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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone installed a GPS tracker on a bike?

I recently listed my Wee as available for rental on www.twistedroad.com, and I'm thinking of installing a hidden GPS tracker on the bike.

I'm looking for info on recommended devices, and installation instructions.
 

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Wouldn't it be easier to do what regular rental companies do and take a very large deposit on the bike which is refunded when it is returned. Not uncommon for $2-3,000 to be pre authorized on a credit card before the bike is released. This is over and above the rental fees.
 

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Check the electronic surveillance laws in your state before installing a surreptitious mobile tracking device on a vehicle. In some states it would be a criminal act to install a device like that without the knowledge and/or consent of the person renting your motorcycle. Some states require two-party consent for a device like that, and some states forbid it entirely absent approval from a court.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm new to Twisted Road, but I don't believe the high deposit is an option with their program.

Surveillance laws shouldn't be a problem. The only time it would be used would be in the event of suspected theft, and GPS trackers are used for that purpose all the time without legal challenge in my state.

For those that have used one of these devices, what kind of power draw do they have? I imagine they're powered by the bike's battery; is the draw low enough that they can stay active for several days without killing the battery?
 

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I'm new to Twisted Road, but I don't believe the high deposit is an option with their program.

Surveillance laws shouldn't be a problem. The only time it would be used would be in the event of suspected theft, and GPS trackers are used for that purpose all the time without legal challenge in my state.

For those that have used one of these devices, what kind of power draw do they have? I imagine they're powered by the bike's battery; is the draw low enough that they can stay active for several days without killing the battery?
If you put a surreptitious GPS tracker on a bike you rent to another person, that's a different case than something like a Lojack that you have in your car in case someone steals it. When he rents the bike, it's just like when you rent a hotel room; you have a legal expectation of privacy. It's why in many states a hotel can't give the police legal consent to search a hotel room that you rent, or Hertz can't give the police consent to search a car you rent, or a landlord can't give police consent to search a house you rent, even though technically the hotel and Hertz and the landlord own the property you're renting. A thief who steals your car has no legal expectation of privacy. The issue isn't when you use the device; it's that the device was installed in the first place. The surreptitious tracking device may be illegal in your state to merely install in a vehicle you rent to someone else, or it may be illegal unless you inform the renting party that it's present on the bike, whether you're monitoring it or not. It may not be illegal at all, if your state has one-party consent for devices like a GPS tracker (which means that the only person who has to consent to the presence of the tracker is you).

Some states are very loose on surreptitious electronic surveillance and legal expectation of privacy. Some, like my home state, are very restrictive.

If you're looking for a place that specializes in devices like this, check out Brickhouse Security: https://www.brickhousesecurity.com/gps-trackers/best-gps-trackers/
 

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Not many positive responses to your request.
I found this recent review for 10 devices. https://youngchoppers.com/10-best-motorcycle-tracking-devices-reviewed-compared/
Legal rights aside, I would just stick one under the tank somewhere and argue with the client who failed to return your bike. I cannot see Judge Judy having a bad response to you taking measures to protect yourself.
As noted in the reviews battery draw can be an issue for some models - probably more for you than a hirer as surely he will not be leaving it unused for a week or more.
 

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I fitted a tracker to my MT09 (FZ09), originally for security ( I would not bother with the strom)

Powering it was easy but hiding the unit and the power wires was much harder.

I changed to a LI battery, it was much smaller than the AGM it replaced so I was able to hide the unit under the battery in a cavity I built.

The power draw is almost zero and they have there own back up battery that will last about a week.

It came in very handy when my son started to use the MT a lot, on one occasion he crashed on the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge in the rain, one call to the bike and I was able to pinpoint his position making retrieval very easy, another time he was running later than expected to the farm, when I called the bike I discovered he was travelling at over 180kph on a country road at night during a Kangaroo plague, we had words but his mum backed him up by saying what do you expect ? he is your son and he's just like you.

It was cheap to purchase and maintain and I was happy with the performance, some time back the system that supported my unit was shut down here in OZ so it stopped working, I never bothered to replace it I just ensure my insurance policy is up to date.

