While built-in navigation is quickly becoming common in cars, very few motorcycles offer it. Those that do are typically expensive long-distance touring bikes, which are designed to tackle extended rides. But even if you only stick to known roads, having a helpful guide home isn’t a bad idea. Plus, Rebelle Rally and similar situations aside, unfolding and carrying a map can be a pain. So if you’re looking to give your motorcycle GPS navigation, Beeline’s system may be for you.
Beeline’s motorcycle and bicycle GPS systems
Beeline’s products aren’t only for motorcycles, actually. The British firm produces both motorcycle and bicycle GPS systems. The former is the Moto line, and the latter the Velo line. Although you can’t use the Velo on a motorcycle, the two have essentially the same features.
The Beeline Moto doesn’t look like most motorcycle or car GPS systems. It’s basically just a 2”-diameter circular gauge with a 1”-diameter display that mounts to your handlebars. It comes in two versions: a $188 model with a black plastic case, or a $251 version with a gray or silver metal case.
The Velo is only available with a plastic case, but costs $125, and comes in a variety of colors. Both devices are also dust-proof and water-proof, Wired reports. In the Velo’s case, though, that’s only when it’s in the silicone case used to attach it around your handlebars.
The only external controls are 4 captive-touch buttons, which can be operated while wearing gloves. The Beeline Moto’s main display is similarly minimalistic: there’s some arrows, a distance reading, and that’s about it. It does have a backlight you can turn on, though. But for motorcycle riders and cyclists, that simplicity is a virtue.
How does it work?
True, the Beeline Moto and Velo can’t display maps. But even quickly glancing at an electronic map takes your eyes off the road for a dangerous amount of time. Statistically, distracted driving is the leading cause of roadway accidents. And for motorcyclists and cyclists, who have no airbags or ADAS features, distraction can be even more deadly.
Instead of displaying maps, Beeline designed the Moto and Velo around easier-to-interpret navigation methods. The first, Cycle World reports, uses the gauge’s built-in gyroscope and magnetometer to make it work as a compass.
The second, though, has the Moto connect via Bluetooth to your smartphone via Beeline’s app. With the app, your phone’s GPS, and the Moto’s accelerometer, it lets the device give turn-by-turn directions. The Moto shows which direction you need to turn, and how much far away the turn is. Beeline’s motorcycle and bicycle GPS systems also display your journey progress and relative proximity to your destination.
Cycle World reports the Beeline Moto does take some getting used to at first. However, the device updates quickly enough to make it useful for rapidly-forking roads. And, true to its intended design, it’s neither distracting nor obtrusive. The app is no more difficult to use than Google Maps or Apple Maps. And Beeline claims a 30-hour battery life (10 with the backlight on).
Motorcycle and bicycle GPS navigation via phone
If you’d rather not add another device into your life, there are other ways of giving your motorcycle or bicycle GPS navigation. One of the cheapest and simplest is getting a phone mount, The Drive reports. Not only will you have maps, but you’ll also be able to listen to music and see who’s calling you.
For motorcycles, there are other ways a phone mount can be attached, The Drive reports, besides the handlebars. While handlebar mounts are the most common, it’s also possible to mount your phone to your windscreen, or your mirrors, Cycle World reports.
There’s another advantage to using a mounted phone to give your motorcycle or bicycle GPS: price. Even an expensive option, like the Rokform Pro, costs about $70 less than the cheapest Beeline Moto. And other mounts, like the Tackform Enduro, cost even less.
But regardless of which option you pick, there are a variety of ways to give your motorcycle cheap GPS.
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