Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S Motorcycle GPS Review

Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S









  • Easy to use with gloved hands
  • Live map updates
  • Bright screen


  • Dedicated charger instead of USB
  • Basecamp software is not easy to use

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Riding a motorcycle is about the journey, not necessarily the destination, and using a satnav like the Garmin Zumo 396 you can plan the perfect journey to your perfect destination. If you want the shortest route, just select it. Prefer the scenic route with interesting riding? The Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S motorcycle GPS can take you there.

It’s a fantastic piece of kit, but does it have the features you are looking for? We take an in-depth look below.

Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-SGarmin Zumo 396 LMT-S Motorcycle GPS

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Garmin has been making GPS equipment since 1989 and specialize in outdoor and sporting activities. Besides motorcycle equipment, they also manufacture handheld GPS for hiking and other outdoor activities, GPS watches for athletes and playing golf, avionics equipment for aircraft and fish-finders to name just a few! Based on all the experience and knowledge they’ve gathered over the last few decades, this brand-new motorcycle GPS should be really fantastic! Just check out the specs and our full review below!

  • Weight and size

The Zumo 396 weighs in at just 241g, making it very lightweight. There is a 4.3-inch screen, with quite a large frame around the outside increasing the overall size, but it’s still perfect for mounting on the handlebars.

  • WiFi built-in

No longer do you need to remove the satnav from the motorcycle to update its software as it now has built-in WiFi. Just park within reach of a WiFi signal and start the update.

  • Battery

The system is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which gives an operating time of 4 hours.

  • Waterproof

As you’d expect for a motorcycle satnav, the Zumo 396 is waterproof and matches the IPX7 standard that means I can immerse it in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes if I choose to!

  • Memory

The internal memory holds multiple maps and if you run out of space, you can install an SD card of up to 64Gb.

  • Bluetooth

Connect your smartphone or your helmet headset for music, directions and telephone calls.

Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S Motorcycle GPS - specifications
Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S Motorcycle GPS - great satnav


The Zumo 396 is Garmin’s base model satnav, but still has most if not all the features most people are looking for. It is the cheaper of the two options offered by Garmin, but is still at a mid to premium price point,

  • Touchscreen

The 4.3 inch touchscreen display has been designed to be glove friendly, making on the move changes easy.

  • LiveTrack

With your smartphone connected, the Smartphone Link App combined with the LiveTrack function allows your friends to track wherever you are when out on a ride. Cool!

  • Smartphone connection

Once you connect your smartphone, hands-free calling, notifications and playing music directly from your phone becomes simple. No need to take your eyes of the road!

  • Maps

The unit comes preloaded with full mapping for your location and maps for the vast majority of the world are available for download.

  • Route planning

As with other brands of satnav, Garmin have introduced features to help you find the best route. So instead of the standard features such as fastest and shortest distance you have a lot more choice. Do you want a route with lots of twists and turns? Looking for great views going up and down the hills? A combination of the two? Add these to your preferences for the route and the Garmin Zumo does the rest.

  • Free Traffic and weather information

Using your smartphone, connected via Bluetooth, you can receive live updates on the road conditions and weather alerts. Changing your route avoid the rain or the traffic jam just got much easier.

  • Rider alerts

This aim of this feature is safety. It will give you warnings of sharp bends coming up, speed limit changes, school zones and much more. It can even warn you of known animal crossing areas! The system also warns of speed and red light cameras in the area plus monitors the time you have been travelling and prompts you to take a break, pointing out suitable rest areas coming up.

Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S - Adventurous Routing Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S - Live Track Group Rides Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S - Bluetooth Connectivity
Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S - Free Live Traffic and Weather Updates Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S - Built-In WiFi Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S - Lookout and Rider Alerts
Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S - Monitor Maintenance and Fuel Gauge Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S - Navigation Tools Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S - Durable Construction

Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S Motorcycle GPS - great design, easy to use

Overall Performance

This is the base model offered by Garmin, but it still has an abundance of features. The live map updates via your phone are a great idea, giving you warning of traffic jams and potentially dangerous stretches of road.

Popular is the Bluetooth connection to Sena headsets. Pairing with your headset is essential to enjoy the full benefits and features of the Zumo 396.

The system received praise for a great screen that is clear even in bright sunlight and responsive when using gloved hands.

There are cheaper alternatives, with fewer features, but this is a satnav that new riders will find useful and grow into as they become more confident.


Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S Motorcycle GPS - Adventurous RoutingGarmin Zumo 396 LMT-S

Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S Motorcycle GPS - use with glovesClick here to BUY NOW

So should you buy the Garmin Zumo 396? Ultimately, that will depend on what you are looking for.

This is at the bottom end of the Garmin price range, but still offers great features including lifetime map updates and free live traffic and incident reports. The more expensive versions add tire pressure monitoring for example and larger screens.

There are cheaper alternatives from other manufacturers if all you need is something to give you directions. It might be tempting at this point to just use your smartphone and Google Maps. A much cheaper option. But trust us, your phone is just not built to handle the wet, cold and vibration it will experience when strapped to your handlebars!

The Garmin Zumo 396 will happily take you on an adventure on roads you’ll enjoy and keep you safe with warnings and directions. It’s a great motorcycle satnav that justifies its price with a great range of features.