Motorcyle Data logger / Traction control

Hi All,
I thought I would start a thread up here to detail a project that myself and my father in law are putting together.

We both ride motorbikes, and we both do track days, and we both have IT backgrounds.

Modern sports bikes are all coming with data loggers and traction control, we thought it would be fun to see if we can develop something ourselves for our aging but very capable bikes.

This is our first Arduino build, so we have split it up into a number of phases.

Phase 1. Basic Data logger.
The aim of this phase is to get the arduino to create log entries 20 times per second and record onto a CSV file the following information:

  • GPS position
  • velocity
  • Lean Angle
  • Acceleration
  • Engine Speed

The hardware we are using for the above is a arduino Mega board, an adafruit ultimate GPS module with external antenna, and an MPU6050 6 axis gyroscope and accelerometer.

Phase 2 - Extended Logging.
The second phase includes logging extra information including

  • Front wheel Speed
  • Rear Wheel Speed
  • Throttle Position

This phase we want to start to introduce some sort of feedback to the rider. I want to display a wheel slip gauge. maybe a row of LED's that light up as the level of slip increases. Something we can see visually and play about with.

The hardware we have for this so far is an external IC (SN74LV8154 linking to a 8 bit PISO shift register SN74LV165APWR ) for counting each rotational sensor for sampling the values by the Mega. There's more to this that I will pad out later.

Phase 3 - Traction Control
The third phase builds on the data gathered by the first 2 phases, and introduces some form of traction control strategy, yet to be decided but we are talking about monitoring wheel slip and based on the data gathered previous setting a slip threshold that will trigger the traction control. we will hopefully be able to build a number of adjustment maps for a given lean angle, engine speed, throttle position etc.

We are initially going to cut the engine power by way of a pulsed ignition cut on 1 cylinder. We will need to experiment with the severity of the cut.

Just to add any input advice or feedback would be most welcome on this project, as we are pretty much making it up as we go along!

all comments gratefully received!


You need a screwshield! Make secure connections to all those devices.

Thanks for the reply. that looks good, I have bought a bare shield for the mega with the intention of soldering all the components in permanently once the unit is up and running. But I may get one of those for prototyping purposes.



I'm a bike guy too, where do you do your trackdays?

assuming you've seen this:

Working on a similar project myself, vascilating between doing something with a megasquirt and/or an arduino/raspberry. have all the bits (gps, accelerometer, temp/humidity, etc)

I am based in the UK, we do most of our track days at either croft circuit in the north east of england or Cadwell Park in Lincoln.

This was our last track day in April: No Limits Croft 20/04/2015 Session 6 - YouTube

err no I have not seen the Loguino!! that would have saved a lot of the work we have already done!
So does that have modules for measuring wheel speeds?

I will have a good look over it over the weekend.

I think we will be doing the logging and realtime stuff with the mega, but the dash board might be a raspberry Pi.

would be interested to hear exactly where you are up to?


Dont cut power... if you want to go fast never cut power. Drag the brake instead. Also the following conditions could be problematic:

Front tire tired and sliding
Front brake locked up

Not to mention there are a million things involved in making traction control work.

Also I would use a faster rate than 20hz that's slow. Thats every five hundredths of a second. The bike could be gone in that amount of time if you trust your system too much.

I appreciate your comments, however traction control is all about cutting the power when you have too much!

I am aware that traction control is there only to control power slides and highsides. Losing the front on a motorbike is something you cant really do anything about.

We are not talking about developing a system that guarantees safety on a motorbike, we are looking to develop a tool that will allow us to experiment with riding on the limit on a track.

You are correct about the 20hz though. that is just for the data logging, the traction control system will be working much faster. the latest sportbikes are sampling 120 times per second.