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How the ride height device works in MotoGP 22

How the ride height device works in MotoGP 22

The Ride Height Device, or RHD, is a new addition to the MotoGP 22 game, and if utilised correctly, delivers enhanced straight-line speed.

MotoGP 22 is the latest official game in the MotoGP franchise, developed by Milanese studio Milestone. The game has seen an annual release with the studio since they reacquired the MotoGP license back in 2012/2013.

I say reacquired because it had released a game prior to 2013, MotoGP ’08, but this was a one-off. The games have been improving year on year in most aspects and the studio even ditched its own in-house game engine in favour of the Unreal Engine for the 2018 release.

So it comes as no surprise to see that MotoGP 22 takes another step forward for the series improving on the physics and visuals.

MotoGP 22 wheelie

MotoGP 22 also adds a couple of new additions to the series. There’s the documentary-style ‘NINE Season 2009’ where players can relive one of the best MotoGP seasons to date that also happened to be Valentino Rossi’s last championship win.

The other main new addition this year, and the one I’m going to be talking about today, is the ride height device – or ‘RHD’ for short. This replicates the technological advancements made in the real world as all teams in the top MotoGP category use this device to great effect.

What is a ride height device?

A ride height device is used by MotoGP riders to compress the rear suspension of the motorcycle and therefore lowering the centre of gravity and providing better acceleration as the chance of wheelies is reduced.

First developed by Ducati and introduced for its factory bikes back in 2019, the ride height device was originally known as a holeshot device.

Ducati holeshot device switch, MotoGP 2019, Qatar - Gold and Goose, Motorsport Images
Ducati holeshort device switch, MotoGP 2019, Qatar – Gold and Goose, Motorsport Images

Being the innovating team that it is, Ducati devised a system whereby the rider could mechanically lower the rear of the bike to get a better start. By twisting a “key” on the dashboard on the starting grid the rear suspension would compress and lock lowering the rear of the bike.

This would give the rider a better start as the bike was less likely to wheelie – where the front when lifts off the grown – meaning the rider could open up the throttle more without consequence.      

I’m RHD, I’m Dynamite

Before long the other manufacturers would follow suit, and then Ducati innovated again by developing the device to be used during a lap.

This soon became known as the ride height device. The RHD works the same as the holeshot device except it could be activated by the touch of a button rather than twisting a key. It’s mainly used coming out of corners leading onto a straight.

MotoGp 22 without ride height device
MotoGP 22 without ride height device
MotoGp 22 with ride height device
MotoGP 22 with ride height device

It’s primed mid-corner so the riders get maximum acceleration onto the faster parts of the track without having to worry too much about the front wheel coming up in the air and is deactivated by hard braking. This means there are only a few places a rider can use it effectively.

A front RHD has also been developed but is now banned in the real-world MotoGP from 2023 and is not in the MotoGP 22 game.

How to activate the ride height device

Activating the ride height device in the MotoGP 22 game is simple. Depending on which platform you’re playing on you simply press the Y or Triangle button to activate it. As in the real world, the RHD is only used in the top MotoGP class.

Simple right? Well not quite, you can use it coming out of every corner if you wish, but you won’t want to.

Moto GP 22 review ride height device

When to use the ride height device

Using the ride height device all the time won’t result in a quicker lap time; you will find yourself fighting with the bike struggling to control it.

The best places to activate the RHD is coming out of corners which lead onto a straight, such as the final corner of Losail Qatar onto the start/finish straight.

It works in game as it does in the real world, squatting the rear of the bike down, reducing wheelies and allowing you to use full throttle and thus gaining maximum acceleration without having to worry about those pesky wheelies.

Prime the ride height device mid-corner, provided you know there's a long straight coming soon.
Prime the ride height device mid-corner, provided you know there’s a long straight coming soon.

It’s best to use a Time Trial, the MotoGP Academy mode or a free practice session to work out for each track which corners you can prime the RHD before heading onto a long straight.

Also don’t forget to activate the RHD for race starts, this really will give you a rocket start compared to an ordinary one.

Primed and ready to go

As the real riders do in real life you can prime the ride height device mid-corner.

MotoGP 22 ride height device, not in use
MotoGP 22 ride height device, Mugello, in use

The RHD indicator on the HUD is grey when you’re not using it, yellow when it’s primed and ready to go and then turns green when its activated.

MotoGP 22, ride height device primed, Mugello final corner
MotoGP 22, ride height device primed, Mugello final corner

So for example, going into the final corner of Mugello, which is a long sweeping left-hander, when you reach mid-corner you should press Y/Triangle, the indicator will turn yellow to show that the RHD is primed.

MotoGP 22 ride height device, Mugello, in use
MotoGP 22 ride height device, Mugello, in use

Then on the exit of the corner as you stand the bike up and open the throttle the RHD will then activate turning the indicator green. It kicks in when the motorcycle’s lean angle is reduced.

  • Grey = ride height device not in use
  • Yellow = ride height device primed
  • Green = ride height device active

Don’t worry the RHD cannot be activated mid-corner, this would cause lots of issues, speaking of which…

You raise me up, so I can take the corner…

The only way of deactivating the ride height device is by hard braking, pressing the Y/Triangle button won’t do anything once already primed or activated. Therefore it’s advised not to use it all the time.

I’ve personally experimented with it at different tracks and different corners, take Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli for instance. I tried using the RHD coming out of turn 10 Tramonto, a fairly tight hairpin, this then leads into the fastest section of the track including turn 11 Curvone.

MotoGP 22 - Misano's Curvona corner, the ride height device is not advised through here
Misano’s Curvona corner, the ride height device is not advised through here

This is a rapid right-hander, trying to deactivate the RHD for turn 11 is difficult, you either end up braking hard and slowing down too much – thus losing time – or you don’t brake hard enough to deactivate the RHD so you end up understeering off the track. Understeer is the reason you don’t want to have RHD activated going into corners.

This applies to race starts too. You will have to make sure you brake hard enough for the first corner if you use RHD off the line, as Jack Miller found out the hard way at Silverstone in 2019. Miller started the race in third position and used the holeshot device for the race start, but because the run to Copse Corner is just a short distance away from the start, he barely touched the brake.

The holeshot device didn’t disengage, causing him to understeer heading into Maggotts. He described the situation as “riding a chopper”.

The ride height device has nothing to do with stoppies. Jack Miller, Silverstone 2019 - Gold and Goose, Motorsport Images
The ride height device has nothing to do with stoppies. Jack Miller, Silverstone 2019 – Gold and Goose, Motorsport Images

The end result

The ride height device in the MotoGP 22 game can improve your lap times, just remember when to use it and when not to use it.

Experiment first. Learn the tracks and where the hard braking zones are for each. The best thing to do is a lap without using the RHD and then a lap using it, as you will soon find the best places to use it effectively.

One corner may lead to a straight, but does the next corner require hard braking?

Remember it’s good to prime the RHD mid-corner as it won’t activate until the corner exit and again don’t forget to use it for the race starts. Don’t forget to push that button…

Be sure to check out ROBO46’s YouTube channel for more MotoGP 22 content.

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