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Thread: Beeline Moto - new type of navigation aid

  1. #11
    Senior Member melensdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mooseonbass View Post
    I’ve been trying to get a googlemap route into it with no luck. It seems to need a website address for a .gpx file. I did put in a way point to make it always point north but haven’t tried it it yet. Editing the BeeLine app’s maps has proven to be frustrating but I’ll continue to work with it. I chose the universal mount and think it looks nice. Just need to make it do what I want it to do.
    I tried, and failed, several times using FURKOT maps that I had previously downloaded as .GPX files.

    Then I tried with a NEWLY DOWNLOADED map from FURKOT and that worked. Figuring it was a fluke, I made a map in FURKOT to my doctor's office, where I will be going tomorrow morning. Downloaded it from the FURKOT website to my computer. AirDropped it from my computer to my iPhone. Opened it in Beeline's iPhone App and it worked.

    Did it again with another map, that worked too.

    So that seems to be the magic trick to get it to work? I dunno? But I have it so it seemingly works.

    I plan to do a test run on the motorcycle tomorrow to see how it goes.



    So wish me luck. I'm going off on the 1st official test ride.

    I'm heading to a doctor's appointment (just routine, no issues with health). BEELINE will guide me there. Its about a 15 mile ride. I know the route by heart. But I'm going to follow the BEELINE instructions, right or wrong, and see if it works. How it works. If it works.

    But I'm thinking it might be a nifty little device after all.

    I will report back if I can find my way back home
    Last edited by melensdad; 11th September 2019 at 05:12.

  2. #12
    Senior Member melensdad's Avatar
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    Initial test: FAIL

    Clearly this is made for lower speeds.

    I missed a RIGHT HAND turn because I didn’t have enough warning to make the turn onto the road it wanted me to turn onto.

    IT IS WORTH NOTING that I was traveling north on State line road. The roadway is the dividing line between Illinois (left side) and Indiana (right side). My destination was inside Indiana. But for several miles the directions for each successive turn after that missed right hand turn (back into Indiana) were directing me to turn left, into Illinois. Also of note, state line road is the most direct and the only thru road in the area thru which I was traveling.

    On at least 3, possibly 4, instances it directed me to turn into farm fields where there was NO ROAD and where there has never been a road for for at least as long as I’ve been alive (59 years!)

    On at least 3, possibly many more, instances the direction to turn actually occurred a couple hundred feet after the turn. That said I did get warning that the turn was coming up, but the specific turn instruction occurred after the intersection by 100 to 300 feet. Not a big deal in the rural area where I was riding but could be a serious problem in a city!

    While I was 3+ miles from my destination, but on the actual roadway of the destination, I was directed to turn off the roadway 4 or 5 times onto roads that were neighborhood roads which did not have a thru passage out the other side or a logical way to get to the destination point because there is a limited access to the destination due to a river that has limited crossing points.

    At about the 2.2 mile mark away from my destination it began navigating me directly to the destination.


    Now all that said I will try again.

    In fact I’m going to have it try to get me home from my doctors appointment. It’s worth a try. Maybe?

  3. #13
    Senior Member melensdad's Avatar
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    OK so the first test, riding to my doctor's appointment, as described above, was a complete FAIL

    Leaving the doctor's appointment to go home I had a couple options.
    Option 1: Pick the same route, but choose the REVERSE THE ROUTE option
    Option 2: Choose my home address and let it choose the path

    I selected Option 2, checked the map, decided I did not want to go that way. Just a personal choice, it is a clear cut route, no problem with it, just not scenic.

    Returning to my Options, I selected Option 1, with the REVERSE THE ROUTE option selected.

    Started out and all was going along smoothly. Got to a point where I thought I should turn but I was directed to continue straight through an intersection. I went through it. Pretty much in the middle of the block AFTER that intersection and BEFORE then next one I was directed to turn! So 1/2 way between 2 streets and into the yard of some unknown homeowner I was supposed to turn. Hmmm? Should I ... or shouldn't I turn this into an off-road ADV trip? My bike is set up for off-road so why not?

    Well, discretion got the best of me and I opted to go 1/2 block forward and turn right. As soon as I made that right turn the Beeline went into "recalculating" mode.

    I opted to turn around and go back to the intersection where I thought I should turn. Made the turn there, followed the directions home the remainder of the way.

    Of interest are several things.

    1. The REVERSE ROUTE had me take DIFFERENT STREETS than the original route. Not a problem, but still odd.
    2. The visual warning to turn (the actual ^ indicator turns in the direction of the turn) occurs between 0.03 and 0.02 miles from the turn. Roughly 100 to 150 feet before the turn. When traveling 45+ mph that is a problem!!!
    3. The locations of the intersections, while some are accurate, others are off by 50 to 200+ feet. In every case the location of the intersection where I needed to make a turn was indicated AFTER the physical intersection and often between 2 different intersections. Not sure if this is due to a latency issue between the phone and the Beeline? Using the same mapping software on other navigation tools the roads seem to be spot on.
    4. The Beeline is using high speed data via your smartphone, so if you are in rural areas with lack of signal, or 'roaming' out of your network, you may have serious issues! Would the Beeline simply have not worked in many areas of our recent 4000 mile trip around the Great Lakes as many places we drove through had NO signal? Just as bad, as I was on an international phone plan my data was was limited and the Beeline seems to require an active data connection so I might have used up my month's worth of international data allocation during the first couple of days!?!
    5. You MUST constantly watch the Beeline for directions. This is especially true in city/suburban areas with multiple close streets. Unlike other navigation that gives both AUDIO and VISUAL clues, the Beeline ONLY gives VISUAL cues. For a motorcycle this could be a fatal flaw???



