Sadly these days, as a motorcycle owner you can’t afford to ignore the huge motorbike theft crime wave and thus the plethora of security devices that can help protect your pride and joy. If you’ve read my motorcycle security guide, you’ll know that using multiple security items in conjunction can offer the best overall protection. Physical locks can help prevent theft but are often easily beaten with a battery-powered angle grinder. This is where a tracker can come into play, by helping you recover your bike.
Thieves will often hide a stolen bike in a quiet side alley for a day or two to see if it has a tracker and if someone comes to recover it. This is your window for recovery before it’s completely lost. Otherwise, a tracker can provide location info of a lockup you can relay to the Police to investigate. Whereupon they’ll often find many stolen bikes as well as yours and hopefully enough evidence to charge the culprits.
Monimoto manufactures a unique tracker that requires no wired connection to your motorbike, has a very attractive price and a low monthly subscription cost. So when I was sent a review sample of their Monimoto MM5 motorcycle tracker to test out, I was very intrigued to find out if it lives up to promises.
Watch my view review or read the detailed write-up below.
Monimoto Motorcycle Tracker Review
The Monimoto MM5 motorcycle tracker is a smallish cylindrical device that contains a couple of batteries, a GPS receiver, a 2G GSM cellphone transmitter and a SIM card. It’s fully sealed with no wires or connections to your motorcycle, which makes installation very easy and prevents a would-be thief from tracing wires from your bike’s battery or disconnecting it completely. It also avoids issues with running your bike’s battery flat, necessitating the use of a trickle charger and the need for costly professional installation.
Alongside the main motorcycle tracker GPS you hide on your bike, you get a keyfob that connects to the tracker to ascertain if you’re near the bike. Both are supplied with batteries (two CR123A for the tracker and a CR2450 for the keyfob) and a couple of reusable cable ties to attach the tracker. Finally, there is a phone app you need to download to your iPhone or Android phone that sets everything up.
Just over £30 quid a year for the MoniMoto subscription is seriously cheap
The MM5 MoniMoto tracker retails for around £150 and comes supplied with batteries and a SIM card. This SIM has a subscription cost of £32.50 per year, but the first two months are included free. You can alternatively use any 2G SIM card of your choosing. Nonetheless, just over thirty quid a year for the MoniMoto is seriously cheap, as other tracker brands charge upwards of £100/year!
Setup & Installation
The little instruction pamphlet supplied promises a half dozen simple setup and installation steps – download app, run the setup, cable tie tracker to bike, stick key fob on keys, done – easy enough, right? It should have been, but alas I hit issues. Halfway through the setup on the app, it failed, encountering issues finding the key fob it aborted the setup and refused to connect to the tracker. I tried three different Android phones, in case it was my old Android version or a dodgy phone, but no, the same issues on each.
At this point, I got in touch with the MoniMoto support team, which you can do by sending diagnostic info directly within the app or connecting them directly via their website. MoniMoto support promptly responded in a mere 20 minutes later! Wow – that’s good. Unfortunately, after running through some initial resetting and reattempts, they weren’t able to do much more than gather info and send it to their developers. The MoniMoto tracker dev team came to the conclusion the keyfob battery was likely flat. Lo and behold, after replacing the CR2450 battery in the keyfob, everything worked much smoother. Looking back, I did notice there was no tab to pull out on the keyfob, so the supplied battery must have gone flat prior to the sale and was likely the root cause of all my issues. Certainly, an annoying niggle that could have been avoided, but it was easy enough to remedy and it’s functioned flawlessly since. However, I can’t criticise the MoniMoto too heavily for a flat battery.
After sorting out the software gubbins, it was merely a case of planting the tracker on the motorbike. The type of bike you have will obviously dictate how easy this is. A faired bike will offer more locations you can hide the tracker but will require fairing panels to be removed first. Whereas on a naked bike, the difficulty is finding a location that’s not in plain sight or too obvious like under the seat. Although the tracker is not large, it is chunky enough to limit location choices. It is however fully waterproof (meets IP65 standards) and fully self-contained so there is no hassle with running wires to it. The supplied cable ties are reusable, which is good for trying different locations.
