Garmin zumo 550 - Product Review

Garmin zumo 550 - Product Review

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Having six million-plus points of interest at your fingertips is a wonderful thing. But when you want to see the big picture, zooming out on an itty-bitty screen just doesn't cut it, especially with riding buddies peeking over your shoulder. A better choice is a traditional map that you can fold out on a picnic table or the bed of your hotel room.

That's why Garmin's zûmo 550 ($964; www.garmin.com) and Mad Maps' Get Outta Town series ($6 per map, $30 for four-map Tour Packs with nylon carrying case; www.madmaps.com) are such great companions. Mated to our Rocket III Touring testbike using a chrome Techmount 1-inch handlebar mount ($70; www.techmounts.com), the Bluetooth-enabled zûmo proved rugged, powerful and easy to read at a glance. And its 3.5-inch color touch screen responded immediately to glove-handed inputs. The durable, 12 x 24-inch GOT maps focus on scenic and challenging two-lane backroads, highlighting "funky, quirky and fascinating" roadside attractions along the way. Newly available electronic versions download turn-by-turn directions and even more attractions to your zûmo.With this combination, making a sidetrip to Tortilla Flats for Prickly Pear Ice Cream has never been easier.