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3DAM Garmin Zumo XT BMW Adapter

BMW Navigator VI - Problems

So firstly, we have been advocated and avid users of the BMW Navigator VI.  This unit is great, it fits on the BMW preparation mount and lets you incorporate the whizz wheel from the handlebars to view certain things and provides a link to the motorbike to show much more information.  All of which is on the TFT somewhere.

The Navigator VI has suffered with numerous problems and looking through forums far and wide its clear that lots and lots of people are suffering from screen problems.

On a tour problems started (although intermittent), the Navigator VI started to behave oddly.  Almost as though someone was continually pressing the back button in the bottom right hand corner, resulting in the map spinning, the bike icon riding off the screen and also the map zooming out to show the whole Earth!

I do love the fact that you can see the whole Earth and perhaps get excited about looking for a new route and adventure, but not when I’m riding and certainly not when I’m in the middle of a tour!

So I stopped and cleaned the screen and all was solved! OR SO I THOUGHT!

Fast forward a few months and back in the UK and when riding, the issue happens every single time it turns on!

So it was on the phone to BMW.  They quoted £699 in the UK! what, that’s extortionate!  So it was then on the phone to Garmin.

Firstly they were great in the UK support office.  A replacement program they run for a fee of £155 in the UK means that they will replace your faulty unit with a new rectified one.  Great I thought… oh no!  nothing arrived so after quite a few calls to them as they were unable to sort their admin systems out and I waited for a month before taking to social media and emailing their CEO I received a brand new in box replacement unit.

In the interim I needed a unit on the bike as I ride most days and had a tour coming up that I needed to plan for.  So I searched the internet and came across the ZUMO XT!  what a unit, much better screen, faster than the NAV VI, more modern and using the Drive App, its so easy to organise GPX files and other routes.  So I got one.

But how to get this on the BMW!?

The Solutions

There are 2 solutions to fitting it to my BMW 1250 GSA.

  1. Use the supplied wiring, buy a wiring adapter to fit the bikes harness and set it all up.
  2. Find an adapter to make the Zumo XT fit the BMW preparation kit.

So option 1 for me (an idiot where electric is concerned) and also not wanting to change the preparation kit already fitted and to keep things as OEM as possible, so option 1 was out.

Then I stumbled across a website in Italy that makes just the adapter!  WOW!

So the adapter is 3D printed and made by a company called 3DAM.  It holds the contacts for the preparation kit and converts it to the new ZUMO metal contacts.  They also do 2 versions, 1 with the ability to lock the adapter onto the BMW preparation kit and 1 that does not.

I bought the one that allows me to lock the sat nav onto the bike.  

After fitting the ZUMO XT bracket that came in the box, click it on the ZUMO XT and then the adapter clips right into the BMW preparation kit.

It also comes with a 3D printed slider that replaces the original BMW one.  It comes off the BMW preparation after just removing 2 screws and screwing the new slider on.  This not only replicates the old slider but adds another arm to lock the ZUMO ZT in, so in effect it locks as the old one did as well as providing the extra arm to lock the new shiny sat nav.

What's it like?

Well, I have lost the ability to use the Whizz Wheel on the Bmw, but to be fair, other than zooming into a map I didn’t use it for anything else.

All of the information you can display on the NAV VI is also available on the TFT screen.  I know that for some losing the Whizz Wheel function is a deal breaker but for me it wasn’t.

So the adapter makes it super easy to fit the ZUMO XT onto the BMW without having to mess with any wires or dealing with any faff at all.  5 minutes putting the supplied Garmin bracket onto the adapter, changing the slider and that’s it! job done!

It certainly locks it onto the BMW well (being mindful that if someone wants to steal it, they can wrench it off and take it, but this is the same with anything on the bike and not least the NAV VI).

The ZUMO is powered by the ignition (same as the NAV VI) and when the power is turned off, it does take a little longer to recognise the power is off for the ZUMO XT to start to power off, but this is a ZUMO thing I think rather than the adapter.

The adapter does make the unit stand off a little more than the NAV VI but it looks great to me!


So glad I got this adapter!

After moving from the Navigator VI to the ZUMO XT it means that  the new sat nav is fitted with the old BMW preparation which means that within 5 minutes you can fit the ZUMO to the BMW!

The adapter looks really well made, 3D printed and looks sturdy.  It converts the old 18 (or lots of) pins that the NAV VI used to only 2 pins that the ZUMO uses.  Provides power to the ZUMO and makes it possible to not have to buy another NAV VI if you don’t want one!

Excellent, and although losing the whizz wheel is not great for some, the thing I asked myself was how many times do/did I actually use the wheel.. The answer was very very few times and I haven’t missed it at all.

A great bit of kit, well built, through out and if you have been plagued by the NAV VI problems but couldn’t change your sat nav because of the BMW preparation kit, well not you can!

Watch the video review

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