A good way to keep an eye on your motorcycle is to have technology do it for you. That’s where GPS trackers come in.
I first became familiar with GPS trackers many years ago with the introduction of a LoJack GPS System. You might remember those. Hide a box somewhere in your car and once activated, the police could find a stolen car. Over the years LoJack had some competition from other companies. These GPS trackers got more sophisticated and before long were installed within the ignition system so that the ignition could be killed remotely along with a vehicle location.
Much of this technology is now available for motorcycles. Unlike a car, there are no doors or locks. Someone can climb right onto your very expensive motorcycle and steal it. There are a lot of ways to do this ranging from hacking into the ignition to doing it the old fashioned way and wheeling it onto a transport. I suspect because of the portability of a motorcycle, more are stolen by loading them onto a truck versus someone hot wiring the ignition.
Hopefully you never run into this issue. Unfortunately if someone really wants to steal something badly enough, they will try it. Doesn’t matter what it is. However, you don’t have to make it easy for them. That’s where a motorcycle GPS tracker comes into play.
A GPS tracker periodically reports its position to a reporting service via cellular service. The reporting is accomplished via cellular service to a remotely located server. The owner of the vehicle can then check the location using a smartphone or computer. Usually, the information available includes the location and speed of travel. So you get to know where it is and how fast it’s going. A GPS tracker for motorcycles does not cut off the ignition for safety reasons.
A GPS tracker require a subscription to a service. The cost varies but generally runs about $10 monthly. You can save some money by subscribing for an extended period. An annual subscription will often yield significant savings versus month to month.
GPS tracker installation varies by device. Some are hardwired to the battery, others charged externally, and others have replaceable batteries. Most require a view of the sky to see the satellites.
A good GPS tracker for a motorcycle is the Spot Trace. Spot has been making GPS trackers for hiking and outdoor use for quite awhile. Now they also make GPS trackers for a vehicle. The Spot Trace is powered by 4 AAA lithium batteries. The life of the batteries depends upon the tracking interval set. Frequent reporting means the battery will run out faster.
The Spot Trace is rated at IPX7 which means it withstands incidental exposure to water of up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes. In other words, you can get it wet.
Once attached to your motorcycle, track it via a smartphone or computer. The Spot software uses Google Maps to show the location. The Spot Trace is among the easiest to install. It comes with a reversible mounting bracket and a variety of adhesive strips. It’s made to use outdoors on a motorcycle or boat.
An added benefit of motorcycle GPS trackers are lower insurance rates. Companies such as Geico offer discounts up to 20% and have even partnered with a few GPS tracker companies.
I’m Mike, the author of all of the articles on this site. MotorcycleGPSHub is written from many years of experience outfitting motorcycles with GPS devices and mounting configurations. I’ve had a chance to use not just the old school Garmin Zumo, but more contemporary GPS apps like Waze and Google Maps. To each their own. There’s a good market for a traditional motorcycle GPS as well as those that want to keep it basic with a smartphone app.