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Tracking your bike vs an alarm...

Discussion in 'Modifications and Projects' started by jsobell, Jul 27, 2016.

  1. Yes, sounds awesome

  2. Daft idea, good luck

    0 vote(s)
  3. I've already got something the same but cheaper and I'll tell you what it is

  1. In a flash of misguided inspiration I decided to make a 3G based tracking device for my bike.
    The idea is that the device is fitted discretely with connections only to power and optionally to the fuel pump or engine run, and when the system detects movement while activated it sends a signal to the central site that informs you via mobile phone.
    There is the option to add a siren, but I think this rather defeats the purpose of a tracker, as the first thing they would do would be to look for the alarm unit to destroy it.

    The reason I started all this was to add an active RFID unit so the system will activate as I walk away and deactivate when I return, so I'll never forget, and it won't send tracking information or movement detection unless I'm away from the bike.

    My theory is that the fuel line or ignition disable allows you to stop the bike if it's 'disappeared' without alerting the rider to the fact it's being tracked. Hopefully that causes a thief to abandon the bike, allowing you to locate and retrieve it quickly.
    It's got a built-in battery, so even if they disconnect the battery it should continue tracking for about 24 hours.
    I'll just have to make sure I can hide it well, as you don't want it to be located easily in the back of a van when your bike's just been stolen!

    Does this sound of interest to other people? At this stage I reckon it looks like each device will cost about $190, and I'm hoping a monthly subscription of about $9 would cover the cost of hosting and the 3G card data. I'll be sticking one in the car too in case I forget where I left it :)

    Oh, and it does have the option to track your location and speed if you want a record of where you've been, but I'm not sure if that's always a good thing unless you're at a track-day!
  2. How does it differ from the ones available on eBay (for ~$30 last time I looked) jsobelljsobell ?
  3. The ones on ebay are 2G, not 3G, so they won't work after the end of the year. They also don't have movement detectors, have no inputs or outputs so you can't disable the bike or disable tracking, and they don't have RFID so you have to leave them permanently activated.
    Oh, and most of them are shitty quality.
    Apart from that they are identical :)
  4. One thing I read a little while ago was not to totally disable the bike but to let it start, then cutout after 10-20 seconds or so, starts again then cuts out, etc etc. This way it appears to be a faulty bike system rather than an alarm, so less chance of the thief pulling things apart looking for the immobiliser.
  5. Yes, hence the comment re fuel line. If the thing splutters and stops because the fuel pump is no longer running, problem solved :)
    Mind you, if it's a seriously tooled-up thief with any experience, they will find it no matter what. If it was immobilised in the middle of the freeway, I doubt they would spend much time figuring out how to rewire it! Anyway, if you know where it is (which is the whole point of this project) you drive towards the bike, immobilise it, and retrieve it quickly.
    On my new bike I plan to ignore the immobilisation, as the new bike has a chip in the key, so they are far more likely to load it into the back of a van than to ride it away. The main thing is to know which garage they've taken it to.
  6. Whilst I like the idea, I am not sure I want my bike back after a thief has done all the damage starting it without the key and then flogged the guts out of it in an attempted theft. I'd probably prefer an insurance payout. I mean, I love my firestorm, but if when I get it back from a dickhead who stole it and hammered it, it's not the same as it was before (and I generally feel like it won't be...), then no thank you, give me the money and I'll just get a new bike... If I'm insured comprehensively, and my bike gets stolen and I recover it, I have to make an insurance claim to get it fixed, and it counts as an at fault claim because the party responsible for the damage is unavailable, so that increases my insurance prices for any new policies anyway. So if I have to make an at fault claim regardless, I'd almost rather not get the bike back, and to shop for a new one...
    • Dislike Dislike x 1
  7. I suppose this makes sense, although thinking about it I suppose there are a few things to consider:
    • you can't make a claim until the insurance company is convinced it's not going to be recovered
    • when they do eventually find it, it may have been thrashed and trashed for several days, and you still get it back. I'd rather recover it after 30mins of thrashing than 3 days.
    • if you have any custom modifications, exhaust, fairings, hugger, tail-eliminator etc, the insurance don't usually pay for that, so I'd like mine back if it's to be scrapped :)
    • there's also a very high probability that the worst will be a smashed lock, in which case I'd be happy to have my bike back, rather than have to get a new one and pay the $4K difference between the insurance payout and a new replacement
    I've had many bikes stolen over the years, and apart from one being set on fire, they've all been recovered by the police, abandoned somewhere in the city. Each time, the insurance repair the damage, but I have no idea if it's been bouncing off the red-line for the last 3 days.
    Also, if it was stolen for parts, being able to lead the police to my bike means I'm doing something to benefit the biking community. Bonus! (you can thank me later) :)
    • Like Like x 1
  8. can you wire it to explode when the thief is sitting on it? :p
    • Funny Funny x 3
  9. Have you considered Tramigo T22 Motocycle Tracking Device. Meets all your specified requirements, once-off purchase cost for product, no fees, no third-party server. Just requires SIM card.
  10. I was thinking more along the lines of a nail gun positioned to fire upwards thru the seat. That way you get your bike back mostly undamaged, well ok a small hole in the seat, and the thief wouldn't be hard to spot; He's the nearest one clutching his asshole and moaning.
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  11. I'm undecided on bike tracking, once a thief has smashed up ignition barrel, grinded off my disklock and likely chopped up the immobiliser I don't want the bike!
    The first thing a theif will do is crudely respray it another colour or strip and ship it off overseas before the authorities can get a warrant, assuming its just some dumb joyriders who knows what damage they've done to the engine.

