Now in Malaysia and hosted at Motoplex Petaling Jaya is the Aprilia Moto Trainer, fitted out with a 2020 Aprilia RSV4 Factory. The moto trainer, as its name implies, is a training aid used by motorcycle racers to practice lap times at racing circuits around the world, including Malaysia’s home of motorsports, Sepang International Circuit (SIC).
The Moto Trainer rig consists of a hydraulically actuated platform that holds a super bike, telemetry sensors and a control unit with LCD display, controlled via a remote. The displays shows an onboard view of the track as ridden by a ‘ghost’ rider, with the Moto Trainer rider’s aim being to match as closely as possible the lap time displayed.
If you’re curious, the lap time for Sepang on the Moto Trainer is the MotoGP qualifying time of 2 minutes 2 seconds. Not quite a video game, per se, the Moto Trainer will record and display the rider’s throttle input, braking, lean angle and gear shifting, all of which have to match the trace of the ghost rider’s data.
The closer the graphs match, the better the lap time, with the Moto Trainer awarding a percentage score and ranking. Not just a matter of whacking the throttle open, control inputs and bike movements have be timed and measured precisely, to record that perfect lap.
For the Aprilia RSV4 Factory used in the simulator, the throttle, front and rear brakes and gearshift are wired for feedback into the Moto Trainer. Secured to a cradle, the front fork is hydraulically controlled to simulate braking and cornering movement while the whole rig allows the rider to lean up to 60 degrees on either side.
Aside from letting the rider work on his or her control inputs in hustling a superbike around a racetrack, using an actual superbike, or in the case of professional racers, their own race machine, lets riders work on other items such as body positioning.
Suffice it to say, when paultan.org was invited for a short introductory session on the Moto Trainer, enough data was collected for what was expected to be a brief overview of the training rig to turn into a full-on two-and-a-half hour episode of looking at graphs, examining data curves and fine tuning body position. The Moto Trainer was rather more physical than expected, real effort required to muscle the bike down into turns and over to the other side, with the rider drenched in sweat after multiple sessions.
As can be expected, the sound and fury of riding an actual motorcycle on a racetrack at pace is missing, along with other inputs and sensations such as g-forces, weight transfer and the force of the wind trying to tear you off the bike at 280 km/h. Nonetheless, the Moto Trainer gives racers the chance to practice riding multiple racetracks, in a controlled, safe and repeatable manner, with data collection making it easy to find where time can be saved or lost, as the case may be.
In case you are interested, the Aprilia Moto Trainer costs 12,000 euros (RM58,844) excluding shipping and taxes. For those wishing to try out the Moto Trainer, it is not currently open to the public and simulator rides are by invitation only.
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