This guest post was kindly contributed by Michnus who originally published this article here.

These are a few GPS personal tracker and locator comparisons for motorcycle use. Please take note that some of these options are only available in the USA.

Make sure to click and read this article below to understand how the pricing plans and options are structured for these devices. Also how rescue and payment will work when the rescue button is pressed.

Specs and pricing options change – make sure to verify.

Be Careful

It is advisable to always carry and ride with the unit on your person, not attached to the bike.

Garmin Inreach Mini

Garmin Inreach Mini

Garmin Inreach Mini

The Garmin Inreach Mini has been with us for the last two years. It is a beautifully designed, very rugged well built unit. It is clear Garmin put much thought into the design and usability of the Inreach Mini. The package includes a mobile application that can be used with this device for settings, maps, and tracking. The small display is easy to read even in sunlight and the unit enables two-way text messaging. The Inreach mini will send and receive inReach messages through compatible Garmin devices, including connected watches and handhelds units.

Optional inReach weather forecast service provides detailed updates directly to your inReach Mini or paired device. The cost of the ownership is quite steep especially if you plan to use it monthly. Tracking is not included and costs additional or per point which can add up the bill quite quickly.

On a motorcycle, it is needed to ensure there is an electrical connection to power the unit when the battery runs flat. We found the battery only last a week or two if we use 8 hours daily. Coverage on the Inreach is excellent and covers most of the world’s surface.

  • HEIGHT 9.90 cm
  • WIDTH 5.17 cm
  • THICKNESS 2.61 cm
  • WEIGHT 100g including build-in battery.
  • Battery: Rechargeable internal lithium-ion
  • Display: Sunlight-readable, monochrome, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP)
  • Life: Up to 90 hours at 10-minute tracking (default); up to 35 hours at 10-minute tracking with 1-second logging; up to 24 days at 30-minute tracking power save mode; and up to 1 year when powered off.
  • Waterproof: IPX7

Garmin 66i GPSMAP GPS and 2-Way Satellite Communicator

Garmin 66i GPSMAP GPS and 2-Way Satellite Communicator

Garmin 66i GPSMAP GPS and 2-Way Satellite Communicator

The Garmin combines the Inreach features with a state of the art GPS device. One unique feature of the Garmin 66i is that Garmin has replaced the Russian GLONAAS system with the European Galileo system. Galileo is the European Union’s global navigation satellite system. Galileo is a stand-alone positioning system that eliminated the need for the EU to be dependent upon the U.S. GPS or Russian GLONASS systems which can be disabled or degraded by those countries. The only small issue is in order to send messages with the 66i you need to be connected to your smartphone via a phone book or know the details from memory. Currently, there’s not a built-in contacts book like the one in the Inreach.

The ability to use the device as a GPS and a personal tracker is a huge benefit. Although the unit had to be mounted on a motorcycle, it is safer to have a personal tracker attached to a person’s body and not the bike. In the event, the rider and bike are separated during a fall. The unit has limitations for motorcycle navigation as it is smaller than the normal Zumo660 or 395 units. The sturdy, button-operated GPSMAP 66i has a large 3” colour display. Expedition mode up to 200 hours of battery life while using inReach technology. In the default tracking mode, you get up to 35 hours of battery life, and your device will save your location every 10 minutes.

  • HEIGHT 16.3 cm
  • WIDTH 6.60 cm
  • THICKNESS 3.5 cm
  • WEIGHT 241g with Lithium Batteries
  • IMPACT, WATER, & DUST RESISTANT (IP67)
  • Display: Transflective colour TFT
  • Battery: Rechargeable, internal lithium-ion
  • Line Power with a 5v USB connection
  • BATTERY LIFE: Up to 35 hours at 10-minute tracking; up to 200 hours at 30-minute tracking (power save mode)

inReach Explorer+

inReach Explorer+

inReach Explorer+

The Inreach Explorer is a full satellite communicator with maps. It is a beautifully designed, rugged well build unit. Maps are already installed and include a mobile application that can be used with this device for settings, maps, and tracking. The TFT display is easy to read even in sunlight and the unit enables two-way text communication messaging and able to send and receive messages through compatible Garmin devices, including connected watches and handhelds units.

Both the inReach SE+ & Explorer+ offer identical messaging capabilities. The GPS navigation is different though. InReach SE+ uses GPS to provide basic grid navigation and allow you to drop waypoints, mark key locations, track your progress, and follow a breadcrumb trail back to base — the inReach Explorer+ goes a step beyond, providing full-fledged GPS on-map guidance with preloaded TOPO mapping and waypoint routings viewable directly on the unit.

The cost of the ownership is quite steep especially if you plan to use it monthly.

On the basic plans tracking is not included and cost additional or per point which can add up the bill quite quickly. Coverage on the Inreach is excellent and covers most of the world’s surface.

  • HEIGHT 16.4 cm
  • WIDTH 6.8 cm
  • THICKNESS of 3.8 cm
  • WEIGHT 213g including build-in battery.
  • Battery: Rechargeable internal lithium ion
  • Display: transflective colour TFT
  • Battery life: Up to 100 hours at 10-minute tracking mode (default); up to 75 hours at 10-minute tracking with 1-second logging; up to 30 days at the 30-minute interval power save mode; and up to 3 years when powered off
  • Waterproof: IPX7
  • PreLoad Maps: Yes, depending on country or continent.

Ocean Signal rescueME PLB1

Ocean Signal rescueME PLB1

Ocean Signal rescueME PLB1

Compact, affordable “help me” button in your pocket. The rescueME’s sole purpose is to send an emergencyOceanME rescue personal tracker GPS signal, this is all this unit does, and it does it well.

