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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 21 August 2014
Good to see that Garmin are finally bringing across many of the features from the standard automotive GPS units but there are still some things missing that would be good to have. Why Garmin always let the motorcycle units lag behind the rest of the range I don't know but it's always been that way. Lots more info here:

Main reason I'm posting this is to help with one important item that's no longer supplied with the 590 as it was with the 5xx and 6xx ranges - a case!

The OEM Garmin case is selling here on Amazon for £23! I found this one:

For under £3 I thought it was well worth a go even if it turned out to be rubbish. It took a couple of weeks to arrive (from China) but it was well worth it. The quality is as good as the OEM case I had with my 660 and the 590 fits perfectly.
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on 3 October 2014
Very, very expensive - but, it has the usual excellent Zumo build quality and, in the box, absolutely everything you need for motorcycle or car use. I find Garmin customer-care second-to-none and it's possible to speak directly with an operator should a problem arise (try that with TomTom...). Even the once-derided "Garmin Express" that allows the unit, via a computer, to link with Garmin, seems to work well (though make sure you have the latest version installed). It's also very welcome, as others point out, to have a number of the features used in car units for so long.
Clear, even in bright sunlight, the screen is a significant and important improvement over previous versions; it dims automatically at night (and in tunnels) with crisper graphics than the 600 Series; the map detail, in standard view, is just about right - though in car mode you might want more. The unit both locates satellites and recalculates when you've made a wrong turn with commendable speed. It's also possible, at last, to have a selection of windows down one side showing, for example, "Arrival time", Distance to go", etc., though one has to say that their appearance is still infant-school clunky with lots of precious space wasted between the words and their border.
One really annoying feature is the "Up Ahead" display; it's impossible to turn off the screen icons for any of the three that you are forced to select; the list being: Speed Cameras, Lodging, Food, Road-side Help, Gas (Petrol), Parking, Banks & ATM and Restrooms (lavatories in English). While you might want cameras and fuel showing, having the screen littered with pictures of knives and forks or "restrooms" I find a hindrance to sane progress. Unlike all but the very latest TomTom units (they'd stripped the feature out for a number of years) you can upload your own sets of POIs (Points of Interest).
How the Bluetooth and iPhone (etc.) links work I've no idea - the idea of scrolling through song lists, checking my Stock Exchange portfolio while phoning lover No.3 while ear'oling down a twisty road is, to me, pure anathema. Howver, check a number of YouTube videos if you want to see just how comprehensive this side of the unit is - it seems to link to and play from almost anything, while also being able to remotely control a Garmin camera.
Speed-camera warnings (from the Garmin database) are utterly hopeless and far too general; it's far better to download the really detailed ones from Pocket GPS that locate permanent and temporary ones with precision. However, the icons displayed are tiny (a ridiculous situation when every greasy-spoon cafe is lit up like Tokyo at night) but you can wrestle with the software and change this if you wish.
A warning: mine came with "Avoidances" set by default to include no U-turns; this might be fine if you're on Diavel, not so handy if riding 390 Duke. It's also a new unit, so, as an early adopter, be prepared for some yet-to-be-discovered snags and regular updates of the firmware.
Update 10th October 2014:
I've now covered around 2000 miles and am generally very impressed with its performance and (relative) ease of use. The rapid and smooth scrolling of the screen is a real bonus and the database comprehensive (though don't expect every fuel station listed to still exist...). I do find that it will occasionally select an obliviously unsuitable, longer and slower side-road route - though I suppose that this might well be a fault common to other Garmin units....
Update May 2016
After 12,000 miles the only things I dislike about the unit are 1) the interface - it's inferior to a TomTom and not all intuitive; liveable with, but not a pleasure. 2) the mount, though effective, is not a lockable and you have to remove the unit when you leave the bike. If you are wondering how to attach yours I can recommend a RAM Type. Mine is on a bolt that replaces one in the handlebar clamp. Neat, simple and effective
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on 1 August 2015
I am disappointed with my recent upgrade to the zumo 590, having had several Garmin devices over the years. I appreciate that Garmin has to modernise its products to remain competitive, but including features which are a hindrance and omitting good navigation features from earlier devices doesn't seem to be progress.

On start-up, the software on my 590 intermittently cycles through the route calculation 2 or 3 times on routes that have been planned and uploaded from my computer. My previous devices have never done this. On first use, the spoken directions were deafeningly loud in my bluetooth headset, which I adjusted. Upon subsequent use I could barely hear instructions no matter what I did with the 590 and latterly the spoken directions became non-existent, so given the other issues with the unit, I have given up trying to fathom the problem or the answer. The volume icon on-screen seems pointless, since it only produces an instruction to adjust the headset volume control. Spoken directions are very important particularly when riding at speed, they help me to know when I’m approaching a junction or road where I need to re-position myself. Having to depend solely upon a screen when the audio won't function and frequently check it for direction of up-coming junctions can be dangerous especially in fast moving traffic.

