Garmin Zumo 390LM Motorcycle GPS

Garmin Zumo 390LM Motorcycle GPS

REVIEW OF THE GARMIN ZUMO 390LM MOTORCYCLE GPS

  • MSRP $599.99
  • 4.3” sunlight-readable, glove-friendly touchscreen display with lifetime map updates
  • Resistant to fuel spills, UV rays and water-rated to IPX7
  • Service History Log for bike maintenance
  • Hands-free phone control and spoken directions via Bluetooth® helmet (sold separately)
  • Curvy Roads routing guides to winding rides
  • Create routes on the fly
  • Import routes from third parties directly to the Garmin
  • Find local attractions, gas stations, etc. 
  • Review Date: May 2016
  • Sample provided by GearChic.com

OVERVIEW

I picked up this Garmin unit last Fall when my last one (660 LM) fell off (rider error: the unit wasn’t seated into the cradle completely). But lucky me, that meant a nice opportunity for an upgrade. The 660LM uses an older operating system, and for me was really slow and painful to use. Well, using any of these Garmins are slow and painful to use because they’re not quite like using an iPhone. :-)

My main reason for having this Garmin was so I could import MY turn by turn routes, instead of relying on the Garmin to figure out the route for me. I like finding the twistiest roads I can, and building my own routes so being able to import a route that I build in Google Maps or Furkot is a lot faster. 

I also chose this one in particular because I found it for only $100 more than the 660LM. The more expensive models such as the 590 and 690 were far too expensive for me since I would only be gaining additional screen size. I didn’t mind that the screen was smaller, it just wasn’t that important to me. 

In trying to figure out how to do this, I decided to write this review because I couldn't find anything online that showed me how to do the following things on my Apple Macbook Air (OS 10.11, El Capitan). As an Apple girl, there is no way in hell I'll that I'd buy a pc just do all these things. I needed to figure out how to do all this with my equipment: 

  1. How to import a .gpx route into the Garmin; then
  2. How to find the .gpx route you just imported
  3. How to build a route manually on the Garmin
  4. Using the Garmin with a Sena SMH10R Bluetooth Headset

Garmin provides it's own routing software called Basecamp. Personally, I find the interface on Basecamp to be clunky, circa Windows 1995. So I detest using it. If you like using the software, then by all means you can totally use it and then directly transfer the files through the software to the Garmin once it’s plugged into your computer. The Transfer menu allows you to directly send the route files to the unit once you have it plugged in. But again, I can't stand the interface so I never use it. 

There are many websites including Google Maps and others to create the GPX files, so use anything you're comfortable with. In order to import a route into the Garmin I found it easiest to use .GPX files. I'm sure there are other ways of doing this, but this is the method I used which worked well for me. 

These directions ONLY apply to the Zumo models with the newer software including mine. The 660 Zumo model has the older version so you’ll need to find a different tutorial for that. Although generating the .GPX files is the same for either model. 

1/ How to import a .gpx route into the Garmin

First, I built my route on Furkot.com because I like the user interface and I can add stops like gas, food, lodging and it estimates how much time I’ll need in between based on certain restrictions like start / end times, fuel limits, etc. It’s super useful no matter how you’re traveling, whether it’s by car or motorcycle. So you can tell it things like I have 150 miles on my tank between fillups, I only want to travel from 9am-5pm, and I only want to spend 30 minutes max at each break in between. It will also automatically fill in a hotel for you if it can determine that you'll need to stay somewhere overnight! But then you can go in and find a different hotel from the one it chose for you. Really great website, I highly recommend it. 

My Furkot route from my trip to the Women's Sportbike Rally last Fall

My Furkot route from my trip to the Women's Sportbike Rally last Fall

Once I export the .GPX file from Furkot, I then import it by plugging my Zumo into my Macbook, where it shows up as an external drive. Then, simply drag the file to the GPX folder. You can access other files here as well, such as Screenshots and Pictures.  

Now that you've dragged the file into the GPX folder, it's time to find the damn route on the Garmin! 

2/ How to find the .gpx route you just imported

Now that you’ve transferred the .gpx file, it’s time to find it on the Garmin! From the Main Garmin Screen, select Apps:

Garmin_Zumo_390LM_HomeScreen

Then select Trip Planner:

You should see a list of your routes, with the one you just imported. 

This is where New Trip allows you to make one on the fly, if you don't have your computer and need to make a quick and dirty route. 

3/ How to build a route manually on the Garmin

You can see when you’re in the Trip Planner, the option for a New Trip is there (Home->Apps>Trip Planner). 

Select New Trip. Then it asks you for a Start Location:

And then you choose where you want to start! Either where you are at the moment, or a particular start point like an address, maybe something you saved earlier, your Home (which you can designate as well), etc. 

In this example, I'll choose Where I Am Now. Then, it allows you to select (confirm) that location:

After you press Select, it takes you back to this menu so you can keep adding locations. 

Once you've added a few locations, you should see your list: 

Of course if you have more than 3 locations, you'll see the rest of the when you scroll down. Make sure you hit Save so you don't lose all this hard work! It'll then ask you to create a name for the trip. 

After you've saved your trip, if you want to edit it, simply navigate back to Trip Planner from the Home Screen. Once you select the trip, it should look like this: 

Click on the Menu Button (the 3 parallel bars, which is the universal symbol for Menu in software). Then you'll see these options:

Sometimes when you are adding locations, the order might be added incorrectly. From this menu, you can reorder them manually. If you press and hold the light gray arrows and it'll let you drag it up or down. Although the Optimize Order option above is pretty useful if you want it to rearrange the stops for you . 

There are certainly lots of other options in the Zumo like the tire pressure monitor, parking reminder, alarms, etc. But I tend to rely on my iPhone for advanced features like that. But play around with it, there are some interesting features you may like using on it. 

As far as mounting, I have my Garmin installed on my 2012 Triumph Street Triple R using the cradle that was included and a Ram Mounts Fork Stem. When I installed the cradle to the battery, I had to solder these waterproof ring terminals to the positive/negative wires. 

Then I use a Ram Mounts Baby Arm to attach the 390LM to the Fork Stem. It's super sturdy and I had no problems at all with it on the trip.

Photo of my old 660LM on the same Ram Mounts Fork Stem Mount.

Photo of my old 660LM on the same Ram Mounts Fork Stem Mount.

A couple of photos of the 390LM with Goldie. It's pretty small, and out of my way. 

 

4. Using the Garmin with a Sena SMH10R Bluetooth Headset and an iphone 6

Something else that I really wanted was for the Garmin to give me turn by turn directions into my Sena SMH10R Headset. Here's how I recommend you connect these devices together. My iPhone is much better at being the iPhone. The Garmin is much better at being the Garmin. I found it very clunky when the Garmin was accessing my phone book and answering / making phone calls, etc. Rather than running the phone controls through the Garmin, I found it easier to use doing it this way:

  • Pair your iPhone to the Sena using phone pairing mode.
  • Then pair your Sena to the Garmin using multipoint pairing

Now, when I have my music and directions going at the same time, the Garmin would interrupt my music so I could hear the directions. Then my music would resume. 

Also, if I'm chatting with my husband, then the Garmin interrupts our conversation to give me the directions. Our conversation then resume. He never hears the directions, only I do. 

I think that's everything, I hope this helps. Please post a comment if you have any questions!