OceanSignal makes a very small unit, it is robust and strong and will take quite a beating. They use the proven COSPAS-SARSAT international Search and Rescue technology and protocol. The Ocean Signal is less expensive than the next nearest competitor, requires no paid subscription.

The device taps into the COSPAS-SARSAT search and rescue satellite network, which covers the entire globe. If your device can “see” enough of the sky to connect to satellites, you can press the SOS button anywhere on Earth and expect the device to get a signal out.

The unit can be registered with GEOS or any other rescue agency. Once you press the SOS button the agencies will coordinate the rescue that does not matter where you are. For people that do not want subscription fees and other costs, this is the unit to have. It is a peace of mind device that you are able to summons help when needed. No chatting and checking with people.

  • HEIGHT 7.7 cm
  • WIDTH 5.1 cm
  • THICKNESS 3.2 cm
  • WEIGHT 116g with Lithium
  • Environmental: IPX7 (waterproof 15m drop 1,5m )
  • Operating temperature: -20c to 55c
  • Battery: Lithium
  • Line Power with a 5v USB connection BATTERY LIFE: 7 years replaceable.

SOMEWEAR satellite personal GPS tracker

SOMEWEAR satellite personal GPS tracker

SOMEWEAR satellite personal GPS tracker

These units need connectivity with a mobile phone to send and receive messages. The Somewear unitsSomewear GPS personal tracker leverage the Iridium satellite network which is the same as Garmin, and offers 100% global coverage.

Somewear offers two-way communication, mapping, and navigation features, weather reports. This unit also has a very useful tracking feature. The maps-set is downloadable similar to what you would have done on Google offline maps.

What sets this unit apart from the mobile phone connectivity units is that you do not need your phone to send an SOS from Somewear. This is a great feature of this unit In a crash the SOS button can be pressed. Somewear has two-way communication so that once the S.O.S. is activated you can communicate by text.

The Somewear will be useful for people who want to check with the family and not pay a bundle for SMS satellite services and subscription. There’s a variety of subscription plans and it cost less than the current SPOTGen3. This unit slots between the SPOTGen3 and the InreachMini. Somewear is in partnership with GEOS Worldwide for rescue coordination.

Lastly, the battery power on this unit is very good for the size and good for long stints before needing a charge.

  • HEIGHT 7.62 cm
  • WIDTH 9 cm
  • THICKNESS 2.2 cm
  • WEIGHT 114g with Lithium Batteries
  • Environmental: IPX7 (waterproof at 1m for 30 mins)
  • Shockproof: MIL-STD-810
  • Operating temperature: -20c to 60c
  • Battery: Lithium
  • Line Power with a 5v USB connection
  • BATTERY LIFE: 10 days on 10 minute continuous battery life.

SPOT Gen 3

SPOT Gen 3

SPOT Gen 3

The SpotGen3 must be the hands-down best value for money personal tracker. We have been using this unit for around 3 years. It is also one of the smallest, lightest, most basic satellite messenger available. The Gen3 has the ability to send one-way SOS or preset messages and has a motion-activated tracking feature. It is a no-frills personal tracker and locator and very basic. It is however rugged and well build and has been on our bikes for all that time.

A pre-programmed text message with GPS coordinates giving your location can be sent to anyone of ten contacts loaded into the Gen3. Your stored waypoints can be easily integrated into a Spot Shared Page or Spot Adventure account on your home computer. If you are not a texter or talker, and if family and/or friends do not insist that they have the ability to reach you this is a perfect unit. We did have issues with the signal at times, but speaking to SPOT they assured us the coverage has increased the last couple of years. Their entire satellite system is being built upon regularly.

The cost and subscription package is nearly half the cost of the Garmin Inreach. For long travel and tracking the SPOT is an excellent option.

  • HEIGHT 8.7 cm
  • WIDTH 6.5 cm
  • THICKNESS 2.5 cm
  • WEIGHT 114g with Lithium Batteries
  • OPERATING TEMP -30C to +60C
  • OPERATING ALTITUDE -100m to +6,500m
  • IMPACT, WATER, & DUST RESISTANT (IP67)
  • Submersible up to 1m for 30 minutes
  • Battery: 4 AAA Lithium Batteries 4 AAA NiMh Rechargeable Batteries.
  • Line Power with a 5v USB connection
  • BATTERY LIFE: 408 hours in continuous 10-minute tracking mode with 100% clear skies

SATPAQ Satellite Phone

SATPAQ Satellite Phone

SATPAQ Satellite Phone

This little device uses a mobile phone connection to send and receive messages. The device runs on fullSatpaq satellite phone applications from most newer model mobile phones. Weather forecast and an interactive, artificial intelligence (AI) service that answers first-aid-related medical questions. The service is also linked GEOS for rescue. The device is waterproof, offers mapping and navigation features. SatPaq offers tracking only in that your route is traced between one text message and another.

The cost is only the messaging bundles and billed on a pay-as-you-go basis. SatPaq eliminates the monthly fees associated with other satellite messengers. The message credits holdover until you use them.

This device will be useful for people who want to check with the family and not pay a bundle for SMS satellite services. The drawback of motorcycle use is that in a crash you have to be able to get the device and phone connected to send a rescue message. There is no SOS button on this unit.

Currently, Satpaq only offers USA coverage.

  • WEIGHT 113g
  • Battery: Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery
  • Line Power with a 5v USB connection
  • BATTERY LIFE: A fully charged battery will send/receive about 150-200 messages and will retain charge for about 4-5 months in storage.

 

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Thank you for subscribing!
This email is already subscribed.
There has been an error.