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About JS818

  • Rank
    Cornering Apprentice
  • Birthday 07/13/1970

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Los Angeles
  • Interests
    Riding-SCUBA-Training my Dog-Television-Great/Good Whiskey & Tequila

Previous Fields

  • Have you attended a California Superbike School school?
    Yes Willow Springs Oct 2013

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  1. Hey Stefan: Enjoy your stay here in the States. I have done the Laguna 2 day camp twice and it is a REALLY fantastic time all the way around. I drove up from LA and have stayed at this place both times: http://www.sandcastleinnseaside.com/ It's one town over and from the current photos it looks like they upgraded the rooms, but consider it more of a Budget Style hotel. A bit more than a 20 Min drive Hotel Parking lot to Parking your car at the Track. Very close to all of the good stuff in Monterey proper. Current Rates are showing as $90ish USD per night and of course there will also be Taxes as well. The area in general is not cheap when it comes to lodging. If you are looking to save a few bucks look into it. I would stay there again next year if the Schedule allows...like I said it is an Outstanding couple of days! ENJOY! P.S. Nice Photo
  2. Thanks! Your coaching at Streets was fantastic, really helpful and I had a blast working with you. I had not been on anything that large so the guidance keeping me on point and away from bad habits out of the gate and getting a feel for it in that environment has made it a really great experience. No steering damper, just a basic preload and rebound adjustment, 2008 ABS, Hella miles on it...I call it pleasantly unrefined. Bringing that back to school next time! #cssbuttonwillow2018
  3. I brought my bike. I was the bald guy on the F800GT and sitting mostly to your left during our L4 Consultant breakdowns. (You were also my Coach last year at Streets on the old CHP bike. Another great day!) It was a really great combination of corners to work on. That fast sweeper ended up being my least favorite, but really helped me on my wide view to slow it down. The 3-4-5 Combination ended up being the most fun for me after the first session and I found some RP's for it I liked. Probably also doesn't hurt that it was the closest to a street speed-ish set and that's where I spend 96% of my time riding (3% Parking Lots & 1% Track). Really fun having that many corners to practice on and as always came away with more understanding and great actionable stuff I will integrate into my plans and execution. Underrated: there is so much fantastic info one picks up just listening to other Riders, Coaches, Consultants discussing what they are working on as well.
  4. 6-13 School at Buttonwillow was Awesome! Track layout was really, really fun and facility setup was great. TOTALLY worth the little bit of extra distance from the Los Angeles area and getting to Streets. Fantastic day! This is a Selfish Campaign for another day there on the 2018 schedule...
  5. Received. Didn't compare to the old MC column but, 2 cents: seemed like it was longer and able to get into more detail. (Could just be my own Confirmation Bias.) I'll enjoy them as often as y'all will send them.
  6. I'm doing a day of Super-Moto Class at the beginning of next month, looking forward adding some sliding experience to the folder. I've also been doing a bunch of low(er) speed stuff. I started participating in local Gymkhana days last year and I practice that with Motor Officer cone patterns I got from a DVD Program and the web in the parking lot down the street from my house for an hour or so every Sunday possible. That has been challenging, fun and cheap...just the cost of fuel and a $40 investment in marker cones (I recommend the Disc style, I have yet to dump it running them over many times at almost full lock) and sidewalk chalk. It has really helped me with my visual skills and throttle control. Low speeds and extreme bike lean gives you a new appreciation for your overall feel with everything. Learning to ignore the engine hiccups, sputters, bike chug, mini front end slides over the car spot greasy patches, clunking the bars on the steering stops and trusting the bike to not fall over has made me significantly more comfortable at regular speed. Physically I started doing a gymnastics based training as a combo for strength and flexibility, walking the dogs with a back pack loaded with some weight plates to develop better conditioned legs. I also spend a bit practicing Wide View attention shifting when out walking as well. If you're going to be walking regardless why not increase the return on the investment of time & effort you've already committed to? Final Mental workouts have been figuring out a way to make it to more CSS Days this year
  7. Makes total sense. When at the School some of the most beneficial drills for me have been ones where we did them as "Brackets" as you are mentioning. Having a specific Plan to do "X" Activity (regardless of what it is) a little earlier or later frees up the Mental space or allows you to dedicate plenty of your $10 of attention on observing the products you are creating. When in the moment and at speed one has a limited amount of attention bucks left, if any, so you end up with a product but missing info on how you got it. Goes for both good and bad results.
  8. I just changed my DirecTV account yesterday to get BeIN for this year's MotoGP but even then you have to dig into the searches to find it. At least that was my experience. Velocity has carried BSB but last year the season was pretty far in before they start showing the races. It is surprisingly easy to find the Motocross stuff on DirecTV. With DirecTV I have found the best bet is to search "Motorcycle Racing." You get a bunch of individual listings under that category and you can go in and pick individually. FIM, M****er E****y Motocross, AMSOIL and MotoGP. Just searching for MotoGP can be, um...frustrating.
