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Did the Aust Superbike School Level 1 cornering course

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by Gromit, Dec 16, 2005.

  1. So...I spent 10 hours yesterday in 30 degree heat wearing full leathers, doing my best to stave off dehydration and trying in vain to swat away a gazillion-and-one blowflies. Oh yes, and I actually paid handsomely for the privilege.

    But I have to say there were a few compensations. Yesterday was the last ever Australian Superbike School cornering course at Phillip Island (from now on it's being renamed the California Superbike School, to bring it into line with Keith Code's other ventures).

    I didn't really know what to expect as I rode the mighty Across down the gravel road to the circuit gate. Although I took careful note of the cars towing bike trailers laden with expensive sportsbikes (including a few racebikes), and the guys on Gixxers and similar machinery. My main thought at this point was - have I just bitten off more than I can chew?

    In fact, they were running 3 levels of the course on the one day. There was an interesting range of bikes (and riders!), and I wasn't the only 250. There were a couple of VTRs and 2 Aprilia 250s to keep me company.

    Cutting to the chase - it was a fantastic day. I learned a hell of a lot, and it was great to be able to put it into practice on the PI circuit. I think I took full advantage of this opportunity - see Exhibit A:

    http://gallery137160.fotopic.net/p23901194.html



    There are a few more photos here (no action shots, I was too busy):

    http://gallery137160.fotopic.net/c796095.html

    Top marks to the instructors, too - friendly, helpful and boy can they ride.

    Highly recommended.
     
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  2. Awsome, I really want to do the four levels of Superbike School but do you think I should wait till I get a bigger bike? Or was it ok on a 250?

    Gravvy
     
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  3. Congrats Clive ... damn impressive those tyres :) Formal training is always great and somethign that your riding will carry with you for a long time.

    Would be interested in the type of stuff you did learn, if you care to share with us.
     
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  4. Looks like you got that handbag to do some work Clive ;) .

    So how much is the price going up under the new name?
     
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  5. Well done Grommit. I reckon you would have been amazed at what you could do by the end of the class day. It certainly is a good feeling to start to understand the bike more and have the confidence to push it a little bit more.

    I remember the first class in the morning, when he asks WHY are you here. When the folks say, we want to ride safer, learn more etc he says well you better go home :shock:

    Then he asks a again WHY are you really here and the answer he is after "So we can go faster in corners" :shock: :D woo hoo I knew I was in for a fun packed day.

    Cheers 8)
     
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  6. Clive, I'm glad to hear you enjoyed yourself.

    I too have learnt heaps there and am very tempted with Keith Code coming out early next year for a weekend. :)
     
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  7. that is cool.... how the hell did you cook the tires on an across?? were you lighting up the back coming out of the corners?
     
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  8. sounds like u had an awsome day
    can i ask how much did it cost and also did u come out a better rider or would more lesson be on the agenda??

    cheers
     
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  9. Hoot riding by the looks of it Clive, you certainly barbequed those chicken strips!!!
     
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  10. this may be a really dumb question, but how come some of the bikes' headlights and race glasses have had tape put on them?
     
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  11. So if the bike falls and the glass breaks it doesn't go onto the track and shred someone else's tyres...
     
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  12. This post's a bit long, sorry. :)

    Yep!

    Level 1 was fine on a 250. You're learning about the corners, not the straights - and light nimble bikes work pretty well in corners. :D

    There are 5 track sessions during the day, each to practice a skill that's been covered in a classroom session beforehand. They're cumulative, so by the end of the day you should be trying to put everything together. The instructors follow you, watch you, then pass and show you by example. There's a debrief with your instructor after each session.

    The first session is designed to demonstrate that you should get on the throttle early in a turn, to stabilise the bike. The drill is to ride the course in 4th gear only (5th on the straight) and no brakes. :shock: Okay, everyone cheated at MG (!) but the point is to have you concentrating on setting a comfortable corner speed and rolling on the throttle early to see what happens.

    The second session is designed to get you turning into the corners at the right point - late and wide. So they very helpfully put big duct tape X's on the track at the turn-in points. There are 2 of these in turn 2, as it's a double-apex corner. Out you go again, 4th and 5th gears, no brakes, working on turn-in.

    The third session is to get you turning the bike quickly, ie going from vertical to leaned over in less time. And if you do this faster, you need less lean angle for a given corner (I've no idea why, but this is true). I hated this session. I wasn't getting the lines right, even though I felt in the other 2 sessions that things were going well. I came in feeling very frustrated, because I didn't know why it wasn't working for me. And the instructor nailed it instantly - I was leaning the bike quicker but I was still using the amount of lean I was used to. So the bike took a tighter line and headed for the inside of the turn too quickly. Solved!

    Fourth session (by now we're using more gears and light braking) - getting through a turn with a single input on the bars, rather than correcting the line on the way through. This is where a small lightbulb came on in my brain. Less = more. Do less on the bike in corners and it's smoother and easier. Big cheesy grin.

    Final session - getting the middle of the turn right. Looking into (not through) the turn just before you turn in. All gears, full brakes. Even bigger grin. :LOL:

    Conclusion: you ride away at the end of the day with lots of stuff to practice in your own time and a much better understanding of the forces at work in corners. You don't instantly become a cornering legend, and it's definitely not a how-to-get-your-knee-down-and-look-cool course. But you may come away with the trackday bug. That's an awesome bit of road.

    They applied tape to the front of the bikes, and also taped over the rear plates and brake lights. It took me a while to realise the tape was in different colours - it lets the instructors work out which riders are "theirs". (The guy with the K1200S turned up with tape already on his headlight - I guess they're a bit exxy if you break them.)

    They also tape over your speedo and mirrors, although in the final session I peeled a bit of the speedo tape off, cause I was curious what 15,500 rpm in top translated to (about 160 and accelerating, but I was backing off in plenty of time for turn 1!).

    PS: No more Across knocking, people! I worked my bike hard all day, it did everything I asked of it without misbehaving or scaring me, it sounded amazing at full noise down the straight, and it rounded up quite a few more potent bikes in the corners. Respect!
     
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  13. It breaks your heart when you get off the bike and see what has happened to the expensive piece of rubber doesnt it. Almost makes you want 2 cry.But it was a damn good day though.Cant wait for the next one!
     
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  14. G'day Matt - I see you found us here ok! :)
     
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  15. I find that riding on the track balances the tyre wear from the middle (highway running) to the sides (cornering).
     
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  16. Yeah Grommit and the might ACROSS

    What was the cost and we do we book???
     
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