It’s really hard to get stuck at home especially if your a rider that’s always itching to saddle up and head out for a quick ride. Unfortunately, the quarantine protocol issued by the government in aide of lowering transmission and infection of the Covid-19 virus deemed us bounded by the confines of our homes and left us no choice but to do other activities in our free time.
Luckily, some bike owners do also have consoles and PC’s to tinker and play with in times like these that we can’t ride our bikes and I’m sure that most of us has played in amusement centers like Quantum, Worlds of Fun, Glico’s and others that have racing simulator games.
So, if your that kind of person who likes video games and bikes and have quite the talent in soldering wires and writing codes for fun then this project might be for you. But take note, this project is not for the faint hearted. It will require you patience and knowledge in programming particularly writing codes.
We came across this video online by iMachinist that was published last year just before the global lockdowns were starting. It is about how to rig your bike on an XboX gaming console to make a homemade racing simulator to play games like MotoGP, SBK and others.
If you find it interesting enough to want to replicate his set-up, here are some technical insights on how do it . It will require you to purchase some of the parts used in the article. The Ducati Panigale 959 in optional as you can use your existing bike.
Things you need, assuming you already have a bike gathering dust.
– XboX 360 game console – MotoGP Game for XboX 360
– Monitors or TV’s : 1 will suffice but it wont hurt to buy 2 more as riders tend to look at the direction of where they are going when they lean so its for a more natural effect. And don’t forget the HDMI splitter so you can have signals on all 3 monitors.
– Arduino Mega 2560 : this is an open-source platform used for building electronics projects. Arduino consists of both a physical programmable circuit board and a piece of software that runs on your computer, used to write and upload computer code to the physical board. In this case, He used an Arduino Mega 2650 microcontroller due to its capability to cater multiple inputs like the controls for the throttle, brake, shifter and direction.
– 5 pcs of MPU 9250 9-axis Accelerometer : An accelerometer is an electromechanical device used to measure acceleration forces and to sense movement or vibrations. Well in this case, he used it to measure tilt. he installed it in a way that for example: when he twist the throttle, or step on the brake, the sensor detects movement on its axis and the microcontroller converts it to signals such as shifting or throttling.
– Xbox Adaptive Controller : This Xbox controller is primarily designed for people with disabilities hence the big buttons. As for this project, it is used as a Unified hub where they plug the arduino microcontroller for the reason that it has multiple programmable inputs that can be read by the console. It is made by Microsoft also.
We simply cannot reiterate enough the fact that this type of project should you decide to copy requires programming and coding as it would not work if you simply plug in everything. The sensors do have signals primarily but its sensitive and will require you to tone it down by writing a program code.
You will also need access to a 3D printer (or at least hire someone to fabricate it) for you to be able to make sensor mounts, you can use sticky tapes and cardboards and just tape the sensors on your bike by all means but if you are brave enough and already invested in the idea to replicate this project then you know that 3D printing is the only way to go.
You can find online guides on how to write Arduino codes as well as how to wire the MPU sensors to the microcontroller. Since an Arduino controller and the MPU sensor is fairly cheap, I would suggest that you try out an Arduino kit first before moving up to this kind of project. There are lots of Arduino based kits available online like Lazada and Shopee for you to experience simple building and programming.
This would be a fairly complicated project but its feasible, and for motorcycle riders like us, we know no bounds when it comes to our bikes and the experience it brings us.