Beeline GPS review

There are an endless number of GPS app’s for motorcyclists these days, all claiming to be the best but, often they fall short. Beeline GPS is one such example that is being pushed heavily on social media at the moment.

Beeline consists of an app/device combo that can be purchased for around £145 for the cheapest plastic cased model. The interesting thing is that you can actually use the free Beeline App on its own without purchasing the somewhat expensive little remote display screen that mounts on your handlebar.

Beeline App as shown in the iOS app store

Installing the app was simple enough as was the account creation process. Once installed I played around with it to see what functionality it had before heading out on the Tenere 700 to put it to the test.

I entered a destination of “Winston Green” into the Beeline app, a small green in the lovely little village of Winston about 10 miles from home and headed off.

Now in my head I knew that Winston is north westerly from home but the compass was pointing me to head westerly/west-south-westerly so I went along with it. I did notice that under acceleration and braking the compass pointer would often swing round a full 360 degrees once or twice which I decided to ignore. After sometime it was obvious to me that I was heading too far west and that I was way too far south to be anywhere near Winston, but I carried on following the directions as given on the display.

Eventually the compass pointer swung round and told me to head north, which I obediently did and found myself on the somewhat tedious A140 heading towards Norwich. I carried on North for some time hoping that it would tell me to head east at some point.

A little while later much further up the A140 the compass pointer swung round to the east and so I took the next available turning and headed east. At this point I knew I was now north of the village of Winston and that I would have to turn south at some point to get there however, the Beeline app had other ideas!

The Beeline app Compass display showing direction of travel required

Soon after taking the turning towards the east the compass pointer turned north again, now I knew this was wrong and that Winston was to the south east of my location but I went along for the jolly! I eventually ended up in the village of Rishangles and the app was telling me to head further north, which is the opposite direction to the destination I’d set.

At this point I decided to enter Winston into my trusty Garmin Zumo 350LM GPS to get an accurate route to the destination and sure enough, I needed to go in completely the opposite direction.

So with the Beeline app compass pointer still telling me to head north I ignored it and followed the route that my Garmin had worked out only to arrive in Winston a little time later.

Once in Winston the Beeline app compass pointer got completely confused and just started going round and round! It clearly wasn’t having a good day.

The wild goose chase that the Beeline App took me on

As you can see from the Beeline app map above, it took me on a bit of a wild goose chase where I did more than treble the miles necessary to get to the destination. Needless to say I rated its routing capabilities with a “One Star” as it was by far the worst GPS app I’ve ever used!

Something else I noted whilst testing the app is that often the compass pointer would be pointing in the direction you are travelling which means you are heading towards your destination but, the distance will increase and not decrease. This happened multiple times and is very confusing. As I headed north up the A140 the distance to destination would often start increasing even though I was still south of the destination village and heading towards it.

So to summarise, don’t waste your money purchasing the little remote display that fits on your handle bars as you have all the same functionality directly on your phone via the app. Since the phone needs to be on to use the remote display you might as well not bother with the remote handle bar display and just use your phone! (And save yourself £145)

If you are serious about route planning and using a GPS app then don’t use the Beeline app, there are plenty of really good app’s out there that do a much better job than Beeline and will get you to your destination.

If you just want some fun and fancy ending up in some random place nowhere near where you wanted to go then this is the app for you!

Thanks to my Garmin Zumo 350LM I got to Winston!

COVID19 offer from Garmin

When all this COVID19 stuff kicked off and it became clear that I wasn’t going to be able to go on my trip to Mongolia this year I had no choice but to cancel my service with Garmin for my Explorer+ GPS unit. By cancelling the service I saved over £200, not to be sneezed at.

The saving is great but, it also meant that when I wanted to start using the device again I’d incur the £25 fee to have it reconnected to the Iridium satellite service.

Yesterday I got a call from Garmin, somewhat surprised to say the least I had a chat with a lady by the name of Victoria.

She explained that since they’ve had a lot of people cancel their 12 month service due to the pandemic, Garmin are now offering to reconnect the devices to the service for free, will waive the cost of the first month of service and then will allow me to suspend the service for a long as I want without any monthly fee.

This means I won’t have to pay the reconnection fee when I want to start using the unit again and will just need to login to my Garmin account and recommence the service.

This works perfectly for me so, I’ve signed up and my inReach Explorer+ is active once more.

It’s good to see that companies are reacting to this COVID19 pandemic that’s gripping the world at the moment and providing a flexible approach to service provision.

Well done Garmin!