If I were in your position I would fit one but you just may find out something you would rather not know.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Not many positive responses to your request.
I found this recent review for 10 devices. https://youngchoppers.com/10-best-motorcycle-tracking-devices-reviewed-compared/
Legal rights aside, I would just stick one under the tank somewhere and argue with the client who failed to return your bike. I cannot see Judge Judy having a bad response to you taking measures to protect yourself.
As noted in the reviews battery draw can be an issue for some models - probably more for you than a hirer as surely he will not be leaving it unused for a week or more.
Thanks; pretty much exactly what I was looking for.

I also appreciate the more detailed information on potential legal ramifications. I'll have a lawyer friend look into it for me.
 

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Has anyone installed a GPS tracker on a bike?

I recently listed my Wee as available for rental on www.twistedroad.com, and I'm thinking of installing a hidden mini GPS tracker on bike.

I'm looking for info on recommended devices, and installation instructions.
I have been using the SpyTec GPS tracker for 3 weeks and overall I was impressed with the accuracy and ease of use of the tracker. Once I turned on the device, GPS started tracking the tiniest movement. I immediately put it in the car for a ride, and the GPS tracker was accurate to the point. It not only recorded my travel geographically, but also the distance traveled. The GPS tracker is compact and stylish, I like it, and it is waterproof and durable, which is also a great advantage.
 

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There are several websites that sell tracking devices geared toward motorcycles but they all are lacking information about the capabilities and specs of the tracking device.

I have reached out to several companies asking questions but I have either not gotten a response or the questions were not really answered.

Some of the ones I have explored:
Here is what I am looking for in a tracking device:

  • Ability to track latitude, longitude, speed, distance travelled at least every 60 seconds.
  • 4g/5g/LTE cellular. (US data coverage) - [i do realize that 5g is unlikely at this time]
  • Connection to constant power as well as switched power.
  • Ability to store location data in case you are out of cellular coverage.
  • Ability to track location data that includes latitude, longitude, speed, distance travelled using a mobile app and/or web site.
  • Ability to export data so it can be imported into Google Maps/Google Earth.
  • Small form factor in order to be installed covertly.
  • Weather proof/weather resistant (IP67 or similar rating).
  • Ability to set up alerts if moved without switched power.
 

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There are several websites that sell tracking devices geared toward motorcycles but they all are lacking information about the capabilities and specs of the tracking device.

I have reached out to several companies asking questions but I have either not gotten a response or the questions were not really answered.

Some of the ones I have explored:
Here is what I am looking for in a tracking device:

  • Ability to track latitude, longitude, speed, distance travelled at least every 60 seconds.
  • 4g/5g/LTE cellular. (US data coverage) - [i do realize that 5g is unlikely at this time]
  • Connection to constant power as well as switched power.
  • Ability to store location data in case you are out of cellular coverage.
  • Ability to track location data that includes latitude, longitude, speed, distance travelled using a mobile app and/or web site.
  • Ability to export data so it can be imported into Google Maps/Google Earth.
  • Small form factor in order to be installed covertly.
  • Weather proof/weather resistant (IP67 or similar rating).
  • Ability to set up alerts if moved without switched power.
Thanks for the answer. According to my information,Vigo Smart Track can do all the above. I talked to the developers, and they informed me their tracker provides real time data information + it records your rides and saves them in the app. Even when the bike is not ridden, the tracker is in sleep mode and it will notify you, if someone would move your bike or if your bike would fall over. In that case it would activate the SOS mode.

What was interesting was the fact, that it has its own battery which is charged when you ride the bike. And in the off-season it goes into sleep mode and the battery level can be tracked in the app. I think this is a great feature - better be safe than sorry.

So, I preordered it and will let you know how it works :)
 

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I recently purchased the GPS logger device by Columbus. It is the Columbus P-1.

It will capture location at a tremendous rate. It can track as quick as 10 positions per second. There are other tracking rates as well. So far it has worked well.

I have been tracking at 1 position a second, which is much more than I need. There are several file formats you can save the data in. I have been using .csv format. In order to then upload to My Google Maps, I edit the file so I have positions every 2-5 minutes depending on how long of a ride I did.

