Whether you have an expensive off-the-shelf sports bike, or a precious customised classic, the addition of a motorcycle tracking device can bring peace of mind for any rider. Many trackers work by contacting you directly through a mobile phone app and some link to a call centre – someone contacts you when the tracker triggers the need for an alert.
There are a wide variety of motorcycle tracking systems on the market, from expensive devices linked with automatic alerts and subscription charges, to cheaper options you can fit yourself.
What to look for in a motorcycle tracker
Motorcycle tracking systems are one of the many ways you can secure your motorbike, and with theft an ever-present problem, they’re another deterrent to prevent it being stolen.
Your budget may determine which tracking device you buy, so you also need to factor in the subscription costs for some of the more sophisticated tracking technology. Some motorcycle tracking systems have an initial hardware cost, plus monthly, yearly or three-yearly subscription costs for monitoring your motorbike.
Good quality trackers aren’t alarms as they don’t just signal when someone has moved or tampered with your vehicle. Instead, they’re connected to a manned service, meaning someone will contact you when the tracker alerts them. This may be if your bike has moved without the key in the ignition, disconnected from the battery or travelled out of a certain geographical area.
When researching which tracker is best for you and your bike, some pointers to consider are:
- Is it Thatcham approved? If so you may even get a discount on your motorcycle insurance premium.
- Is there a subscription fee? Another cost, but also worth considering for ultimate reassurance.
- How does the battery work? Does it draw power from the main bike battery? When will it need replacing and will it alert you?
- What system does it use to track your bike and is it adequate for your needs? Some work on GPS networks, radio frequency or cellular technology, or sometimes more than one of these.
Whether you choose a top of the range subscription tracker with radio frequency location marking, or an off-the-shelf non-subscription GPS tracking device, it could help locate your bike if it is stolen or tampered with.
Among the best motorcycle trackers
If you’re considering a motorcycle tracker, we’ve cherry picked some of the best on the market to suit your needs.
This Thatcham approved tracker boasts a recovery rate of more than 90% for stolen bikes. It also works using radio frequency detection, so wherever your bike has been taken, this tracker will be able to locate it.
BikeTrac is one of the main players on the market. Priced at around £300 for the unit, it works through a mobile app at an additional subscription cost of £9.99 per month, or slightly less if you commit for an annual, two or three-yearly subscription. The service you pay for connects you to a 24/7 support network should the tracker register any tampering or movement.
The radio frequency tracking system, together with the GPS (Global Positioning System) tracking, make this one of the elite tracking products you can buy. It means if your bike has been stolen and taken into a lock up, underground car park or moving vehicle, it could be found. It’s also compatible in Europe. This also helps gain search warrants due to its accuracy.
Ducati and Kawasaki are fans of the brand, and it’s clear to see why, as it also has links to various insurance companies, has an advantage scheme and is S7 Thatcham-approved.
Like many tracking devices, you need to have BikeTrac fitted at an authorised outlet or through mobile fitters who will visit your home.
2. Tracker Battery Powered Retrieve Unit
Designed for vehicles that aren’t used frequently, the Tracker Battery Powered Retrieve Unit is unlikely to drain your battery and has its own supply that will last up to five years. It’s also approved with Thatcham category 7.
The Battery Powered Retrieve Unit works through VHF technology and is operated by UK police forces for a cost of £250 plus subscription. If your bike is stolen and taken to an underground car park or container the signal would still work and your vehicle could be found.
As well as having its own power supply, this tracker is easy to fit and doesn’t need to be wired into your bike. It also suits all kinds of vehicles, from horse boxes to classic cars, if you’re a petrol head with a whole fleet of machines!
This tracker works across the UK, France, Spain, Poland, Italy, Holland and Luxembourg.
3. Monimoto Tracker
The Monimoto Tracker is a similar price point (at around £150) and offering to the Secure Auto Track. It tracks your bike through GPS and will alert you through an app if there’s movement when there shouldn’t be.
Monimoto works not off your bike’s battery, but through its own battery supply and also requires you to have a key fob with you as well as the actual tracker on the bike. Unlike the previous trackers, you can fit the Monimoto to your bike yourself.
The key fob system may appeal for extra security, although it means you have to pair up the key fob provided and carry it with you. When you’re on the bike and moving it’s all OK. But if you weren’t near you bike and it moved, the alert would be triggered and a message sent to your mobile app.
It’s also easy to fit and doesn’t involve being wired in.
The standard Monimoto works across Europe, but you could splash out £179 for a global package if you’re thinking about taking your bike abroad or worried it may be stolen and leave European soil!