The unit will not run a bespoke route unless it is set in ‘curvy roads’ mode, whereas the zumo 660 predecessor ran bespoke routes whether set to ‘fastest’ or ‘shortest’ modes, and unless the ‘curvy roads’ feature is deselected to be able to reach a single destination point directly, the unit directs you everywhere except where you want to go. It seems a retrograde step that the 590 will not run a bespoke route in its 'fastest' or 'shortest' route settings.

Recently plotting a route directly on the 590 incorporating various waypoints and having to use it in ‘curvy roads’ mode in order to run the route, produced endless confusing deviations and instructions to turn around, and had I been using the 590 where I was unfamiliar with the general direction, roads numbers etc, I would have been directed endlessly out of my way.

The 590 also produces incessant alerts, to the point that they become distracting and they're ignored. I don’t want to receive alerts for every restaurant and petrol station on route, but I do want safety camera alerts, but as these are all grouped within one setting, I seemingly can’t have one turned on without the others. I’m disappointed with this feature, especially having purchased the camera alerts software upgrade.

The cradle is unique to the 590 although the 18 pin rear connector looks the same (590 v 660). I don't know why cradles cannot be standardised so that devices can be interchanged (or upgraded) more easily, swapping the cradle mounting is costly in garage charges, which I've now done twice on my bike, having reverted to the 660.

It seems that Garmin has taken a good device (zumo 660) and made it greatly more complicated but has not retained its good features. My purpose in buying a motorcycle sat-nav is to be able to plan and ride bespoke routes and receive reliable audible directions and relevant alerts. My 590 fails to do this, therefore I have reverted to the 660 and am disappointed to have wasted money on an expensive product that does not give me the essential navigation information that I have come to expect.

Unfortunately Garmin customer services has not been able to provide me with assistance to overcome any of these issues.
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on 2 November 2015
I purchased the Zumo 590LM three weeks ago and have now used it several times on my motorcycle. I'd previously had TomTom Rider units, both of which had suffered back contact failure.
I'd carefully read all the reviews and decided on the Zumo 590LM on the basis of reviews which indicated the screen was visible in bright sunlight, which was not the case with the TomTom.
Out of the box the unit is of much better quality than the the TomTom.
I'd purchased the Touratech lockable mount which holds the unit securely in a clearly visible position.
The Zumo menu is not as intuitively obvious as that of the TomTom but is manageable.
Now the downside: screen visible in bright sunlight? Maybe I'm missing something obvious but I've tried tilting the unit, adjusting the brightness and the colour themes and the screen remains barely discernible even in low light conditions,
Regarding the 'theme' colour schemes: I've seen only one review that criticises the 'wishy-washy' colour schemes. Come on Garmin, the colours need to be much more vivid to be at all discernible on a motorcycle in daylight!
With the barely visible graphics the Zumo 590LM is useless as a motorcycle GPS without a bluetooth headset.

However, as I said, I might be missing something obvious. Can someone enlighten me?

Overall, I'm disappointed with the Zumo and regret not buying another TomTom.
0Comment| 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Bought this to replace my old Zumo 550 (which was still working absolutely fine... except all the control buttons fell out rendering it practically useless).

In comparison, this is a much nicer unit to use (as you'd expect with the general advancement in satellite navigation technology and the refinements of the user interface) and it's navigation prompts and displays on the move are definitely an improvement. Garmin's 'Lifetime Maps' (essentially free map updates for the life of the unit) is simply brilliant. Anyone who has ever splashed out to update maps on your average car's built-in satnav - as I did once - will feel immediately fleeced after this as it's simplicity itself if you have a PC or Mac (as are system firmware updates) and consequently always ensure that you have the latest maps available without it costing you a penny extra. As I'm not a 'satnav power user distance rider' I don't make use of the 'trip log' facilities but they appear to be at least as present and correct as before. Other notable additions over the Zumo 550's functionality is the 'service history' which can track and remind you of your vehicle's service intervals (as well as consumables such as tyres, filters and spark plugs)... connectivity and control of a Garmin VIRB-series camera... and a facility to monitor tyre pressures with optionally available valve cap sensors.

I use the 590LM with a Cardo Scala Rider G9 wireless headset (Bluetooth pairs straight away with no problems) and my Sony Xperia Z5 with the Garmin Smartphone Link app installed. The idea with the latter (apart from being able to make/receive calls and stream music) is that it also uses the Z5's 4G network connectivity to receive free live updates primarily on traffic and weather (other live services are available on subscription). I wasn't actually expecting this to work that well, if at all... but it does! And in London UK at least, it's impressively accurate.

As with my previous Zumo 550, it came included with separate cradles for both bike and car (car cradle has a window suction mount and built-in speaker), connection/power cables for both and various RAM bike mounting options. What was missing with the 590LM though, was a case (available as an 'nice-but-expensive-for-what-it-is' option) which was really disappointing.

