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Review: Stay Upright Advanced Skills Course

Discussion in 'Businesses and Service Providers' started by nathanh, Jul 22, 2007.

  1. Today I attended the Advanced Skills course offered by Stay Upright. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

    I've been riding only for a few months and although I vaguely knew what I was supposed to be doing, I've instead been doing "what worked" and it has been reinforcing some very bad habits. I almost never stopped in the ready position, I used the front brake all the time (even when turning), and all sorts of other things that were one day going to get me into trouble. I knew I was doing the wrong things but it was really difficult to change.

    After completing the course today I could hardly believe how much I'd improved as I made my way home. Even simple things like stopping at the lights and accelerating away - which I thought I'd been doing fine - were much better. The course got me doing things the right way and it translated straight into a more enjoyable ride on the road.

    The course starts off with 3 hours of theory. The instructors talked about proper techniques for braking, accelerating and cornering. They also talked about observation and planning so you can avoid bad situations. It wasn't rocket science - just common sense - but I kept kicking myself because all the things you shouldn't be doing, were exactly the things that I had been doing.

    The second day is 8 hours of practical work on a track. The first lesson is all about picking the right line through a corner. Sounds easy, but simply following the instructor around the track showed me how off my estimates had been. I was turning too early, picking the wrong apex, accelerating at the wrong point in the turn, etc. After just a few laps I felt safer and more in control around the corners.

    The second lesson is emergency braking. I remember doing this on the Ls course and there is the emergency stop for the Ps too, but nothing compares to emergency braking from fifth gear and full throttle. :grin: I've been practising emergency stops on the road but the benefit of the course is that the instructor gives you immediate feedback. After a few goes I felt pretty confident I had knocked a third off my stopping distance.

    The third lesson is leaning through corners. My friends have been giving me all kinds of advice about hanging off the side, dropping the knee, etc. Now I understand why my friends keep having accidents. The techniques taught by the instructors was similar in spirit but completely different in the details. I started using the new techniques and I was turning tighter and exiting faster than I had been before. I don't intend to race, but it's nice to know if there's an emergency that I have a better chance of escaping in one piece.

    The final lesson was low speed maneuvering. I was immediately reminded of the cone weave from the Ps test. Fortunately everybody seemed to be having trouble with this part of the course. I didn't think I learnt anything from this lesson, but I unconsciously started feathering the back brake when parking in my garage, so something must have sunk in.

    I was the second least experienced guy at the course; one bloke had only been on his Ls for 4 months! But there were people there with 15+ years experience, riding brand new 1000cc CBRs and Fire Blades, and they said the course helped with their technique too. Everybody went at their own pace so the better riders weren't held back.

    I think I got good value from money with the course. It was also a great way to spend the weekend.
  2. That's a great review, I have been considering this course for some time.
    I'm just going to go ahead and book it now!

    Regards, Andrew.
  3. Thanks Nathan, that's a fine helpful review :)
  4. Awesome nice review, im still tossing up whether to do this or the California Supberbike School, although Stay Upright does seem much more on-road orientatied.
  5. My mammy bought attendance at the same course for my birthday. It was an absolute hoot.

    At the end of the day I was slightly skeptical about how much i had really gotten out of it because I already "knew" most of what they said from reading books ... but a day or so later I had to acknowledge that my riding had measurably improved and a lot of the stuff I "knew" had really bedded down and become intuitive. I also had a better idea of what I still need to work on. I totally stuffed the slalom a number of times, for example, and still need to work daily on "eye technique".

    I think I'll be doing at least one riding course every year to keep my skills sharp and give myself a kick in the pants. Highly recommended.

    Anyone wanna review HART's course?
  6. I did one of these courses and was amazed at the improvement in my riding... Well done for doing the course and I also highly recommend doing the course to anyone.
  7. I'll review the HART course this weekend - i'm doing the "Handling Dynamics" one on Saturday
  8. I've just got back from Broadford from the Stay Upright Advanced rider course. What a great day. It helped that the weather was almost perfect, giving us access to a great track in great condition. As per above skills covered were normal braking, emergency braking, counter steering, slow / normal speed turns and fast cornering. It was great fun belting around the track at the end of the day, only problem is I think I just developed a track day addiction.
  9. heheheheee Port! Welcome to the addiction mate. Port ol buddy, I expect you to now be fronting the pack!!

    Good write up Nathan. I did the same course years ago... well worth doing!

    As to the friends giving advice - unless they understand WHY they're saying what they're saying, it's not "technology" and should be taken with a grain of salt.

  10. That won't be happening for a while on the public roads. I'm still not so fast on the road as I can't see through the corner.

    Now I know that I can do ride days at Broadford for $110 I would imagine I'll be out that way more often. If 6 of us go we can get $25ea off.
  11. I was at the course as well. I picked up a bunch of stuff to improve on and it was excellent practicing all those right-handers on the track.

    My only negative comment would be the number of people in attendance. I felt it was a little crowded (around 30+ people with 4 instructors). Still a very worth while day all in all...