Now on my Zumo even at highway speeds I only need the zumo on 30% volume to listen nicely to my tunes.

I agree with many that the phone is definitely a dangerous interruption. You're not just listening your attention is definitely not on what your doing the moment you say "Hello". Otherwise you're forced to tell the caller hey I'm not really paying attention to you, I'm after all riding a motorcycle so if you will feel better hearing me grunt and say ok every now and then knowing I won't remember anything we spoke about I'd be happy to continue this call.

I tell folks simply text message me; when I stop the bike I'll check my messages and get back to you at that time....
 

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I have the Zumo 550. For now, I use a set of inexpensive Skullcandy in ear phones when I'm going through large cities. Otherwise, I use ear plugs and look at the screen. I do have an sd card filled with music, but I only listen to music after I'm done riding for the day and sitting in the tent at night.
 

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I use a TomTom 720, but I like the voice/music. I use a set of Marshmallow earbuds and they are effectively an earplug/headphone so everything is quiet but I can pipe in .mp3's from the GPS, and get my turn by turn or street names spoken to me while I ride. Frees me up to keep my eyes on the road, and I have some very quiet background music on while I ride...which relaxes me and keeps me focused.
 

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Because it is worth it to me to see "Turn right on Wood St. in 500 ft" instead of "Turn right in 500 ft." There are a lot of 3,4,and 5 way intersections in New England and with the older Garmins (that don't have the street name) I'd make wrong turns sometimes. I sell off my old GPS models as new ones come out, so the net cost is usually inconsequential.
I'm pretty sure the Zumo 450 displays street names, but doesn't speak them.
 
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