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How realisitc is it??

Discussion in 'New users start here - FAQ' started by steamtrac, Sep 2, 2016.

  1. steamtrac

    steamtrac New Member Gold Contributor

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    All,
    First I would like to introduce myself. I do race motorbikes. Very regularly. And I do track days in cars – but not very regularly. Motorcycle racing is ridiculously expensive. And car racing even more.
    I think that is the reason why I have found this forum. I am really fascinated by the idea to have a truly authentic reproduction of a track car in my living room, and to be able to drive it 24/7 is even better. But this is the point which causes the most questions for me: How near is an up to date simulator to the real thing?
    For me, the most important point in driving a car fast is to feel when a tire looses its grip. Modern road cars are build to be save, even the “sporty” ones. So what happens most of the time is understeering. You do feel this in the real car, because the angle the car turns is not in correspondence with the position of the steering wheel. Also, the steering wheel becomes very light to turn. And then you usually feel when the tire snaps in again and resumes to work as intended.
    Same with over steering: If the suspension is set to be approximately balanced, you feel the rear turn in under breaking into a corner, releasing the brake will usually straighten it out.
    All this, and much much more, can be felt when going fast in a car. And I have to say, these are accelerations you feel, you do not move around a lot in the real thing.
    So I would like to ask: Has anybody here had the opportunity to compare real world driving with sim driving? I think that all the shaking and the rattles are not so important to transmit the right feeling, to me it is tire feeling. I understand how a “traction loss” system works, and I think it’t great, but how is the feeling for the front axle reproduced?? Is anybody here who does both, sim racing and real world racing? Can the sim be used for training, does it come close enough?
    And my next question would be, which simulator software you would recommend. I tried accetto corsa. I did a race on the Nürburgring GP circuit this year, and I do remember pretty well the details of this track. To be honest, I was rather disappointed when going around in accetto corsa. Eg the height of the curbs at the exit of the Kurzanbindung is way too low compared with the original. Or, the banking in the Warsteiner Kurve was more or less not existing (and this makes a huge difference in corner speed!). Which software would you recommend??
    Thank you a lot. I am looking forward to the discussion.
  2. Ads Master

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  3. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR - The Next Generation Staff Member Moderator

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    With mandated limited testing F1 teams use simulators for practice and evaluation. That said there are limitations to what a platform based simulator can do, in particular only momentary force of around 2Gs is possible, nothing like what Gs a high end race car or aircraft is capable of generating and sustaining.

    AC has about the best physics for motion sims, tracks are accurate where laser scanned and detailed when not.

    I think you mistake the capability of a fast rig in simulating road surface feel, it is far more than just shaking.

    High end peripherals, a fast well designed motion rig and VR or triples, depending on your personal preference, is about as close as you can get to a real race experience in your living room and many DIY rigs can out perform commercial offerings that cost many tens of thousands of dollars.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
  4. crammy

    crammy Active Member Gold Contributor

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    a lot of what you are feeling can be achieved with a high end wheel and pedals alone. some pedal sets allow you to feel lock up through them with the use of motors.
    direct drive wheels are the prefered as that let you feel everything not just force feed back. Have a google at leo bodnar wheel bases. they are about £3000-4000 english depending on the type of wheel you get if you need one. That will be my next investment when i have finished paying for the kitchen and can hide the purchase from the Mrs
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  5. SeatTime

    SeatTime Well-Known Member

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    I got into motion sims for exactly the same reason. I have a car that I take to the track, but it is expensive, which basically means that I do this only a couple of times a year. I really had no interest in Sim software until I added motion, as without motion they feel 'dead' to me and until VR all the visual cues were wrong compared to the real thing. So 'How realistic is it' , with a good sim (in my case a 6DOF) and Oculus CV1 and a good steering wheel - pretty darn close, although it will never be like the real thing.

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  6. Nick Moxley

    Nick Moxley Well-Known Member

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    Kurzanbindung corner kerbs are near identical to IRL, Plus if your riding this entry kerb, your doing the corner WRONG!!!!!

    Warsteiner is also damn near Identical to real life. I cant spot anything difference.

    I have NO clue what your on about

    Remember these are Laser scans, Accurate to within 2cm...there would be Zero reason for Simon to mod a kerb or a corner for no reason at all.
  7. Rastus

    Rastus Active Member

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    Don't be too hard on him till he advises us what kind of rig he was on, maybe one of those commercial ones with exaggerated movements and no fine tuning, if he's after near perfection he's got to be on something fairly sophisticated including peripherals as mentioned above, and let's face it nothing we can accomodate in our homes can sustain Gforces like the real thing. @steamtrac Let's know the full details of the rig you were on for a start!!
  8. Sebj

    Sebj Active Member

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    You may also want to consider a SimXperience GS4 seat to simulate the feel of G force on your body. @Avenga76 has one and on a motion rig so perhaps he can comment. He has raced in real life and may have feedback on his favorite sim.
  9. steamtrac

    steamtrac New Member Gold Contributor

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    Thank you all for your comments. I really appreciate the discussion.

