The purpose of a data acquisition system is to record and facilitate the analysis of data related to the performance of a motorcycle and rider. By knowing what inputs the rider is making at any given point on the racetrack and how the bike is responding to those inputs, it’s possible to make setup changes and coach the rider to improve overall performance. Obviously, the more data that is collected the easier that analysis is, but on the other hand too many channels of information can easily become overwhelming to deal with in the short time available between sessions at the track.
The information on this site will help you make an informed decision on purchasing a data acquisition system, guide you in its setup, and show you how to effectively analyze the data it collects. The great thing about a data setup is that you don’t absolutely need a whole slew of sensors to make progress. Even the most basic systems that collect only speed are useful; here we concentrate on simple systems with basic sensors – speed, engine RPM and throttle position – and how to make the most of the data.
Recent advances in technology mean that GPS systems are becoming increasingly prevalent in data acquisition, and this opens a whole new aspect in analysis. Additional channels that are inherent in GPS data include altitude, lateral and longitudinal acceleration, and the creation of much more detailed track maps. The addition of this data allows a much more thorough examination of many aspects of both rider and motorcycle, and a GPS-based system is well worth the added expense; much of what is covered here is based on the GPS data and its analysis.
Another useful aspect of analysis software is that data can be manipulated – or incorporated with other data – using math channels, making it easier to see at a glance certain characteristics. Here you’ll find how to create math channels and some examples of useful channels. As you collect more data using more channels, math channels become increasingly important in that they allow you to easily and quickly check for certain details rather than going over each channel individually. The more creative you are in this aspect, the more quickly you will be able to analyze the data gathered from a session and then provide a direction for setup.
The introduction to data acquisition section covers:
- Different types of data acquisition systems
- Components of a data acquisition system
- Speed sensors for non-GPS-based systems
- Comparing GPS speed and wheel speed
- Placement of unit and routing wiring
- GPS antenna position