Datatool Stealth S5 – First Impressions

Author Steve Moxey

BMW has begun fitting all new motorcycles with the Datatool tracker, the Stealth S5. Since this is now always fitted to a new BMW motorcycle owners may wonder what this device is for and indeed how to use it? This article presents some first impressions of the Datatool Stealth S5 and what it might do for you. Like many owners I didn’t request the tracker and only became aware of it after I had ordered the motorcycle! So my motivation was twofold (1) could I make use of the Datatool? And if not (2) how could I remove it!

If you would like to learn more about the operation of the Datatool S5 tracker Bennetts have done an excellent review.

Theft Protection

The main benefit of the tracker is the enhanced security it provides by allowing the police to track and recover your stolen motorcycle. The Datatool is a small unit with GPS and SIM card installed on your BMW, and a small key fob (Automatic Driver Recognition) which connects to the Datatool unit to confirm your identity. There are two theft scenarios: if the thief has stolen your keys then he or she can operate the motorcycle normally and there would be no alert – so you will need to ring Datatool and alert them to the theft (note you can set a Geofence facility so the bike would create an alert if it moves from a specific area but this might be cumbersome to use on a trip for example?). The second and perhaps more normal option is when the thief takes your BMW without the key in this case there is an immediate alert, Datatool will contain you to check that was not just Bahnstormer taking your bike in for a service (:-)) and then the tracking and recovery starts.

Scorpion report a overall recovery rate of 96% of motorcycles which sounds very good. But how useful this would be depends on the circumstances. I think if I was leaving the bike in a city, especially London, then one could imagine it might well get stolen and the Datatool would be invaluable. If you lived in an area with high theft risk presumably the same would apply and the tracker would be very useful? The third scenario would be on a long trip, possibly overseas. In this case the motorcycle could be left at a hotel or campsite and extra security might be useful. My own view is that my biggest concern would be the immediate loss of the bike and so fitting an alarm which might discourage the theft seems to me to be the most important prevention. Tracking my stolen motorcycle across Europe might be interesting but I think difficult to arrange through the local police force?

My R1250GSA had been stored in the garage for the winter period when I received an e-mail message from Datatool asking me to reply or call them. When I called Datatool they explained that if the bike is not moved for 1 month they will contact you to confirm the bike has not been stolen! In future I will just reply to the e-mail. If you are storing your bike over the winter months this may happen to you.

In conclusion from my perspective the alarm is the most important theft prevention device and the data tool could be a useful extra in some circumstances.

Ride Tracking

Since the Datatool is always connected to the motorcycle there is the possibility of tracking your rides. Datatool provide a mobile app and also a website where you can logon and look at your journeys. The picture below shows a typical journey with speed points indicated, going in both directions! If you are worried about Datatool recording your speed there is a “Zero speed option” which you can set and then Datatool will just record points see the second picture.

Datatool Journey Tracking

Datatool uses Google maps or Apple maps to display the journey however there is no way of easily exporting the data points into a route planning system like base camp or MyRoute-app. This means that the Datatool map is only a basic guide to where are you and is not equivalent to the tracking provided by a BMW Navigator 6.  In fact the BMW connected app is a far superior way of recording your journeys and allows you to view gradient changes banking angles throttle position etc and also embed pictures taken on the ride, so much more useful.

Crash Protection

Datatool offers two services for crash protection and alerting. the native Datatool Crash Detection service ‘G Sense’ allows you to set a mobile number that would receive an alert text if the Datatool detects a crash. You set the G Sense via the website NOT the app! The second crash detection service is the REALsafe® system which you enable through the Datatool app and then monitors your mobile phone. The downside of this system is that you need to switch it on and off but REALsafe® do notify the emergency services if you have an accident see RealRider. You will also need to pay for a subscription.

The alternative for a modern BMW is the SOS system, which like the Datatool G Sense is fully integrated with the motorcycle. The advantage of the BMW SOS system is that the calls are handled by an emergency call centre that should get help to you in case of an accident. I think in summary the BMW SOS is a superior system but the G Sense or RealRider might be a more limited alternative.

Disadvantages of the Datatool Stealth V5

Draining the Motorcycle Battery

We have covered the benefits  of the Datatool so now let’s have a look at the disadvantages. Probably the biggest concern in having a Datatool fitted to your BMW is battery drain. It’s easy to find stories of woe on the Internet where owners have found their battery is drained very quickly when using the Datatool. To get some information on the battery usage I contacted scorpion who manufacture the Datatool. Apparently when the Datatool is actively tracking and the bike is switched on the current draw is 5.6 mA, but in sleep mode when the ignition is switched off the current draw is much lower less than 0.1 mA. Realistically on a BMWGS the Datatool is very unlikely to drain the battery especially if you trickle charge the motorcycle over the winter as many of us do.

The Datatool has another interesting feature which is the ability to monitor the battery level and send an alert if the battery falls below a certain level of 11.3%. According to scorpion this represents the point where you might need to charge the bike or it could not start. This could be a useful feature if you don’t regularly charge your battery and want a warning that it is getting low.

R1250GSA Rallye with Datatool


Privacy may be a concern to some owners but it is easy to turn off location tracking with the Datatool and also speed tracking. In this case the Datatool is purely there to protect you against theft.

Subscription Costs

When you first get your new BMW the Datatool is installed and within about a week Scorpion will contact you to activate your service. You will need to give them your e-mail address and telephone number so they can contact you in the event of theft and at that point you can start using this service for free: the first year subscription cost for a Datatool is met by BMW. When you come to renew Scorpion offer a special offer of a three-year Datatool subscription at £329, you can also get a one-year subscription for £109. It is possible that insurance companies may give a discount for fitting a Datatool. I did ask Carole Nash but they were not prepared to offer any additional discount although they did want to know that the motorcycle had been fitted with Datatag!


If you are facing a theft problem then the idea of a motorcycle tracker is very appealing. It’s also possible that you might get an insurance discount or even need to have a tracker fitted to have insurance in the first place. Scorpion have packaged some other facilities with the Datatool some of which could be useful such as the G sense crash protection and the battery draining alert for example. On the other hand if you don’t have a theft problem then it is unlikely that the Datatool is going to offer you anything that you can’t get probably better from other technology for example the BMW connected app. At the end of the day you will have to weigh up the pros and cons in your particular case.

Should you wish to disconnect the Datatool that can be done… Bahnstormer advised that if the data tool was disconnected then the internal battery would eventually run down and at that point the unit would be completely inactive. There seems little point in actually removing the Datatool since if you sell the motorcycle a new owner might find the theft protection valuable and could restart a subscription. You should also contact scorpion to cancel your Datatool subscription to make sure that you’re not creating any unwanted alerts/phone calls in the meantime and some owners choose to never activate the Datatool subscription as well of course.

Originally posted 2020-11-30 11:12:58.


Author: drdrsteve