    I'd never ride a bike with automatic cutouts, especially a proximity based rfid one as the risk of it getting hit by stray interference or a fault occurring somewhere in the system causing the engine to cutout is unsafe.
  12. The specs on this look to be identical to the units I sourced, so I assume it's also an MT100 based device, but with no included RFID it's missing the key feature I wanted; auto-arming when you walk away from the bike.
  13. Actually, the first thing the thief will do is take it to a garage. Since the RFID sensor was not in range, it alerted you when they picked up the bike. With most modern bike thefts they don't touch the barrel, because without the ECU enabled they can't ride it anyway, so most modern thefts involve a van and 3-4 hefty blokes with bad tats. Even if they did break the lock, would I like my bike back with a smashed ignition barrel? Er... let me think... would I prefer to claim on insurance and then pay the $2-$4K difference to get a replacement bike on the road...

    You have a point though. If they manage to steal the bike, respray it, and load it onto a boat out of the country before you manage to react to the SMS telling you your bike has been stolen, then they frigging well deserve to keep it!

    Re engine cutouts, again, if someone SMS's my SIM card, submits the disable command using the six digit security key, and the engine cuts out while I'm riding, it will be yet another miracle :)

    Come on, let's be grown-up about this. The biggest risk in the MT100 based security systems is that you accidentally run up a large SMS or GPRS data bill because you left it armed! I take bigger risks walking to the local shop for milk.
  14. Have a read at this: Ask a Thief: Inside Story on Motorcycle Theft | The Smoking Tire
    Many pro's will never load a bike into a van, its to risky and will almost always try to ride it away (even to the extent of bringing a spare ECU or front wheel!

    Lets say you get a SMS and tells you your bike is at xyz....what are you going to do? The cops will shrug and I certainly wouldn't want to meet these 3-4 hefty blokes with bad tats you speak of.
    Not sure how your system plans to disable the engine, I've seen some aftermarket car immobilisers and kill-switches cause issues with a loose connection or a the unit resetting due to a voltage spike.
    If your loosing money on a bike theft/crash then you need to re-evaluate your insurance policy, insure that you have a very fair 'agreed value' :)

    I love the idea, don't get me wrong however I'm just unsure of how it will fare in reality.
  15. An alarm may alert you to the bike being stolen and if lucky it may scare of the perp but is it wise to intervene. Could be dangerous. If you track the bike again if you can get the law to chase it OK but could be dangerous to try to get it back yourself. I also feel that if it is taken I doubt that I would want it back as it is sure to be thrashed and damaged.
  16. But that article says exactly the opposite. The copper specifically says "2) The most common way of stealing a motorcycle is by lifting it off of the ground and loading into a van."
    Riding it home is significantly more risky than loading it into a van! 20secs loading it, vs. 3mins (noisy) breaking it free and getting it to start?

    Anyway, at the end of the day, if people don't want to track where your bike has gone, don't fit a tracker, but arguing that being able to locate a stolen bike is a waste of time is just a bit weird.
    Here's a link to the stolen bike register on this site, where someone should let all those poor sods know that they don't really want their bikes back, should simply claim on insurance, and that even if someone has spotted their bike they should take no action because it would be unwise (Oh, and they shouldn't waste time telling the police, as they'll just shrug) :)
  17. Oh, and yes, I know "tremendousguilt" claims nobody serious does that, but firstly I'm not convinced he's genuine, particularly given that he's been posting his travel details and whereabouts for years and none of the thieves I've known over the years would be so verbal, and secondly because I'd listen to a copper who saw the results of dozens of thieves over the claims of one claimed thief. I believe most old bikes are stolen by kids (where a disk lock would more than suffice), and most modern bikes are stolen by professionals using pickup (because they can't be started, and pushing them with a scooter is very risky).

    Hmm, perhaps I'm wrong to be sending all my money to my Nigerian girlfriend who promises to come over here in a month or three... am I too trusting of internet claims?
  18. I like the idea of a tracker just to help break the theft "industry" that seems to be growing.