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California Superbike School: Levels 1/2 for beginner?

For anyone that's been to the CSS or is familiar with their curriculum:

I want to go to CSS at VIR next month. I am a total track noob, though I'm a comfortable rider (grew up with dirt bikes, had a street bike for about the last 7 years).

Should I do Levels 1 and 2 on two consecutive days? Or will the lessons you learn in Level 2 be kind of lost on me considering my first experience ever on the track will be the day before in Level 1?

I am considering two options: 1) Do Levels 1 and 2 on consecutive days since i'm going to be out there anyways and have to take at least 1 day off work, so why not 2. It's a 3 hr drive to VIR. 2) Do Level 1. A month later do the 2-day beginner group at MAD Ducati's track day event in Sept at VIR. A month after that, potentially do Cornerspeed at VIR in October.

What do you guys think? Will Level 2 lessons be lost on a brand new track rider?
 

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I guess it's probably also relevant to mention that I will have only about a month of street experience on the 999 by the time the CSS rolls around next month, so maybe that influences the equation. Still waiting on it to come back from the dealer for 2-yr service...
 

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I'd recommend doing 2 days since you're already traveling down there.

I did the same as you - my first track day was Level 1 with CSS at Loudon, NH (when they used to go there) and it was awesome. I only did one day but wished I had done two.

You'll have a lot to mentally absorb in one or two days so just be ready for that.

FWIW, this past May I did 3 days (2-day camp + one day after) with CSS at NJMP and it wasn't as mentally fatiguing as my first day. I did Levels 2-4...and wished I had done it sooner! :)

You're going to love their school. Great instructors and great experience overall.




Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

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For anyone that's been to the CSS or is familiar with their curriculum:

I want to go to CSS at VIR next month. I am a total track noob, though I'm a comfortable rider (grew up with dirt bikes, had a street bike for about the last 7 years).

Should I do Levels 1 and 2 on two consecutive days? Or will the lessons you learn in Level 2 be kind of lost on me considering my first experience ever on the track will be the day before in Level 1?

I am considering two options: 1) Do Levels 1 and 2 on consecutive days since i'm going to be out there anyways and have to take at least 1 day off work, so why not 2. It's a 3 hr drive to VIR. 2) Do Level 1. A month later do the 2-day beginner group at MAD Ducati's track day event in Sept at VIR. A month after that, potentially do Cornerspeed at VIR in October.

What do you guys think? Will Level 2 lessons be lost on a brand new track rider?
just thought i'd chime in on this one. my personal opinion is that you have more than enough riding experience to get a lot out of CSS. just to give you an idea, i've only been riding for two years now. i did a two day camp last year (levels 1 and 2), and a two day camp last month (levels 3 and 4). before i went last year, i had never set foot on a track, and the experience was phenomenal.

as for doing the levels on separate days (as in, NOT doing a two day camp), you pay for what you get, in that the single days where you can just do a single leve, are a lot more crowded (as i've heard). during the two day camps, you have a lot less people out on the track at any given time.

i still think you'll get a lot out of the experience even if you go on consecutive days. level one focuses on the actual inputs to the bike (steering, positioning, etc), and level two focuses on the visual aspect of riding (i completely underestimated the importance of this). you should get plenty out of both days, consecutive or not). let me know what you decide and how you like it.
 

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I can tell you I did it the other way around. Back in 2006 or 2007 I did level one with CSS at VIR North. I only did the one day and there was plenty to absorb with just that.

Of course this was 8 years ago or so, but there was no difference between the one day level one riders and the two day level one and two riders. There were the normal amount of people in level one and the same normal amount in level two - and by normal I mean fully booked. My experience back then was they were almost totally booked up for each of levels one and two almost continually so there was no difference whether you did one day at a time or two days. In a nutshell every day they were there both levels one and two were full to capacity.

I will say in hindsight that I wished at the time I did two days in a row, but I had previous track experience and many years of street riding already at that point. You will love it and if you're already going and can squeeze in two days I think you'll be fine and get a lot out of it. My experience was that I got very physically tired though. I just wanted to say doing it the other way is not unheard of and didn't impact the amount of riders on the track in any group either day.

