Clarify Superbike-Coach Track Days

I use to clear up things with my articles, so here is my take on some answers to questions we’re receiving in regard our track days:

  • Yes, we’re open all turns the west track has to offer.
  • Yes, we have track Marshall’s on all turns, an Ambulance with two EMT’s, and a Helicopter on call.
  • Yes, we have a starter, announcer, and group/gate control.
  • Yes, we run 3 level groups C, B, and B+, 7×20 minutes sessions each.
  • B+ is no A-group- more an extension of B group. A-riders are welcome of course, but riding under B+ where I expect that B-riders keep their ego in check (you can’t get them anyway and you don’t want to hurt someone just because you feel challenged).
  • Yes, you don’t need to have racing gear necessarily, and of course i can tell you our definition of street riding gear below in an article. let me know if you need gear, and I can get you a 40% off discount on Axo USA gear. We accept leather OR textile as long pants and jacket are zip-able. If not zip-able, we would ask you to have a back protector, but be aware that the Thunderhill staffs might take you out (this is not on us!). Nobody else but you is responsible for the road rash you’re getting.
  • Yes, we have experienced control riders on all groups checking for rule violations.
  • No, we’re not wasting spots to let ego-driven instructors racing each other.
  • No, you don’t need to have a class under your belt to attend our track days.
  • No, this is not a ‘school’, but a ‘too fun to miss out’ event where you’ll be safer as if you would go for a ride on public roads instead. If you are looking for solid education, then you most likely won’t find it within track days anyway. Read my article in regard to this, and consider to also start out my Cornering School program.
  • No, we don’t have a tire service going on, because I truly believe that if you would have to change tires between sessions- that you are just hell of badly prepared. Don’t wast your time and get dirty on 5/6/ when you actually have time to do it with ease way before.
  • Yes, I strongly believe that your suspension is ok for what you do. Don’t spend time and hope up that this might fixes your riding problems, cuz’ it does not. You might consider my ‘Workshop & Track Time’ event on 5/28/ at that point.
  • No overnight camping in the paddock possible! There is a designated camp area in front of the main gate though. If you sneak in… we’ll forward the invoice we’d get for it to YOU.
  • Yes, we have a towing vehicle to get your baby back to the paddock.
  • Yes, we run a C-group orientation at 9:05am and a ‘sightseeing track session’ at 9:40am.
  • Yes, I’ll give a ‘Ideal Line West seminar’, Club house at 12:30pm

If you don’t have a spot yet… what the hell are you waiting for?! :-)

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Sacramento

Knee down & Wheelie course weekend booked up!

We did it again… our Knee down & Wheelie course weekend is booked up, and the waiting lists for 4/28/ and 4/30/ are growing. Our students are coming from all over the United States and sometimes even from overseas.

The success rate on the Knee Down class… 80%, and the fun factor… 100%. Doing track days and waiting for “it” to happen?! Really?! You don’t seriously believe this yourselves, do ya? Other schools are not even looking at you for $149 bux.

Superbike Coach means ‘hands-on’, straight forward, and a bad ass wheelie course. We run this program since 8 years now, and we are still coming up with surprises. Also this time we will melt faces, because we’re adding good stuff and still don’t change the admission fee for it.

We will deliver a event and coaching style which will be top-notch. A report will follow.

So… how about you come and find out how we’re doing and save spots to your name for the classes in October?! Here is the link to it:

Knee Down

Wheelie Course

Headcoach Can Akkaya

Motorcycle Tire Pressure for the Track

One of the most commonly asked questions you see on the net is “what tire pressures should I run for and with the emphasis that’s put on having the correct pressures both at and away from the track it’s no wonder.

Having the right pressure for rider, bike and tire combination is very important to getting the most out of your tires both in terms of performance and longevity. As I’m sure you know tires are very expensive, so making sure we get the most out of them by having the correct pressure and therefore avoiding bad wear should be a priority for all track day riders.

The trouble is there is no one magical pressure for one type of motorcycle or type of tire, and as you’re about to find out there are times when you would even use different pressures for the same tire on the same bike!

So to help you understand what actually goes into determining the best pressure here’s a look at some of the things that affect tire pressure.

Things that Affect Tire Pressure

Weight –Someone heavier is going to create a larger contact patch on the ground which could overheat it and cause nasty wear. And vice versa, the lighter rider using the heavier rider’s pressures won’t have a contact patch big enough, so they won’t get enough heat into the tire and again you’ll see another sort of nasty wear. This problem is made worse if your suspension isn’t properly set up for your weight.

Tire Construction – Some tires have harder carcasses and sidewalls which mean they don’t need to run as high a pressure as a tire with a soft carcass.

Ambient Temperature – The outside temperature is going to affect how your tires heat up. Setting your rear to 30psi on a cold day isn’t going to give you the same performance as setting it at the same pressure on a baking hot day, because on a hot day the tire will heat up quicker and by more.

Some of the fast riders and racers actually change their pressures throughout the day to compensate for the change in temperature so they can maximize the performance of their tires.

