Concept of the Hs3
The basic concept and motivation behind the Hs3 is to bring a realistic and functional motorcycle controller for computer
gaming and simulations to as many people as possible without all the requirements others demand. IASystems Hs3 is not
designed to be only affordable by the rich and famous as they say, but to be a product that is affordable and practical for
the average household user. To own an Hs3 you wont need to mortgage thehouse or sell your grandmother, a complete
system cost no more than the average car simulation type of system used by most gamers these days. The Hs3 Desktop
system also takes up no more space than a desktop car system that the majority of gamers and sim racers use today.
Part of the concept is to simplify motorcycle games and simulations for people like myself, I cant use a gamepad to save my life!!! This simple fact and that I am passionate about motorcycles, riding and gaming, made it a necessity for me to design and make a controller that even I could use. The Hs3 feels very natural if you ride a motorcycle, but even if you have never ridden a motorcycle the controls on the Hs3 are very easy to learn and remember in no time at all. One of the biggest challenges for someone like myself is I have ridden motorcycles for over 40 years and to suddenly have to learn to control a motorcycle with little thumbsticks, buttons and triggers, just will not compute in the biker part of me in my brain.
My brain only knows that to accelerate I twist a throttle and will not accept squeezing a tiny trigger on a gamepad is "Giving Gas"!!! Its the same for all movement input controls for gaming. Ask any professional gamer or simulations driver/flyer to use a gamepad and they will turn thier nose up at just the thought of it. Cars use steering wheels, planes use yolks and motorcycles use handlebars. Its that simple.
It is my belief that a controller should not just feel natural, but react and give a natural input to the game or simulation
it is being used for. A gamer will not worry as much as a hardcore sim racer will, but that should not mean the controller
can be of a lesser quality in its function. I do not design my systems to be 100% realistic, that would be too costly and
impractical for the average user. The Hs3 Desktop system is designed as an entry level system for the average user.
I keep my designs as realistic and practical as is possible technically, but there is also a medical reason for the concept
of the Hs3 design. Using a motorcycle controller is far more physically involved than using a car/plane controller. So
why does this make a medical issue for a gaming controller? This is rather hard to explain in words but I will try my
A real motorcycles handlebars pivot on the horizontal axis of a bike. When you are riding a bike in real life, you, in
reality hardly turn the handlebars and if you do, it is only at a very low speed in traffic or a parking lot. The steering of
a motorcycle is by counter-steering pressure on the handlebars. Simply put, you apply pressure to the RIGHT side of
the handlebar, pushing the steering LEFT, but this does not make the bike go LEFT, it makes it lean RIGHT. Hence the
turm counter-steering. At higher speeds, the amount the handlebars are actually turned is very minimal, only a few
degrees in reality. When riding a real motorcycle under normal road conditions this means the rider is not moving all
that much, but once the rider increases speed and wishes to go through corners quicker they must start to use body
positioning to have a better balance of the bike. The forces of mother nature are now helping our rider stay on the bike,
more on that point later.
So, this far we know how a real bikes steering/leaning functions, lets put Kevin on a control system using the horizontal
axis for our handlebars. Firstly, the handlebars need to be in such a position to have a natural positioning of the users
back, arms and hands. This will not be effected by which axis the system works on, but by how the system is in relation
to the user, we will simply say the user is sitting correctly for the moment. Lets start a motorcycle game up for Kevin
(user) and put him on the road, then ask him to ride using the same technique and amount of steering input as he used
on the real bike........................lets pick poor Kevin up as he crashed at the first corner!!!
Why did Kevin crash? Well with the exception of GP Bikes, all motorcycle games are designed for gamepads as the only input device!!! The games are programmed so that the input they require to steer the bike in-game are not the way a
real bike works. To start with, Kevin put pressure on the handlebars the same as he did on the road for his RIGHTHAND corner, but instaed of going RIGHT as he did in real life he started to go LEFT!!! Poor Kevin, but not his fault, he did not know the game demands he turns the handlebars RIGHT, which means he should push with the LEFT hand to turn the handlebars RIGHT, making the bike go LEFT, this works in the game but not in real life. The second reason Kevin crashed
is that he did not put enough pressure (movement) on the handlebars for the game to control the bike correctly. Now
Kevin knows he must steer the wrong way to go the right way and use far more input, lets put him back in the game.
Now Kevin can go through the corner and not crash. Lets leave Kevin riding for say half an hour, a short time for your average gamer, but long enough for what we need..................................................................................
This is where the medical issue comes into play. Kevin was riding for just half an hour, but for that whole time he was
having to use his body in such an unnatural way that Kevin has gone to lay down for a bit with some asprins for the pain.
Okay, maybe a bit over exaggerated for half an hour, but for prolonged and continuous use, a system with the handlebars
pivoting on the horizontal axis can cause damage to finger, wrist, forearm, shoulder, neck and back muscles and ligaments
as it has to have so much input movements for the game to interpret them to control the bike in the way needed to play.