There are no monthly fees for the device. Once you purchase, you configure the device with how you want it to report using a simple to use configuration file. Ready to ride, power it on and thats it.

Columbus P-1 - Professioneller 10Hz GPS Logger mit IP66 Schutzklasse has the details. I purchased mine from Amazon thru a seller called GPS Web Shop. It came from Canada. Ordered on 5/27 and it was delivered on 6/1.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I recently purchased the GPS logger device by Columbus. It is the Columbus P-1.

It will capture location at a tremendous rate. It can track as quick as 10 positions per second. There are other tracking rates as well. So far it has worked well.

I have been tracking at 1 position a second, which is much more than I need. There are several file formats you can save the data in. I have been using .csv format. In order to then upload to My Google Maps, I edit the file so I have positions every 2-5 minutes depending on how long of a ride I did.

There are no monthly fees for the device. Once you purchase, you configure the device with how you want it to report using a simple to use configuration file. Ready to ride, power it on and thats it.

Columbus P-1 - Professioneller 10Hz GPS Logger mit IP66 Schutzklasse has the details. I purchased mine from Amazon thru a seller called GPS Web Shop. It came from Canada. Ordered on 5/27 and it was delivered on 6/1.
How is the data from the Columbus unit retrieved?

For my application, I would need something that could be accessed remotely. For example, if a renter is late in returning with my bike and not reachable, I would need something that allows me to learn where the bike is.
 

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I just ensure my insurance policy is up to date.
If you start renting out your bike, you may find that your existing private-use insurance policy does not cover this. That's why these commercial rent-via-us companies always add insurance to every rental agreement.

Legal rights aside, I would just stick one under the tank somewhere and argue with the client who failed to return your bike. I cannot see Judge Judy having a bad response to you taking measures to protect yourself.
What if the client discovers your tracking device while he did nothing wrong? I wonder what Judge Judy is going to say then. Fines for privacy violations, especially when done deliberately, can be huge.

If you just make sure that you say something along the lines of "The bike is equipped with a GPS tracking device that tracks the bikes position automatically every X seconds. It is not allowed to disable or remove this device. GPS positions will be sent to XXX and will be stored there for XXX days. The data will be used for two purposes only. First, if the rental agreement contains a geographic limitation (no out-of-state travel for instance), then the owner may setup a 'geofence' that is triggered when the vehicle exceeds the agreed geographic limitation. Second, the data will be used in case of theft or otherwise loss of the vehicle, including returning the vehicle late without prior permission." and you make sure the renter signs for this, you are basically done. Privacy policies don't have to be very complex.

Edited: Just for fun I just checked the Hertz rental agreement. They are even more brief: "Please note that we track the location of certain vehicles via GPS technology for security reasons and may retain such information as necessary for those purposes."
 

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How is the data from the Columbus unit retrieved?
The Columbus tracker does need to be connected to USB in order to download the data. It does not have cell, WiFi or Bluetooth/BTE capabilities.

So a little disclosure on my part. I do work for a company that designs and manufactures remote asset tracking devices, but we don't have small devices that would fit on a motorcycle. It's not the market we are in and the devices we have provide capabilities which are not geared toward motorcycles or passenger vehicles.

You are going to pay more for a device that transmits data using cellular or satellite.

I actually have been using a SPOT Trace satellite tracker I mentioned in a post in this thread. I had forgotten I actually had the device. The service is about $25 a month and can track as quick as every 2 1/2 minutes. Advantage is that is used satellite instead of cell, so it is going to work in more places than a cellular based tracking device.

It uses 4 AAA batteries but also has the option to be hard wired...BUT it really would not be good for recovery or theft use.

For theft recovery I think you need something that is hard wired as well as having a battery. Ideally it would be three wires. One to ground, one to constant power and one to switched ignition. You want to capture movement when the ignition is not on as well as if the battery is disconnected. Probably repeated myself in this post from an earlier post.

I did order two of the products I mentioned in my earlier thread. I am not holding up hope that it is the device I am looking for but I will post back here once i have had them for a little bit.
 
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