Hot and Cold Pressures – If you set your pressure to 30psi when the tire is cold, this isn’t going to be the same as setting them to 30psi when the tire is hot. A cold tire will gain around 2-6psi (depending on your pace) through use on the track because it will heat up and so will the air inside, meaning the pressure will increase.

Road vs Track Tires – Road tires are typically designed to run at higher pressures than track tires because they are not expected to heat up as much.

As you can see, there are many factors that come into finding the best tire pressure for your bike and tire combination. Right now you may be wondering how on earth you get the right pressures, and I wouldn’t blame you, so here we go.

How can I find my best pressure?

What you want first is a good baseline pressure which you should be able to get from any of the below sources.

Manufacturer – Go direct to the manufacturer and get the pressures they recommend, you can usually find them on their website. If not, email them and ask what they would recommend setting tire ‘X’ to for use on the track. They’re usually pretty helpful with stuff like this.

Tire Expert – Speak to the tire supplier at the track, or talk to someone you know who deals with tires and setting up bikes for the track. They would have experienced many tire and bike combinations, so they know their stuff.

Other riders – See what other riders with similar setups are doing with the same tires. They too would have gone through the same process to find the best pressures for themselves, so they should be able to set you off close to where you need to be.

Test and Monitor

Once you have your base pressure, try it out and see how you get on. Did you notice any unsavory reactions from the tire that wasn’t there before? Or the more common issue, is the tire showing any signs of unnatural wear? If you answer yes to these questions then it could well be that your pressure is not quite correct.

Last Few Tire Pressure Points Worth Mentioning

When should you set your pressures? – If you have tire warmers then set them once they have been in the warmers for a good 45 minutes or so (from stone cold). If you don’t have warmers then set them cold first thing in the morning, but remember that your tires will gain a few psi so try to take that into account. Once you’ve done a couple of sessions you’ll be able to see how much psi you’re really gaining and whether or not you are near where you want to me.

Just keep an eye on the tires. If they’re showing any sort of unnatural wear then you will need to adjust your settings.

Is your pressure gauge calibrated? – You probably shrugged your shoulders at this one, but it’s not that hard to do. Just ask the tire expert at the track to set your tires to a given pressure using their compressor, then use your gauge to check it reads the pressure they just set it to. You can also check it against one or two other rider’s gauges to see if they give the same readings. If you can, change the dial to show the compensation, if you can’t (more likely) just make a note so you remember the difference.

Wet weather riding – You want to make sure you’re pressures aren’t too low for wet weather riding, be it proper race wets or road tires. If the pressure gets too low then the tread will compress which means it can’t clear water effectively.

Lastly, don’t overdo it. I know I mentioned some of the factors that come into play with getting the best tire pressure, but this was to demonstrate that there’s not a one size fits all pressure. Don’t get too hung up on trying to get the pressure perfect.

Unless you’re pushing on at the higher end of the fast group then you probably wouldn’t notice the small differences that come from things like changes in temperature throughout the day or the way you set your pressures initially. If you feel grip and you’re not showing any ugly wear patterns then that’s all you really need to worry about.

Thanks to Dan Netting for this excellent line up.

Another 30 riders graduated SBC Cornering School program

Another 30 riders have made it from Day 1 to Day 3 through out our Cornering School program

They were surprised how much more than a ‘motorcycle rider training’ this is. Here is Thomas Young Yelp review:

This course is so many things. I’ve attended Corning 1 through 3. They were fun. They were hard. They were rewarding. Although it was only 3 days of riding on a great little track. I now have the tools and understanding to improve my mental and physical riding skills. It has truly given me the confidence to be a better rider. After every class I had new skills it work on. It’s not a class that you ride away thinking Now I’m a great rider. But a feeling that I am a better rider right this minute and have tools to become an even better rider every time I get on the bike. I’m very competitive and was pushing myself and the bike above my skill level just to try and be the fastest. I wasn’t learning a thing. Just going out and scaring myself and most likely everyone else. Coach slowed me down had me do some drills. He explained why they were important. Not just do this and go faster or ride safer. But Why and How doing things his way (the only way haha) work. And guess what? I ride so much faster. But it’s not scary. It’s challenging and I understand what’s going on. I can trust myself and the bike. Don’t get me wrong about the scary, it can still happen. But the fear is gone. I can to push to scary FUN. Thank you coach. Looking forward to more time in the class room. But also some tracks days having fun playing on toys that go fast.
Thomas Young

As usual- Superbike-Coach photographer Dean Lonskey has picked some featured pictures of a truly special class, last Sunday’s Cornering School Day 3. This is the FREE download link: http://www.dlonskeyphoto.com/Superbikecoach-Gallery/Cornering-School-Days-1-4/Cornering-School-Day-3/CSD3-April-9-2017/CSD3-FEATURE-PICS/

Headcoach Can Akkaya

What Racing Taught Me

Latest article about Can Akkaya: http://www.asphaltanddirt.com/2017/04/06/what-racing-motogp-taught-can-akayya/

Written by book author Aaron Heinrich, Asphalt & Dirt: Life on Two Wheels