Building motorcycle suspension datalogger

Knowing how he suspension works on the track can be beneficial in reducing trial and error which often wastes precious track time.

For this, I built an Arduino-based datalogger using ultrasonic sensors.

First prototype was tested today with good success for front suspension, but suffered from inaccuracies and spikes at the rear [suspension] which I suspect due to the shape of the rear hugger (which was used for the reference point) scattering the ultrasound signal. I’ll try fixing this in the next iteration.

Initially I was worried that wind noise at high speed may be a problem. but I am happy to report that when tested today up to 250kph (GPS reading) the signal from the front suspension reading appears to have suffered very minimal / virtually no distortion.

Some items need fixing too:
1. sampling rate of 5Hz seems low. Need to try for 10Hz.
2. current system works by logging for 10 seconds before pausing for 1 second to write data to SD card. need to explore faster write or longer read time to reduce flatspots in the data.
3. obviously fix the rear suspension sensor.

if this works well, next step is to expand it to other areas, such as lean angle read and tyre temperature sensor/indicator/logger.

Test video of leisure stroll around the track, and some pics below.

The system

Mounted on the tank

Mounted on the tank

Mounted on the tank

Rear suspension reading by looking at how the rear wheel moves (not actual suspension reading, only,to simulate the behaviour)

Front suspension reading by looking at the front fender. The sensor movement is exactly the same as the suspension movement.

Legwaving MotoGP style :)

Legwaving MotoGP style, while taking a leisurely stride on the Ducati Panigale 1199S around Pukekohe raceway letting the CBR600RR (the camera bike) tag along to film.

There is no definite science yet on legwaving to me. Most of the time I do it for LOLs, although everytime I do it the bike feels very stable under hard braking, making me able to brake harder.

Bonus point for noticing where I got the gears wrong: look for me braking through midcorner.

1995 Honda CBR400RR NC29 vs. 2012 Ducati 1199S Panigale

A little David vs. Goliath here: 1995 Honda CBR400RR NC29 vs. 2012 Ducati 1199S Panigale.

Over last week, I got myself a new bike: a Honda CBR400RR. This brought back memories of my young days, running to the front of my house to watch as soon as I heard my neighbour’s ‘BabyBlade’ about to scream past.
Now, some say that you should not meet your hero. Well I did…and it was awesome!

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1199S vs. CBR600RR: Between displacement, handling, and riders

Can a superbike be made to handle as good as a supersport?

Recently I had a good chance to analyse the track performance of a Ducati 1199S Panigale and 2012 CBR600RR with a couple of control variables. This is a very good opportunity to objectively pinpoint how the two bikes are different, and also how the two riders are different.

Both bikes were ridden at equal comfort levels with enough safety margin (i.e., “nothing to win, everything to lose”) in the range of 1:16 to 1:22 around Pukekohe Raceway track, which is in the upper medium range for streetbikes.
Some typical lap records for comparisons are 1:05 (V8 Supercars), 1:10 (national level NZ V8), 1:15 (Toyota TR86 racing), and a National-level superbike guy who does around 1:08 regularly.


Analysis was done using QStarz LT-Q6000 GPS datalogger and QRacing software.
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