Vigo Smart Track V2 Disappoints on Several Fronts
Having used the original Vigo Smart Tracker as early as the company’s initial testing phase in North America, we did put that unit through an extensive trial period for our review-feature and eventually found out the hard way that it did indeed drain the lithium-ion battery on our bike after only a week of non-riding when the cold weather hit. The bike is parked in a warm indoor garage.
Hence, when the opportunity to upgrade to the next version at a greatly reduced price came, we jumped at it, in particular because Version 2 of the Vigo is advertised as including an advanced sleep mode, which cuts off the unit’s internal battery backup recharge process when your motorcycle battery charge falls below a designated level.
But here’s the rub … when we tried to connect the new V2 unit to the Vigo smart phone app we ran into a pretty annoying issue … there’s no way to disconnect it from the original Vigo … so you can’t use your existing account or the email you initially registered with. Even going through the process with a new email, eventually you’ll hit another wall … the error message “Your chassis number is already in use.”
In all honesty you’d think the company, knowing customers had purchased an upgrade unit, would have had a process in place to make the transition an easy one. Since writing our original review back in August 2020, we’ve had a steady trickle of comments on our social media from local customers complaining that tech support from the company was severely lacking.
Turning to the company’s online support … which boasts access through WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and email … you quickly find out that the first two options immediately auto-respond that all tech issues need to be addressed though a support email: email@example.com. Thinking we would get a response within 24 hours, we were instead greeted by the auto-response that inquiries can take up to 10 days to answer … 10 days for a product which regularly retails for $149 US.
In all honesty you’d think the company, knowing customers had purchased an upgrade unit, would have had a process in place to make the transition an easy one. Since writing our original review back in August 2020, we’ve had a steady trickle of comments on our social media from local customers complaining that tech support from the company was severely lacking. There has also been issues with orders being delivered.
The company’s app on Google Play has definitely taken a beating in the Reviews section with an average 2.4 stars out of five over 41 ratings.: play.google.com
After more than a week of no responses, we cheated a bit and emailed a marketing rep -- our main contact during the testing period -- who resolved our issue within a couple of days. That rep confirmed: “Support responses take around 10 days at the moment due to high volumes of inquiries.”
However, it took tech support a month to the day of our initial email to finally respond to our inquiry.
Now to the actual unit: setup was a breeze, and the app registers location and trip info quickly. BUT … and this is a big but … a week away from riding and this V2 unit still drains the battery. We started with a brand new fully charged lithium battery – the Antigravity ATX12-HD RE-START – and a seven-day absence from riding reduced the battery power level to 54% … as documented by a power device and app we installed to record the status.
Based on all these factors and despite our continued endorsement of STS’s two other products – the Safer Turn System and the Smart Brake Module – we CANNOT recommend the VIGO device to motorcyclists.
Vigo Smart Track Beta Unit — Rahoul Ghose
STS rounds out a trio of devices: Vigo Smart Track
Developing the Vigo Smart Track, we used all the knowledge and experience from creating the Smart Turn System and Smart Brake Module. New generation hardware and advanced software enabled us to pack all these features into a pocket-size tracker that fits on every bike.
Imagine a cellular-GPS device that tracks your motorcycle, even when you’re nowhere near it, something that in the event of a theft can help you recover your ride … yes, those have existed with accompanying smart phone apps in the past, to limited success.
Then add to the mix:
- the ability for said device to make an SOS call in the event you are in an accident, immediately notifying your emergency contact with a precise GPS location
- an advanced algorithm which compares your riding technique to the pros
- and the ability to save your rides in app to share with your moto community circle of friends.
Enter the Slovenia company STS, which has already scored two wins in the essential moto device category over the past few years with their Smart Brake Module (which flashes the brake light when it detects you are slowing down) and the Smart Turn System (which cancels your indicator lights when you have completed a turn or lane change, automatically).
“Developing the Vigo Smart Track, we used all the knowledge and experience from creating the Smart Turn System and Smart Brake Module,” the company says on their website. “New generation hardware and advanced software enabled us to pack all these features into a pocket-size tracker that fits on every bike.”
The device itself is a simple install, a small black plastic box (about 3 x 1 inches) which connects to your battery’s positive and negative terminals via one split cable, and sits under the seat, attached with double-sided tape. The kit also includes some zip ties to keep the device securely mounted. One recommendation we did receive during our beta test was to not position the device directly under where you sit on the bike, to maintain the best reception.
The accompanying Vigo Insurance app, available on Google Play and the Apple App Store for all android and iOS phones, connects with the device after you set up an account, including your contact info, photos of your motorcycle and of course the insurance policy number and QR code provided with your purchase.
That first connection requires you to go for a short ride outside for the device to register itself with the network server and your phone. Once set up, the Vigo mobile application enables you to access your motorcycle from anywhere in the world. If the bike moves while you are away, you receive an instant warning notification. At home, when you and your phone are on the bike, the device automatically authorizes you.
What attracted us to the new Vigo product … we do own and use both the STS brake and turn signal modules … were two features we had not seen on other tracker devices we’ve used in the past.
The first is the presence of an internal battery should the power be cut off to the device … say if your battery dies. This battery recharges itself every time you ride. The second and more important feature is the device’s advanced sleep mode, which DOES NOT drain your battery when the bike is parked and turned off. We will have to see over the long term whether this proves true. We have heard from other sources that if you plan to park a bike for more than three weeks that no tracking device can be 100 percent guaranteed to not have an impact on your battery, especially if it is of the smaller lithium ion variety.
This was the main reason we uninstalled our last GPS tracker device, which, in it’s effort to maintain and seek out a cellular signal while parked in the garage over the NYC winter months, completely drained the battery after a two-week absence from riding.
Vigo Smart Track feature highlights — track.safer-turn.com
(An) SOS is activated when the Vigo Smart Track’s sensors detect sudden shocks, forces, jumps or movement. At that moment, the SOS is activated. A countdown of 30 seconds on your app will appear and check if you are okay. If you aren’t able to click ‘I’m OK’, help will be called.
The combination of advanced theft and accident alert features makes this a must-have addition to any bike, giving both you and your friends & family peace of mind.
With the accident alert, an “SOS is activated when the Vigo Smart Track’s sensors detect sudden shocks, forces, jumps or movement,” says Petra Zagmajster, Vigo Insure, Content Marketing & PR. “At that moment, the SOS is activated. A countdown of 30 seconds on your app will appear and check if you are okay. If you aren’t able to click ‘I’m OK’, help will be called.”
Of course, as a rider, this is one feature you hope you won't have to test. Keep the rubber side down ... as they say.
The soon-to-be-released Vigo Smart Track device is currently on pre-order for $96 US (33% off) including: the Vigo tracker and 1-year subscription, a lifetime subscription of $4.99/month ($7,99 regular) after the first year, a SIM card with mobile data covered, and accident detection / emergency call features.
The device features a two-year warranty and can be used in the USA, Canada, Australia, the EU, UK, Switzerland and Norway. Only 1000 pre-order units are available, the first of which ship in early August, after which the regular price will apply: $145 with a yearly subscription.
READERS' NOTE: after beta testing in North America STS made the decision to supply the US market with 3G units rather than the 4G version sold in Europe. We had issues with the beta 4G unit connecting, but after receiving the final 3G unit late last week, we had no issues with the initial connection/setup or use of the app thereafter.
Vigo Smart Track app screenshots — Rahoul Ghose
To find out more about the Vigo Smart Track visit the official website at: track.safer-turn.com. STS’s other devices can be found on their main site, safer-turn.com, Facebook and YouTube .
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