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Level 1 @ Las Vegas - Pointers?


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I'm registered for the Oct 30-31 2-Day at Las Vegas. I've got the hotel booked and I'm watching and re-watching A Twist of the Wrist 2 that I bought on Amazon. I'm not a bucket list kind of guy, but I've been wanting to take a CSS course for years. I've never done a track day, but I lived in north Georgia for many years and practiced and challenged myself on different bikes in the GA-NC-TN region. I took the BMW Performance Riding School course in Greer, SC, had a chance to ride the RR, and ever since I've been counting the months until I could ride a track-ready RR on a real course. My question is about being a Level 1 for a CSS 2-Day. Other than my riding skivvies and boots, should I really just show up? As in, don't bother bringing personal gear other than a helmet? I can't say I have track standard leathers or gloves, though I just bought a Sedici one-piece just because. Comments?

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For the 2 day camps basically everything is provided including helmet. Bring a well rested body and an undersuit and you're set. :) Obviously any gear of your own that you brought is open for you to use but you don't need it.

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2 hours ago, yakaru said:

For the 2 day camps basically everything is provided including helmet. Bring a well rested body and an undersuit and you're set. :) Obviously any gear of your own that you brought is open for you to use but you don't need it.

Perfect. Well rested with riding undergear I can do. Might as well get the full experience if that's included in the fee, right?

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Though October in Vegas will likely be nice weather, I’d bring a fitted thermal base layer (top and bottom that’ll fit under your suit) just in case. Unlikely that time of year but the desert can get cold. 
 

I don’t know your age or fitness, but I typically spend some time on fitness and conditioning (especially my lower body) before 2-3 days with CSS - cycling and/or a stationary bike, core strength, plus stretching.  Day 2 can be brutal sore if you’re not in track shape already. 
 

You’ll have a blast!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Really need some input on single vs. two day camps: Never done a track day - would rather take a course with CSS than “wing-it.” Have done several other training courses - but nothing like CSS. I’ve read reviews that suggest two-days are too intense for first timers and recommend the single day camp to do first. Also read the opposite opinion, suggesting two-day camps are better for first timers, more time, training etc. Been riding three years. As far as being physically ready (idk?) I workout 6 - 7 days a week, (a lot of cardio/some weight training) not sure what level of endurance you need. There is also a cost difference to consider- which is why I would greatly appreciate some input. Also, I’m a female rider and wondering what gear they have available- and if I need to buy a track suit...Thank you!

 

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They have full gear, so the same undersuit suggestion applies to women as men. 

as for school vs camp: I get a lot more from the camps, personally, and favor them for the increased time per day on the track to refine things. But it’s something I can see others wanting more “processing time” for the lessons or not physically prepared for two full days of riding having the opposite opinion. In the end though I’d say it’s probably not a drastic difference either way — both will be effective so pick the one that you think sounds more appealing or fits your schedule better. 

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Hi Merritt C

You'll love your time on track with the superbike school!

I disagree that the Two-day camp is too intense for first-timers.  I attended a two-day camp with just 10 months of riding experience and loved it.  The coaches will look after you on-track, as will course control and the instructors in the classroom too.  They are a great team who want the best for your time there.  Personally, I found the two-day camp really lets you soak up all the information like a sponge then practice at your leisure in your own riding time.  You also have two days with the same coach to improve your riding at your pace, as opposed to going flat out on one day and burning out!  The 2:1 student:coach ratio is fantastic as you get a lot of track time with them which was the selling point for me and worth the extra cash!  

I also agree with yakura that you can get more from being in a dedicated learning environment for those two days so there is less time spent travelling to and from track on different days, but, as she points out it depends on your learning style and schedule.

The kit they use is great, boots, back protectors, etc.  I haven't ridden the 2020 BMW RR but the previous versions were amazingly user-friendly.  I was picturing ending up in A&E having never ridden a sportsbike or been on track before, but they were actually easier to ride than my own.  

I have done one-day schools also and they are great, but after having done a camp it is very obvious there are fewer track sessions, less time with the coach on track and there are more bodies on track.  The only issue I had with the camp was at the end of the very last session of the last day I was gassed!  You sound like a fit lady (fitter than I was!) so I doubt you would have any dramas there - I would say turn up rested, hydrated and go for it!