    TEST #2: FAILURE


    I really want to like this thing.

    I'm thinking I will be trying to return it.

    It is a nifty device.

    For bicycles.

  4. #14
    Senior Member melensdad's Avatar
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    The more I think about it the more I believe that the Beeline is possibly unsafe for motorcycle use. I say possibly.

    IF the Beeline is mounted within the normal LINE OF SIGHT of the roadway it could work.

    But remember this is a VISUAL device with zero audio cues to alert you to an upcoming turn. That means you need to focus a good bit of visual attention onto the Beeline. If you look DOWN you are taking your attention off the road and traffic. Many (most) images on the Beeline website and Beeline Instagram account that show them mounted on motorcycles have them mounted near the instrument cluster, on the handlebars at the center point, so clearly forcing you to look DOWN. I just don't see that as a good thing.

    Others may disagree. I don't consider myself an expert in safety or an expert rider. Just makes no sense to me.

    I had mine mounted HIGH, just below the top edge of my Madstad windshield so it was unnecessary for me to lower my whole head to view the Beeline but I did find that I was focusing a lot of attention on it as I neared waypoints and turns. I intentionally chose a very rural route without much traffic for the test.

    Your uses and experiences may be different. So be it.
    Last edited by melensdad; 11th September 2019 at 11:28.

  5. #15
    Senior Member melensdad's Avatar
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    Pretty much beating up this product. Used it again last night to guide me to the fencing club, another route that I know by heart.

    I had it set to just use the directional arrow guidance, rather than the turn by turn "route guidance" system. The directional arrow guidance just has the ^ arrow pointing toward the destination and gives you a miles to destination. But it does not tell you which roads to take. So its just a general guide. I suppose it could be useful to get you to a distant town or city where you don't have a specific address or you just want to go out for a ride to a general area. I won't criticize the function.

    But what I found was that I tended to focus my eyes on the Beeline when there was no reason to do so.

    This confirms my prior uses where I pointed out that this is a VISUAL device and requires you to look at it. I think too much.

    In any case I adjusted my RAM mount arm as high as possible so the Beeline was well above my instrument cluster. I can see it at the bottom edge of my field of view in my full face helmet. But while I can see it, I need to shift my eyes and focus on it, to use it. My natural line of sight is about an inch above the top of the Madstad windscreen.

    After using this I really think that AUDIO and visual cues are probably the best choice for motorcycle navigation.


  6. #16
    Senior Member Beeline Moto - new type of navigation aid davidc83's Avatar
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    Good write up Melensdad: For me, the issue wouldnt be looking down (many cruisers have instrument cluster on the tank-I have one, a Boulevard C50, with almost 99,000 miles on it...really a non-issue for me looking down-yes, even in the city-Louisville). My issue is with the inaccuracies...seems to be worse than a $100 Garmin GPS (I have a couple of those)...my $100 Garmins cant upload GPX files...I have to put in the destination, set the settings of highway or not highway, and follow the GPS unit, but most of the time, when needing to use the GPS, I have already looked at my destination on Google maps and the route and just use the GPS as confirmation...Matter of fact, from the trip at our last KSL meet at Mo's place, I told Google maps on my Android phone, my destination-had it set to no highway, and followed it home...and it was dang accurate...and there are some apps out there for smartphones will allow the gpx file upload...
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  7. #17
    Senior Member melensdad's Avatar
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    David I think it’s fine to glance down at instruments but to use this you really have to focus on it. There is a difference, I may not have described it very well. But yes, I agree that dropping your head to quickly look at something is fine.

  8. #18
    Senior Member melensdad's Avatar
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    I have been notified the 25 Waypoint limit is going to be fixed next week.

    The issue with using Cellular DATA is apparently switchable:
    1- If the cellular data is ON on your phone and you make a wrong turn the BEELINE will recalculate your route from your current location.
    2- If cellular data is OFF on your phone then BEELINE will direct you back to the route. But that raises a question, if it is offline is it using turn-by-turn navigation or just pointing toward the route? This could be an issue in a city with one-way streets, etc.

    At this point, I have no clue about the late turn indicator where the ^ indicates the turn after the intersection

    All this said, even if everything is fixed, I’m sticking with Scenic on my iPhone. It gives me a lot more information in a clearer screen. Either way I generate maps on FURKOT and the upload to Scenic is cleaner. I also only need to worry about the phone being charged with Scenic, but with BEELINE I need both the BEELINE unit and the phone charged. I can charge my iPhone while it’s mounted to my bike. The BEELINE can’t be charged while mounted to a bike. I also can navigate with Scenic via the voice commands without looking at the screen.

  9. #19
    Member mooseonbass's Avatar
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    That’s good, I figured out how to get .gpx’s from google maps and eat sleep ride but they translate full of waypoints so you can’t use the route mode. I’m going to try it like this tomorrow, just to see how it is to look at the arrow.

  10. #20
    Senior Member melensdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mooseonbass View Post
    Thatís good, I figured out how to get .gpxís from google maps and eat sleep ride but they translate full of waypoints so you canít use the route mode. Iím going to try it like this tomorrow, just to see how it is to look at the arrow.
    Honestly its a nifty idea.

    I still wish I liked it.

    Maybe it is just not for me

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