We spent the hottest day of the year (so far) spanking an immaculate Ducati 1199 Panigale round Donington Park, testing a few bolt-on gizmos and sobbing over the reality that GPS conveys. But more on that later…
Datalogging cameras, or video loggers, are nothing new but still remain rich boys’ toys thanks to the extravagant price tag – some nudge anything up to £5k and come with an array of boxes and wires, not to mention unwanted ballast. VBOX setups are often seen at trackdays and are favourites among instructors, though we sampled AIM’s ‘SmartyCam’ that was fitted to the 1199.
Connected to the GPS antenna, it provides a host of expedient material such as accurate speeds, not the manufacturers’ egotistical dash readouts. ‘Yeah mate, I was doing 150mph down Craner Curves innit.’ No, no you weren’t. Setup correctly, it allows realtime activity to be overlaid onto the video without any editing or general faffery. Some might see it as pointless wanking over skills, while others see valuable information and ways to understand how to go faster over a lap.
But the real trickery and tangible benefit is the ability to hook-up to the bikes ECU via a CAN (or serial) bus to display things like throttle position, RPM, gear position, TC levels and brake pressure. Why look at a graph when you can overlay the data on a video?
Apart from the price, the only minor qualm is its 720p resolution, but the 60-degree lens is a refreshing change from the fisheye views of Drifts and GoPros. It’s certainly a bit more ‘MotoGP’ levels of viewing rather than everyday onboard.
Apologies for the abysmal lap times: it wasn’t my bike, the heat made the tyres (and track) go all squidgy, I needed a poo, my ingrowing toenail was playing up, etc…
Thanks to Bike Sport Developments for the fun times