Hope it does for you what it did for me, and have a great time.
 

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I guess it's probably also relevant to mention that I will have only about a month of street experience on the 999 by the time the CSS rolls around next month, so maybe that influences the equation. Still waiting on it to come back from the dealer for 2-yr service...
I'm curious now. Did you go?

Keith
 

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Hoping someone can shed some light on this one...

Hearing recent MotoGP commentators say that many riders are now NOT weighting the outside foot.

What's that all about? Anyone?
 

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Hoping someone can shed some light on this one...

Hearing recent MotoGP commentators say that many riders are now NOT weighting the outside foot.

What's that all about? Anyone?
Air Duck,

The idea that pressing weight onto the outside peg helps something happen is one of the common misperceptions of riding. It ranks right along side of weighting the inside peg as being a help to steering. I prefer to use the word misperception rather than myth because riders really do think something is happening when they do them. To put those misperceptions in perspective: most riders "believe" that rolling on the gas brings the bike up, out of its lean, at the corner's exits. On any straight and properly serviced motorcycle, it never happened--they are counter-steering it up unconsciously.

What you have with so called "peg weighting" is, at best, a leg exercise. On the other hand, riding slightly light in the saddle with roughly equal pressure on the pegs to suspend your body weight in certain situations such as dips or bumpy pavement, is a valuable tool and works.

To the best of my knowledge it was Mick Doohan who was the first world class rider to mention the outside peg weighting. In his case he said it helped with traction on the drives off the corners. I'm sure some riders have been faithfully doing it ever since. While there are still mysteries about certain aspects of riding, peg weighting isn't one of them. It is contrary to the laws of physics that govern such things as center of mass and leverage forces.

One way of looking at it is that pressure on one peg or another cannot add any mass to the bike and it doesn't shift the bike's center of mass (or gravity if you like, they are pretty much the same on a motorcycle)--you must actually move the body mass to affect them such as in hanging off which does just that.

Best,

Keith
 

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Air Duck,

The idea that pressing weight onto the outside peg helps something happen is one of the common misperceptions of riding. It ranks right along side of weighting the inside peg as being a help to steering. I prefer to use the word misperception rather than myth because riders really do think something is happening when they do them. To put those misperceptions in perspective: most riders "believe" that rolling on the gas brings the bike up, out of its lean, at the corner's exits. On any straight and properly serviced motorcycle, it never happened--they are counter-steering it up unconsciously.

What you have with so called "peg weighting" is, at best, a leg exercise. On the other hand, riding slightly light in the saddle with roughly equal pressure on the pegs to suspend your body weight in certain situations such as dips or bumpy pavement, is a valuable tool and works.

To the best of my knowledge it was Mick Doohan who was the first world class rider to mention the outside peg weighting. In his case he said it helped with traction on the drives off the corners. I'm sure some riders have been faithfully doing it ever since. While there are still mysteries about certain aspects of riding, peg weighting isn't one of them. It is contrary to the laws of physics that govern such things as center of mass and leverage forces.

One way of looking at it is that pressure on one peg or another cannot add any mass to the bike and it doesn't shift the bike's center of mass (or gravity if you like, they are pretty much the same on a motorcycle)--you must actually move the body mass to affect them such as in hanging off which does just that.

Best,

Keith
Thanks Keith, much appreciated!

Well, I've been doing that wrong then!!!

Have read your books loads of times (should refresh myself really) and really thought we were supposed to be anchoring on the outside peg, outside knee, and outside forearm.

So in simple terms - what are 'supposed to be doing' with our outside foot?

After misinterpreting what I thought you'd written years ago I moved from weighting the inside peg to weighting the outside, and have since found this 'seems' to help me get off the inside of the bike further into the corner. I'm wondering how I can retain that purchase and stability without 'pressing down' with my outside foot?

Oh, and another thing, I bought a T-shirt from you when you first came to the UK with your school (Caldwell Park I think it was) and it's starting to wear out - what's with that? :eek:

Thanks again for the advice and input Keith - reading and applying the techniques and discussion in your books transformed my approach to riding, thank you! :)
 

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Thanks Keith, much appreciated!

