Garmin Zumo 395LM Motorcycle GPS Review

Garmin Zumo 395LMThe Garmin Zumo 395LM is the successor to the Garmin Zumo 390LM.  The hardware is basically the same although Garmin claims a longer battery life of up to 7 hours.  The real difference is the software.  The Garmin Zumo 395LM was introduced for the 2016 model year along with it’s larger cousin, the Garmin Zumo 595LM.

Hardware

The Garmin Zumo 395LM has a 4.3 inch screen.  While I think this size screen becomes somewhat of a limitation especially for use with gloves, it can be seen clearly on your handlebar.  Like most motorcycle GPS units, the Garmin Zumo 395LM is weatherproof.  It’s rated as IPX7 which means it withstands incidental exposure to water of up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes.  Good for light to moderate rain.

While the Garmin Zumo 395LM has a glove sensitive display, I believe that the limited size of the GPS makes it difficult to use with gloves.  Setting it up prior to the ride with non-gloved hands is going to work best.

These are ruggedly constructed to endure the daily vibrations of a motorcycle.  That’s why you’re paying all the extra money, so it better hold up to the vibrations!

Like previous versions of the Garmin Zumo, you can check your tire pressure using the optional Garmin Tire Pressure Monitor Sensor accessory.  This is an additional accessory that can be added which is basically a smart air valve cap that speaks to the GPS.  This is a very useful feature that makes the Garmin Zumo line of GPS units somewhat unique.  I have not seen this feature on other brand GPS devices.

Software

The “LM” in the model name stands for Lifetime Maps.  This means Garmin provides lifetime map updates at no charge.  Updates are done using the cable provided while attached to your home PC

So there are a lot of new software features that were introduced.

Garmin Adventurous Riding allows you to avoid highways and tailor your ride to the extend of curves and hills. Rider alerts will provide notifications of sharp turns and animal crossings.  The software is also going to warn about red light cameras and advise on helmet laws that are unique to each state.  The helmet law feature is interesting but I think should be ignored as all riders should use a helmet but that’s just me talking.

Like almost all motorcycle GPS devices made over the past few years, this GPS includes Bluetooth integration so that you can hear the directions through a Bluetooth enabled helmet or speaker.

Bluetooth is an integral feature if you have any hope of hearing GPS commands.  The Garmin Zumo 395LM has a Bluetooth interface to your phone or Bluetooth enabled helmet.  You can use this feature to hear the directions and street names.  The feature also supports interfacing with your smartphone.  You can also use the Bluetooth feature to ask for points of interest, like gas or food.

You can use the GPS to play stored music.  Services such as Pandora and Spotify are supported on the larger and more expensive 595LM, not the 395LM.  The smaller Zumo will allow you to control music and media from a compatible MP3 player or Apple iPhone 4s or higher.

The Garmin Zumo 395LM has a trip gauge to help plan gas consumption.  This works better than the one that’s included in  my new Nissan Murano.

Fun and Different

You can also integrate this GPS with the Garmin VIRB action camera.  You can control the start and stop of video recording from the Zumo display.  I think this is a nice feature although you may find attaching a VIRB high enough to clearly record video to be a challenge on some motorcycles.

Mounts

Terrific.  The Garmin Zumo 395LM includes both a motorcycle and car mount.  You spent a lot of money on this GPS.  use it in your car or take it on a business trip.  Saves some money in that you don’t need a second GPS for a car.  The car cradle has the standard 17mm socket on the back.  A lot of the mounts that are available for a Garmin Nuvi fits the car cradle for a Zumo 395LM.

Summary

The Garmin Zumo 395LM is is a good device.  For current owners of the Garmin Zumo 390LM, I don’t think there is enough here to justify replacement.  If you do not currently have a motorcycle GPS, and money is no object, I think the Garmin Zumo 595LM is a better device.  If money is an issue, there is often a substantial difference between the 595LM and this model.

Specifications Summary:

Glove FriendlyDisplayBattery LifeBluetoothSmartphone SupportMP3
Yes4.3"Up to 7 HoursYesYesYes

Manufacturer Link:  Garmin