Recent Experiences - Updated July 2023

For help and advice on the Garmin Zumo XT2.
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technoguppy
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Recent Experiences - Updated July 2023

Post by technoguppy »

Firstly, allow me to say that my unit is up to date, loaded with latest maps and software, as is my Tread app and BaseCamp.

Next, let my theorize that the Garmin Software Engineers, all either walk to work or take the bus because NONE of them seem to ride more than 10km to anywhere other than a one-way route at a time. Whomever they are using to create their test cases, test usages, test campaigns is NOT a motorcyclists, doesn't ride hard or for any purpose other than going for a spot of tea or a cup of coffee. That's the only summation I can glean from my most recent experience.

Strap in fellas, this is going to be a long one...

Route - Start to Start (like doing a circuit or route that ends where it starts)
So I've laboured and created some routes. On this trip to the Windy9 in Athens, Ohio, we stayed at one hotel for a week. This would be our base or hub for the nine different routes that make up the Windy 9. I created the routes from the Windy9.com Garmin GPX files and added a start and end of our hotel to the routes. In short, HOTEL -> 160km route -> HOTEL. Fire up the route after going into ALL, COLLECTIONS, ROUTE, and after all that load the route of the day. My options are HOTEL as start, HOTEL as finish or CLOSEST ENTRY POINT. For sh!ts and giggles, I select CLOSEST ENTRY POINT while sitting in the hotel parking lot, as it is my starting point and GARMIN doesn't want me fiddling with the unit while I ride (right?). GO then START. YOU HAVE ARRIVED! FFS.

So to get around this, I need to start off on my own, get down the route a little ways, try again (while negotiating traffic) then it picks up and says "Hey, you're good to go!". Alas, you say "Techno, just add a waypoint in the middle of the route and select it!". Go give that a try and let me know how that works out for you on either the unit itself or the Tread App. I look forward to your post as to how to do it so it works.

Now the fun starts. My wife has the same unit, same software, same Tread app, and same MAP. Luckily enough we have comms or else one of us would still be stuck in Wayne National Forest somewhere in Ohio. She asks inquisitively "Weren't we supposed to turn RIGHT back there?", to which I respond "No, the map has me going straight", to which she responds "That's not what mine says!". Good times, thanks Garmin for the memories (and where do I send the marriage counseling bills?).

Tread App Needs Data to work / sync
So her unit and my unit are out of sync (I assume) because we're both working to the same input (either BaseCamp or .GPX file). Let's see if we can't fix this. As stated previously, we're in the middle of some National Forest in Ohio, cell service isn't great if any at all. I can share the file via Bluetooth to her phone, she can then bring it into her Tread App, and then her unit can sync and we're good to go! NO SO FAST says some Garmin Engineer who obviously doesn't ride... You need CELL SERVICE for the Tread App because until we do our little magic on your phone, we're not going to sync with the unit. Fan F@ckin Tastic!

This is an obvious issue for anyone who doesn't ride in the city or area where there is a cell tower every 10 blocks. Tough to market a unit for use with ATV's and for off-roading purposes if you need CELL service to use it. If I do need a cell phone, why don't i just buy a rugged cellphone case, mount my phone, and call it a day. The reason I have a GPS is because I go places where there is NO cell service.

NO ONE IS IN CHARGE
As mentioned in a response to another post, there is another issue with the ZUMO XT2 and its infrastructure. Who is "master" in the ecosystem that is the ZUMO XT2. That is to say, when I have a map that has been handled by BaseCamp, then Tread, then the ZUMO XT2, who is master? Which one is king? And when? Obviously BaseCamp is a one and done scenario and not likely to impact the Tread App or the unit after it is deployed. But due to the interaction between Tread App and ZUMO XT2 unit, who's to say. When it sync's (calculates the route on the Tread App) does it make changes, subtle or otherwise? After the unit syncs to the Tread app and you load or launch the map on the ZUMO XT2, a message appears that the unit is "The Garmin Explore route is currently being converted for use with the zumo XT2 device. Try starting navigation later." WTAF!!! The duration of the wait can be minutes or hours depending on the size or complexity of the route (and your unit should be powered and on for this to happen sooner that later).
Screenshot 2023-07-18 092722.png
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Further to that, I load the map via the Tread App, which has already had its kick at the can, then I get another message from ZUMO XT2 which reads "The vehicle profile used to create this route cannot be used with this device. Recalculate the route to work with this device?" Same question WTAF?

