August 17th, 2022—
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of riding a motorcycle on a track, then you know that it quickly becomes competitive — even if the competition is yourself. You want to cut your lap times, increase your lean angle, brake later after a straight, and accelerate harder as you come out of a turn. But the only way to get objective data on your improvement is to monitor your real performance. This device designed by Jesus Soriano collects that data so that you can track your progress from one track day to the next.
There are commercial products on the market that provide similar functionality, but they’re expensive and give you little control over operation. This project utilizes open hardware, so you can hack it to your heart’s content and save some money that is better spent on tires. The important components include: an Arduino Nano 33 IoT board, a TinyCircuits GPS shield, a SparkFun Power Supply Stick, a Bitcraze Micro SD Card Deck, and a 1000mAh lithium-ion battery. Soriano simply stuffed those components in his motorcycle’s tail storage area under the seat, but you could always 3D-print a dedicated enclosure if your bike doesn’t have tail storage.
The data collected comes from both the Arduino’s built-in sensors and the GPS location. Those let it monitor lean angle, forward/backward tilt, yaw (though that isn’t particularly useful for a motorcycle), acceleration, lap times, and even ambient temperature. By connecting to the internet through a smartphone hotspot, the device can upload sensor data to the Arduino IoT Cloud. With that service, you can view the data in beautiful graphs and on a map. Because the sensor data is timestamped, you can do things like look at the acceleration values after a turn or the lean angle in a turn.