  9. I am going. Should be fairly easily found as the (better be) smooth, but somewhat slow riding back-marker on an 800. Seems like a fun event and will be a branch out for me as I have only really spent time at the track for School and Break In Day. Having done Willow (Big and a bunch of Streets), The Ridge and Laguna a few times, I feel like I have a grip on the general environment. Having seen a few videos and read a few things online I am interested in doing a 2 up ride with Nate as an educational experience if it is possible. P.S. Hotfoot You got my vote during the competition last year. Was a great story to follow.
  10. Much like I used to coach my clients when I was a personal trainer, no matter what part of your body you wanted to work on the most, it's all about the legs. Strong, stable base is key...just like a house, it starts with the foundation. It's a fantastic benefit as a rider that the best way to provide that anchor is with the largest muscle group in the entire body, and they naturally wrap around the bike...Quads. Mentally I always say to myself when things get hairy on the 405 or coming around a hairpin on Topanga Canyon (using a Suzanne Somers famous tag line from late 80's TV)..."Thank You Thighmaster." Thighs squeeze and it instantly relaxes the whole upper body and that travels all the way up arms, trapezius, which connects to the neck and ultimately the brain. At least for me. Handlebars are the thing you'll grab and I've found one will also likely slide further forward on the seat. That means tight and locked, hunched over, not flat on the tank...making your body position on the bike even worse, which will makes the bike feel even worse and you get one gnarly negative feedback loop. Been there. I'm coming up on a year of riding in Sept and I have been astounded by the intensity of the mental aspect of it all. The CSS training has helped immensely but even having the knowledge was only somewhat of a help at first. It took Miles and miles of Saddle Time, plus repetition to develop real comfort. Even after Level 1 & 2 I still felt on the edge of control at 55 on the highway with all of the stimulus. Crossing 55 was freaky but things settled, then it was over 60, etc. Now I'm fine till I get to 85ish. Haven't been able to go further with comfort yet. For the blue collar analogy it's been like developing callouses. You have to rub and chafe a bit doing a new activity. It hurts and isn't pleasant but your mind and body adapt till it's an integrated part of you that is now protected and able to do the job at hand with no discomfort. Another analogy I like it's like upgrading the processor on your computer. You're running too many programs on the current machine and things are running bogged, slow, unit is overheating and you're frustrated. For me it seems to happen after taking a few days off riding, somehow your brain and body upgrade a the Core few GHZ, pack in some extra RAM and you're able to run all the programs much smoother now. The buzz in the bars and pegs from the rain rails now not isn't distracting. The rough throttle blips are more smooth. The pavement bumps and subsequent shakes aren't as unsettling. You get a Wide View when you hit the starter button and start rolling. I'm trying to become more comfortable moving around on the bike. I have found I have to police myself because I have a tendency to slide forward in the saddle quite a bit and it puts me in bad position. They very nicely put a buttcheek shaped cutout on my bike's seat as it transitions to the Pinion section and so long as I slide back and lock on from there everything flows very nicely (I'm guessing that's why it's there). Going to re-take Level III in Sept because those are threads I would really like to get tied together into a good strong rope. I do struggle with not feeling comfortable with my upper body over the side of the bike. I end up looking down at the open pavement too often as I move out of the upright position for a second and that can make me tighten up a bit. Really focusing on looking for my exit point has helped me keep my head up.
  11. Late to the post, but as a noob...I think with Both questions, Good Beginner Bike and Experience for the school are well answered by asking another question as the jumping off point. "Why did you decide to ride a motorcycle?" and "Why do you want to come to the school?" For many of the people I've known that ride the image imbued with what they ride is so tightly inertwined with (or in some cases as/more important than) the experience of riding it is not something that can be easily, if at all separated. As a noob I sat on I can't even remember how many bikes because I wanted to be completely comfortable in seat height, riding position, bike weight, etc so I could concentrate on riding and not be distracted by any other factors. I test rode a BMW F800GT and LOVED IT. Bike fit like a glove, seat height, Clutch, gearbox, layout, feel...it took every ounce of willpower to not write them a check right then and there. BUT...while considering my first purchase I was constantly thinking about the fact I didn't have experience beyond doing some dirtbiking 25 years ago on closed logging trails in sleepy New Hampshire and taking the MSF course. I would also be riding around the streets of Los Angeles where one's margin for error is slim to none with the idiot drivers out here and a mistake with a heavier and bigger 800 bike would be exponetially larger than one on a much