If you have multiple bikes in your garage, you can register multiple trackers on a single phone within the app, thus ensuring you get notifications should any go walkabout.
How well does it work?
Once set up, the MoniMoto tracker will ping a notification once a day (or another interval of your choosing) to inform you it is armed, ready and batteries are good. If you keep the key fob on your person, it is otherwise completely transparent in use, no further interaction is required, it just sits there doing its job. However, it’s when your bike is moved with no key fob nearby that it springs into action. Simply lifting a bike off the side stand is enough to trigger it (but you can configure it to be more or less sensitive if needed). Once triggered it will:
- Phone your mobile to alert you
- Switch to alarm mode
- Send alerts with GPS location info every 5 minutes
- After sustained movement, it will go into live tracking mode, sending location updates more regularly
The tracker itself has no audible alarm, so thieves would remain unaware, the call to your phone is your alarm (tip: set a distinct ringtone to the tracker’s numbers on your phone). This is when you go into full panic mode and run down the road after your bike! Hopefully, you can thwart some would-be thieves or find your bike abandoned still in OK condition. Otherwise, you have good information to pass on to the police. Unlike other more expensive offerings on the market (e.g. BikeTrac), MoniMoto does not get involved in recovering your vehicle. If it’s a false alarm, say your bike is at the garage, via the phone app you can tell the MoniMoto alarm to sleep for a period of time.
If desired, you can install the MoniMoto app on multiple phones, sign in with the same account and then get notifications sent to each phone. Handy to keep an eye on your partner’s bike if they’re away. However, the MM5 motorbike tracker will only ring one phone when alarmed.
This MM5 European model uses the 2G cell phone network to communicate and requires reception from the GPS satellite network for locational information. This ensures your bike can still be tracked if shipped around Europe, Russia and many neighbouring countries. There is an MM6 model that uses the 3G network for use globally including in the US, check it out if you’re travelling further afield. Either way, should your bike be stowed underground, in a thick container or next to a GSM/GPS jammer, you may not get any alerts from it. Some (much) more expensive trackers on the market offer an additional VHF signal to work around this limitation (e.g. Tracker).
With no permanent connection to your motorcycle’s battery, there’s no worry about draining it or needing to keep it on a trickle charger. However, you will periodically need to replace the MoniMoto’s own batteries. MoniMoto claims around 1 year from the main tracker’s batteries, but it will chew through them if in alarm mode and constantly sending out updates (they quote about 10 days of alerts). You can eek longer if you configure less frequent check in’s, reducing it from the default of every 1 day to anything up to every 1 month.
The MoniMoto app will let you know when the tracker and key fob batteries are low. Nonetheless, replacement batteries are cheap to buy and easy to replace:
- Main tracker: 2x CR123A batteries – £6 a pair.
- Key fob: 1x CR2450 battery – £4 a pair
The MoniMoto MM5 is competitively priced at £150 upfront plus a £32.50/year subscription and is simple enough to be installed oneself, making it one of the cheapest motorcycle trackers on the market. As we all know buying cheap isn’t always the best plan, however, in this case, you are getting a quality product that is very effective at what it sets out to do.
- Low price, upfront and subscription
- Easy install with no wiring
- Simple, self-contained weatherproof design
- Good support with prompt response times
- No constant active tracking (would drain the battery too fast)
- No VHF tracking
- No assistance with vehicle recovery
- Batteries replacement effort each year
- Not Thatcham approved
However, the above cons relate to features only available on other much more expensive trackers (around double that of this MoniMoto tracker), which require professional installation, wiring to your bike and hefty subscription costs. For £150 upfront and £32.50/year sub, you will be hard-pushed to find a better tracker. This makes the MoniMoto a great choice for all bikes, even older lower-value bikes you didn’t think economical to fit a tracker too. It’s also so simple to install and cheap enough that you could equally fit it to any vehicle, your car, work van, quad bike, sit-on mower, Gator etc.
Find more details and buy the MM5 motorcycle tracker direct from Monimoto.
Update: The Monimoto MM5 has now been superseded by a newer model.