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Experience Level Prerequisite?

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I'm a newer rider (~6500 miles of seat time) and am looking to attend a 2-day school in March in prep for a bunch of planned track days this summer with NESBA. By the end of March, I'll probably be over 8000 miles, weather permitting. Is that enough of a base to build on for the class? I want to make sure I'm in a position to get as much as possible from the trip out west.

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Ryan

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I'm a newer rider (~6500 miles of seat time) and am looking to attend a 2-day school in March in prep for a bunch of planned track days this summer with NESBA. By the end of March, I'll probably be over 8000 miles, weather permitting. Is that enough of a base to build on for the class? I want to make sure I'm in a position to get as much as possible from the trip out west.

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Ryan

 

I too would be really interested in the reply to this question. I started riding back in May. I have a fair amount of experience autocrossing and time trials, but I'm pretty green on a bike. I'll have 3000 miles under my belt by the end of this week. By June when I take the class I plan to have 10000.

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Ryan & Tweek;

 

With the caveat that I am only a multi-school student and not affiliated with the School, I will offer a rider's perspective.

 

Practiaclly speaking, only you can determine if you are ready to attend because there is no "tryout" before you register - it is assumed that you can control a bike when you sign up. A student needs to be comfortable with comand of the bike's controls and need to operate them without "thinking" about operating them because the School is focused on teaching you how to corner a motorcycle, not how to ride one.

 

That said, if you can ride with some confidence, you will learn a ton and your riding will improve dramatically because the "art" of cornering is counter intuitative - you will be taught techiniques to counter what Keith Code labels "Survival Reactions" as your cornering skills advance.

 

One other observation I can share is that if you do decide to sign up, do not be intimitaded by your relative lack of experience. At every school I have ever attended, the gap between the novices and the seasoned riders is as wide as the Grand Canyon and there is never a problem with that fact.

 

My most recent School experience was as a corner worker and I was amazed to watch the improvement of all of the "rookies" as the day progressed. I had a front row seat and came away from that day even more convinced that the Superbike School is the place to learn this "Art".

 

Kevin

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Thanks.

 

I know how to ride at this point. I've taken the MSF class and gotten a class M endorsement. In two weeks I take the experienced riders course. I also commute to and from work on my bike. So I'm pretty confident that I can ride. But I want to be able to Ride. ;) So I'm saving up to go to school

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Guest Guest

Same here, MSF class and M endorsement. My commute is only 3 miles, unfortunately, so most of my seat time is out doing regular riding or errands.

 

My goal with the class is to work on cornering - it's probably my weakest skill. I'm comfortable with the controls, braking, accelerating - is just tend to brake early and turn slower than I should.

 

Knowing it is a skill I need to work on, I can see improvement marked when I focus on it. I'd like instruction so I can get to where it consumes less of my attention... if that makes any sense. :)

 

Ryan

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I'll second what Kevin had to say. I too have been a long time corner worker and Level IV student. Sitting on that corner I've watched riders begin their day, totally afraid to take the corner. But, by the end of the day, they have become so much more confident in their riding abilities.

 

If you're taking the two day camp, at the end of the second day you'll be riding like a real champ.

 

One thing I would suggest that Kevin didn't. Read the books written by Keith. If you study Twist of the Wrist II prior to taking a CSS course, you'll be much more familiar with the terminology you'll be hearing. References to such things as SR's (survival reactions), throttle control and rider input will be familiar words to you.

 

And don't worry about being a newby on the track. We all were newbys at some point. Also, you'll have your coach watching you (and watching after you) to help you master the skills for your riding sessions. Finally, remember that you are at the school to learn the art of cornering.

 

Also, don't forget to have fun when you ride the track with CSS. :D

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Guest Wendy

Kevin and nicenezy's replies are excellent. I'll share my experience.

 

I was very new to riding when I took level 1 (after MSF and ERC with around

2000 miles under my moto belt). It was intimidating to see long time street

and track riders in my class. There were students with less experience

and no track experience too but like Kevin said, the gap between new and

experienced can be big. But everyone was there to learn - I didn't feel

like it was a competitive atmosphere at all. And the ride coaches offered

valuable lessons and they do watch out for you out there. After level 1,

I went back 9 more times :D

 

I'm glad I took the classes early on in my riding life because I didn't have

a lot of bad habits to break (I heard this among some long time riders).

And I learned how to ride and handle the bike better. MSF and ERC

could never offer me what I learned at CSS.

