I am always searching for interesting products to enhance my motorcycling experience, and I found a good one in the Beeline Moto navigation display. The Beeline Moto is a two-inch round, remote interpretation display of the GPS information acquired via Bluetooth from your smartphone. The display is designed so that a quick glance gives you all the information you need to navigate to your selected destination.
A low distraction navigation display device, the Beeline Moto gives you the few essential pieces of information you need. An arrowhead points your direction of travel, a dot on either side of the arrowhead advises you which way to turn next, a miles (or 10ths/100ths of a mile) indication of how far to the next turn, and a graphic display of your trip progress.
If you are coming to a roundabout—the Beeline Moto comes from England—it shows you which spur to take. All that is intuitively indicated on a one-inch black-and-white sunlight-readable circular display, with a backlight. The unit is held securely with a twist in click on any one of five mounting brackets.
There are two mounting methods in the box—a universal elastic strap mount, and a GoPro type mount. Three other brackets are available as additional-cost accessories—the solid metal bar clamp, metal mirror stalk clamp, and Ram mount. Charging is done on a proprietary bracket that plugs into a standard USB charger.
The Beeline Moto gets its information from the Beeline map app on your smartphone, which must be within Bluetooth range. The Beeline map app uses Google Maps. That means anywhere in the world your smartphone can get a Google map, the Beeline will function.
The Beeline app can import GPS waypoints (GPX files) from your favorite adventure website or seamlessly from Strava, a well-known runner/cyclist social network community. Evidently, you don’t have to own a Beeline unit to use the free Beeline app—Beeline by Relish Technologies Ltd. if you are looking it up on Google Play or the Apple App Store. The app simulates the Beeline Moto unit for navigation.
There is a great feature on the Beeline iPhone app version—the map track shows mileage markers. My motorcycle needs a drink every 160-170 miles at freeway speeds. I usually estimate 160 miles by finger spreading on a screen or paper map and then set a waypoint to see if the distance is correct; then, I search for a gas station. Now, I can see where to put the waypoint gas stations, food stops, and motels.
Desert or forest single-track riders will appreciate the Beeline Moto unit and app, as it will direct you from point A to point B. If you previously downloaded a GPX file for your route, you will be riding from turn-to-turn, as Beeline is using the GPS info from your smartphone—even out of cell range. You can set up routes for future rides and, although I didn’t venture 900 miles to the Mojave Desert to confirm, the app display showed me the terrain as I remember it.
The app gives you the same visual information as the Beeline Moto unit. However, without the Moto, your smartphone will be hanging out in the dusty/rainy elements or, worst case, crashing with you into the sagebrush, and probably running out of smartphone charge before you find your way back to your truck. Battery life on the Moto is up to 30 hours—it drops to 10 with constant backlight use—and recharging the Beeline Moto takes just an hour.
The unit is waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof, and includes a 12-month warranty.
Learning how to set up a route on the app with waypoints is intuitive. Still, if you have any questions, they have many step-by-step instructions on the Beeline website.
After getting to know the app and display in the comfort of my living room, I set up a route and mounted the unit to my GoPro-style mount where my dashcam normally resides. Like any GPS I have used, both smartphone and standalone, it takes a few feet for it to figure out exactly which way it is pointed; when the spinning wheel stops, the navigation starts.
By the end of my driveway, the arrow was already pointing to the left, and the dot was on the left side. As I turned left, the arrow pointed straight ahead with the dot moved to the right side, and a .1 mileage indicated the distance to the upcoming right turn. I purposely drove past the next turn, and the arrowhead pointed rearward, telling me to turn around.
I keep going straight rather than reversing course, and the display rerouted to get me back on course to my destination with an upcoming right turn. That’s what it does, visually, turn by turn—it directs you to your preset destination or keeps you pointed towards your destination if you are using the off-road/point-to-point mode. It is simple, with lots of information and easy to interpret.
The original design concept was for bicycle touring, and was a very successful Kickstarter campaign, selling over 10,000 units in 2019. For the Moto version, Beeline enhanced the design to add motorcycle-glove friendly buttons that access the additional information of speed, miles traveled, trip time elapsed, and current time, plus battery levels for the unit and your smartphone.
When I first spotted the Beeline Moto, I pictured it on the handlebars of a dirt bike. Then I realized that there are a lot of visual bike appearance purists who don’t like the look of a bulky GPS unit or smartphone mounted to the handlebar. Personally, my Yamaha Venture’s handlebars are covered in FARKLE (Fancy, Accessory, Really Kool, Likely Expensive), but that’s me. I did find it refreshing to ride using a non-distracting yet informative display, and it comes in a choice of one Black plastic case and two steel cases—Gunmetal Grey and Silver.
If you are wanting to keep your smartphone out of the elements, or you are a visual purest or an off-roader, the Beeline Moto GPS display might be just what you didn’t know you needed for your motorcycle adventures—until now.
Beeline Moto Fast Facts
- Weight: 1 ounce
- Diameter: 1.96 inches
- Thickness: 0.73 inches
- Water-resistant: IP67-rated
- Screen: Transflective LCD w/ LED backlight
- Resolution: 208 x 208 pixel @ 287 ppi
- Battery capacity: 400 mAh
- Battery life w/o backlight: 30 hours
- Battery life w/ backlight: 10 hours
- Standby battery life: 4-6 months
- Recharge time: 1 hour w/ USB-A charger w/ pogo pin interface
- iPhone requirement: iOS 9.2 or better
- Android requirement: Google Play w/ 7.0 Nougat or better
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0 required
Beeline Moto Colors and Prices
- Black: $188 MSRP
- Gunmetal Grey; Silver: $250 MSRP