The reason that having the handlebars on the horizontal causes unnatural body movement and therefore is not a very
practical design is how it forced Kevin to twist his body joints at unnatural angles continuously. When you turn a set of
handlebars on the horizontal axis, you make one hand reach away from you while at the same time making the other hand
come towards you. This action makes the wrists have to rotate sideways at an angle, you have to twist sideways at the
waist, hold your head in the opposite direction and still try and use the handlebar controls!!! A rather unnatural and not
an enjoyable way to play a game. On a real motorcycle, most joints sit naturally during riding, none of this bend this way
twist that way as on a controller using the handlebars on the horizontal axis. No wonder Kevin had to go and lay down.
In conclusion from what we know so far, although real handlebars pivot on the horizontal axis, it is basically useless to
use in games unless the software houses change how the bikes steering functions in their games. This is already
possible in GP Bikes real simulation by Piboso, but I doubt it will change anytime soon in normal motorcycle games.
There is a limit to how realistic you can make a motorcycle gaming controller for a realistic price and to be practical at
the same time. When your sitting on your couch or at your computer desk, mother natures forces are not there to help
you. Today we can not replicate such forces in the home, so why build a system thats realistic, but can not work?
These are the reasons why I do not make the Hs3 steer as in real life. Allow me to introduce you to the SPSS concept.
SPSS(Patent Pending) stands for "Southern Pendulum Steering System" which I developed in 2010. The SPSS works
not as a steering input, but as the Lean Angle of the Motorcycle input. The pivot point for the SPSS system is centered
a certain distance above the handlebars on the vertical axis. Imagine an upside down music metronome and then bolt
the handlebars at the lowest point like an upside down T. This design allows the handlebars to swing like a swingboat
and this replicates the angle of the handlebars of the bike in a game or simulation as the user would see them. This is a
simple yet effective method to not only make the system feel to be functioning realistically, but enables the user to make
natural body movements while using the system. You do not use your arms to control the lean angle with the SPSS
system as it actually causes you to pivot your upper body at the waist, this keeps all joints at the right angles, just as on
a real motorcycle.
Now the fun can begin in motorcycle gaming. The SPSS design allows you to not only move as if on a real motorcycle, but makes it so your view of the road/track in game(first person view only) is like being on a real bike as you are leaning from side to side. You are no longer sitting still pushing little thumbstick and pressing buttons, you are leaning into the curve, tilting your head to see the apex and starting to feel like your controlling a bike and not just holding a lump of plastic!!! The SPSS system does not have FFB(force feedback), but it has what I call natural force feedback or NFFB. A car steering system with FFB only moves the users arms, the SPSS system causes you to move your whole upper body, you will be leaning left and right for the corners and find yourself leaning towards the system to tuck in on the strights, thats NFFB. Designing the Hs3 on the Lean Angle of the Motorcycle means I have been able to overcome some of the limitations to building a 100% realistic system. This is just the start, lets take it a step further.
So far you have been sitting on your couch or computer chair using the Hs3. It may have been fun, but it gets better.
Lets get off the couch and onto a static sit-on system. The Hs3 is a fully modular system so all the parts from a desktop
system simply unbolt so they can be mounted on an IASystems Sit-On frame in a matter of minuets. At this present
time the 2019 Sit-On frame is in the design stage so that it will be adaptable for upgrading to a full motion system. As
this is the situation I will use the old 2017 design for the moment. All sit-on systems use 2004 Honda CBR1000RR
genuine race body parts due to the dummy tank cover for the original bike. The sit-on frame is designed to have the
seat area and foot controls in the same place as the real bike. The handlebars mount so they are adjustable for hieght
just as on the desktop system. Once you have all the parts bolted onto your sit-on frame, your ready to hit the track.
Now your sitting in a real riding position with a gas tank between your legs and your leaning forward, feet on the pegs
and hands on the grips waiting for the green light to come, this is where the Hs3 gets it's name, your waiting to get the
Holeshot before the first corner!!! Your no longer on your couch so now you can use your body even more as you race
on your favorite track or road. Now you can really lean into the corner and there is still even more we can do to make
it more realistic.
Lets add a Wireless EdTracker PRO unit on an IASystems Shoulder Strap system to give body movement to the game!!! Thats right, in simulations like GP Bikes which allow you to have a seperate device for body movement input, you can control the rider movements in-game. When you lean forward so does the rider, when you lean into the right corner, so does the rider. Still need more? OK, lets put on a VR headset, hope you can handle it as its about to get real. Combining
the Hs3 Sit-On system with a VR Headset like the Oculus Rift, you had better be prepared to feel like you never have before, right in your own front room. Riding in GP Bikes in VR on the Hs3 is so close to real, the only thing missing is the rubber mark on your floor as you back it in at the last corner at Jerez!!!
So I hope this explanation of the concept and idea behind the Hs3 system has given you a clear picture of what to
expect from your Hs3 system, no matter which versionyou purchase, be it a Desktop or Sit-On system, you will be
able to experience your favorite motorcycle game unlike you ever have before right in your own front room.
No Kevins were harmed during this explanation!
As a final note. I would be the first person to say the actual technical design of Hs3 steering is not 100% real. I will
however stand my ground and say that after trying every conceivable design over the last 9 years, the SPSS system
is the only true Home Use motorcycle controller concept that not only functions as it should, but FEELS as it should.
For a test ride in the UK. Please contact me directly from the contacts page.