Well, I've been doing that wrong then!!!

Have read your books loads of times (should refresh myself really) and really thought we were supposed to be anchoring on the outside peg, outside knee, and outside forearm.

So in simple terms - what are 'supposed to be doing' with our outside foot?

After misinterpreting what I thought you'd written years ago I moved from weighting the inside peg to weighting the outside, and have since found this 'seems' to help me get off the inside of the bike further into the corner. I'm wondering how I can retain that purchase and stability without 'pressing down' with my outside foot?

Oh, and another thing, I bought a T-shirt from you when you first came to the UK with your school (Caldwell Park I think it was) and it's starting to wear out - what's with that? :eek:

Thanks again for the advice and input Keith - reading and applying the techniques and discussion in your books transformed my approach to riding, thank you! :)
Air Duck,

That's a completely different kettle of fish. Using the outside leg to anchor yourself on the bike is a very workable part of rider stability and helps with exactly what you have been experiencing since learning how to do from the school.

It's not the pressure on the peg in and of itself but that fact that it is locking in your body so it can cooperate with the bike.

What you are talking about in "A Twist of the Wrist", Volume 2 is on page 85 in the "Pivot Steering" chapter. In that, I had it both right and wrong. I said "weight on the outside peg" moved my pivot point from the tank lower on the bike to the peg. That doesn't really do much but as I've discovered since then is, that pressing on the peg with the knee/thigh wedged into the tank is the most stable a rider can be on the bike for the purpose of steering.

If you've been doing that as we showed you, you aren't wasting your time and energy. Is that what you've been doing?

Keith
 

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Air Duck,

I don't understand how your T-Shirt became worn out. Have you been wearing it or something like that? :)
 

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Yes that's what I've been doing Keith - except I've been consciously pressing 'down' on the outside peg too...

Your books were available over here before you brought your course to Europe so I'd read them a bunch of times before attending the courses (was just levels 1,2,3 back then iirc).

Just to get this straight - are you saying that we don't 'need' downward pressure on the pegs and 'just' need a firm anchor with the outside leg etc?

Thanks again Keith, much appreciated! :)

Air Duck,

I don't understand how your T-Shirt became worn out. Have you been wearing it or something like that? :)
Yes mate, but I have been keeping it for 'best' occasions only ;)
 

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Yes that's what I've been doing Keith - except I've been consciously pressing 'down' on the outside peg too...

Your books were available over here before you brought your course to Europe so I'd read them a bunch of times before attending the courses (was just levels 1,2,3 back then iirc).

Just to get this straight - are you saying that we don't 'need' downward pressure on the pegs and 'just' need a firm anchor with the outside leg etc?

Thanks again Keith, much appreciated! :)



Yes mate, but I have been keeping it for 'best' occasions only ;)
Air Duck,

Yes, you can clamp your leg against the tank in a scissors fashion and that is pretty good but not everyone fits their bike that way. The nearly universal solution is doing a calf raise off the outside peg with the knee/thigh wedged up and into the tank.

IN this case the amount of down pressure on the peg is exactly the same as the pressure that goes into the tank. You can think of it as creating a strut between the peg and the tank.

Any method is enhanced with tank grip. We use Stomp Grip on our school bikes as does the UK branch of the school.

Is that clear?

Keith
 

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Air Duck,

Yes, you can clamp your leg against the tank in a scissors fashion and that is pretty good but not everyone fits their bike that way. The nearly universal solution is doing a calf raise off the outside peg with the knee/thigh wedged up and into the tank.

IN this case the amount of down pressure on the peg is exactly the same as the pressure that goes into the tank. You can think of it as creating a strut between the peg and the tank.

Any method is enhanced with tank grip. We use Stomp Grip on our school bikes as does the UK branch of the school.

Is that clear?

Keith
Yes that's clear - thanks!

Yes I do clamp against the offside of the tank etc, it was the foot pressure I'd misinterpreted, thanks for clarifying! :)

Yes I use Stomp Grip too.
 

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I'm curious now. Did you go?

