What's in the box?
surprised at how much more screen size the XT2 had in comparison for not a lot of extra size of the overall unit itself. Inside you get the unit itself, the hardware to mount it to your motorbike, a power cable with an inline fuse, a charging/data cable as well as some documentation.
Comparing with the XT(1)
Having owned the previous Zumo XT model, I was pleasantly surprised by the upgrades and improvements in the Zumo Xt2. The enhanced processing speed and smoother interface stood out immediately, reducing any lag and ensuring a much more fluid user experience. The larger internal storage capacity was a welcome addition, allowing me to store more maps and points of interest for my adventures.
The screen is much brighter, although I didn’t think that the XT(1) was dark by any means but the XT2 is brighter and bigger. The screen size is 6inches rather than the 5.5inch screen on the XT(1) and although the overall footprint of the device is not much bigger it does feel like you have much more screen real estate to view. Particularly good if you, like me, like to have the trip info on display.
The Garmin Zumo Xt2 is a powerhouse of features tailored to motorcyclists and adventurers. Its turn-by-turn navigation is highly accurate, keeping me on track even when taking the road less travelled. The ability to customize routes based on my preferences, whether that’s avoiding highways or prioritizing scenic routes, adds a personal touch to each journey. The integration of topographic maps and BirdsEye Satellite Imagery further elevates the navigation experience, giving me a comprehensive understanding of the terrain ahead. I have never really used this but I can see that this would be a great added bonus for those riders wanting to explore more information about their route.
There are so many features of this sat nav, but here are my favourite ones:
Rugged and Weather-Resistant Design: It is built to withstand the rigors of outdoor adventures, featuring a rugged design that’s resistant to dust, water, and fuel sprays. The SD card slot and USBC connectors have move from the back to the bottom of the unit and the flaps that cover them feel more robust and are easier to put back into place.
Large Touchscreen Display: The device has a spacious and high-resolution touchscreen that remains easily readable even in bright sunlight and is evident as soon as you compare it next to the XT(1).
Turn-by-Turn Navigation: The same navigation experience that Garmin have become known for is employed in the same way as other units which I find really intuitive and familiar from the outset. It is as accurate as other Garmin units I have used but the processor in this unit is faster than older units, including the XT(1).
Customisable Routing: As with the XT(1) you can plan your rides according to your preferences using customizable routes. You can choose to avoid highways or opt for scenic routes for a more personalized journey, but more than that, you can use the built in trip planner to actually plan your route with stops and avoidances and the level of ‘twistiness’ you want, right on the unit. Using ‘pinch and zoom’ the screen is very responsive and has not stuttered at all in my testing.
Connectivity: Connect your smartphone via Bluetooth to access incoming calls, text messages, and music controls directly on the screen, although it seems to have taken a slight step back here where sharing routes via your phone are concerned. Some may find it easier, but I found it more clunky than the XT(1) but will explain in a minute.
Garmin Explore App Integration: Sync routes, waypoints, and tracks between the XT2 and the Garmin Explore app.
InReach Satellite Communication Compatibility: You can connect the XT2 with compatible inReach devices for two-way messaging, tracking, and SOS functions, enhancing safety during remote adventures, an awesome addition if that’s your thing!
Rider Alerts: Receive alerts for potential hazards such as sharp curves, speed changes, and railroad crossings, helping you stay informed and safe on the road. I find them a little intrusive sometimes but on the whole they are a positive way forward for forward planning on your ride.
Adventurous Routing Options: This is great as you can choose from different route suggestions based on your desired level of adventure, whether you prefer winding roads or off-road trails is now up to you and you have a higher level of control than the XT(1) so you can really tailor your route to suit the time you have or for how adventurous you feel!
Apps: The integration of popular apps like Spotify and WhatsApp directly into the XT2 is a real bonus. I use Apple Music and use it from my iPhone, but connecting is simple and easy and just works well. I have turned some of the notifications off as they can become a little intrusive but you can tailor the notifications to suite you.
So on the XT(1) you could use the Garmin Drive app. This was a great app that allowed you to share GPX sat nav routes and tracks so easily with the unit itself without any hassle, although the move to have to use the app called Garmin Tread and Garmin Explore with the XT2 is a little clunky and I’m still getting my head around the functions. Essentially the Explore and Tread app and the XT2 all sync with each other and in logical terms it makes much more sense that no matter what device you are using you can alter, import, export and arrange routes and tracks so that they are totally managed by you and available on your XT2 all of the time. The syn function works really quickly.
For me though I have found that importing GPX routes into the Explore and Tread app has been clunky at best. They do go on there but constantly want to be converted into tracks rather than routes and when it does that it removes the waypoints etc. I have found that the easiest way to get GPX routes onto the XT2 in the format I want is to plug it into the computer and drag the GPX files into the XT2’s GPX folder. This works like any other Garmin has done before and the routes are there as I wanted them to be. I’m not sure why Garmin moved from the Drive app but I think this may be a little bit of an error on their part.
Having said that if you are new to Garmin and get an XT2 you won’t be tainted by ‘your old ways of working’ and will be fine as the Explore and tread app are both intuitive to use. It’s just me I guess, but I would like to have the choice to use the Drive app like on the XT(1).
Ease of Use: The XT2 remains incredibly user-friendly, as previous models with it’s intuitive touchscreen interface, along with large and easy-to-press buttons, ensures that I can operate it with my gloves on. The clear and concise menus make navigating through settings and features a breeze, although some settings have moved from where they were on the XT(1) so you might have to hunt to find them on the first few occasions.
Mounting – Good and bad: The XT2 comes with mounting options for your motorcycle and comes connected to a ball mount option which is great as this is really versatile. It too has dispensed with the small inverter block on the power cable, instead just having a red and black wire attached and also an inline fuse should you need to us it. Installation is easy to be honest and I managed without issue so anyone can do it 😂.
The square mounting bracket is small and robust and the XT2 connects to it with a satisfying click although Garmin still have not included a way to lock the unit on the mount which is a real shame. This is no different to older models but it does mean that you either have to take the unit with you all the time or buy a lock from the numerous places on the internet that sell them.
You cannot however, use the XT(1) on the XT2 mount. Why I hear you ask? Well good question….. It appears that there are several very very small changes to the mounting and a few little rubber bumps that are different than the XT(1) mount. This is such a shame and really disappointing to be honest because if you have 2 bikes and already have an XT(1) and just bought an XT2, yes you can use it on the old XT(1) mount but you can’t use the XT(1) on the XT2 mount, so you either have to change both mounts or use one sat nav for each bike. Not the end of the world but why change the mounts and not keep them standard is beyond me. But I guess if you have upgraded to the XT2 from the XT(1) you don’t have to rewire the mount! What a faff!
3DAM Mount: Those clever bods at 3DAM have updated their products though, so if you have a BMW motorbike with the sat nav preparation cradle on it, you can buy the adapter to fit it! Search 3DAM on google and you will find it.
A great bit of kit! Not only is it fast than the XT(1), has a bigger and much brighter screen but it also works really well. If you like playing with routes and track and love syncing things with the cloud of all things, you will love it. If you need a reliable sat nav that has upto date tech in it, USBC plugs and an expandable storage then you are in luck.
Would I upgrade from an XT(1): Ummm, im not sure to be honest. The upgrades in the XT2 are fantastic but the difference between the two units for most people won’t justify the extra expense. With the XT(1) at around £350 and the XT2 at around £530 (Sept 2023) if you have the XT(1) then it’s great.
However if you are looking for a quality sat nav with a big screen and have the money then an XT2 is a great choice that you won’t regret!