My "avoidances" are same across all three items. No Unpaved Roads (although this is negative to the Tread App which needs me to deselect "Avoid Paved Roads and Trails". Counter intuitive and really speaks to the fact that the DEV TEAMS at Garmin DO NOT TALK TO EACH OTHER!!!
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After I accept all changes, this is what I get...

Route 1
BaseCamp - Route says 333km 4h14m
Tread App - Route says 333km 3h39m
Zumo XT2 - Route says 333km 3h40

Route 2
BaseCamp - Route says 324km 6h4m
Tread App - Route says 321km 4h1m
Zumo XT2 - Route says 322km 4h4m

Route 3
BaseCamp - Route says 435km 6h5m
Tread App - Route says 434km 4h56m
Zumo XT2 - Route says 431km 5h2m

Simply put, I have no faith in the Garmin ZUMO XT2. I cannot rely on it to provide or adhere to the route as I define it, nor can I reliably share the route with someone else and expect them to follow or lead along the route as I have prescribed. Just a waste of money at $1000CAD.

Invariably there will be those who say "It's you, the operator", to which I will reply I didn't have these issues with my 660 or 595. Too many cooks spoil the broth or in this case too many apps/programs mucky mucking with the route so you don't actually know what you getting when you say START or when you share it.

Finally, Garmin as a whole.
1 - Update your maps. A few times during our trip you would have had me cross a bridge that was no longer there (5 years or more), you would have me take an exit that is no longer in use (5 years or so).
2 - Beta Test with people who actually ride across a variety of scenarios. Ping me, I'd be happy to BETA Test and provide feedback!!!
3 - Expand your USE CASES beyond "Go to shop" and "Go home"

I'm stuck with this now but this might be my last Garmin. It's obvious that they are no longer interested in motorcycle GPS and more concerned with Golf watches, or activity trackers. Shame because they were the pinnacle at one point.
Technoguppy

Oakville, ON, Canada
Triumph Rocket 3 GT
Garmin zumo XT2
Sena SRL-EXT
Samsung S24
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Re: Recent Experiences - Updated July 2023

Post by Peobody »

Wow! You have hit on many of the frustrations of Zumo XT owners. The Tread app adds a level of complexity that seems absurd.

Some tips when using preplanned routes:
1. In a route, never have the start and end points the same. You saw why. Make the start point some distance away from your physical starting point. For routes originating from my house I set the start point about 50 yards down the street from my house.
2. Only use Closest Entry Point when absolutely necessary. It requires that the device do some calculating which you don't want (more below).
3. With the XT, it is in charge when given the chance. That means that you want to do everything you can to prevent it from doing any calculating. Going off-route and then letting it recalculate will result in the entire remainder of the route being recalculated based on what the device thinks it should be. Skipping a point will always result in a recalc. That is an example of a situation where you can not avoid a recalc. Different devices produce different results when they recalc. I see this regularly with my XT and my riding buddy's Nav VI. It is hard to understand why you and your wife's devices calculated differently though if they where the same device, same map, configured identically, and using the same route file.
4. As mentioned, recalcs can cause havoc. In route planning, strategic placement of route points that will force calculation along the roads you want is paramount. I will always open downloaded GPX files in BaseCamp and add additional route points as appropriated to try force the device to maintain the route.
5. On the XT, you can have a track displayed on the map while you ride a preplanned route. Having on track of the current route displayed on the devices map makes it easy to spot a route change due to a recalc. You then have the choice of manually following the track or stopping/restarting the route. An unknown to me is whether the XT2 has this capability and if it does, how you get the track file on it if everything must flow through the Tread app. BTW, the track file is created in BaseCamp. The transfer to the device includes the route and its track.
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technoguppy
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Re: Recent Experiences - Updated July 2023

Post by technoguppy »

Some further experiments, because I (the user) should try to figure out the workarounds to use this $1000 CAD unit.

