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Can Css Handle Almost New Riders?


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I'd love to take the class, or the two day seminar, WITH my beautiful wife. I've been riding for years and would be very comfortable taking the class and blasting around. However, my wife, who has her MC license, usually rides right at, or below, the speed limit, slows way down for corners and looks very stiff on the bike. I'm actually a little afraid for her riding on the street because she seems so hesitant that I wonder what she would do in an emergency. Can CSS help a rider like her? On the other hand, she is an experienced passenger and has never been uncomfortable at the fairly normal speed I ride, including some swoopy curvy stuff on wet mountain roads. Would CSS be a good place for her to get more comfortable on the bike? Is there a group for riders like her?

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I'd love to take the class, or the two day seminar, WITH my beautiful wife. I've been riding for years and would be very comfortable taking the class and blasting around. However, my wife, who has her MC license, usually rides right at, or below, the speed limit, slows way down for corners and looks very stiff on the bike. I'm actually a little afraid for her riding on the street because she seems so hesitant that I wonder what she would do in an emergency. Can CSS help a rider like her? On the other hand, she is an experienced passenger and has never been uncomfortable at the fairly normal speed I ride, including some swoopy curvy stuff on wet mountain roads. Would CSS be a good place for her to get more comfortable on the bike? Is there a group for riders like her?

Crash, that's a tricky question.

 

If she is very hesitant at braking and evasive manouvres (basically counter-steering), then I would advice that she starts with a course that focuses on that*, to bring her up a couple of notches. Once she is comfortable with those manouvres, bring her on to CSS.

 

*) You didn't state where you're living, so I can't recommend a course for her.

 

All the best,

 

Kai

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Dear Kai,

 

Thanks for your input. We live near Charlotte, North Carolina. The local H-D dealership runs the MSF based "Rider's Edge" course, and we could make it up to Tennessee for the "ARC" at Dragon Safe Enterprises. She's had the MSF "Beginning Rider" training once (years ago). I've taken the MSF "Advance Rider" course twice (once on my 400 and once on my 1200). Any suggestions would be welcome.

 

Best wishes,

Crash106

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Crash (what a log-in name!);

 

There is a tightrope she needs to walk regarding when to attend the School. IF she manages all of the control inputs without consciously thinking about them ["OK now Let the clutch out..."] and she doesn't rattle easily then she is a strong cantidate IMHO. As a student of over two dozen schools and a Corner Worker for the past four seasons I can tell you that there can be a wide disparity in skill and experience levels at the Superbike School but it is a condition that the School manages seamlessly every day.

 

One way is the tight control that Course Control maintains over the track for every session and I can assure you that the 6' passing rule is strictly enforced. Another key is that every student is there to learn something and not to race with each other which is a dramatic difference from attending a Track Day with a local club. The other observation I will share is that as a Corner Worker, I get to see the progress that all three groups make over the course of the day and it is simply dramatic how much the entire student body advances by the end of the day. At the two-day camps it is even more dramatic so the key is to attend as soon as she feels she can manage it because it just means that there will be fewer things that she will have to un-learn when she does attend. DAMHIK

 

Rainman

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I wouldn't recommend it. Speaking with my wife, who is very comfortable doing track type riding in a parking lot we set up on Sundays, does ride on the street some, and wants to do a trackday, but there is no way I'd recommend she does the school. She'd be more focused on just getting the bike around the track, and wouldn't really benefit. If she does end up doing a trackday, and is or gets comfortable, I'd get her to do the school.

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I'd like to echo Kevin's comments We do have riders of all levels come to the school, I've seen people who've literally past their test that week turn up and work on the drills. You can ce sure that the environment is safe, and we're able to improve people of all levels.

 

There is however, one thing I'd stipulate, and that would be there has to be real willigness to learn, be open to us making ammendments, improvements to her technqiue. If she's open to that, her coach and the team are more than capable of nurturing her, and to be honest, these kind of students can quite incredible levels of progress, confidence and new found love for their riding. Will she walk away great track rider, probably not, but, she'll learn things, feel more in control and happier as result.

 

One observation I've made over the years, is be sure it's something she wants to do for herself. i've seen many a couple where the bloke's really into it, wants to do the school and brings the significant other somewhat against their will. That can lead to tears and all sorts of emotioanl turmoils for you, so I'd just make sure she's doing it for her.

