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khp

Another Lurker Coming Out Of The Woodworks...

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Hi all,

 

OK, first posting since registering almost a year ago. I've been riding some 15 years now, been reading Keith's books for about 10 years and finally bit the bullet and attended the Level 1 & 2 at Gälleråsen (Sweden) in May this year. Planned for attending Level 3&4 next your, but then I read that Keith was coming over to the UK in July .... well, let's just say it's a 24hour drive from Copenhagen to Silverstone :lol: in my van.

 

I do plenty of trackdays but have never been racing. My major priorities are to have fun out there on the track and hopefully improve my laptimes a bit - cut off 3 seconds on Ring Knutstorp this year (down from 1:15 to 1:12 - FWIW, national champ level laptimes are around 1:00 flat).

 

Kai (that 6'6" guy in white leathers & a blue R1/R6)

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Welcome to the forum Kai, don't be afraid to ask questions, I've found everyone to be very helpful, with the bonus of having regular coach participation.

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Hi KHP,

 

Thank you for posing on the forum.

 

Keith did come over to see us in the UK last July (well, technically, this July 2009). As of yet I am not aware what his plans are for 2010. A UK visit could be on the cards as I know he would also like to see the schools in Greece.

 

The best Idea is to keep an eye on the UK website www.superbikeschool.co.uk and if we have any news on that it will be posted there.

 

All the best and good to hear from you again,

 

Andy Ibbott

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Hi Andy,

 

Keith did come over to see us in the UK last July (well, technically, this July 2009).

 

He most certainly did! - I've got both his and your autograph in your "Performance Riding Techniques" book as well as this photo by picman to boot:

post-15296-1262021225_thumb.jpg

 

Hope to see you again at Gälleråsen!

 

Cheers,

Kai

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Hi Kai,

 

Well, glad to see you have come out of the closet! :).

 

We don't have a ton of guys up here from Sweden (none that are admitting it anyway), what's it like riding there, how many tracks, what kind of shape are they in, what's the hot bike, is Keith popular there?

 

Best,

Cobie

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We don't have a ton of guys up here from Sweden (none that are admitting it anyway), what's it like riding there, how many tracks, what kind of shape are they in, what's the hot bike, is Keith popular there?

 

Actually, I live in Denmark, but that's a minor issue.

 

The lower part of Sweden, which is the part I know, is very much like Denmark - rolling hills, patches of woods, fairly narrow roads. Norway, on the other hand, has plenty of mountains and canyons - pick any 3-digit "Riksvei" (national road) and you're in for a good time in the saddle. But still plenty of narrow roads :)

 

Denmark has just 3 asphalt tracks, all located on the Jutland peninsular and very rarely open to trackdays. The biggest track, Jyllandsringen, is located next to a bird conservation area and a very large camper area. Well, let's just say that it goes downwards from there. So it's not a surprise that most Danes travel to Sweden or Germany to go track riding.

 

We are fortunate enough to have quite a few Swedish tracks close to Denmark - Falkenberg, Ring Knutstorp, Sturup Raceway as well as Scandinavian Raceway in Anderstorp where Formula 1 and GP500 was held back in the 70'ies/80'ies. I think Wayne's lap record from 1990 still holds (1.31'107).

 

Sweden has quite a number of other tracks, but not easily accessible from Denmark. With the notable exception of Anderstorp (4km) and Ring Gotland (the North loop is 3.2km, with a projected south loop adding 4.2km to that), most tracks are short, technical and often with elevation changes.

 

I don't think that Keith is that well known - you have to be a bit into trackdays or racing to know him. The cruiser guys mostly think that us sportsbike people are nutters :lol: . Many motorcyclist go to locally based courses, such as SMC's Braking/curves course (BKK) or the Danish DMC's safe-driving courses.

Since SMC have started the sportsbike courses, which has been heavily influenced by Twist-2 indirectly through the Norwegian book "Full Kontroll", Keith and the Twist books are likely to become better known and undoubtedly more popular.

 

Somehow, Denmark has a much more scattered offering of courses, with noone really picking up the gauntlet from Twist-2.

We have some that try to teach cornering, but they do not provide a very structured approach - everything depends on which instructor you are assigned. (I can safely say this since I've not only attended the course, but know a number of the instructors first hand).

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Hi KHP,

 

Excellent informative post. I had no real idea of what goes on there.