Went back into BaseCamp, set the route profile to NONE. This takes the route and assigns CUSTOM ROUTE OPTIONS
Screenshot 2023-07-18 102502.png
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Scenario 1 - BaseCamp EXPORT .GPX to Tread App, import into Tread, Calculate, Sync to ZUMO XT2

Route 1
BaseCamp - Route says 333km 4h14m NEW 272km (not expecting this to be accurate as it is point to point)
Tread App - Route says 333km 3h39m NEW 333km 3h39m SAME
Zumo XT2 - Route says 333km 3h40 NEW 333km 3h40m SAME

Route 2
BaseCamp - Route says 324km 6h4m NEW 268km (not expecting this to be accurate as it is point to point)
Tread App - Route says 321km 4h1m NEW 321km 4h1m SAME
Zumo XT2 - Route says 322km 4h4m NEW 321km 4h7m DIFFERENT

Route 3
BaseCamp - Route says 435km 6h5m NEW 355km (not expecting this to be accurate as it is point to point)
Tread App - Route says 434km 4h56m NEW 434km 4h56m SAME
Zumo XT2 - Route says 431km 5h2m NEW 435km 5h1m DIFFERENT

Scenario 2 - BaseCamp EXPORT to ZUMO XT2 via BaseCamp and import into unit bypassing Tread App

IT DOES NOT LIKE THIS AT ALL!!!!

I got this on my unit... pretty much a non-starter.
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The QUEST CONTINUES.
Technoguppy

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technoguppy
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Re: Recent Experiences - Updated July 2023

Post by technoguppy »

Peobody wrote: 18 Jul 2023 14:56 Wow! You have hit on many of the frustrations of Zumo XT owners. The Tread app adds a level of complexity that seems absurd.

Some tips when using preplanned routes:
1. In a route, never have the start and end points the same. You saw why. Make the start point some distance away from your physical starting point. For routes originating from my house I set the start point about 50 yards down the street from my house.
2. Only use Closest Entry Point when absolutely necessary. It requires that the device do some calculating which you don't want (more below).
3. With the XT, it is in charge when given the chance. That means that you want to do everything you can to prevent it from doing any calculating. Going off-route and then letting it recalculate will result in the entire remainder of the route being recalculated based on what the device thinks it should be. Skipping a point will always result in a recalc. That is an example of a situation where you can not avoid a recalc. Different devices produce different results when they recalc. I see this regularly with my XT and my riding buddy's Nav VI. It is hard to understand why you and your wife's devices calculated differently though if they where the same device, same map, configured identically, and using the same route file.
4. As mentioned, recalcs can cause havoc. In route planning, strategic placement of route points that will force calculation along the roads you want is paramount. I will always open downloaded GPX files in BaseCamp and add additional route points as appropriated to try force the device to maintain the route.
5. On the XT, you can have a track displayed on the map while you ride a preplanned route. Having on track of the current route displayed on the devices map makes it easy to spot a route change due to a recalc. You then have the choice of manually following the track or stopping/restarting the route. An unknown to me is whether the XT2 has this capability and if it does, how you get the track file on it if everything must flow through the Tread app. BTW, the track file is created in BaseCamp. The transfer to the device includes the route and its track.
Thanks for the useful tips. I will try that in the future. Avoiding the "Closest Entry Point" is something I already choose but I will add a second finish or start point to the routes, especially for circuit runs such as the Windy 9.

There used to be a pop-up on the 595 and 660 "Skip this waypoint" when it tried to reroute you back to your route. Haven't seen that pop up on my the ZUMO XT2 yet.

