Motorcycle simulators get real

Motorcycle simulators are becoming more realistic, helping to train racers, develop motorcycles, teach riders and even sell motorcycles to customers who have not yet got a licence.

The latest Dutch simulator from Cruden sounds like the most realistic we have seen yet by adding a visual reality head-mounted display so that the display responds to which direction the rider is looking and accounting for realistic counter-steering input.

Unlike some of the simplistic motorcycle computer games, the Dutch simulator manufacturer has created a very complex system that is as close to reality as you can get without riding.

Cruden spokesperson Claire Dumbreck says the B306-HMD motorcycle simulator has only just been unveiled and prices are not yet available.

“We have strong interest from road safety organisations, universities and race teams. We do not have a customer in Australia,” she says.

The simulator incorporates a “6-DOF motion system in hexapod configuration, depth-map sensors for rider body tracking, an extra stiff steering actuator and a Head Mounted Display (HMD) for visualisation”. 

Whatever that is! It all sounds very technical.

Cruden’s CEO, Maarten van Donselaar, explains: “In developing the Cruden motorcycle simulator, it has been necessary to create more complex hardware and software than that needed for a car simulator.

“We have had to address riders’ force-related bike control inputs as opposed to drivers’ steering angle inputs as well as develop mechanisms that manage counter-steering, body-shift and widely varying riding styles and the requirement for a very large field of view, both horizontally and vertically.

“Our system with depth-map sensors continuously detects exactly how the rider is positioned on the bike and uses this information to alter vehicle behaviour accordingly. To complement this, a very stiff steering actuator allows for realistic counter-steering capabilities.

Cruden motorcycle Simulators
Cruden motorcycle simulator

“We also decided to equip our B306-HMD motorcycle simulator with a Head Mounted Display (HMD), to offer a virtually unlimited field of view. An unprecedented level of immersion is aided by highly accurate graphics and a perfect integration of the HMD into Cruden’s Panthera simulation software. This integration sees the HMD respond to the rider’s head movements, not to those of the motion platform.” 

The B306-HMD simulator is intended to be used by scientists researching how to make motorcycling safer on public roads, which requires a better understanding of variances in individual rider technique and the interaction of the rider with the environment.

Simulators are great for rider training as the rider can make a mistake without paying the cost of crashing and injuring themselves!

Cruden says its simulator can be used in high-level rider training, racing simulations and fine-tuning vehicle dynamics.

So it will probably be bought by race teams, motorcycle manufacturers and the very rich.

Subscribe
Get free access to the best motorcycle newsletter on the planet

Join The Newsletter