Tracker fitted to GSX-R

Published: 16 June 2004

When my K4 GSX-R1000 was lifted from a parking space in a busy London street I went through a range of emotions that I really didn’t want to experience again. None of them were particularly noble. It’s hard to be proud of the desire to maim.

So avoiding anything similar while I am in possession of the limited edition black GSX-R1000 that has replaced it has become something of a priority.

Fortunately Steve Ford from Avoid It called me after reading about the loss of my first K4 and he reckoned he had a solution.

It’s a tracking device, small enough to fit within the confines of the smallest sports bike and sensitive enough to tell a user which lane of a motorway your bike happens to be on. Yet its robust enough to cope with the battering bikes offer that car-based systems have never had to worry about.

It all works with through mobile phone and GPS. Share a few details with loved ones and they can track your movements on a pc, too. It’ll all hook up with a palm pilot to offer you directions if you need them too.

The list of features and functions goes on and on. But the really important ones are that it works first go, is easy to arm and disarm and does what it says on the tin. You give the bike a quick call to disarm it when you go to your garage in the morning. When you park up you give it another bell to alarm it. The system sends you a confirmation text and then… if anyone tampers with your bike or starts moving it you get an immediate call.

If they get moving before you get to them you keep getting text messages telling you where it is – the GPS tracking its every step. And the clever thing is that it tells you in plain English – not a series of grid references. So if it’s in the car park at work the message will be that the bike is 50 metres from Lynch Wood – the road MCN’s HQ is on.

If you are abroad the messages revert to grid references. They might not mean a lot unless you do have an OS map with you – but they’ll give the local police plenty to go on. Get to a pc and you could track it yourself.

Mine was fitted at Steve’s premises in Welling, Kent. On my ride back he was able to track my movements to such an extent that he knew when I was changing lanes on the M11. He rang me to tell me the maximum speed he had recorded for my journey too. Pleasingly, only Steve (and myself) gets access to that.

Avoid It claims a 100 per cent recovery rate for stolen vehicles and it’s already earning insurance discounts and working its way through Sold Secure approval.

Given that prices start at £499(and you’ll pay a good chunk of that for an alarm immobiliser) it seems a price worth paying.

There are a few extras, like the cost of fitting and the text messages you get sent – but I’ve never felt as confident about the security of my bike as I do now.

Before long I aim to run a simulated theft and I’ll let you know how easy we find it to track our ‘thief’ when we do.

Find out more about Avoid It at www.avoid-it.com

The bike’s in for a service on June 30 at Hallens in Cambridge. I’ll be hanging around there for a couple of hours while the work is done. So if you happen to be in the area… drop by and tell me what you think of your bike or this website.

Then I’ll be out on track on the bike at Rockingham on Thursday July 1, with the California Superbike School.