These are trying times to be a motorcyclist. Every day the news tells of thefts, bike-jackings and the beshackled efforts of the police. If you’re the type of person that naturally tends to worry, then it could be enough convince you to give up motorcycling all together.
However, there are products that can provide some additional peace of mind and today we will be examining one such tracker: the Spytrack Nano from Rewire Security.
- One of the smallest GPS tracking devices
- Can track children, assets, personnel, patients
- Access SpyTrack website from any browser
- iOS and Android apps available for phones and tablets
- Records activity and routes for 180 days
- Create reports in HTML, PDF or CSV formats
- Notifications for moving, speeding or entering / leaving geofences
- Up to 10 days of standby battery life from 1300mAh battery
- Can be used in 150 countries worldwide
- SOS button sends message to preset phone number
|Power||1300mAh Battery powered|
|GPS Module||GPS + GLONASS (U-blox GNSS)|
|Sensitivity||Up to 1-2 meters|
|Dimensions||68 x 38 x 23 mm|
|Stand By Time||Up to 240 hours (30 seconds update intervals)|
|Water Resistance||IP65 compliant water resistant|
The Spytrack Nano is an innocuous little black box, about the size of two matchboxes stacked one atop the other. While a product that’s designed to be hidden away doesn’t need to focus too much on appearance, it does have a utilitarian charm to its design.
There are two buttons, a SIM card slot, a charging port, and 3 LEDs to indicate the battery level, GPS signal and data connection. The LEDs flash with such urgency that my fiance was worried she’d have to defuse the little device — the companion website does provide the option to turn them off, but that didn’t seem to work.
The magnetic, water resistant case designed to hold the unit is worth special praise. While the tracker does have rubber flaps to provide splash resistance to the ports and buttons, the case makes it feel like it could survive river crossings while strapped to the front of your bike, and the magnets attach to sheet metal (like a section frame or the underside of the fuel tank) with such force that you wouldn’t worry about it falling off. It does make the tracker about 3 times as big, but that could be handy to wedge it out of sight somewhere. Unfortunately, you can’t have it all, and using the waterproof case means you are definitely running off the tracker’s own battery, which will need recharging periodically.
A mark against the spytrack nano is the charging port which is the older mini USB standard, so good luck finding one of those cables lying around the house. Pretty sure I threw out the last of mine circa 2010. I don’t live in the most modern household but micro USB would have been lovely, or even a 12V direct input to connect it directly to my bike’s electrical system.
I tested the SpyTrack Nano over a course of five weeks. It was placed in its waterproof magnetic case and clipped onto my motorcycle. I interacted with the unit using a combination of the Spytrack website and the app. I didn’t try and set up any geo-fences since I tend to move pretty regularly around the country.
Almost all of your interactions with the SpyTrack Nano work though the website or the app. Both provide you with the settings of the unit, its historic data, and a list of the most recent notifications from the tracker, with a choice of map providers to choose from. In my experience, both worked, and were pretty accurate on my commute, with the sample rate set to 1 per minute. Given my mobile phone’s complete failure to acquire a signal in or at work, I was genuinely impressed with how well the SpyTrack Nano reported its location and speed. The responsiveness and accuracy did improve further at higher sample rates, but this did have a noticeable impact on the battery life of the unit, so I would keep it at the sweet spot of per-minute updates.
The Nano has a tilt alarm, and everything can be piped to a phone notification — including low battery alerts. This functionality worked for me all month, letting me know by buzzing my wrist that the tracker was present and functional every time I got on the bike. It was also so reassuring when you wake up and see no motion or battery alerts from your bike — and thinking that it’s almost certainly still going to be there.
A prime example is when I had to leave it at a shop for a service when I went on trip. I’ve had to do this twice now, the first time couple of years ago with an absolutely terrible tracker called “HideNSeek”. Imagine, having landed from a flight, dragged yourself to the where you think the bike was going to be and not seeing it there. It’s raining, you just want to get home and the tracker hasn’t got a fix but is saying it’s detected motion. Well, the bike isn’t here so it’s probably stolen, and being ridden through a field by yoofs, so you begin the two-hour journey via public transport with very unimpressed fiancee back home. File a police report and try not to cry. Make the same journey back to the dealership in the morning, only to have them say that they just forgot to put the bike out, and kick the stupid tracker into the bin.
This time ’round, I have complete confidence in the location of my bike and when it’s being moved in and out of the dealer’s workshop, and that alone is worth the £69 cost of the unit.
Value and Conclusion
To use the SpyTrack Nano, you do have to sign up to a subscription service, to the tune of £85/ year, in addition to the cost of the unit.
This means it’s a touch over £7 per month for almost complete peace of mind when it comes to your motorcycle.
Put plainly, I’ll buy a year’s subscription when the trial period on the review unit runs out. I’m impressed with it and I think the polish is worth the money over some of the more DIY solutions I’ve seen.
The SpyTrack Nano is available to purchase online, directly from its creators Rewire Security. The SpyTrack Nano costs £69.99, and requires a pay-as-you-go subscription that costs £10 per month, with a discount for buying in bulk.