Keith
I did actually -- so my first two days ever on the track were Levels 1 & 2. The content of the first two levels was appropriate for a track noob, or at least it wasn't lost on me. Very drill based, which I believe starting with some good habits by way of drills was the best way to start riding on the track. I wound up renting a school bike for one of the days that was quite rainy (traction control!) and rode my 999 for the other day, and no problem really having no experience on either bike.

I've done about 6 days on the track since the course last August. If I could go every weekend I would!
 

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I did actually -- so my first two days ever on the track were Levels 1 & 2. The content of the first two levels was appropriate for a track noob, or at least it wasn't lost on me. Very drill based, which I believe starting with some good habits by way of drills was the best way to start riding on the track. I wound up renting a school bike for one of the days that was quite rainy (traction control!) and rode my 999 for the other day, and no problem really having no experience on either bike.

I've done about 6 days on the track since the course last August. If I could go every weekend I would!
aftriathlete,

Happy to hear that. It's really satisfying to find riders becoming enthusiastic enough to start trackdays after they come to school.

Keith
 

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As we are in the middle of turn and the front tire is at its limit. Lets say its a left hand turn. To stand the bike up, we must countersteer left, but since the front tire is at the limit, that would make it go over the limit and slip ( since we are asking it to tighten the line even though momentarily). Is this true, or is there something wrong with my logic?

Thanks in advance
 

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Over The Limit

As we are in the middle of turn and the front tire is at its limit. Lets say its a left hand turn. To stand the bike up, we must countersteer left, but since the front tire is at the limit, that would make it go over the limit and slip ( since we are asking it to tighten the line even though momentarily). Is this true, or is there something wrong with my logic?

Thanks in advance
Sorry for not getting back to you on this, I think my notifications for the forum went South!

To answer: "The limit" is an interesting idea--but as we've discovered--not so easy to define. Someone or some tech advance always comes along and blows "the limit" out of the water. We could examine your question in any number of ways. The idea that you would momentarily be going over the limit by counter steering the bike back up would be analogous with riding, at the limit, over a 1 foot wide wet strip that was across the road. The tire circumference is about 83" on a 200 X 60 X 17 rear tire, about 7 feet of rubber. Is that enough to make the bike slide out? Maybe, but only maybe. Almost too many factors to list, like suspension, tire condition, pavement grip, rider inputs, etc., etc. Then, too, because the bike will begin to come up out of its lean, there is an immediate reduction of grip demand.

There is an interesting phenomena that can occur "at the limit" where turning the front wheel in creates a pushing (slightly sliding) front wheel. The resistance created by the 'pushing' acts as a pivot point and jacks the back end around, outward, pointing the bike into the corner. This is also standard technique for flat trackers to help get the bike turned. It isn't something that works everywhere and you really do have to be right close to the limit of lean AND be willing to have the back end come around (slide).

Was I any help?

Keith
 

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I hate to be so crass as this and promote the schools but this will be for some a "not to be missed". Keith

California Superbike School Goes To COTA this August
The Superbike School is running two 2-Day Camps at Circuit Of The Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas. The first Camp on August 15/16 is sold out however there are spots available for the August 17/18 Camp.
The 3.4 mile circuit will have a maximum of 18 students on track with two groups alternating all day, both days. The coach student ratio will be 1:2. Everything is provided at the track including a fleet of new 2016 premium package BMW S1000RR's. This is a bucket-list experience for those wanting to ride a top-tier GP track with personalized coaching and a minimal number of riders.
Since 1980 The Superbike School has run in 35 countries at 119 tracks and Circuit Of The Americas will be number 120 on that list.
Keith Code, Founder of The Superbike School, said: "I had a chance to ride COTA last year at a press event with BMW. The facility is top notch. The track is long and wide, with consistent grip and presents the rider with a number of challenges while being a blast to ride. We decided to make this event happen even if it is just once, in order to give our students a chance to have a spectacular experience on one of the world's great tracks."
Visit the school's web site at California SuperBike School | California SuperBike School or Call their toll free number at 800 530-3350 to sign up now, there really are only a few spots still open.
 
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