I’ve been looking for a suitable reliable tracking device for my classic scooters for a while now. I used a hard-wired Datatool tracker on my Vespa GTS (excellent). For classic scooters, it’s not always possible to have something hard-wired (not many classics have a DC supply) that can be hidden beneath the bodywork and still get a good signal.
There are plenty of cheap tracking devices on the market, not all of them are suitable for tracking vehicles though and you need the peace of mind that a tracker will do its job without having to worry about it.
In the past, I’ve tried a self-contained Dantracker unit but that was too big to hide on a scooter and the actual tracking wasn’t very good so that one got sent back. Thankfully I think I’ve finally found something that has most of the attributes I need in a small enough package and with the reassuring quality of a European manufacturer.
Classic scooter requirements
Firstly the tracker needs to be battery powered and self-contained. It needs to be waterproof, capable of withstanding prolonged exposure to vibration, it has to be small enough to be hidden somewhere on a scooter. It also needs to be able to alert you if the scooter is moved and preferably allow you to track it yourself. Monimoto scores on all of those points.
Size-wise Monimoto is quite a bit shorter than the Dantracker’s 203 mm x 25.3 mm size, the Monimoto is 126mm x 30mm, those 77 millimetres make all the difference when you’re trying to hide it somewhere discreet. The unit has holes in the casing for tie wraps to be threaded through (tie wraps are supplied). By their very nature, a metal-bodied classic scooter isn’t the ideal place to secrete a tracking device. Metal can block the GPS signal so it’s best to trial fit it and test it out first. Use your imagination and there are still plenty of good hiding places on a scooter though.
It literally doesn’t get much easier than the Monimoto:
- Open the casing
- remove the battery protecting tab on Moni Moto (and on the key fob)
- Insert SIM card
- Close casing
- Download app
- Pair to your phone & customise the device (rename it, set sensitivity etc.)
It literally takes two minutes to set up and is very straightforward.
- Self-arming when proximity key fob is out of range
- Any movement or vibration of the bike activates alarm mode
- 3 sensitivity levels to detect motion (alter using the app)
- If movement is detected the device phones your mobile after 1-minute
- Sends location details every five minutes to the app
I’ve been using the tracker for the last few months on both classic and modern scooters. The good thing is that its easy to use and easy to move from vehicle to vehicle. For instance, if I’m going to London on a TMAX I’ll hide it on that for some extra protection. Also if I’m going to a rally and will be leaving a scooter chained up for the weekend outside a tent or B&B it’s handy to have the extra piece of mind. Mine has been used on a few rallies and I’ve had no false alarms due to blustery weather etc. The only times I do get an alarm call is if I move a scooter myself (when the proximity sensor isn’t with me), or if I start another noisy scooter up very close to it. The vibrations of a meaty expansion pipe can shock it into action. It’s reassuring to get that alarm call though.
My scooter lives in a heavily insulated brick built garage with an insulated door, even so the Moni Moto app still detects it whilst it’s locked away and I’ll get a ‘Monimoto ready’ push notification every now and again. You can check the status of the device using the app, you can also check the battery condition and alter the sensitivity (although I’ve been happy with the default setting on mine).
The tracker works on both GPS and GSM, if one signal is weak the other takes over to give you a better chance of locating it. I took my scooter in the back of a van to try it out and although it didn’t get the full GPS signal it still picked up GSM and was able to give a location. Obviously, once the scooter is wheeled out of a van you’ll get better the more accurate GPS reception (hopefully a lot better reception than the thieves will when you track them and your scooter down).
Once the alarm is activated (if motion is detected for seven seconds or more without the key fob being present) the device will ring your mobile within one minute, then start giving tracking information through the app.
Monimoto comes with its own sim card, you get two months of free use out of it, then it costs €3 per month (charged annually through the app). You can swap the sim over to a cheaper pay as you go sim card if you prefer (some cost just £10 a year). There are no other charges or subscriptions with the device. A conventional hard-wired tracker costs around £99 a year for a subscription and can only be used on one machine.
Monimoto (with the supplied sim card) can be used in the UK and Europe but not worldwide.
The only issue I had was that a glitch in the app drained the battery on mine when I first got the device. The people at Monimoto sorted that out very quickly though and for the last three months or so it’s been running perfectly. I swapped the CR123 batteries it comes with for some heavier duty Duracell batteries and it’s still showing as full battery now on the app. The batteries are meant to last for a year in sleep mode (it wakes when the scooter is moved without the proximity sensor).
All in all its a great bit of kit. With many victims of theft reporting that all they get is a crime number when a scooter gets stolen, no police visit (even when there’s CCTV or other evidence) having a tracking device is probably the best chance you have of getting your pride and joy back. Most conventional trackers stop alerting the owner once it’s reported as stolen, allowing the monitoring company to take over. With this one you can check on its whereabouts whilst you track down the scum bags who took it. Giving you the best chance of getting your scooter back quickly.
New products always in development…
We were so impressed with Monimoto that we’ve arranged to sell them through SLUK. They cost £148 and will be delivered directly from the supplier (usually within three days).
You can find the Monimoto here.