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Garmin 550 GPS review…add your own ideas models

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    • Bike: 2102 Husaberg FE570 Rally Australia Bike, 2007 BMW 650 x-Challenge, 2009 Buell XP Ulysses Police Duty (1 of 137)
    • Rank: 800cc Rider

    The Garmin 550 (or 550t if u get it with topo installed, both the same gps) is a decent unit for the price it can be bought for in NZ. I found my unit for $300NZD in 2015, which is a good price. There is the new 650/600 series which is apparently just the same gps in a newer smaller mobile-phoneish size. Both are IPX-7 waterproof, and no worries in heavy rain. The 550 is similar to the 450 but includes a built in camera for geocashing with photos etc. Nice to have the feature, though I have a dedicated camera for proper pics.

    The batteries stink. I got about 4hrs out of the rechargeables, and less than 100kms with standard batteries. To be fair, they were likely old batteries on the shelf in Urenui for forever, but most GPS should be run off the bike battery anyway. I’m just in the process of installing, so didn’t have it ready yet.

    The screen is a bit small, but then its much more pocketable and portable than the Garmin Montana with larger screen, and much less costly. It’s a great middle of the road GPS with touchscreen that works with gloves. The only other option would be the 64a with better signal, but no touch screen and lots of small buttons. The other good feature is its pretty well readable in direct sunlight, and has audible alarm when turns are approaching. All the pros of using GPX files too and openstreetmaps.

    For the price, I recommend it, as its better than using your phone, and is adaptable to many other situations like tramping, boating, etc.

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