What Racing Taught Me

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

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

 

 

How to find Sponsors to Support your Racing Career

This question hits racers, teams, managers and event organizers every year. Stuff like this is off topic for the public of course, so this article is not addressed to you- but maybe interesting enough to get an idea what’s going on in motorcycle racing for example.

When you start amateur racing, then there is a bunch of stuff going on in your head, also this… dreams, hope, wish-thinking. Yea, I know, I was there too so give me a break. So what’s happening from September till March is that thousands and thousands of athletes worldwide are looking naively for monetary support by RedBull with a 10 years contract… literally.  So here is what I’ve learned as I walked from the slowest amateur racer to a professional racer who almost made it to MotoGP.

Yea, I can hear voices saying again: ‘that was long time ago’, but believe me… nothing has been changed much. Well we have the internet and social media and blogs now too, and it seems that this should help to get to potential sponsors- whil I actually believe it makes it harder FOR the sponsor to pick the right horse since everyone tuned to a keyboard jockey and blows up Youtube with gazillions of gigabytes of more or less senseless 20 minutes track sessions. Am I sound mean? No, I just try to open your mind for whats wrong and whats right, so stick with me and let me show you first where all the wish-thinking like this brought us…

There is that couple who of course believe that their son is the next Marc Marquez. That’s totally fine of course, but blaming the entire industry for making all those mistakes in regard ‘our future talents’ is not quite correct. A promising lap on some go kart seems to deliver enough arguments for getting a Monster Energy contract, but this demanding attitude produces two psychological dead end roads…

  1. amateur racers getting the idea that racing without sponsors is not going anywhere and give up
  2. potential talents are not even start to race without having sponsors

I received a call from a Mom, asking me to support their kid by paying their racing fuel. After I told her that I competed against 120 racers to even qualify for an amateur race, and that I didn’t had money for racing fuel either… and that I also had to use slick tires in rain, and also that I kicked ass anyway, and that exactly that’s why I got my first check from a sponsor… she hung up on me. What’s that called… to much reality check?!

It takes many years of sweat and blood to make people believe in a racer. There is a relationship growing which builds something very important… a shield of loyalty, which kicks in when your results are not good sometimes.

Man… 2015 was kinda short, wasn’t it?!

Only one more month to go and we welcome a new year. Lots of things around Superbike-Coach happened in 2015, and it seems that it will keep going like this also in 2016. But let’s reflect this riding season a little bit first, which kind of ended with a dramatic MotoGP World Champion title for Jorge Lorenzo- even with a little support.

If you maybe think I am a Rossi, Lorenzo or Marquez fan- you would be very wrong. When I am watching a race, then it’s about their performances, which is not restricted to one single racer. I herd Rossi fans saying that Lorenzo does not deserve the title, which is non-sense because Jorge’s performance in the qualifying are showing that he would have make it with or without Marquez. In other words… he really earned that title because he made less mistakes. In fact, Rossi couldn’t go the pace of the trio ahead, which was going slower as they could go- so I don’t see why all the pain and the hate right now. I feel bad for Vale because I believe that his goal is it to at least equalize Giacomo Agostini’s record of 14 world champion titles, so I hope he keeps going for it.

Let’s see what Superbike-Coach has accomplished in 2015- and still has to with one more Cornering School Day 2 on 12/6/ to go. You can fence our 2015 in with one sentence… all classes Superbike-Coach ran were booked out, and waiting lists were growing on almost each class… and all of it by word-of-mouth!

Let’s think about this for a second what that means… Superbike-Coach must be kinda good, doesn’t it?! A bed of roses- or a walk in the park?… by far not. I can tell you stories what I’ve been through- oh man. I just drop some words… I got threatened, deceived, betrayed, and copied… many times. But I never surrendered and my students are coming back because they know that Superbike-Coach is different- is first hand stuff which makes them being the better rider. Basta! :-)

Our 2016 schedule is filling quickly with all kinds of classes, also two new programs- ‘Motorcycle Preparation Workshop‘ and ‘Track Days’, which is a gigantic risk. Both only once per year for now, so make your plans for it. Superbike-Coach will be also in 2016 different, unique and efficient…. promise!

I wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in advance folks! See ya in 2016.

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach

 

The Perfect Glove & Lever Adjustment

Finding the right motorcycle glove can be time consuming, but I believe it’s worth it. I think most riders choosing the glove because of their looks. But design or even colors should be just a secondary thought. A high quality glove has its price, and yes I do understand that money is maybe a factor for you… but this goes kinda the same way you should pick a helmet, because  a natural protective instinct makes us bringing our hands out to catch the fall, so you will crash in 90% assuredly right on your hands. Here is what a bad glove choice can do to us:

  • Needles and pins (uncomfortable, slow reaction time)
  • Bad quality (short life, leather cracks, bad protection)
  • Bad protectors (weak, wrong placed, open wrists = big time injuries)
  • Bad size choice (too small: slow reaction time. Too big: interferes with throttle and levers)
  • Bad features (sweating hands, uncomfortable, slow reaction time)

Axo USA is one of a few manufacturers I found who are delivering the full package.  Their website offers sizing charts and lots of intermediate sizes to pick from.

Also their category description gives a good insight before you rush and take a purchase too easy. Spend your money wisely.

Our little video tutorial should below gives you a good idea what to look for in a glove, and how important it is to also set the levers to your needs.

How to adjust your levers the right way

Most riders are leaving the levers the way they are set from the factory, but I highly recommend to readjust them to your needs. I demonstrated in the second part of the video tutorial above, how essential especially the brake lever position can be. I actually forgot to mention that this even puts your hands and arms in a better angle to catch up G-forces under hard braking. Here is what we give away with wrong lever positions:

  • https://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/images/prod/400/t/tus_08_clu_per_blk.jpgToo high: slow braking procedure, bad feeling for the braking
  • Too low: hard to reach when doing hanging off
  • Interferes fingers/levers

As mentioned- you’ll probably can’t just loose the bolts and simply twist each perch because most manufacturers having a pin set to avoid that for liability reasons of course. You need to remove each pin which is not a big deal at all. Have the right tools handy and be patient with your work. Set the levers in a straight line to your arms/fingers, and tighten up all bolts properly. You’ll find a much more relaxed riding position after spending some time with this.

Motorcycle Suspension Guide

How To Setup A Motorcycle Suspension

There are lots of misunderstandings about how to setup a motorcycle suspension setup, and I’ve seen questionable work from even supposed specialists. Those specialists make riders believe that one click on the front rebound could lower lap times by 7 seconds… yep, I’ve really experienced this.

Stuff like this is totally off reality of course, especially as I still saw his bike bouncing around on Thunderhill Raceway- totally out of balance. In fact i believe that an intermediate to advanced rider don’t even feel the difference of even 15 clicks- especially not on a OEM suspension system.

If you would approach the setup with logic, you wouldn’t have to spend $50 bux to let an expert do some ‘big deal clicks’ on your stock rear shock, which are most of the time not even going nowhere. You don’t need to be nervous to do it yourself, because the range of an OEM suspension is just to small to make a significant change in terms of stability and safety of your bike.

To really make a significant change to match your riding style and purpose- you need to make rearrangements to the geometry of the bike, and then to match the suspension to this geometry… for example:

  • Super tight track: You want to drop the front end or to raise the rear a little
  • Long braking travels: You want to drop the rear right height to keep weights low
  • Long acceleration periods: add a chain link to use up chain adjuster recourse for a longer swing arm.

http://www.suspact.com/Images/Acceleration.jpgPlease Note All Following Points

  • There is NO “perfect” suspension setup- only the’ best compromise. A setup grows with your rider level.
  • So when someone says “I’ve clicked you the same suspension setup as I gave to Valentino Rossi”, then this is logically not going to work for you well.
  • Use the potential of a OEM suspension first before you buy aftermarket stuff… then you really know what it is capable of.

OK, the link below will open an additional page which you can print out to bring it to the track. It’s just hat this page is too much for this section here, because it throws a light on how to set it up right, and how to trouble shoot. Enjoy:

Motorcycle Suspension Guide

Headcoach Can Akkaya