Garmin goes bike

Garmin’s new zumo looks like the ultimate in motorcycle navigation – “designed from the ground-up to exceed the demands of motorcyclists of every stripe” claims the company.

zumo features a glove-friendly design with left-handed controls and oversized touchscreen buttons on a high-bright display, Bluetooth “hands-free-to-helmet” wireless technology (more than 200 Bluetooth phones are supported), and a rugged locking mount.

The 3.5in touchscreen is encased in a waterproof housing made of plastics that resist damage from fuel splashes and UV light. A rechargeable battery typically gives three hours’ use if you have to use it on foot.

Users can also access zumo’s trip computer page for trip information like speed, heading, and a customisable fuel gauge that allows users to define their motorcycle’s maximum fuel range. When zumo calculates that the motorcycle is low on fuel, it automatically reminds the rider and suggests a route to a nearby petrol station. And there’s a built-in MP3 player too.

zumo will come pre-loaded with data for Europe or North American, and includes millions of points of interest – places like hotels, restaurants, service stations, and attractions. The map data comes from NAVTEQ.

zumo is expected to be available in October 2006.