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Reviewed: Beeline Moto satnav

Beeline 2

Beeline is doing to navigation what iPhone did to phones: making it simple, desirable, and good looking. And it still does the job, too.

The way it works is simple. You have a phone app that does all the clever navigation stuff, and a small 1” display that shows you which way to go. You are reliant on the phone signal when planning the route. However, if you lose signal while riding, the Beeline will still get you there, although if you take a wrong turn, it will guide you back to where you left the route rather than re-route as it would with the signal available.

There’s no way a simplified system like this can have all the functionality of a big old satnav, but if you can live without audio guidance, traffic alerts and suchlike, the Beeline will still get you to your destination, as well as offer route planning and recording, gpx imports and exports, saved routes and places, and the other basics of navigation.

 

Beeline_3

 

The Moto unit is specifically designed for motorcycles and has two navigation modes: Route Mode when you need precise guidance, or Compass Mode when you just want to know the rough direction to head for and the freedom to explore. You have two further options within the route mode, and you can select ‘fast’ or ‘fun’ routing. Similar to the big satnavs, selecting the ‘fun’ option turned my 40-minute ride on the A1 into 1 hour and 15 minutes on smaller roads. There are also options to avoid highways, toll roads and ferries.

Beeline has made the whole process of using the system very simple. You download the app to your phone, link it with the display, and you’re ready to start navigating, planning and recording your rides. As the phone runs the navigation through the app, there is some strain on the battery, but because the phone screen is not needed, and the separate little display does the job, it’s not as bad on the phone battery as mounting your phone on the bike and using its own screen to navigate. Beeline claims 30 hours of battery life for the display, but what your phone can cope with naturally depends on its own battery.

The IP67 waterproof and shockproof display can be mounted on standard handlebars with the mount that’s provided with it, or you can buy other mounts suitable for clip-on bars or scooters. The unit is quick to mount and remove, and small and light enough to easily slip in your pocket. Using the display takes a little getting used to, but all the information is there in a very simplified way. You get the instructions of which way to go, how far you are from the next turn, and how much further you are from your destination.

 

Beeline_2

 

There are two ways to look at the Beeline Moto: you can focus on the limitations (in which case you need the Garmin or Tomtom), or you can marvel at how much this tiny little thing can do. Relying on the phone app and not having all the data stored in the unit has its downsides, but the simplicity and user-friendliness of the device go a long way too. With Beeline, you have your little display on the bike, so you don’t need a phone mount like you would with a purely phone-based satnav such as Calimoto.

In practice, you will find your way perfectly fine in most situations, although massive multi-lane junctions and other complex surroundings can cause confusion. It helps if you have a rough idea of where you are heading, so you can double-check lane choices from signposts, but most of the time this is not necessary.

 

Key details:

Price:                           £169.99

Display:                   1" (2.6cm) LCD with LED backlight

Waterproofing:           IP67 rated

Battery life:              Without backlight: 30 hours, With backlight: 10 hours, Blended: 20 hours

Maps:                          Worldwide coverage, uses online maps

Storage:                       Only for routes

Contact:                       https://beeline.co/pages/beeline-moto 

 

What’s in the box:

  • Beeline Moto
  • USB/power cable
  • Sticky pad mount
  • Universal strap mount
  • Quickstart guide

 

Other satnavs reviewed:

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