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California Superbike School

Discussion in 'Track Days' started by Frogcake, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. Frogcake

    Frogcake

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    I've just booked in for CSS level 1 at Silverstone on 19 March. Thought it would be a good kick start to the year's track days.

    Let's hope it's worth the £££ and the weather gets a bit warmer and drier by then!
     
  2. ozzer76

    ozzer76

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    Really want to do this course myself but not booked it yet.......mmmmmm!
     
  3. Planning to do mine later in the year, a few RH before the TT so sometime after then for me. I'm sure you'll have lots of fun who you going with?
     
  4. I saw this also Dave they have dates for the 5th and 6th April was going to do my level 1 & 2 then sneak off to the forum track day to see if I can put into practise what I have learned depends if I can get the time off work though will have to wait and see...
     
  5. Frogcake

    Frogcake

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    Just going on my own unless anyone else wants to join me!

    It was either CSS or another Ron Haslam. I still want to go back to do the RH Elite but thought I'd try something different first.
     
  6. Get this month;s issue of fast bikes Dave one of their guys does the CSS level 1 and 2 in there it's an excellent read really gives you an insight into what goes on there...
     
  7. I've done levels 1,2 and 3 and think they are excellent. Lots of money but worth every penny. You'll get lots more speed and be more in control than any money you might spend upgrading the bike. Have fun.
     
  8. ddgal

    ddgal

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    Was tempted with the March dates but decided not to risk it in the end :( booked in for 21 May on the International circuit :)
     
  9. You wont go back to RH after doing CSS.

    What level are you booked in for DDG? Level 3?
     
  10. ddgal

    ddgal

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    LOL Not ready for that yet! Doing Level 1 again, but different circuit this time (was at Stow before). You joining?
     
  11. Only if funds allow, so at the moment probably not :(
     
  12. I might book up on one of the May ones. Will know in a few days.
     
  13. Anyone going on the 6th April? i'm booked on the level 1 course on the stowe circuit.
    Can't make any of the dates for the rest of the year so i'll have to take my level 2 next year
     
  14. Frogcake

    Frogcake

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    Level 1 report

    So I did Level 1 yesterday. It was on the Silverstone International Circuit which is the same southern loop that the Ron Haslam School uses; a really enjoyable circuit. It was a long hard day but I had a great time!

    After scraping the frost off my bike seat outside the Premier Inn I headed to the circuit for a 7am start. There was a familiar face at sign on:
    [​IMG]

    After a general introductory briefing it was decided that as it was still a bit chilly we would start with the off-track drills first. Each level has a specific 'off-track drill' such as the lean bike or slide bike. For Level 1 it is a steering drill where they make sure you are counter-steering properly. Even though this was something I was already familiar with my coach still gave me a couple of useful tips to make my turns smoother.

    The rest of the day followed a format of alternating classroom and track sessions. The classroom session first introduces the skill that you will be practicing and then you hit the track to put it to use. While on track your assigned track coach will observe your riding and give you some set hand signals to help you practice the drills. When you come in he will give you a debriefing before your next classroom session.

    The first session was all about throttle control. We were restricted to riding in one gear and not using the brakes AT ALL! This is quite a change from what most people are used to on track and it really focuses you on achieving the correct corner entry speed and using a controlled throttle application to steady the bike.

    The second drill was turn points. During the classroom session they had applied big yellow crosses to mark the turn points for the corners. This is not so much about your riding style but more a chance to practice thinking about and hitting turn points and observing what happens if you turn a bike-length sooner or later. We could use 2 gears here but still no brakes.

    Drill three was the quick turn. This is where we practiced getting the bike leant over as quickly as possible. This has a big effect on the amount of lean angle required to get round a turn. I found quick turns were easier in slower corners than faster corners. Makes sense I guess. The faster you are going the more force is required to tip the bike over.

    The next session was all about rider input and the importance of relaxing on the bike. I found this made a huge improvement to my cornering. Making a conscious effort to relax on the bars really stabilised the bike and I had never even noticed a tendency to grip the outside bar when leant over. For example on a right-hander I would tend to grip tighter with my left hand. Three gears and some light brakes are allowed here.

    The last session was a kind of introduction to Level 2. This was called two step turning. We all know bikes go where we look, however this can cause problems for us as there is a natural tendency for us to look to the inside of the corner and to turn in too early causing us to run wide on the exit. The two step fixes this by making us pick out our apex before we reach our turn point; separating the looking and the turning. This was another massive improvement for me. It takes a lot of concentration if you aren't used to it but it makes the corners so much easier as you already have an idea of where you want to go before you start your turn in.

    Like I said, the day is a lot of hard work. It takes an effort to remember to apply each of the drills to your riding but when you do you can see the improvements immediately. Because of the concentration required they tell you to only ride at 80%. There were still one or two who wanted to prove how fast they were and treated it more like a track day (which it isn't) but the coaches are pretty good at reminding them to show everyone else some respect.

    By the end of the day I was knackered but still wishing I'd booked in for Level 2 on the next day. :)

    I'll definitely be going back ASAP and I recommend it to anyone who wants to improve their riding and not just to go faster on track. It's all perfectly applicable to normal road riding too.

    Here are some more pictures from the day:
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  15. ddgal

    ddgal

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    Oh, did you get Badger?
     
  16. Red675

    Red675

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    top post mr cake :D
     
  17. Frogcake

    Frogcake

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    I did! He was great.
     
  18. ozzer76

    ozzer76

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    Nice write up man! I just let my mac read it out to me while I made a brew! lol
     
  19. ddgal

    ddgal

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    He is lovely :) I got him last year, and hopefully this year too! Now doing July instead of May.
     
  20. Done L1 and L2 and keep meaning to do L3 and 4, Good write up
     

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