According to The Office of National Statistics, there were 41,000 motorcycles and scooters stolen between April 2017 and March 2018.
That’s over 100 motorcycles stolen in the UK, every day.
Sadly, just like in previous years, it’s unlikely that even 10% will be recovered and returned to their owners.
However, some trackers report a recovery rate of 90%, which massively tips the balance back in favour of us bikers.
Motorcycle crime has risen exponentially in the past decade, partly helped by the fact most police forces refused to chase motorcycle criminals, which only made bike theft more attractive to low-life thieves.
It’s only right that motorcycle owners should protect their pride and joy by making use of today’s technology. The best example is motorcycle trackers which use GPS, mobile networks and radio frequency technology to improve your chances of tracking a stolen bike and recovering it before it disappears for good.
There are lots of security trackers out there on the market, some cheap, while some have a monthly subscription, some are excellent while others are useless.
We’ve picked some of the best motorcycle trackers from each end of the price range, from subscription to free services and professional to DIY installations to give you plenty of choices to pick the best motorcycle tracker for you. Let’s start with our editors pick.
24/7 monitoring by dedicated call center
Monitored 24/7 all year round by their own operations centre, and through a handy user smartphone app on Android and iOS, you can be safe in the knowledge your motorcycle is always watched. Thatcham approved category 6 and 7, by using cellular data, GPS and Radio Frequency, your bike can be pinpointed by a designated investigator, even if it’s been placed inside a shipping container. Journey data is recorded on a viewable map and contacts can be notified if the device notices an accident has occurred.
No monthly subscription and not tied to one bike
If you prefer a tracker that doesn’t require professional installation, the Monimoto is a top choice. By using GPS and cellular tracking, it only takes a few minutes to configure and can be tracked and managed through a smartphone app on Android or iOS. The cleverly designed device makes use of a user key to identify the legal owner by detecting any suspicious movement of the bike. If the device searches and cannot locate the user key within a 10m radius, an alert is issued.
Free vs monthly fee trackers
Trackers like BikeTrac have a monthly fee. For many bikers, this is enough to put them off, especially when there are ‘free’ trackers out there.
It mostly is a case of you get what you pay for. Even the Monimoto, which is a great portable option, has a small fee by way of the monthly fee for their PAYG SIM. You can reduce this by using your own SIM but you’ll still have to keep it topped up with credit.
Tracking services like BikeTrac cost around £10 per month and with this subscription the tracker is connected to their 24/7 call center.
Their secure operating centre will contact you via text, phone and email and then liaise directly with the authorities to pinpoint your machine, if it gets stolen.
Not only that but you can also setup ‘Bike Down’ alerts, so if you crash while out on your bike the system will automatically notify the contacts you program in.
At around £300 for a professional motorcycle tracker and around £100 for an annual monitored subscription, it is a serious outlay but there’s no need to worry about its accuracy or whether the battery needs replacing as you might with cheaper options. It will dramatically improve the chances of you being reunited with your bike should it get stolen.
The cheapest motorcycle GPS tracker
If you’re low on budget, there are cheaper options out there. We bought the tracker above from Amazon.
Under £25, this device works by using GPS and 2G or 3G SIM card (not included).
We bought a GiffGaff SIM card as it doesn’t require monthly top-ups and only needs to be used once every 180 days, which you can do my pinging it a text and it’ll (in theory) responsd with its location.
While it gets good reviews, we just couldn’t get it to work. We weren’t alone! The instructions are in Chingrish (although there are some Youtube videos out there) and we couldn’t get the SIM to register.
Claimed to be accurate within 10m, in theory it’s a good bit of kit – if you can get it to work. We prefer the Monimoto solution which is a more robust version of this tracker, with a dedicated and easy to use app. There are no wires either, so it’s easy to place anywhere on any bike.
If you don’t mind the challenge of rigging up this DIY kit then it could be a great choice.
There are a few other decent-looking trackers out there. These are the picks from our shortlist.
A subscription-free option. Installation of this tracker is quick and easy and once installed, provides some decent features like its movement and shock sensor and ability to track when the GPS signal is lost. Now discontinued.
A subscription-based tracker without installation costs – starting from £10 a month. A dedicated security team on hand should you need them, this tracker has a 15-year battery life and uses a mixture of GPS, mobile and Radiofrequency monitoring, so you know you have optimum protection. Click the link for more information. Now discontinued.
Subscription-based tracker with annual or monthly payment options (around £10 per month). The TrakKING S5 features rider ID tags that protect your bike from unwanted movement. With added geo-fence technology and 24/7 365 days a year monitoring, you’ll get alerts should anything suspicious occur, this tracker is designed to a Police Preferred Spec and fully compliant with the latest insurer requirements.
Subscription-free GPS tracker with a built-in battery, so you know your bike will be protected even if the battery is disconnected. Real-time tracking function and geo-fencing allow you always to know your bike is where you left it. Text alerts can prompt you for any unusual activity.
Do all trackers have a monthly subscription cost?
Most high-spec trackers have an upfront cost, a monthly fitting fee and a monthly fee. This monthly fee (usually around £10) ensures your bike is monitored by a 24/7 call center, who will alert you if there’s any movement and in most cases they’ll work with the police to help the trace the bike.