smaller 250. Add on how bummed I would be when dropping a $13K bike vs a $4k one. Sat on a CBR and it fit me great, I test rode a Ninja 250 so I knew what the 250 was like and bought the CBR. EVERYONE told me not to buy a bike that small. The guy at the BMW Dealership said "Even if you don't buy a bike from me, please...please don't buy a 250. You'll be bored in less than 6 months." After having the bike for awhile I think while everyone meant well, everyone was wrong. I understand why people said it and especially after doing the school I look forward to eventually getting a bigger bike. However, it was/is the right choice for me and the more time I've spent with it I have a hard time seeing how it wouldn't be the best choice for just about everyone to start when it comes to the learning how to ride aspect. The 250 is extremely forgiving and it allows a rider to invest their $10.00 of attention on elements other than the operation bike itself. Miss a shiftpoint, hit the throttle a little hard no big deal. Roll-off you slow fast, doesn't take much brakes to have a major impact, Awesome at traffic lights. You can keep your focus on your turns, traffic, pedestrians, the roadway as you learn what is important in the real world and what isn't. Is it great for highways, no...but you have plenty of manuverability and so long as you focus on your gearing, with a downshift you can access plenty of juice. Now would a potential H.D. buyer find the experience of riding thrilling enough after spending time starting on an import 250 ? Would they even entertain the idea of a smaller import bike?? Would a sport biker that has their heart set on a Gixxer find a small Ninja or CBR enough of a buzz rolling on heavy in second gear or 1st off the line enough to start with, then continue with a bigger bike? It also comes down to the $ question. Totally agree with Mike D. I am fortunate enough to be in a position to be able to make a choice to buy a 250 to start and lose some money stepping up as I progress. Though I don't see it as a loss on the $ side, I see it as an investment in myself and my skills as a rider. Many will probably not share that opinon. Factor in the extranenous costs with the intelligent riders with a good Helmet, gloves, jacket, pants, it becomes a more complicated subject when you break it down. My vote would be if one can find a way mentally and financially, start on a 250 it's PLENTY of fun as you're learning. As far as attending the school is the person there to go fast/learn to go fast/race? Do they want to learn how to corner/be a better rider? It also becomes an issue for the School: What strikes the proper balance for the majority of the riders? How many newer/slower riders can be accomodated before creating a drag on the track session learning and by proxy everyone's experience? There are standards but is it better served by a case by case basis. I came to the school with fewer miles than the usual 2k requirement, but I had a specific and focused attitude and those miles were done in Full Los Angeles traffic. Read Twist 1 & 2 and completely changed the way I mentally and mechanically related to the bike. After absorbing and practicing the techniques did some canyon runs including (for the Cali Folk) Coldwater, Laurel and then finally Topanga. Most of my friends that ride felt I didn't have enough experience to make the school worth doing. To me it was the key reason to go to the school, to get experience in how to do things right before developing bad habits. I could lay a fantastic foundation while I was still mentally and phsyically a malleable lump of riding clay. I wasn't attending to learn how to just go faster or as a potential racer, just wanted to learn the techniques to be the best rider possible. I say that made my relative lack of miles a non-factor and I got a TON out of the school. Now I was the slowest person on track for sure, so that kind of dovetails into a bigger picture question for the School in general. Was my relatively low speed/lack of experience a detriment to the other people on-track that may not have been able to ride as fast as they wanted, having to go slower and sometimes manuver around me? Did it affect what they got out of their learning experience at the school? How would that affect their decision to come back for more training? Am I a bigger detriment than some of the riders there that ended up running over their heads and crashed? I crashed as well (I think there were 5 of us that did over the weekend) but it was on the slowest section of the track and at the lowest possible speed so I was under my head. Would more miles under my belt before attending have prevented it? Given what I was working on skills-wise gut says no. Regardless of miles there is another aspect with riders stepping up to a bike that could be more than double in size of what they usually ride if the are using the school's machines. You can have plenty of miles with a 500 and then you're coming into a new environment with an unfamiliar bike that's heavier and bigger...how does that affect a rider? As one of them I was slightly intimidated, BUT the 1000 handled so beautifully precise on so little input it was a transcendent experience for me. Though I don't think I ever took it past 3rd maybe 4th gear so kept it under my 80%. Spent 90% of my time on the school's 800 though (and that's what I crashed) because my riding style was going to be in the more upright position so I wanted my training to reflect what the majority of my riding position would be in. Lots of variables to consider in both questions. Regardless, I just signed up for Willow in April '14 and can't wait to continue the learning experience!
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