 

Wendy

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Kevin and nicenezy's replies are excellent. I'll share my experience.

 

I was very new to riding when I took level 1 (after MSF and ERC with around

2000 miles under my moto belt). It was intimidating to see long time street

and track riders in my class. There were students with less experience

and no track experience too but like Kevin said, the gap between new and

experienced can be big. But everyone was there to learn - I didn't feel

like it was a competitive atmosphere at all. And the ride coaches offered

valuable lessons and they do watch out for you out there. After level 1,

I went back 9 more times :D

 

I'm glad I took the classes early on in my riding life because I didn't have

a lot of bad habits to break (I heard this among some long time riders).

And I learned how to ride and handle the bike better. MSF and ERC

could never offer me what I learned at CSS.

 

Wendy

 

You have sure worked at it, and your riding shows it :)

 

CF

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I signed up yesterday for the 3/22-3/23 school... can't wait.

 

Ryan

 

Ryan;

 

EXCELLENT! Now don't forget to share your experience with us when you're finished.

 

Kevin

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Ryan;

 

EXCELLENT! Now don't forget to share your experience with us when you're finished.

 

Kevin

 

Will do - if I was patient, I'd have waited till the school was at the Poconos - that's only 3 hours away. If it goes well in Vegas, I'll probably take at least a day when they hold the school up in PA.

 

Ryan

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Will do - if I was patient, I'd have waited till the school was at the Poconos - that's only 3 hours away. If it goes well in Vegas, I'll probably take at least a day when they hold the school up in PA.

 

Ryan

 

I'll see you in Vegas and will be riding the track with you. You'll also see me in my corner watching to see how much you'll improve with each session. :)

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Vegas in March---should be excellent !:)

 

CF

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It looks like I've got the family's approval to go to class. Just a matter of delivering on a few minor bribes....Nothing much ;).

 

The greatest thing is that it has gotten my butt in gear so I'm working out again and watching my diet. My goal is to be in good enough shape that I won't be running out of juice when we get to the second day.

 

So I'll be seeing you guys at Barber in June.

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It looks like I've got the family's approval to go to class. Just a matter of delivering on a few minor bribes....Nothing much ;).

 

The greatest thing is that it has gotten my butt in gear so I'm working out again and watching my diet. My goal is to be in good enough shape that I won't be running out of juice when we get to the second day.

 

So I'll be seeing you guys at Barber in June.

 

Sounds good! Riding can be a good reason to do some training :)

 

Hydration is key, really, really key. Very few drink enough water, and this has a large effect on getting tired on a school day (or elsewhere).

 

See you at Barber!

 

CF

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Guest Mike J

I had less than 500 miles under my belt and had fairly recently learned to "countersteer" the California twisties when it took my first CSB training and graduated as a Level 1 graduate in December 2006. There is no doubt in my heart today that that single day of class was essential to me progressing as a SAFER and more competent rider on the streets of Las Vegas where I live - definitely not very bike friendly territory.

 

Since that time, i've done two separate track days in Pahrump (NV), put about 800 more miles on my Buell XB9Sx and are looking forward to the March 15/16 class at Laguna Seca to acheive my Level 2 & 3.

 

I can't say enough good things about Keith, his Rider Coaches and the Calfornia Superbike School...you are truly made to feel comfortable regardless of one's ability....

 

See you call in Cali in a couple weeks!

 

 

Mike Jabara

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Mike,

 

Only 500 miles, excllent!

 

See you there.

 

Cobie

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One word about the camp - WOW!

 

For those unfamiliar with me, I'm a fairly new rider - I got on a bike for the first time last August at the age of 33 with an MSF class. After that, I put about 3500 miles on an F4i beore getting a Daytona 675. I also picked up a slighty used R6 back in November. Te 675 now has about 4500 miles on it and the R6 is up to 1000 miles.

 

My goal ha always been to improve my skills as quickly as possible. Starting later in life, I had an inherent disadvantage - alot of riders I talked to at least rode dirtbikes as kids. I figured the best bet to get the proper skills was to get as much instruction as possible - it should prevent me from developing bad habits and (I'm finding) that I learn quickly.

 

I signed up for the 2 day LVMS Superbike School mostly because it was the soonest date I could get. I plan on doing extensive track days this year on an R6 (it's fully prepped), but felt that I'd be better off doing so AFTER taking a class at a track.