Some riders like the different way the battery works with Monimoto, as it’s not connected to your bike battery and should last around a year. It’s also water and dust proof.
4. Datatool TraKKING Adventure
Fitted on all Honda bikes with customer approval, and available to buy separately, the TraKKING Adventure has earned the name ‘KING’ and is one of the big boys on the market. It’s Thatcham-approved and works using GPS technology and is available on a subscription basis.
Datatool’s TraKKING sends you a message when there’s any tampering with your bike, including if it’s moved unexpectedly or lying on its side. Once you confirm it’s been stolen, Datatool will then find your bike’s location and inform the police. They boast a 85-90% recovery rate making it a successful security product.
This clever bit of kit is also waterproof and has the function to alert the user (or another emergency contact) if your bike has been on its side for a minute or more. And as the name suggests, a stats-fan will love the data collected and stored about mileage and where the vehicle has been and when – a feature present in many of the more high-end systems. The initial price of the hardware is around £250 plus the monthly £9.95 subscription fee.
This is a solid and secure piece of kit, used by known brands, including Honda and BMW. It has many features that make it worth the hardware and subscription fee.
Knowing your motorbike is being tracked 24 hours a day, seven days a week, will give any rider the feeling of security. Especially when someone will call or text you directly or another named emergency contact if the system is triggered.
5. Meta Trak S5 Deadlock
Developed as a direct result of the increase in bike thefts, the Meta Trak S5 Deadlock promises to immobilise and track your motorcycle if stolen. The brand claims that in most cases of theft, the bike is quickly recovered and usually with little damage (if any!)
Thatcham-approved as category 5, the Meta Trak has been designed to prevent key cloning and relay attacks. A relay attack is where criminals use transmitters to trick your bike into thinking an electronic key fob is present. All this comes in at a mid-market price of £150 with one year’s subscription or £400 with three years.
Meta Trak’s S5 Deadlock has the ability to set up a geo-fenced area for your bike and alert you if it moves outside this. It also tracks your journey history and contacts you, should there be a concern about your bike or battery.
The system prides itself on an ID tag system linked to your tracker and bike for extra protection. Monitoring is also running on a 24/7 basis and the app offers multiple-vehicle tracking, with the option of adding up to 100 vehicles – perfect for bike collectors. It also covers the UK and Europe.
6. Secure AutoTrack
If a subscription-based motorcycle tracker is a bit on the pricey side for you, one option could be the Secure AutoTrack, which costs around £150 and works via a SIM. Most riders put in a £10 pay-as-you-go SIM and top it up when needed.
Using GSM, GPS and GPRS technology to track your bike, the system alerts you by sending a message if there’s a disturbance to your bike. It’s water and dust protected and should work even if your motorbike was put into another vehicle.
The main benefit with the Secure AutoTrack is the lower cost and easy set up. You still need to have it fitted at an approved outlet, but it isn’t complicated and many riders like the ease of the system. The tracker also alerts you if the battery is low and you can also turn it off by sending a message. It includes an anti-scan feature to prevent thieves using scanning devices to find the tracker.
7. XCSOURCE Vehicle Tracker
One of the budget products on the market, but which many have reviewed positively is the XCSOURCE Vehicle Tracker. At less than £20 it certainly won’t break the bank and promises to track your bike. While it may not have as many features as the high-end products, it is better to have one that you can afford than none at all.
The cost and simple promise that it tracks your vehicle through GPS/GSM/GPRS/SMS are this model’s best features. If you text the device it’ll ping back a text to alert you to where it’s located on Google Maps.
You only need a 2G SIM card and can fit this yourself as everything is included in the pack. If you do choose this product, it’s a good idea to invest in other security measures also, such as a disc lock or chain and padlock. These additional layers of protection should help to ward off a would-be thief.
Where should I hide my tracker?
If you’re investing in one of the more expensive products on the market, it’s likely you won’t have the option of knowing where it’s hidden – the fitter will do it and not tell you where it’s placed. It’s all part of keeping it hidden and stopping any potential thieves from finding out where they’re fitted by overhearing you.
Some systems also mix it up so there’s not one consistent area of your bike they attach them to. If you’re fitting it yourself then hide it as if it’s part of the bike workings so it can’t be seen and removed by criminals.
Even tracked bikes need extra protection
While keeping your bike safe and secure should deter thieves, there’s no guarantee it won’t be damaged in an attempted attack. And in some cases, the worst can still happen. This is why it is so important to buy the best motorcycle insurance cover for you and your needs.
Learn more about Bikesure’s competitive motorbike insurance policies and discover what we can do to help protect your pride and joy.