    Dont get me wrong. I do not want to talk the ability of a sim down. Actually, the opposite is the case. I am really considering to get into this. But I want to be sure that the effort is worth it. So all comments from those of you, who have thw direct comparison between real world driving and sim driving are highly appreciated.

    Very intersting and new for me was the GS4 seat. It seems that this may be a good point to start for me. The effort to build one seems to be acceptable for getting into this, and I can upgeade later on as well. I need to make myself familiar with tge different design options available.

    this weekend i am in Oachersleben, but after my return next week I will try to do aback to back comparison of AC and my video footage

    thank you again for your comments.
  10. SeatTime

    SeatTime Well-Known Member

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    Your lucky that you have local race tracks that have been laser scanned and are available to race on sim software. Of course noting that once scanned, they will keep changing through their life due to resurfacing, corner modifications etc.
  11. Lohmeyer

    Lohmeyer New Member

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    I'll focus on this question specifically. Regardless of how accurate the sim is, it can still teach you a lot that will help you on a real track.

    For example, in a car sim, you can learn skills like how to power steer, or steer by lifting the throttle, and you can learn these skills even with nothing more than a crappy FFB wheel and any modern sim (realistic physics sim as opposed to an arcade driving game). Once you get good at these skills, the sim isn't so useful. Upgrade the sim to continue to make it a useful _tool_, but only spend your time, and money on the sim where it will help on the real track.

    Primarily, a sim helps you with mental overload. You can't learn to do everything at the same time. So hours and hours in a sim will teach you a lot so that when you get to the track, you will be less over loaded mentally. There are many ways a sim allows you to learn something (even incorrectly) but when you get to the track, because you have generally practiced the idea, it will be easier to learn to do it right because you are modifying a known skill, not learning it (and several others) brand new from scratch.

    For an experienced driver, can a sim help you? Maybe. For example, what if you want to learn every little bump, or curb, and how your real car will react to them. A sim isn't going to help you with that - generically, maybe, but specifically, no. It isn't because the sim may or may not be accurate. It's because no matter how accurate the sim is (laser scanned tracks and all that), the suspension in your real car vs. the suspension in your sim car will be very difficult to match. Maybe the pros with their $50,000 sims have real vs. sim matched, but I doubt even those are apples to apples. So maybe a sim will teach you there is a severe G-out at the apex of Turn 6 at Laguna Seca, but it won't help you learn how to get _your_ real car through the G-out without losing traction at max limits. One track day at Laguna, and you will know turn 6 better than any sim can teach you. And maybe that's the way to sum up your question. But....

    Going back to my mental overload concept, knowing these features (bumps, g-outs, hill crests, blind corners) exists helps you prepare for them, reducing the number of new things you have to deal with while learning a new track (or maybe reminding you about a track you drove last year) but if you are looking for the sim to teach you exactly what to do in the real situation, no sim will do that. In fact, even at the pro level, a race sim may be more a mental tool - where the sim is used to mentally remember a track. Like mentally doing laps before a race to try and remember braking markers, special technique areas, or mentally plan a pass. But you can get a similar result just watching a GoPro video of your last time at that track.

    There are many things a sim will never teach you. I'm a big supporter of the idea of using sims as a learning tool, but many people say don't use a sim because it will teach you bad habits. I've never learned a bad habit from a sim that wasn't immediately and easily overcome, but yes, sims constantly teach you the wrong technique. My experience is, if I learn a bad habit, then I understand that habit well enough that when I do the real thing, I am much more able to change what I'm doing in order to do it right. Then I go back to the sim and compare and learn even more. Though doing so will partly erase what you learned at the track, it will be easier to pick up on the proper technique next time for real.

    That is the main concern of people who are against sims. They fear the sim will reinforce the wrong idea. And they are right, so be careful how you use the sim. For example, it might be better to use the sim only during the winter but stay away from it for the first half of a race season, or only drive the sim on a track that you don't race at. Using a sim can be like learning to race two different vehicles at the same time. You will never get good at both of them because the skills you learn in one is clobbering what you learned in the other. Instead, spend a good period of time in only one car (3 to 5 track days). Then go to the other car (3-5 track days). Now that you have learned both cars by themselves, it is OK to practice and race them during the same weekend because the brain will be much better prepared to switch "programming" depending on which car you are in. The same could be said about how you use a sim to learn. Don't let the sim clobber the real car memories. I'm talking about the sub-consicous programming we gain as we practice. And that's what people are worried about when they talk about learning bad habits.

