Part of my job is to ride every new motorcycle out there and this I have been doing for the past 5 years and I been riding for over 30 years, younger days was competitive racing. Back then there was no riding schools, so what we could get was asking advice from faster and more senior racers.
We learn the hard way, through experience and few crashes. Now there is an easy and proper way to get coaching.
How much fresh information could I pick up over two days at a riding school, I wondered… A very humbling amount it turns out, and that brings me to the first segment of this story and so California Superbike School (CSS) arrived at Sepang in 2017. I took Level 1 and Level 2 in February 2017. Our review HERE
We as humans for sure naturally have bad riding habits and bad riding habits are usual especially casual riders but CSS coaches will first follow you to see your mistakes and then lead to show you the right way to do it
IS CSS FOR YOU?
CSS is for everybody on a motorcycle. Attendees at the 2017 California Superbike School included everyone to nervous racetrack first-timers to ex-national championship racers (Gabit) and many intermediate and experience, rider like myself. We will learn riding skills that is somewhat valuable, even if our riding goals were completely different. For some rider simply focused on being a better, safer rider and the school helps vastly in that area. In fact, almost everyone I asked said they’d love to return to CSS and indeed, many riders here are happy repeat students, no shame being a student all over again!
Bikes in all shapes and sizes are welcome at CSS, the ideal scenario is to learn on the bike you would usually ride.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Syllabus at CSS is split into four levels, each spread over one day. Each level seeks to improve aspects of riding in a particular area. Level 1 deals with the basics and focuses on throttle control, turning points, quick turning and more. CSS wants you to learn, not prove how fast you are, so most of the exercises over the weekend allow just one or two gears and often, no brakes.
Level 2 was less about the body and more the mind. Here, the rider is introduced to new ways of vision and taught to pick up reference points around the track. Higher speeds tend to create tunnel vision which causes you to tense or freeze up with fear. This is completely counterintuitive to going fast. To overcome this natural instinct, the school teaches you to work on peripheral vision which slows things down in the rider’s mind. This keeps the rider calmer and thus more confident to stay on the gas just a little bit longer. On-track coaches help students out with any aspects they are struggling with.
At Level 3, things start to get strenuous on the body as we went through different drills on body position and how control over your body exercises control over the motorcycle. The transition in your riding from day 1 to day 2 even day 3-4 is incredible – everyone felt big improvements. In my case, these came in the form of a new-found level of smoothness with my knee skimming the tarmac in everyturn and getting faster in every corner.
As for me im looking to complete my Level 3 which is about correct body position.
Level 4 however is custom designed based on the skills the individual wishes to develop using any of the 15 drills taught during the previous three levels. Plus, exclusively to level four, the on-track rider coach provides video footage for the off-track consultant to analyses and talk you through after each of the five on-track sessions.
WHY IS CSS SO GOOD?
The answer lies in the quality of the coaching. Most, if not all the information dispersed at CSS, is already available on the Internet. The “magic” is how well that information is taught at CSS. The coaching is truly world class and the on-track coaches have an uncanny ability to spot your mistakes on track as they follow you around. They help you fix these issues by discussing them in the pits and focusing on them in the next session. To get an idea of just how elite this school is head over to their website and you’ll see that some of their more famous students have included Wayne Rainey, John Kocinski, Ben Spies, Leon Camier and many, many more.
Being a coach at CSS is seriously hard work. We students were split into three batches and each on-track coach was assigned three students from each batch, making a total of nine students per coach. While one batch is on track, the other two are in the pits, either recovering from their last session or sitting in the theory class for their next session. The coaches, however, don’t get much of a break at all. They ride with one batch, return to the pits to address each of their three students and then get right back out with the next batch. So while the students run about five sessions on track per day, the coaches run 15. All this in Sepang International Circuit (SIC) and this time is full circuit, unlike the last CSS held in Sepang was only North Track
Despite this, the coaches consistently catch mistakes you didn’t even know you were making and remember to look out for you and solve these issues in your next session. The entire process is just incredible!
WHAT BIKE SHOULD I RIDE?
The ideal scenario is to ride your own personal machine, whatever it may be. The goal at CSS is not just to learn how to ride fast but to ride better and safer. The speed comes as a natural by-product. Learning on a machine that you are comfortable with and one that you intend to ride in the real world is ideal. However, if you absolutely cannot get your motorcycle to the racetrack, there is a brace of Rental bikes that you could get from us or directly from CSS on a first come first basis.
Good things don’t come cheap and at USD1500 (RM6265) (SGD2052) for two days, CSS qualifies as a very good thing indeed! Yes, that is a very large sum of money but consider it an investment that will reward you over years of motorcycling. It is, however, worth remembering that CSS imparts a wealth of information in just two days. It is vital to note it down and practice all these lessons after the school to make them a part of your riding instinct. CSS will be back Sepang on the 5th and 6th of July 2019 and there is usually overwhelming demand for the limited number of seats. Personal and group registration can be done with us. We will rebate USD50 from our own pocket, so grab your seat NOW.
Whatsapp +6018-356-0601 for more information.