Okay to run MBP on a Motorcycle?

jamesr242

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 29, 2009
37
0
I need a laptop to record some data from my motorcycle (trying to tune the carburetor with an O2 meter) while riding. Would it mess up my HDD to run it in a saddlebag while riding down the road? Can I get away with just wrapping it in some towels or something or should I just invest in a cheaper SSD?

I have the base 13" MBP by the way

Thanks!
 

ziggyonice

macrumors 68020
Mar 12, 2006
2,385
1
Rural America
All hard drives go out eventually. Usually this is because of vibrations slowly affecting the drive over the course of a few years. Having the hard drive running while experiencing a lot of vibrations (from a motorcycle, for example), is probably going to help kill it sooner.

I think it would survive the trip, but I wouldn't be surprised if you found that is died sooner than expected. An SSD wouldn't have this problem, but obviously that's a few hundred dollars to purchase.
 

chaosbunny

macrumors 68000
While I often travel with my mbp (and 2 PowerBooks before that) with my motorcycle, I always turn it of or leave it in sleep mode. The sleep mode has never done anything to the hds.

If it's only a short way on a good road it could be ok. But maybe someone else has more experience with this.
 

iBlue

macrumors Core
Mar 17, 2005
19,174
15
London, England
I don't know for sure but the vibrations and heat are a lot to ask of it. There has got to be a better way to do this than possibly sacrificing your MBP.
 

leighonigar

macrumors 6502a
May 5, 2007
908
1
how will you keep it recording while your riding? it will sleep when you close the lid.
You can turn that off using the terminal.

What kind of laptop do you need, OP? I would probably just get the cheapest netbook that I could - they have SSDs and are probably less likely to melt in a saddlebag.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,842
30,360
Boston
I would think the fastest and surest way to kill a hard drive is to run it, while riding a motorcycle. If you want to "use" it, the laptop really should remain fairly still and stable, neither of which is the case on a motorcycle.

I'd get a cheap (is there one?) SSD for this, if you really need to do this.
 

NC MacGuy

macrumors 603
Feb 9, 2005
6,225
0
The good side of the grass.
HDD's are cheap. It may or may not get screwed up but I think if you don't hit any major bumps it'll be fine. If you're already thinking of getting a SSD, backup the disk at home and if it goes, time for a SSD.
 

AnotherFanBoy

macrumors regular
Jul 5, 2009
233
0
If you are willing to put the money in an SSD, why not just buy a dirt cheap hard drive, put that in, and if it dies it dies. Then once you are done with this project, put the HDD you have now back in and you are good to go.
 

leighonigar

macrumors 6502a
May 5, 2007
908
1
If you are willing to put the money in an SSD, why not just buy a dirt cheap hard drive, put that in, and if it dies it dies. Then once you are done with this project, put the HDD you have now back in and you are good to go.
Or just run mac os off a 16gb USB stick.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,360
701
I wouldn't even attempt to do what you're suggesting. It's one thing to carry a powered off or sleeping MBP on a bike, but not one that's running. The motion sensors would lock the HDD on the first bump and any apps would stop. Don't even think about doing this without a SSD.
 

m0no

macrumors regular
Jan 8, 2009
222
0
I agree that I would not try this without at least using a SSD. Even so, I think I would pick up a cheap netbook to use instead. Then if something happens to it you're only out a couple hundred bucks and your macbook is still safe at home.
 

barkomatic

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2008
4,027
1,798
Manhattan
I would think the fastest and surest way to kill a hard drive is to run it, while riding a motorcycle. If you want to "use" it, the laptop really should remain fairly still and stable, neither of which is the case on a motorcycle.

I'd get a cheap (is there one?) SSD for this, if you really need to do this.
People run laptops in cars and buses regularly. Why would running a laptop on a motorcycle be any different? All types of vehicles hit the same potholes.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,360
701
People run laptops in cars and buses regularly. Why would running a laptop on a motorcycle be any different? All types of vehicles hit the same potholes.
Motorcycles don't have the same suspension that cars and buses do. The same pothole you might feel as a slight bump in your car would pound your kidneys on a bike. They're quite different!
 

cababah

macrumors 68000
Jun 11, 2009
1,678
149
SF Bay Area, CA
Motorcycles don't have the same suspension that cars and buses do. The same pothole you might feel as a slight bump in your car would pound your kidneys on a bike. They're quite different!
This is entirely dependent on the type of car and motorcycle you are riding. There are some cars with extremely tight suspensions that send your jaw clinking together at every road imperfection as there are bikes out there with softer suspensions that feel like you are on an air mattress.

As long as he is not on a SS bike I don't see how it should be a huge issue but I still wouldn't do it ;)
 

Pau.c

macrumors regular
Sep 20, 2009
134
0
I frequently have my MacbookPro on my motorbike!

i have a Honda Silverwing and i just wrap it in the sleeve and put it in my bag with a well padded towel and then i put it under the seat!

not had a problem yet!
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,360
701
I frequently have my MacbookPro on my motorbike!

i have a Honda Silverwing and i just wrap it in the sleeve and put it in my bag with a well padded towel and then i put it under the seat!

not had a problem yet!
Yes, but is it running while you're riding, as the OP is asking about?
 

NC MacGuy

macrumors 603
Feb 9, 2005
6,225
0
The good side of the grass.
Come to think of it, even though my computer wasn't taking in data, my last MBA would open on it's own and run when riding. Sometimes I'd get home and open up my rack bag and find the computer open about an inch and running. After discovering it bought a tight fitting case as a fix.

It was the HDD 80GB and is still working to this day.
 

jamesr242

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 29, 2009
37
0
Thanks for your thoughts everyone. I just realized that I have the original 160 GB drive because I promptly upgraded mine to a 500. I think I'll just try it with that drive and if it fails, oh well. If it fails I will probably invest $80 or so in a cheap 32 GB SSD. What do you think?

FYI all of this will be running in Windows XP because of course the software isn't available for mac. This device runs off a freakin serial port!!!!:eek: I guess I gotta get an adapter for that too:p
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,360
701
FYI all of this will be running in Windows XP because of course the software isn't available for mac. This device runs off a freakin serial port!!!!:eek: I guess I gotta get an adapter for that too:p
Let me guess.... Power Commander?