Data & Diagnostic Systems With Zach White

Data & Diagnostic Systems With Zach White

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The technology in our sport continues to improve at a rapid rate. Just a few years ago bikes were carbureted, with small turns of a screwdriver making almost all of the adjustments to the intake system, but the recent surge of electronic fuel injection has resulted in highly sophisticated means of tuning. Sensors are scattered throughout bikes on race day, with technicians plugging computers into the system before the engines even have a chance to cool down. During a recent visit to the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki pit area, we asked resident electronics master Zach White to explain the team’s use of numerous GET Data systems, including the M40 Data Logger.
With the systems in place, teams are able to see exactly how a bike is performing on the race track and can make necessary changes within minutes via software. Riders have also taken an interest, since they can now pinpoint important information and make changes of their own. While this may sound too advanced for the common rider, White says it is relatively easy to learn.

The introduction of EFI on the bikes brought a whole new set of capabilities and ease in using data. We can easily record and monitor the bike's diagnostics and also see how the rider is doing on RPMs, throttle position, and gears.

GET has played a big part in our learning of the EFI and data. The equipment they sell is top-notch for anything on the market, be it for cars or motorcycles. It has opened up a lot of things to the riders and they now ask us, “What gear was I in through that section and what should I do differently?” 

The M40 GET data logging system is used throughout the pit area, since the black box works alongside the ECU and records engine performance. Additional parts plug into the system, including a GPS sensor that maps out the track and the bike’s performance along the course, or magnetostrictive transducers for suspensions.

Most of the time on race day we are just checking diagnostics, making sure the gear position sensors are working correctly, that the GPS sensors are set, especially for the 250 class because it's an eight-race series. If you can prevent a mishap early on by looking at the diagnostics of the bike, it will be a benefit.

At the races we stick to the bare minimum for data. We like to collect all the other types during testing, but we come to the races just to race, so the system is for diagnostics. Mainly it's just to check things, with different stadiums and different dirt, so we want to make sure everything is where it should be.

Dan Truman of GET spends time with the numerous teams that use the company’s products, such as their EVO ECU system. Countless hours of offseason testing to establish a base setting makes race day an easier task, when most teams will use the system for its diagnostic capabilities.

If you are a tech guy, it's easy to pick up. Everything we use is available from GET, you'll just need to call GET or Pro Circuit for pricing. I wouldn't say I'm a computer wizard by any means, but I picked it up easily.

A lot of the programs were developed before they were used on dirt bikes, in road racing and things like that. There was a little bit of a learning curve just going on to dirt, because the RPMs and things are different than asphalt. The majority of the bugs were worked out beforehand.

You'd have to know what you are looking at. For the average person, it just looks like a bunch of squiggly lines. But if you look deeper into and know what to look for, you can see information we probably don't want you to see.