While motorcycling is filled with a variety of herds, many of us, myself included, primarily ride alone. I always have, despite working in the industry and having tons of friends who ride. However, riding alone has its issues. How do I send for help should I have a mechanical issue or an accident when there is no cellular reception? Then there are the people on the other side of the riding equation, who are wondering where I am when I’m overdue. While cell service is much more ubiquitous than it was a decade ago, rides still frequently take us out of range of cellular towers. Regardless of whether we are alone or in a group, the situation can arise where we need to reach out to someone unexpectedly. That’s why GPS trackers, which used to be the province of backpackers and other remote explorers, crossed over into motorsports. Originally, these devices only sent out their location and preset messages. Now, the ability to send and receive custom messages has entered the market. Unlike many of the other two-way message satellite communicators, the Garmin inReach Mini 2 packs this capability into a small, easily carried package.
Way back in 2015, we tested the Spot Gen3 satellite tracking device on our Ultimate Sport-Touring Adventure, and we came away impressed with its ease of use. Although we never had to initiate any of the emergency functions, we were happy to know that if things did go sideways, we’d have a way to summon help to our location – even if we were out of cell phone range. So, as I hatched my plan to ride the 2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour from Austin, TX home to Los Angeles, CA, my ever tolerant (and long-suffering) wife asked if there would be any way to track me when I was in the remote areas of my trip in case something went wrong. I told her I had just the thing.