 

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Posted (edited)

Even though this will be my first CSS course, I took the BMW Performance Riding School a couple years ago and it convinced me I wanted/needed more. That one-day course was a long 8+ hours, filled with close to 30 riders of different skill levels, and somewhat exhausting, but from a pace and patience perspective. Not that I'm an expert rider. I'm smart enough to know I'm not. But I've taken all the MSF course levels, I work on my skills with purpose on some of my rides, and I found myself getting frustrated at the BMW course because I realized I had a higher level of riding confidence than more than half of that class of students. So putting 30 people on a track together was not as beneficial for me as I'd hoped. Did I learn how to do circus tricks like riding side-saddle, switching legs and standing on the opposite side foot peg, and learning ambidextrous things on a street bike? Sure, but I wouldn't do that on MY bike, so I didn't gain value from those "confidence building" techniques. With 30 people there was just too much waiting around, bikes in queue lines, long-winded question and answer sessions, and slowing down to coddle people who had REALLY BAD habits and technique. The best part was getting to ride a 2018 S1000RR on a track. Sure, it was stock, but that machine was far above my ability, and riding it made me want more. It practically drove itself. 


I'm coming into this CSS course with goals in mind like overcoming my SRs about panic/emergency braking, working on my left turn technique at speed (since it's not as good as turning right), overcoming my SR/fear about sliding because the paved roads I ride tend to have cinder debris or poor maintenance, looking through corners, and selecting the best turn-in mark. Trying to think through those things is too much for a one day course.

Edited by SilverTongueJim
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Based on your email above, I'd say go for a 2 day camp. More time with your coach, fewer riders on track, and a busy schedule with LOTS of riding time.

At either a 2 day camp or 1 day school you will always be allowed to ride at your own pace, and not required to wait for other riders or adjust your pace to others (except in the very first couple of laps of the day which are sighting laps so you can get a look at the track, where the flags are located, etc.)

Full disclosure, just so you know what to expect, even on a 2 day camp the morning of the first day can feel a little slow, due to registration, getting people suited up, first classroom, and first ride rotation (especially if you aren't in the first group out), however once things really get rolling you go into a track/classroom rotation that goes fast and gets you tons and tons of track time.

I've done schools similar to what you describe above, waiting in line to do each exercise or having to ride in groups with no passing, etc., it definitely can strain your patience especially if you are a real enthusiast with a higher skill level... the CSS experience is much different and I have no doubt that you will have a blast.

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If you weren't excited and a bit nervous, you'd be a...non-human :).

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  • 1 month later...

How was your experience Jim?

I just got back from the 2 day camp Level 3-4 and had a blast.

Met lots of good people.

I had Hotfoot and Cobie as coaches and I tested their patience, but Keith put me up to it.

Thanks again to both of you.

Learned a lot, practiced the 3 step again, throttle control, hook to turn, not going too fast on cold tires, but need more training.

Venom will see you all again at Barber on my 61st. birthday week 2021. 

(I'm paying for the photo, so no copyright will be violated)

IMG_2834.JPG

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1 hour ago, Red_Baron said:

How was your experience Jim?

I just got back from the 2 day camp Level 3-4 and had a blast.

Met lots of good people.

I had Hotfoot and Cobie as coaches and I tested their patience, but Keith put me up to it.

Thanks again to both of you.

Learned a lot, practiced the 3 step again, throttle control, hook to turn, not going too fast on cold tires, but need more training.

Venom will see you all again at Barber on my 61st. birthday week 2021. 

(I'm paying for the photo, so no copyright will be violated)

IMG_2834.JPG

I learned an awful lot more about what I already know (got exponentially better at it) and got direct feedback about what I didn't know (learned what tendencies I have and how to correct them). I had to work out more kinks than the typical attendee. I'm used to looking much farther ahead due to open road riding/touring, so the 2-step and 3-step were very important to me for riding on the course in Las Vegas. I've never done a track day, but did the BMW Performance Riding School and rode on their track. But that was a lower-level skill and safety school. This was a racing school. More so than I realized. I wasn't intimidated by any of it. I used to live in north Georgia and rode the GA-TN-NC mountain twisties regularly and carrying speed through turns isn't something unfamiliar. The difference is I didn't (probably still don't) know how high my ceiling is.

I'm 58 so it's not like I want to start racing, but I'm a perfectionist and a safety nut and there's always room to improve and survive the real world off-track. I do plan to take the CSS 2-Day at other tracks. My coaches were Mark and Ben, who were both very good at sharing information and sensing my strengths and weaknesses. By the last two riding sessions on day 2 it was all coming together. I'm a bit headstrong, and did have one near mishap (potentially a really bad situation) that was entirely my fault and a misjudgment of my ability on my second to last lap session. But being an engineer and understanding physics, I caught myself in time to avoid a catastrophe (the other rider didn't feel the same, but he let it go after I apologized profusely). Ben felt (as did I) that my last riding session on day 2 was my best. I'm not an easy student, and everyone at the school was super patient and did their best to keep me thinking positive. The CSS team is REALLY GOOD at their craft.

IMG_1426.JPG

Edited by SilverTongueJim
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Hah, Red Baron, so now you are coming clean, Keith did put you up to it :).

 

 

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