This weeks Motorcycle Blip is all about the pre-season excitement of MotoGP, Shoei's new X14 helmet, and VR with the GoPro.
Earlier today GoPro released a video of it's new Hero4 Session integrated into the Moto2 suit of rider Loris Baz. In the video you can see the cameras placed into the speed hump of the suit. This is the smallest action camera ever released from GoPro, but that's not really the impressive part. Nor is the the video from the practice session. We've either seen some of these angles before during a race or the angles weren't really that impressive to begin with. But what is exciting is the idea of camera integration into gear. Cameras have up to this point been an "attachment" in one way or another with clunky suction cup mounts or sticky pads. Integration into gear lends itself to a much more intimate view. In a sense that's what the point of these cameras is to begin with, capturing moments that a person can catch a glimpse into someone else's perspective. If these cameras begin to find a way into helmets, gloves, knee sliders, etc. Imagine the amazing shots that can be had with cameras that really put you in the seat of the bike, and in time will only get smaller and better.
I look forward to that day, along with automated Drones that can follow a single rider as they go around a track giving freedom by detaching itself from it's earthly bond! Ok so maybe I'm getting a bit ahead of myself. But as far as immersion into a high speed, adrenaline fueled roller coast that is MotoGP, or any motorcycle racing in general I look forward to the progress that can be made. Now GoPro get your shit together and make a more compelling video!
This video really cemented just how awesome a 360 virtual reality experience could be. A lot of other VR videos I've seen have been stationary and while cool for peering around to see what was going on around in perspective, nothing quite hit like this S1000RR wheeling down the straight at Thunderhill Raceway. All the while being passed by multiple bikes, and dragging knee through turns. I watched the video at least 3 times in a row to get a different angle at each turn. I'm almost more impressed at just how stable the video as is, I imagine it's some sort of mount 3D printed mount like here at 360heros.com
Milage may vary watching in 4k, but enjoy.
The downsides are it's expensive to strap that many GoPros together at one time, and you'll have to find some way to mount it. But imagine this 4k drool worthy goodness in a MotoGP race? I saw a robot riding a motorcycle today and honestly this got me more excited for the future than MotoBot.
Just released today is probably one of the most incredible motorcycle videos I've seen in a long while. The cinematography, landscape, and visuals would be stunning in it's own right, but the actual feat of riding a motorcycle on water is insane. Throw in some some surfing at the end and it's damn near jaw dropping. Here's the tech angle below,
Apparently at the end of the video, that 20ft wave wiped Robbie out, losing control of the bike he was stuck by the bike underwater. Fortunatly he was fine and was able to recover the bike after about 90 minutes when the on-board flotation device was deployed.
The new R1 isn't just updated body work, frame, suspension, etc. That you tend see released year to year from motorcycle manufactures. This new 2015 edition is best described as a "video game on wheels", which doesn't have to be a bad thing.
I firmly believe that motorcycle riding can be a very zen and analog experience without all the aids of techno "what'cha ma'call it's" and so forth. But the trickle down effect of MotoGP that has led to some pretty brilliant advances. Tires that have different compounds of rubber, ABS, traction control, wheelie control, etc. All of which help us normal people keep the tire part on the ground and the shiny parts blissfully upright.
So when I first heard the R1 was going to have telemetry from it's own Inertial Mesurement Unit (IMU) it had me scratching my chin, yes it will be cool to see all this data, but is it necessary? Maybe not... But damn does it look awesome in this video below.
Watching the lean angle, acceleration, braking, all in real time was pretty neat. But I really loved seeing how they laid it out in editing with the graphics. If i could hook this data into a Augmented Reality helmet, it would make me so happy.
In the end motorcycles are going to get more and more advance, it's the only way to harness all the power these machines are capable of. The best examples are BMW's S1000RR HP4, and Ducati's Panagali 1299. Both make 200hp and would be un-ridable if not for these electronics, and they come equipped with electronically adjusting suspensions. I would like to point out I don't want electronics to replace any of the natural "skill" that it takes to ride, but we all want to ride fast, have fun and be safe. The future for Motorcycle Tech is looking bright.