LitPro Review: Fast Track to Success
Technology is becoming increasingly prominent in all different types of motorsports, and motocross is no exception. This is especially true at the factory level where the rider’s machines are equipped with all kinds of sensors, monitors, and data acquisition devices.
The LitPro is the latest type of data acquisition device, and its use has become more widespread in the paddocks of the Monster Energy Supercross and Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Series. But, it’s used to gather data from much more than just the motorcycle.
The LitPro is a personal data acquisition device for motorcycle riders of all levels. NZN Labs, a technology and app development company located in the heart of the motocross industry in Temecula, Calif., began developing the LitPro in 2012 with the goal of creating a device to help riders become faster and shave seconds off their lap times.
The LitPro device works for supercross, motocross, and road racing applications. Although many of the metrics the device records are geared more towards dirt-bike oriented disciplines, the LitPro works very well for road racing, too. In fact, the team at NZN Labs informed us they have professional athletes using LitPro on road racing courses on a regular basis.
However, at this time, NZN Labs’ main focus is on continually developing the LitPro for supercross and motocross athletes. For this test, we used our unit on a variety of different motocross tracks throughout Southern California.
In addition to road racers, the LitPro is being utilized by some of the greatest racers in SX and MX. World-renowned trainer Aldon Baker has all of his riders use the device any time they are on the motorcycle, whether it be during training or at the races.
Baker’s athletes using the LitPro include Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey and Marvin Musquin, as well as Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson and Zach Osborne. A few other athletes using it in 2017 include Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Chad Reed, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Justin Hill, and many more.
The LitPro acquires all kinds of different information that the rider can view on an iPhone or iPad. It tracks the rider’s position on the track throughout the entire moto using GPS technology. After syncing the device to an iPhone or iPad via the LitPro MX app—the latest 2.2.5 version was updated just days before this review was written—the rider (or coach) is able to view different types of information including lap times, which different line is faster, what segments on the track the rider is inconsistent in, or what rhythm section combination is quickest. The rider can then analyze track performance from a data-driven standpoint and see where improvements can be made on the next ride.
The LitPro is sized a bit smaller than a deck of cards with the dimensions of approximately 3.5 inches long, 2.3 inches wide, and 0.7 inches tall. It weighs only 2.6 ounces, which is approximately half of the weight of a GoPro camera, while also being more aerodynamic. When riding, the LitPro is unnoticeable when mounted on the helmet. The battery life came out to about 10 hours, but I habitually charged it before every ride.
The box includes a LitPro, four Velcro straps, a business card, and a LitPro sticker. The Velcro strap secures the LitPro on top of the helmet—extras come in handy for riders who have multiple helmets in their arsenals. The business card provides the company’s phone and email contact information for its Athlete Support division, in case you have any additional questions not covered on LitPro’s website.
LitPro does not come with a physical instruction manual, but everything needed to get started on litprolive.com. The website’s FAQ page includes lots of useful information and everything you need to get started.
The first thing I did was mount the LitPro device to my Shoei VFX-W helmet with one of the four provided Velcro straps. It is an extremely strong Velcro material so the device stays in place at all times. I mounted it on the very top of my helmet on a relatively flat spot, as they recommend. They do not recommend mounting the LitPro on your bike, as this may skew the data collection process.
The LitPro is very simple to operate; it only has one button that powers it on and off, plus a light that flashes codes. Turning it on requires a press of the button. Once turned on, the light then illuminates blue, which means the device is searching for a GPS fix. Once it has a solid GPS fix, the light turns green.
Before riding, press the button to get a blinking green light that signifies the LitPro is on and tracking. When returning from a moto, another press of the button brings it back to a solid green, telling you the LitPro has stopped tracking. A long press of the button shuts down the LitPro.
As of now, the LitPro is only written for Mac iOS, so it requires an iPad (recommended) or iPhone (5 or newer). There are five applications available on the App Store including the MX, Sync, Live, Trainer, and Video. We only utilized the MX app and the Sync app for this test, as the Live, Trainer, and Video (iPad only) apps only apply to those who have their iPhone mounted on their machine and can essentially view their lap times and analytics in real time. After a free three-month trial, LitPro charges riders $15 a month for the Live Timing feature (or $35 monthly for a team). We plan to test the additional features in the near future as well.
