Spot Trace - Tested 25 January 17

Our bikes are valuable and it is likely that someone, somewhere has an eye on taking yours from you. Motorcycle security is not the best and just the fact that they are easily moved makes them vulnerable, locks, cables and alarms are all very well but are easily cut or disarmed.

In the event that you are unfortunate enough to have your bike stolen, a good way to recover it would be to know where it is. This is where the Spot Trace comes in. It is a small battery powered device that is tracked by satellites and reports its position back to Spot. You then have access to this info either via the web or an app for your mobile device that will show you where it is and where it has been. It reports its whereabouts at given time intervals and their frequency will depend on how much you pay for your service plan and also how long you want the battery life to be. The more frequent the transmission the shorter the battery will last. Service plans cost $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year for the Basic Plan which gives you: a SMS text/email with your asset's GPS coordinates once movement has been detected. View the asset's GPS coordinates anytime online or via our app. Basic service allows you to customize your Trace to track every 5, 10, 30 or 60 minutes and also, customize your device's dock mode, movement alert, status, low battery and power off settings. For an extra $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year you can get the upgrade which gives you tracking info every 2 1/2 minutes but for me I found the best compromise was to set the device to 5 minute intervals to give a longer battery life.

The Trace unit is compact and is easily placed in a semi-secret location on your bike, if it is too visible and thief will simply discard it. For my testing purposes I placed it under the seat, which was not the best place but would give me an idea of how well it works considering it needs to contact satellites. It worked well there and also when in the armrest storage bin of my car. It has different conditions that will trigger the device to send a report. These are: Track, Movement Alert, Stop, Status and Power Off. The first three are position alerts and the last two are status alerts and you can select which ones you have active.

The App
The app will be the way most people will interact with the Trace and this is where you can adjust settings and find the locations of your Trace. A spyglass icon will show you the Trace's last location and the position is marked on top of a Google Maps image (in satellite or standard format), if you zoom out you can see the icons of other locations your Trace has been, I even managed to be in a location where Google Maps had captured a plane flying over. My one criticism of the app is that although you can see the position of the Trace, and the coordinates of the location are listed, there is no way of getting directions to, or any address info of the location. This is a must have for an app like this so you and your 'friends' can easily pay the thief a visit.

In Use
The battery life was exactly as Spot said it would be and the, not inexpensive, four AAA Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries lasted three months with the Trace set on reporting every five minutes. The Trace can be wired into your bikes power using the supplied cable but it then loses it waterproof ability.

Although I didn't use the Trace in anger to find a stolen bike I did use it while I was traveling to find a bag the Trace was in after I accidentally left it a friends car. It was fun watching where they were driving and they were surprised I knew where they were.

I really like the Trace and had a lot of fun tracking stuff, I had it on my bike, in my car, in my luggage while traveling abroad and it proved itself admirably. The expense of the service plan is a little high in my opinion but if it helps get a stolen bike back it is worth it.

Price: $99

For more info: Click here



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