 

Hope that helps, any other questions.

 

Bullet

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Thanks Bullet. You made some very smart comments. When we talked more about the school and the feedback, she said she would be glad to take the school when she buys her next bike--assuming it has a shifter. She rides my Burgman maxi-scooter now and loves the easy control. At the same time, she tells me how uncomfortable she is coming into corners, how she slows down A LOT and wishes it felt more comfortable. We'll see. If she comes, she'll need to ride her own ride. Just put her in a different group and we'll be fine. Thanks to everyone for their input.

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Hi Crash,

 

The point has been covered with some different views for sure. We have had fairly new riders, but as was pointed out earlier, attention on shifting or the other control actions of the bike--if they are still putting a lot of attention on them, then more experience would be needed (small dirt bikes can help with this too).

 

Another point on if the student is "ready" or not. My wife came to the school and has done it 4 times. When I asked her initially about the other riders, they didn't bother her at all, but for some other riders going around can be distracting. If you did decide to bring her, and could swing it, the 2-day camp is the easiest step into this kind of riding, and some tracks can be a little better than others for this. For example, the Vegas infield course can get a litte cozy at times.

 

Good idea on being in different groups, know what you mean!

 

Best,

CF

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I'd like to echo Kevin's comments We do have riders of all levels come to the school, I've seen people who've literally past their test that week turn up and work on the drills. You can ce sure that the environment is safe, and we're able to improve people of all levels.

 

There is however, one thing I'd stipulate, and that would be there has to be real willigness to learn, be open to us making ammendments, improvements to her technqiue. If she's open to that, her coach and the team are more than capable of nurturing her, and to be honest, these kind of students can quite incredible levels of progress, confidence and new found love for their riding. Will she walk away great track rider, probably not, but, she'll learn things, feel more in control and happier as result.

 

One observation I've made over the years, is be sure it's something she wants to do for herself. i've seen many a couple where the bloke's really into it, wants to do the school and brings the significant other somewhat against their will. That can lead to tears and all sorts of emotioanl turmoils for you, so I'd just make sure she's doing it for her.

 

Hope that helps, any other questions.

 

Bullet

 

Hey Crash,

 

I want to support what Bullet said. The first time I came to school I was riding right about the same level you describe in your post. I was comfortable with shifting but very tense and slow through corners, nervous about traffic, and not very willing to really get on the gas. I called the office with questions like: "will I be able to manage a 600? What if my feet don't touch the ground?" However, it was ME that made the decision to come to the school, and I brought my husband along with me. I wanted to learn to ride a 600cc bike. If I had been dragged to the school, I would have been scared half to death and probably inclined to blame whoever talked me into coming!

 

But, here's the thing - my coach (it was Stuman, incidentally) was patient and it was very easy to trust him, and I did the drills at a slow-to-moderate speed, and by God, I improved so much in one day it was... well, I don't know how to describe it, but I fell in love with the sport, came back for lots of schools, and now I can hold my own at any track day (in the fast group!) and I even have done some racing. My husband got hooked, too, we do lots of trackdays and some races together. I am SOOOO glad I came to the school, my confidence shot up instantly and has continued to grow with every school day.

 

Here's something to consider - look for a used Ninja 250, maybe around 3-5 years old. They are easy to find, really inexpensive, have a VERY low seat height, and are super easy to ride and learn on. The older bikes (not sure about the 07-08 models) have weak-but-adequate brakes and weak-but-adequate acceleration, which means you can get really confident with gas and brakes because it is really hard to overdo either one. If your wife is short, she will really appreciate the confidence of being able to get both feet flat on the ground. Anyway, the Ninja is a cheap and easy way to get comfortable with a sportbike, because the controls are the same - a nice step between a no-shift scooter and a 600cc class bike. Coming to school with little or no experience with shifting could be a big distraction - I can tell you that on my first day I was hopelessly worried about dropping the rented ZX6R in the parking lot (because it felt so TALL!) and that sort of worry is exhausting.

 

Good luck with it - and BTW, if your wife wants to talk with a gal who has been there, shoot me a PM and I will send you my email and phone number.

 

HF

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