 

To say that I was nervous is an understatement. I've never been on a track before and I really don't push too hard on the street (I've got tasty chicken strips on the 675). After a long-ass flight (from Delaware to Vegas), I got 4 hours at the hotel before having to leave before dawn to make the 7AM registration.

 

The schools is pretty structured; you've got classroom time followed by a track session to work on a drill or skill discussed in class. To keep the pace a bit slower at first, they start off only allowing a single gear and no brakes. Each drill focused on a particular skill or technique - theories that are covered in Keith Code's books but make more sense on the track.

 

The on-track coaching was very helpful. For the first day, I had two coaches - they'd each follow (or lead) and observe, helping with the drills. As an example, on the session where our goal was to roll back on the throttle at a particular point, they'd indicate the point with their left hand as you were led through the turn.

 

The coaching wasn't limited to the drill a hand. Feedback was given on lines, entry speed, particular corners - I'd notice I was having trouble with a particular turn and they'd lead me through it to show the proper line.

 

My personal pace got faster and faster as I got more comfortable. The advantage to seeing the coaches ripping around on the same bikes was knowing full well that I could corner faster or tighter than I was at first. After a quick lesson in body positioning on the lean bike (one of several tools they the have available), things started coming together and I was able to push harder and harder. My lap times improved from the mid 1:30s to a best of 1:11.65 the first day.

 

Any comfort with the track configuration went out the window on Day 2, as they reversed the course. I still managed to start off in the 1:20s, but my focus on the second day was more about clean, fast lines than overall speed. I found myself actually slowing on the straightaway to put some distance between myself and slower riders so I didn't get jammed up behind them.

 

The second day focused mostly on visual skills - using peripheral vision, reference point sighting and so on. I pushed myself harder as well and by lunch, was consistently dragging my left knee through certain turns. While my right went down once, I think my foot position on the right peg is off slightly (as I scuffed the boot several times and my ankle would get sore during the sessions). Even with holding back on the straight, my best time was 1:09.

 

Again, the coaching was great - I worked on problem turns, identified why I had the back end come loose twice (too much throttle while leaned) but saw more improvement throughout the day. My lines were smooth, consistent. It was funny to see how I was entering a turn at 6k RPM in 4th on the first session and was up to 10k in 4th on the last session.

 

A great time, well worth the money and highly recommended, it made a huge difference the following Monday when I attended a different school @ VIR. I continued to practice the drills on my own that we'd done at LVMS, and saw my riding get more consistent, my lines get smoother and my times get lower.

 

I'll definitely do CSS Lvls 3 & 4, probably at VIR this spring. I may even do 4 days back-to-back (2 individual days, followed by another 2-day camp). VIR is a very challenging and technical course; the level of instruction on tap with CSS would make for great riding and tremendous gains in skill and smoothness on that track.

 

Consider me a convert - great experience, can't wait to do it again.

 

Ryan

 

Day One:

IMG_9689.jpg

 

Day Two:

IMG_0419.jpg

 

After CSS (Event @ VIR):

VIR1.jpg

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Excellent post young Skywalker, er I mean Ryan...

 

I think we all knew that you would be thrilled by attending, especially the two day camp;

thanks for following up and posting your story.

 

BTW, VIR is also a great place do Levels III and IV.

Kevin

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Excellent post young Skywalker, er I mean Ryan...

 

I think we all knew that you would be thrilled by attending, especially the two day camp;

thanks for following up and posting your story.

 

BTW, VIR is also a great place do Levels III and IV.

Kevin

 

Just signed up for a 1-day Level 3 on my R6, immediately followed by a 2-day Level 4 camp on the ZX6-Rs. Would have done 4 days, but my daughter's birthday is the 20th, so no traveling until the next day. I'll b staying on the track and will be bringing my track bike, a street bike and my pit bike.

 

Can't wait till May!

 

Ryan

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Excellent post young Skywalker, er I mean Ryan...

 

I think we all knew that you would be thrilled by attending, especially the two day camp;

thanks for following up and posting your story.

 

BTW, VIR is also a great place do Levels III and IV.

Kevin

 

Just signed up for a 1-day Level 3 on my R6, immediately followed by a 2-day Level 4 camp on the ZX6-Rs. Would have done 4 days, but my daughter's birthday is the 20th, so no traveling until the next day. I'll b staying on the track and will be bringing my track bike, a street bike and my pit bike.

 

Can't wait till May!

 

Ryan

 

Excellent Ryan!

 

Cobie

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