The Sync app connects your Apple mobile device to the LitPro and syncs the data from it. Syncing usually takes about one-third the amount of time you rode. Most of my syncs came out to around seven minutes per 20-minute moto. In order to sync your LitPro to your iPhone or iPad, you must have an Internet connection—Bluetooth doesn’t make the transfer. The better the connection, the faster the syncs take place.
The MX app is used to view all of your Session Analytics and Gate Drop Analytics. The information provided via Session Analytics is extensive and includes the number of laps ridden, duration of the moto, top speed, average speed, distance traveled per lap, total airtime, and longest airtime.
LitPro allows you to compare your laps to see which line is faster by overlaying your two laps together on the track map at the same time. You can view the same information for a single segment or corner, too. Also, the LitPro can also record your heart rate if you are wearing a heart rate monitor. NZN Labs recommend using the Polar H7, but any Bluetooth 4.0 capable monitor will do the job.
Gate Drop Analytics provides information when practicing starts and tells your top speed, distance traveled, and the amount of time it takes you to reach 5-, 10-, 15-, 30- and 60-feet.
If you are using your LitPro on a track that has already been created by another user, this is not something you have to be concerned about. In that case, you select that track after syncing your data. However, on that particular day, I was spinning laps at 212 Land in Boulevard, Calif. Nobody with a LitPro device had created a track there yet, so I had to do so myself. Fortunately, the FAQ page on the LitPro’s website has excellent instructions on how to create a track map.
The process is very simple. After I completed a moto with the LitPro on and tracking. I returned to the pits and synced the data to my iPhone via the Sync app. Next, I created a start/finish line. Then, I created a few different gates to divide the track into four different segments. This was all I needed to create the track, which then provided me with all of my Session and Gate Drop Analytics.
Some tracks have what LitPro refers to as an HD Track Map—a track that can be viewed in high definition. To provide an HD map, they have a drone take a photo of the track from an aerial view. This gives the user the ability to view different lines on the track in high definition. Many of the other tracks I ride in the Southern California area have HD track maps and it greatly enhances the experience.
I am thoroughly impressed with how easy it is to use the LitPro, though I consider myself a fairly technology savvy person. The thorough instructions provided on the LitPro website are clear, concise, and easy to understand.
I enjoyed using Session Analytics to analyze how fast I was going, as well as how far and high I was jumping. Viewing my different segment and corner analytics dramatically helped me improve my lap times by revealing which lines were faster for me. Additionally, I increased my speed on straightaways and scrubbed jumps to stay lower and get back on the ground quicker.
The difference in my lap times after doing these things was very noticeable, and I was able to observe the changes through each of the different pieces of information the LitPro recorded. For the Gate Drop Analytics, I was able to practice different starting techniques to see which ones yielded the best results.
At a retail price of $499, the LitPro comes in at a price point just a bit higher than a high-end helmet camera. It is an investment in yourself as a rider/racer by helping you analyze each and every lap to help you become a faster, yet more effective rider. The results are right in front of you on your iPhone and iPad, so you know where your money is going in terms of your performance and improvement.
While many people spend countless amounts of money on shiny parts for their bikes, which may not increase the performance of their machines or their abilities as riders, the LitPro offers a abundance of information that can help someone improve with tangible results. As English philosopher Sir Francis Bacon observed over 400 years ago, “Ipsa scientia potestas est.” Knowledge itself is power.
NZN Labs is constantly developing and updating applications for the LitPro. Therefore, you can update to the newest software update and upgrade for free whenever something new is released. In the time we’ve had our LitPro, we’ve updated the applications on our iPhones a number of times and each yields a noticeable improvement, whether it’s a new feature or increasing the speed the applications run at.
We look forward to spinning more laps with our LitPro and continually learning more about the apps NZN Labs continues to develop so we can get faster, drop our lap times, and become better riders!