British-based manufacturer Triumph has reportedly put together a deal with Beeline, partnering to create a universal GPS navigation system.
The Triumph/Beeline team-up is reportedly mostly a rebranding effort, putting the Triumph logo on the Moto Metal unit (or so reports Revzilla). OEMs rebranding third-party equipment happens all the time, and isn’t that exciting (the Euro manufacturers do this all the time with their luggage systems and riding gear, for instance).
However, it gets more interesting when you consider the implications of the move. Why would Triumph bother with rebranding a universal GPS system? Surely there are easier ways to make money?
The obvious answer is, Triumph wants to include the unit on its models. It’s unlikely we’d see it on the Tiger series or other hardcore touring-oriented bikes, as their owners are more likely to want more in-depth instructions. But for minimalist machines like the Bobber series, the sleek Beeline units make great sense. Instead of a bulky, square gauge that ruins the bike’s lines, owners get a discreet round dial that gives them the basic navigation info they need. To interact with the system, they can whip out their cellphones, and rely on the bare-bones display for in-the-saddle nav.
Royal Enfield has already pioneered this idea, with its Tripper navigation system, based on Google Maps. At this point, Tripper is spreading through Royal Enfield’s lineup.