    It is really all about seat time. Any modern sim with a decent mainstream FFB wheel is already an excellent platform to learn a great deal. A sim is just a tool. Make that tool only as good as it needs to be for the intended purpose. Any time, effort, or money spent beyond that should be spent doing the real thing if doing the real thing competently (like winning races, or achieving a difficult lap time) is your goal. The more experience you gain doing something, however, (even on a sim) will still teach you something useful.


    Sorry, long post, but I think I have an uncommon perspective on this. I raced motorcycles for 15 years (multi-time champion) and I am a race instructor and track day instructor. I teach novice street riders and racers alike. I've learned a lot about how people learn to do things like motor sports. I also fly RC airplanes and helicopters and I have flown real airplanes and helicopters though I am not a licensed pilot yet. In all these endeavors (except motorcycles unfortunately) PC based sims have _significantly_ helped me do the real thing regardless of how realistic the sim was. I just wish I could put my students on a motorcycle simulator as it is the most dangerous activity I participate in (well, because I don't race real helicopters - ha!), but there is no good way to build a simulator for it.

    There is no motorcycle sim software that is anywhere close to the real thing. The dynamics of riding a bike are not, and never will be conducive to a mouse, keyboard, joystick, or game pad. And even if such software did exist, building a bike sim "cockpit" would exceed the cost of a real bike. Flying is where a sim is most beneficial. My RC simulator has saved me thousands of dollars!! Car sims are probably half and half, which is why I say, you need to pick and choose your goals and use the car sim to meet the goals it can meet, but don't waste time trying to make it do something it will never do very well. On the other hand, if just generally having fun with a car sim is your goal, than half the fun will be building it, and for sure, the more you add to it, the more fun (and real) it will be. In that case, don't worry if it is realistic or not. It will be realistic enough to be more fun than you can imagine. So go for it. :)

    Regards,
    Michael
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  12. Pit

    Pit - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Staff Member Moderator Gold Contributor

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    Great post, very interesting viewpoint, we spend so much time on this and everyone is asking what can I learn from my rig and what we should not. NTL in the meantime my rig has became so "real" that I prefer racing on it instead of going to drive on real tracks, which cost a lot of money and is almost dangerous. lol
  13. Lohmeyer

    Lohmeyer New Member

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    Ha, I love it. You nailed it right on the head about my last comment. A sim (or simpit) can often be more fun than the real thing. It's right there. No packing up and going to the track, and regarding fun, the sims get my blood flowing just as good as the real thing.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. GTHQ_koop

    GTHQ_koop Active Member

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    The driver of this car:
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    Has tried my rig and he was blown away how it felt :)
    Ofcourse the G-forces didn't really come across but other than that, it was just as immerging according to him.

    He was sweating within 2 laps and got around pretty fast in an E30 on Zandvoort 1st time out in a simulator (Assetto Corsa) and that is IMO proof it has to be good ;)
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  15. steamtrac

    steamtrac New Member Gold Contributor

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    Thats me on my 125 GP bike

    Thank you for all your comments. I think I need to concider this as a separat hobby. Real world racing is a hobby, and sim racing is a hobby. There are paralells, but they are not the same thing.
    But anyway, I still think that sim racing is very nice for filling something in during the winter months.

    Attached Files:

  16. Lohmeyer

    Lohmeyer New Member

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    steamtrac, what organization do you race with? Nice pic of the GP bike.

    I raced a VFR400 for most of the last 10 years I raced - with the AFM. I'm the guy in front below (or as my team mate #650 likes to say, this is the shot of him passing me).

    [​IMG]
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  17. steamtrac

    steamtrac New Member Gold Contributor

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    i always liked The NC30.

    i am racing in th IG Königsklasse. Last year was very successful with The RGV in The series Class. The 125 GP Class is a different story....
  18. Lohmeyer

    Lohmeyer New Member

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    Are the 2-strokes still popular there? They have almost disappeared in the AFM. No 250cc 2 strokes anymore. The 125's are still hanging on for the kids looking for a small enough bike to get started on, but they quickly move up to a 4-stroke as soon as they can reach the pegs. :)
  19. steamtrac

    steamtrac New Member Gold Contributor

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    in Europe the value of 250 2 stroker is exploding. There will be a Class in the TT as well. It is becoming extremly "fashionable".
    And to be honest, a 600 is not at race bike, its a street bike, and due to that far too heavy. And Moto3 is much more expensive than my Rs125R. But maybe thats just me. I think it is still amasing, 50 horses and 72kg!!!
  20. Lohmeyer

    Lohmeyer New Member

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    Ya, the 125 2-strokes are amazing (and so are the 250's for that matter). Glad to see they are still very popular in your area.
  21. Blame73

    Blame73 Yet it moves!

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    Last time I went to track day there was an RGV gamma 250 lapping with me.
    Nice amazing bike