Superbike-coach Track Academy/CSD-4 (3-13-21) & Body Position Class (3-14-31)
This past weekend March 13th & 14th, the Superbike-coach team of Coach Can Akkaya, Marion, Mark, Wayne, Tracy, and myself Dean “the Photog” had a pretty busy but AWESOME time with the students of these two classes: Track Academy/CSD-4 & Body Position Class. These are unique classes taught by Coach Can and are only held once a year. Both of these classes take lessons and aspects of the Superbike-coach Cornering School Day 1-3 motorcycle rider training classes to a higher level, however, they are held independent of the cornering schools. You don’t have to go through Days 1-3, however, it is highly recommended you do.
Normally, these “double headers” are reserved for Superbike-coach’s Knee Down & Wheelie classes, but due to COVID-19 in 2020, then weather late in 2020, this class had to be rescheduled to 3/13/21 (Saturday) but it was worth it because the weather ended up being ABSOLUTELY AWESOME! As with all the classes taught by Superbike-coach, things start off first with Marion at registration. Even though there are forms each student fills out a head of time for grouping, they still need to check in with her so groups can be accurately set up, temps taken (yes, still doing this), and any rental fees handled for those using any of the rental bikes (Coach Can’s Ninja 250 or my Ninja 650R twin). Once registered, they then come to me (or at times I’ll hunt them down…ha ha) and get them set up for lunch.
So, let’s get into this shall we…???
Track Academy/CSD-4 Class…
Originally created in 2017, this was added to the Cornering Classes as a “Day 4”. This was an obvious addition, and since it took lessons learned from Days 1-3 and expands on them, your only way into this class was by FIRST going through Days 1-3. Later on, it was opened up without the “Day 1-3 requirement”. However, doing so came with some new “hurdles”. Most of the students taking this class are those who have gone through Days 1-3 but there is always a small percentage that haven’t. Why is this a “hurdle” you say? That’s easy…
- FIRST: It’s the track itself, or should I say the “lack of track knowledge”. This track has a few different layouts that can be used, so students who haven’t gone through the Cornering Program, sometimes “get lost” and time is taken to get them on the right track.
- Second (most important reason): The Day 1-3 Cornering classes, although designed to help the street rider become better/safer riders, the lessons & techniques taught in these classes translate to a race track. For those students who bypassed all 3 days of the Cornering Program, (“I’m an experienced rider so I don’t need those other days” or “the cornering classes are too basic for me”…WRONG thinking Sunshine) find out really quick that they are “behind the 8 ball” in regards to their skills, causing them to get distracted, then start asking questions to try and get caught up quickly, which just isn’t possible. This ultimately, leads to slowing the class down a little (the “run before you can walk” syndrome). This class is designed more towards the track day rider/racer so the pace is higher, making it HIGHLY encouraged to take the Cornering School Day 1-3 programs FIRST so not to feel lost (leading to being distracted) during classroom discussions. As stated in the Track Academy description, “Coach will not hesitate to take riders out who obviously are not ready (not about speed!) to do this”.
The Track Academy is designed to help track day rider/racer “junkies”, or haven’t yet but are ready to get into this, to lower their lap times. This is done by teaching students how to find their braking markers, getting through corners more smoothly, and to make those quick transitions without loosing time. As it is with the cornering classes, the class is broken into topics that Coach talks about and teaches in the classroom, and students are required to take notes, sometimes mental notes that are to be translated later onto paper. After each classroom session, Coach releases the students into their groups and each take turns out of the track practicing what was just talked about and to be ready to talk about their experience. During the Day, Coach will also demonstrate one of the techniques he’s teaching so his students can see how it’s done.
As much as this is to help students become faster, and safer (as safe as they can be, you’re on a track after all), the lessons learned can still be applied to the street to make his students even safer if/when the need arises…a WIN WIN! If you’re looking at improving your track riding then you’re in the right place. To get an idea of what you can expect, check out the FEATURE PICS from this class then go to the Superbike-coach website at www.superbike-coach.com and get signed up, however, do yourself a BIG FAVOR and maybe sign up or the Cornering Program FIRST! You’ll thank yourself for doing so…
Body Position Class…
The last few years, I’m sure, at some point, you’ve heard of the term “Body Position”. It’s even gotten to the point of being used to explain why a rider is having the issues they are having. I supposed if I’m not dragging my elbow like Marc Marquez then I’m doing it all wrong, right? I don’t think so man! Think about it and all you have to do is look at two retired professional racers: Kevin Schwantz & Mick Doohan. Both of these rider’s body positions were WAY different than the “normal/accepted” body position, maybe Kevin more so then anyone, but look at what they’ve done. Don’t get me wrong, there is a CORRECT “body position” to start off but, after all, you’re not going to drag your knee if you’re sitting straight up on the bike…you have to get off that seat! In general, the “correct” body position is more a personal preference and what works for one rider might not work for another rider. However, the correct body position WILL NOT correct poor riding habits and techniques and you need to correct these first…PERIOD!
This is where Superbike-coach and Coach Can come in. Coach goes into just what is needed and leaves out all the BS to make this as simple as possible. If you’re looking to improve your riding and correct all your bad habits, then maybe you should sign up for the Cornering School Program instead and then take this class? The primary purpose of this class is to get you pointed in the right direction regarding “body position”. Sure, this class will help you become a better rider because it will help you become more comfortable on your bike and maybe point you in the right direction towards at least seeing what bad habits you need to correct, BUT it’s not designed to fix your bad habits…again, THAT’s for the Cornering Program. This class also won’t teach you to get your knee down, but it will help you get there by getting you “programmed” on what is needed to do so correctly. In fact, if you’re thinking of, or wanting to, your knee down, then it’s HIGHLY recommended you take this class FIRST then take the Knee Down Class.
The day is split up between classroom sessions and on track session. In the classroom, Coach Can talks about body position, using experiences he’s had and learned from his racing career, and the mistakes riders get into in developing this and what some may have explained to them. He also uses a bike, usually offered by a student, to show how to do this but also giving students the chance to try this out themselves before going out on the track. Once out on the track, Coach also can pull them aside to give them further instructions, advice, and encouragement regarding the specific drill. As you can see, students do have a GREAT time!
As mentioned earlier, the Body Position Class is another class taught by Coach Can that doesn’t require students to go through the Cornering School Program, however, is it HIGHLY RECOMMENDED you do. Why? Honestly, it’s for all the same reason’s mentioned in the Track Academy above…lack of familiarity of the track and because the lessons learned here come directly from the Cornering School Program (see a pattern here?) so things talked about tend to make the student somewhat lost (leading to be distracted) and slowing the class down a bit to help those students. It’s also a class where bad habits come out and can hamper you in your progress.
To wet your appetite more, click here to view the FEATURE PICS from this Body Position Class, and after you’ve done that, why not go to the Superbike-coach website and get signed up yourself. Classes do book up really quick, as well as waiting lists to get in, so DON’T hesitate. Rider season is now here, for some it never left, so why not get yourself pointed in the right direction and let Coach Can help you out. It’ll be THE BEST time & money spent…!