Thanks again. I wasn't sure anyone was actually reading my long winded posts.
Technoguppy

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Re: Recent Experiences - Updated July 2023

Post by Peobody »

technoguppy wrote: 18 Jul 2023 15:09 There used to be a pop-up on the 595 and 660 "Skip this waypoint" when it tried to reroute you back to your route. Haven't seen that pop up on my the ZUMO XT2 yet.
On the XT there is a button on the map that allows you to skip a point. You may have to turn it on. To do so, view the map, tap the three-dot button, then the spanner button (wrench). This will open the Map Buttons options screen. There are three positions where you can select a specific function button. Any "Plus" button is a location where you can add a function. You can change one by trashing it and then adding a different one in its place. The "Skip" option is the one that creates a button allowing you to skip the next point. Hopefully the XT2 has this same functionality.
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Re: Recent Experiences - Updated July 2023

Post by lkraus »

I strongly recommend spending some time with viewtopic.php?t=1464

I know, it's written about the XT, but I'd bet that 99% of the content applies to the XT2.

Do your route planning in Basecamp, and pin it down so that any unavoidable recalculation by the XT2 has to come up with nearly the same result. I know, BC will complain that the XT2 is not supported, but it will work. Route creation by my XT is horrible, seldom being either fast or short, and I've not heard of any improvements to the XT2 routing.

I'm convinced the Garmin engineers with GPS experience work on the marine and aviation devices. The recent Zumos are probably programmed by the summer interns, none of whom ride a motorcycle.

I'm sorry the GPS issues distracted you from the riding in Ohio. The Windy 9 is just a good start, most of the roads in the southeast corner of the state are equally fun.
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Re: Recent Experiences - Updated July 2023

Post by jfheath »

Just a note about Basecamp profiles - mentioned a couple fo posts ago.

None of the information that you set about avoidances in the BC profile is transmitted to the XT. None of it.

The only information that is transmitted is :-
1) the activity profile name - Driving/Motorcycling - which convertes to Car / Motorcycle in the XT
2) Faster Time / Shorter Distance
3) Direct Profile - which sets the XT to use Straight Lines.

If any other profile name is used, (like Custom profile in Basecamp, or none from any other program) , then the XT defaults to using Motorcycle.
If any other routing preference is used (like Curvy Roads in Basecamp), the XT defaults to using Faster time.

It may then cause the route to recalculate and if you have any of the other options ticked, then the route may differ wildy fromt he one that was created by BC.

If you want to know more about this behaviour on the XT, then I did a fairly complete summary in this section and following pages here.
But it is really tedious stuff to get your head round.

app.php/ZXT-P38

However custom profiles have a really useful feature. When you change any of the preferences, the results are changed on the route instantly, and the changes do not affect any other route. So it is useful for placing route points to manually avoid motorways, ferries, major roads etc so that you can then rmeove the avoidance to see instantly whether or not the orute changes. Then change the profile back to Motorcycle.
Have owned Zumo 550, 660 == Now have Zumo XT2, XT, 595, 590, Headache
Use Basecamp (mainly), MyRouteApp (sometimes)

Links: Zumo 590/5 & BC . . . Zumo XT & BC
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Re: Recent Experiences - Updated July 2023

Post by mkuczara »

It is dissapointing to hear that all the bad XT routing behaviours are also present in the XT2 (which is not surpising by any means).
Honestly there is no compeling reason to upgrade.
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Re: Recent Experiences - Updated July 2023

Post by Min »

Interested to see the issues with XT2 and as I have had Zumo unitd for many years there are issues that have not been resolved, like not transfering travel conditions and speeds set in BC but allowed to not to be passed over.
I'm very happy with BC and find the new App transfer to be a pain, not to work each time as when a USB cable works very will (yes i know they want us to do it all on a small phone tablet) but I like to plan a route and try and stick to it but Zumo its going totally astray !!!!

I have worked and found a solution where you plan a route/trip and make a track, combine them in the GPS 590 or XT and ride it plus it give announcements of your waypoints you have put in. No need to put shaping points in as the track uses them. Time saved.

Find details in the files ection and give it a try... it works for me and no more wandering Garmin routes.. Min G0JMS :D