Downsides? Well, for me... little, if anything, to do with regards to the unit itself (apart from the fact that it can sometimes feel like it's user interface was design-led by Garmin's 'car' division rather than its 'motorcycle' one)... more to do with the 590LM's bike cradle. It doesn't appear to be as robustly designed as the 550's (although the 590LM and weatherproof cover do click into it quite easily and securely). There's no way to physically 'lock' the unit into it as you could with the 550's cradle (which... I don't know... maybe's not such a bad thing) and the weatherproof cover - which doesn't actually look that 'weather proof' - is easily stolen (I've already had to get a replacement). More of an issue is that the cradle also has several hard-wired cables attached to it (a few mini jack input/outputs and a USB socket amongst them) all of which could've been made detachable for users not requiring them. This makes installing it on say, a modern superbike fairly tricky as you have to find somewhere to coil up and hide all that unneeded wiring.

However, once you do have it all installed and 'up and running', it works very well and is unlikely to disappoint. For me, Garmin are still the leaders in motorcycle navigation and as such, the 590LM is highly recommended.
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on 15 March 2015
It is faster, it is fully featured, it is intuitive but, it is a Zumo and as such is prone to silly routing. It is better than the 550, it is much better than the awful 660, but it will, irrespective of settings take you on and off your route for silly detours without reason.
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on 18 August 2014
Great product but not such a huge advance on my old Zumo 550 as I thought it would be. Still, having a 5 inch screen on my ZZR 1400 is a luxury and the navigation is good. It doesn't take long to acquire satellites and the dynamic route guidance (altering the route on the go for traffic reasons or because you haven't followed the route correctly), is significantly faster thanks to a quicker processor. I haven't yet asked it to find windy routes with the Curvy Roads feature but that was partly why I bought it. The option to have the satnav in portrait mode sounds great but in reality it is a Little tricky to do if you are using bike power. You will need to wire it to the bike in such a way to leave enough spare wire. That might look a bit unsightly (as it would on my ZZR) as you need to allow the satnav holder to rotate. If you have a previous Garmin, say a Zumo 550 or 600, beware that you will need to replace the charging wires if you use bike power to support your satnav. The holder for the unit is very different. All the required kit comes with the unit. I would also mention that the satnav is not secure with the Garmin holder. A quick press of the button will release the unit. I would never leave my unit on the bike unattended but you should remember that. Overall, a great product that I am enjoying.
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on 4 May 2015
As a long-time user of Garmin motorcycle GPS's with an old and tired zumo 550 my original plan was to buy a 660 for my new bike but then I saw that the 590 was newer and had a larger screen. I've never owned a 660 but used one for a week in Colorado on a rental bike and was impressed with it.

I knew when I bought the 590 that I'd have to use Basemap to download routes from my PC to the 590 but I also knew that I could import any of my hundreds of saved Mapsource routes into Basemap.

What I failed to realise was that both Basemap and the 590 itself have totally unintuitive interfaces compounded by very poor documentation. There may be people out there who are impressed by the ability to "create an adventure" but all I want is a PC app that lets me plan a series of routes, download them to my GPS, and then ride them accurately without continually tripping over "features" that I can't understand and which are apparently undocumented. As an example when you switch off the 590 it invisibly stays on "in stand-by mode" and runs its battery flat. In order to actually switch it off you must hold the switch down for 5 seconds and then confirm that you really are trying to turn it off. This is not a user-friendly approach.

In short there is absolutely nothing that I like about the 590 other than the screen, which is really quite good. And Garmin, despite boasting in their puff about how they understand the motorcycle market, still don't even provide a U-bolt mount that will fit on modern large diameter handlebars.
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on 25 March 2016
Premium product really? This overpriced GPS unit has worse performance then my old nokia e71 phone with google maps. I geuss Garmin didnt learn much at all. Scrolling maps lags and calculating route takes extremely long. Bluetooth support over the media my sony sbh 52 headset sounds like 8kHz sampling rate Anything played over the zumo 590lm sounds horribly poor quality. This product shouldn't be priced over 350 quid it is extortion.
I have owned few other garmin products before but this one suprised me in worse posible way. Micro sd card supports only 8Gb cards well my garmin edge 800 (push bike gps ) took 32gb easily and had more customised menu's then this unit. I recon garmin is using old components in this low tech device.
I must mention about display Well its not so bright and not so sharp I have ordered shade visor well and thats another 10 quid to this premium range product
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on 14 February 2015
Required for my Caterham and interchanges with my motorcycle. Has to be resistant to vibration, moisture and have bluetooth connectivety for an ear piece because of the noise. Worth the high price. The only downside with this latest model is that it is not lockable onto the car/bike holder and therefore has to be taken off and carried everywhere.
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