SPOT to do or not? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 20 Old 11-23-2015, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
MontanaGuy's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Missoula, Montana
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SPOT to do or not?

It has been brought to my attention numerous times by my friends that I should carry a SPOT device. I'm getting close to 62 years old and ride solo mostly and much of it is way off the beaten path. Often am over 60 miles from the nearest pavement or contact with no cell phone service.

Currently until Christmas you can buy a SPOT 3 for $149 and get a rebate back for $149. You only end up paying for the subscription service, which is also $149. So for that price I can be covered for a year of adventures.

What do you all think of this device? Is it a worthwhile expense or not? Thinking very seriously about getting one.

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post #2 of 20 Old 11-23-2015, 11:59 AM
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Location: Greenacres, Wa.
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I've been using SPOT for 5 years. Like you I often get off the beaten track. It always goes with me on the Strom, my DR350 or backpacking. Started with the original SPOT and now have the SPOT 3. I think they are well worth the cost(and the wifes peace of mind). I'm 68 and have come close to being stranded once when it took me an hour to right the Strom in a gnarly spot 30 miles from the nearest home.

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post #3 of 20 Old 11-23-2015, 12:37 PM Sponsor
richlandrick's Avatar
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Location: Clover, S.C.
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Since the only reason not to buy one is the cost, I would ask your wife want she thinks. It is a lot like an insurance policy, except it can cover you as well as her. Unlike a life insurance policy you don't need to be dead to use it. You, or a member of your group could just be hurt and unable to get help any other way.

I know stories of wives who have insisted on them for Alaska trips.

There are cheaper apps out there that rely on wifi or cell phone service, but the Spot covers you when you are in the real wilderness and otherwise cut off from civilization.

Again, ask your wife if she thinks it is worth the cost. Then you will have a clear conscience about spending the money.
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post #4 of 20 Old 11-23-2015, 01:27 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 1,845
I used a Spot 2 for a few years. I shelved it and went to an inReach when the Spot started missing lots of location pings. Some days it would only ping once and then nothing show up for the rest of the day. Not sure what was going on. Diagnostics said it was OK. Carried it in my tank bag, facing up. I started doing some reading up and found there were lots of other people having issues lately with Spot not working as it should (not much use as an Emergency locator if it doesn't locate). eg.

SPOT I quit tracking mid ride [Archive] - Forums

May have been a change in satellite usage. Who knows. Anyway, I have found the inReach to be much better. Rarely misses a ping even when it is in my riding jacket pocket. The fact that you can text message with it (without cell coverage) is an added bonus. It uses a different satellite system than the Spot.Yes, it is more expensive than a Spot but really, should price enter into it if you use it for its intended purpose?

BTW - I am in no way connected to either one. Just passing on my personal experience with the Spot 2. YMMV.

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post #5 of 20 Old 11-23-2015, 02:57 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Gateway to Death Valley
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I rode with a Spot for years. Stopped using it when my wife lost interest in finding me!

I would buy the DeLorme InReach now. It has a 2 way communication capability where the Spot is only one way.

Conceivably you could be lying hurt somewhere and think you have rescue on the way (because you activated the Spot's 911 function) but you have no way of knowing that anyone actually received it.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor 13:13
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post #6 of 20 Old 11-23-2015, 04:15 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Brisbane Australia
Posts: 1,318
We have used our Spot on numerous trips and recently lent it to a friend who did an unsupported ride across the Simpson Desert and it has been fantastic for those people who want to follow you.

The I'm OK function at the end of the day gives everyone back home that peace of mind the day has ended well.

Here is a story from ADVrider that unfortunately did not end well but may have with a spot, who knows it still might not have helped.

Missing Rider - from Dubbo region | Adventure Rider

Anyone riding solo should carry some form of tracking/EPIRB device IMHO.

Cheers V2man & GotaV2

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post #7 of 20 Old 11-23-2015, 04:49 PM
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: SC/NC
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I started riding with an Inreach Explorer a few months ago. Tried cellular tracking and it was just too unreliable in the NC mountains where I mostly ride.
So far it has worked really well, haven't had an emergency and hope to never really need it.
Often when I head out to ride I have no idea where I am going so it is impossible to "file a flight plan" and at 62 I'm a little more concerned about a crash somewhere off the main roads where I might not be found in time.

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Last edited by AlH; 11-23-2015 at 04:54 PM.
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post #8 of 20 Old 11-23-2015, 04:55 PM
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Location: Wollongong NSW
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I would say YES, it's really a no brainer if you are off by yourself or even with mates, especially off the beaten track. Obviously there are the other systems DeLorme etc. Depends on your finances really.
I wouldn't go anywhere here in Australia without setting mine up for my loved ones to track me. Not only for the bike but I go kayaking, camping in some strange places.
Buy what you can afford to run, a must have before all the other Farkles.
Also I carry a personal distress beacon connected to my body.

I know nuffink, I see nuffink, It was not me, I was not here.
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post #9 of 20 Old 11-23-2015, 05:41 PM
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Location: Bracebridge & Bala ON Canada
Posts: 1,043
I got one for my Coast to Coast trip in September, at the recommendation of a friend who also just put on over 15,000 kms. His unit gave him issues in October, and they replaced it free of charge. Fortunately as well, I didn't need the emergency feature, but used the daily "I'm OK" button for the family. I also used the send email button to to my riding buddies...just to piss them off

After I got home, I added satellite screenshots of those locations to my trip report photo gallery. I bought the SPOT Gen3 in August and received the 50% off rebate check a week after I got home in early October.....a 100% refund is a no brainer !

I do recommend though, that your SPOT not be placed in your tank bag, but in an accessible zippered coat pocket. After all....what good is it in your tank bag, if your bike is 100 feet away and you are further down the hill with a broken leg !
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post #10 of 20 Old 11-24-2015, 10:49 AM
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Location: California Gold Country
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Probably a very worthwhile investment if you ride in sketchy areas with no cell service. A couple of years ago a guy near here rolled his quad over and got pinned underneath -- it took a couple of weeks to find the body. I assume if some family member noticed the signal stationary for a while a SPOT-like device would be helpful even if the rider was unconscious.
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