Motorcycle Rally Computer Goes Open Source | #computerhacking | #hacking


Motorcycle rally racing is a high-speed, exciting, off-road motorsport that involves zipping across all types of terrain on two wheels. While riding, it’s extremely important for riders to know what’s coming up next —  turns, straightaways, stream crossings, the list goes on. Generally, this is handled by a roadbook — a paper scroll that has diagrams of each turn or course checkpoint, along with the distances between them and any other pertinent information. Of course, this needs to be paired with a readout that tells you how far you’ve traveled since the last waypoint so you’re not just guessing. This readout usually takes the form of a rally computer, a device that can display speed, distance traveled, and course heading (and some of the fancier ones have even more data available).

A roadbook with commercially-available rally computers

Frustrated with the lackluster interface and high cost associated with most rally computers on the market, [Matias Godoy] designed his own back in 2017, and was quick to realize he had a potential product. After several iterations he brought his idea to market with a small initial run, which sold out in a few hours!

He then took some time to reflect on the successful campaign. He decided that rather than continue to churn out units, he would open-source the design to make it available to everybody and see what the community could come up with. He published all of his design files to GitHub, and wrote up a wonderful blog post documenting the entire design process, from inspiration and early prototypes to his decision to go open source.

[Matias]’s project, the Open Rally Computer (formerly the Baja Pro) packages neatly in a CNC-machined case and features a nice high-visibility LCD display, a built-in GPS receiver, and an ergonomic handlebar-mounted remote. The data is crunched by an ESP32 microcontroller, which also allows for WiFi-enabled OTA updates. The end result is a beautiful and useful device that was clearly designed with great care. Love the idea but not a rally racer? If street bikes are more your thing then fear not because there’s an open source digital dashboard out there for you too.



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