I am sorry to poopoo on the otherwise nice Garmin Zumo XT unit, but I have a story to tell all those thinking of buying one, or have one and should know about this weakness.
I bought my unit about a month ago and installed it pretty much a few days after I got it.
My bike is a Africa Twin 2017
I have done one short tour with it and it has worked to my expectations except for one large issue
The mount! In particular the hot shoe connector
I have the mount center above the dash of the bike and nicely tucked in behind the windscreen. One day during my ride, I noticed the navi just switched off!
It would not switch back on and so I began to investigate.
Seems the battery was flat, so when I powered it with the USB cable, it powered up.
A further look around uncovered this... The metal sheath of the lower pin is badly damaged.
If you mount the unit to the cradle and the lower pin is bent upwards, no power is fed to the unit.
I found that the pin is still connected to power, but for how much longer?
So how did this happen?
I have a few theories:
- During packing and riding around, something snagged onto the pin while the unit was off, and the hot shoe rubber cover was not on.
Considering how weak these pins seem, I think it could easy be done with a jacket or some other bit of riding gear carelessly thrown over the dash during wardrobe adjustments
- Or, it is the rubber cover for the hot shoe connectors. After inspection, I noticed this thing is rather finicky to get on and one is tempted to push down on it to make it catch and seal the connectors. Upon closer inspection of this cover, seems it is not inconceivable that the act of covering the pins with this cap could damage the pins.
- The pin was damaged from the start and was made worse with use. I did not look so carefully at the state of the pins when I got the unit. It is off course possible that these sensitive pins could catch on something and get damaged, e.g. the loop side of a Velcro tab on clothing(This is more a reinforcement of point 1 I think).
I want to qualify something about my opinion here:
This is my first Garmin product.
I have never had an electronic product with such hot shoe connectors on any of my bikes before.
I do not know if my unit was unusually harshly treated to result in this damage, or is this a weakness these connectors suffer from? What I do know is that my bike is meant for enduro and as such, will be bashed around a bit. I expect Garmin to have designed this unit to hold up to such use considering it is marketed to adventure riders.
next steps for me...
I have been in touch with Garmin support online, and they juggled me around various departments and then landed me in the European support, which I am now wait a reaction from. (I am based in Switzerland)
During the support case chat, I mentioned that the replacement of the cable is not the end of the story for me. I am refering to the elephant in the room: the installation cost!
I am curious to learn how Garmin will address this.
Stay tuned for more...