Getting it back
I have an idea for how to help get your bike back if your other security methods fail or are defeated as well as adding some functionality and features that most commercially available trackers lack as well as probably being cheaper and maybe more reliable than those.
Get a cheap android (or iphone if you must) phone with service through a prepaid provider. Not a monthly fee type, but something like Trac phone that lets you buy a certain number of minutes and then just let it ride and then put like $20 dollars on it every three months to keep it active. It would be preferable if you got a model with gps capability as well as cdma or gsm service.
Put a tracking app on the phone that allows you to trac the phone from another phone or other mobile device.
Devise a way to attach the phone to the bike in such a way as to be not obvious what it is and hard to remove or damage during a typical theft, but isnt super hard to remove replace the phone for charging and or use.
Dont brag about your system, you know, so people who might want to steal your bike wont know about it.
So why this and not just a regular tracker?
Well the cell phone service is probably the same or cheaper than tracking service. $100 or less for the phone. The app is free or cheap abd probably doesnt have a monthly fee. You prpbably get more instances of access to the phones gps or cell tower location per month than a tracker. You buy minutes for the phone, then if you dont use it a whole bunch, you just buy a refill every three months for as little as $20 4 times a year. Thats like $80 a year.
You now have a spare phone you can use if yours is stolen, lost or dead or broken. This might also come in handy if you are in a wreck and your phone is thrown away from you or run over when it falls into the street. You could also use this with an sd card to load music on and play over a bluetooth speaker if you wanted to mount the phone on your handle bar when you ride. I think you see what im doing here, so i wont go too much longer with this.
It also doesnt require figuring out a way of powering the tracker since many of the ones for motorcycles are designed to use the electrical system of the bike. And its easily removable if you sell your bike or want to use it with another bike or in another fashion.
The cell phone network and tracking app might be more reliable than tracking devices. Im not sure about this though.
Problems, the cheaper phones may mot have the functionality to do this or the service with trac phone or similar might not allow it to work like this reliably so it might become more expensive to do it this way, but even so, its probanly more functional than dedicated tracker service.
If you forget to charge it, it wont work.
Phone might malf or brick if left in heat or cold for extended periods.
You might take the phone off the bike to charge or use and forget to put it back on.
Might be hard to mount in a way that doesn't mess with the aesthetic of your bike if thats important to you.
The tracking app might not be as good as the tracking services, like i said I don't know as i have never used either of them, this is just a nacent idea im bouncing around here to see what other people think. So, thoughts anyone? Pros, cons, better ways, mounting ideas? Thanks