 

I have tons of questions, but just a few for now: Are there more cruiser riders than sportbike riders (if you know). What are the reliable months for riding, what is the season? What brand/brands of motorcycles are most popular there? Are track days very popular, are they easy to get on, or not so easy?

 

Best,

Cobie

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Hi Cobie,

Excellent informative post. I had no real idea of what goes on there.

 

I have tons of questions, but just a few for now: Are there more cruiser riders than sportbike riders (if you know). What are the reliable months for riding, what is the season? What brand/brands of motorcycles are most popular there? Are track days very popular, are they easy to get on, or not so easy?

 

I have just today been trying to find out the ratios are between the various bike types (or rider types, if you like) here in Denmark, but I didn't succeed. When I get that info, I'll let you know.

 

Suzuki is quite popular in Denmark, since the distributor normally gets some really good deals on the bikes - combine that with a 180% tax, and they quickly much much cheaper than the rivalling Japanese bikes. Honda had a big market share 10 years back, but somehow they've decided that they were able to demand higher prices for their bikes - big surprise, they weren't.

The beemers have always been popular with the guys that want a "two-wheeled bus, cabriolet", in spite of their ridiculous prices. I'm not very much into the cruiser types, but I believe that most people choose the jap wannabee bikes over the Harleys, since the Harleys tend to be associated with gangs and gang related crime (Bandidos and Hells Angels).

 

Trackdays: there are a number of providers, and the total number of days you can attend seems to have gone up over the last 10 years. Probably has to do with the proliferation of the Internet - now it's much easier to spread the message to more riders, so it's easier to get attendance from more riders. Overall, I would say that the trackdays are reasonably easy to get one. There are specific schools which have been around for 10+ years which are hard to get on, simply because they only run 4 schooldays every year.

 

Regards, Kai

 

Reliable months: this is Denmark, are you kidding me? :lol: - we get wind & rain at the same sickening rate as the British do.

Generally, the motorcycling season is considered to be from March to October, but since we can get night-frost (and the municipality spraying salt on the roads to de-ice them) up until late April, many riders wait until at least April to drag out their bike.

 

Pretty much the same goes for southern Sweden. If you go the 500km due north to get to the level of Stockholm (Sweden) and Oslo (Norway), you can cut out about a month in both ends (Been There, Done That).

Go another 400km north again to Trondheim (Norway) and you can at least cut another fortnight away in both ends.

Go further 350km and say hello to the Arctic Circle :)

Since they now have the possibility of midnight sun, the 6-7' of snow can disappear pretty quickly - but it can also be quite cold, so best option is to check the forecast even in the midst of the summer.

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Welcome to the forum... it's really interesting to hear what the sportbike scene is there. Can't get my head around the 180% tax!

Thanks, stevo.

 

Actually, it's just Denmark that weird with the taxes - Sweden don't have any registration taxes on cars and bikes.

 

Legend has it that originally the tax was a "luxury tax" in Denmark, but suddenly the government got caught up in relying on the income. These days the arguments are "vehicle pollute a lot", "Without a high tax we would have an congestion problems", and "we need the revenue". The unspoken issue is also that without a local car production, a high registration tax effectively limits the flow of money out of the country.

 

On the flip side, we do have free (as in gratis) education all the way up to university and free health care. Most Americans go ballistic when they hear this the first time, but when they've stayed for a while in Scandinavia, they come to appreciate they tradeoffs made.

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...but when they've stayed for a while in Scandinavia, they come to appreciate they tradeoffs made.

I hope to visit someday. I have a friend who is a classical musician based in the U.K. and plays concerts there frequently and absolutely loves Denmark. I wasn't aware of what riding opportunities were there, so now I'll make sure to bring my helmet!

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Not sure how much 180% tax is but in Melbourne it costs around $500 per year, some cars cost less to register

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Welcome to the forum... it's really interesting to hear what the sportbike scene is there. Can't get my head around the 180% tax!

 

Yeah, agree with you on that--big tax. We live in the desert in Southern Calif, so really can ride year round if we like. When it gets down to 50 degrees F, we think it's cold and don't ride much--I know, I know, wimps. But, when you can ride year round, very little rain, you can be a bit more picky.

 

It's fascinating all of the different people on the forum now, and what riding is like for them. Love to visit there sometime, meet with the riders (and in Dubai too--hope to miss those really hot days though!).

 

Best,

CF

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