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Just Completed Stay Upright Intermediate Course

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by uncosnail, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. Today I attended the Intermediate Course at Stay Upright - Hoppers Crossing Victoria.

    They have a closed track which allows riders to practise skills such as cornering, emergency breaking, counter-steering and hill-starts.
    The track has standard road markings.

    Everyone used their own bikes. There were 12 people on the course. 8 males, 4 females all sorts of bikes, there was 3 x ninja 250, and Aprilla, CB250, Mozzi??, Ninja, cruiser, and other bikes I can;'t remember.

    The skill level arranged from someone with 3 months riding experience with people who had many years of experience. At the start of the course they went around the room and asked what people wanted to get out of the course.

    We started at 9am with some theory standing around a bike (mounting and dismounting, (I found this part a bit of an insult to the intelligence). They want you to mount the bike with the break on and do a head check, left foot to ground and right foot to rear brake. I didn;t see anyone do this throughout the day. When coming to a stop we were told to keep the bike in gear and clutch held down, with rear foot covering brake. HOw to move off. (we were given notes in case we forgot!!!)

    We also did hill starts, I really don't know how you would even get to the course if you didn't know how to do one of these. They showed us the technique using the rear brake.

    We did some slow speed manoeuvres in the big concrete area in the centre of the track: slow straight riding, some counter-steering obstacle avoidance. I found it a bit silly with the slow speed manourevering having to use the clutch and rear brake etc as the obstacle they set up I could have easily done in 1st or 2nd gear without using either, but still did it though. I think the obstacles needed to be more challenging.

    They also said to leave bike in 1st gear when turning off bike off.

    We did emergency braking at your own pace. Which could be anything from about 30km/h and up. They do it by squeeze front brake, then clutch in, rear brake and shift down. I prefer this method to what I learnt at my L's course where it just was front and rear at the same time and don';t worry about the clutch. Because then you are right to go again.

    What I liked best about the day was the cornering. We were split into 2 groups, each person had a turn at following the instructor around the corners watching his lines, then that person would go to the back of the group, and the next person would have a go. So the whole group was always riding just rotating postion. Then each person had a go with the instructor behind them and then the rest of the group. The instructor would then stop the whole group and give each person feedback. He discussed about leaning in and what to do with your arms and also mention about using the opposite foot pushing off the pegs to help you lean more.

    The next step was that we were let loose on the track, and were only allowed to overtake on the straight stretch. This was really fun we had to go around the track in the opposite direction. Each lap everyone was getting faster and faster. That was so much fun, and I still can't get the smile off my face.

    BTW - the track was awesome, some nice variation in curve speeds around the various corners/bends, a corner on a blind crest, a big horseshoe bend and a nice long straight into the long sweeping horseshoe. My speed at the end of the straight was around 80km/h (some people on more powerful bikes got up to 110km, (it is a small track) so speeds are much higher than those encountered during the learners course. They also said at the start of the day if anyone wanted to race around to leave it for a track day as this was not what they were about.

    During the day we:
    - Did a short session in the classroom on "road craft" (cornering and lane positions, leaving space, etc, etc).
    - discussed head and body position when cornering (slow and at speed)
    - practised cornering, counter-steering and emergency stops

    The best parts of the day, were the periods of time we spend doing laps of the track, practising the skills we'd discussed.

    If you notice this is similar to the Learner Permit Road Course by Luke, thats because it is a similar course.

    At the end of the day they went around the room, and asked if people achieved what they wanted. Most people said, yes. One girl said she felt worse, because she felt a bit intimidated by everyone overtaking her on the straight stretch at the end of the day. They suggested she might want to do the Learner Roadcraft course which is a slower pace. Everyone else was fine.

    I was about mid range in the group when it came to track practice. There were a lot of people who did have more powerful bikes than I did. I had my bike on full throttle down the straight stretch. The other riders in the course were really friendly. No one was put down, or made to feel embarassed during the course. Constant feedback was given during all of the exercises during the day.

    What I liked most about the course was the cornering session and going around the track. I thought the course was worth it just for that.

    What I didn't like was that the other exercises seemed too easy and was covered during my L's course. But they were catering also to people who had never done an L's course.

    I still can';t get the smile off my face from doing the track. :)))))=D>
  2. Awesome unco. I knew you'd have a ball.
    The course sounds pretty much identical to the Learner Roadcraft course.

    Isn't the track time brilliant!
  3. The track time was great, I liked the rotating system, how you just kept riding, so got to ride behind different people. I think the course was worth it just for that. Liked the feedback too. Might be something we could do for the learners practice, go out to some quiet twisties (i know of some in the patch, where nobody ever goes) and ride behind an experienced rider (at your pace). The instructor would look in his mirrors to make sure you weren't getting left behind, because he said, if he couldn't see you then you were learning anything. I liked that it was at your own pace.
  4. I really liked riding in front so that the instructor could see everything you were doing.
  5. Thanks for sharing info, I going to do it around March. just one question can you do Advance before Intermediate?
  6. Yes, this is very much like the Learner course. The track time was awesome. I loved the process as well with the rotation & feedback from the instructors after they followed you, so that you could experiment with what they told you and go faster as your technique improved.

    Have to do a track day soon eh?
  7. Yep just did it at broadford
  8. z900 how did you find the advanced?
  9. I'm doing this course in March. I really need to work on braking and cornering skills (especially downhill), do they cover this in much detail?
  10. heaps of braking and cornering, the track has slight short downhill sections. so not really much downhill cornering.