Can Akkaya review, 20 years after pro racing

20 years after professional racing… 20 years man- but it actually feels like yesterday, and sometimes it seems i have still the 124 octane/racing oil mix of a 250cc MotoGP bike in my nose, while a HRC mechanic warms up that high-end engine at a 120 db.

Success and lap record for Can Akkaya, announces the Werbepost News about his race in Eemshaaven 1994

Success and lap record for Can Akkaya, announces the Werbepost News about his race in Eemshaaven 1994

But you know what?… I’m sad, and I’m mad about myself, because lots of things have changed in those 20 years, and I didn’t keep enough material to just have it for myself- or for people who might think all of that didn’t happen, and some keyboard junky could easily put a question mark over my credentials. Almost understandable, because hundreds of newspaper cutouts are nice, but they are not even to find online on the website of the magazine who wrote it, because there was no internet back then.

Newspaper cutout of the final German Track Trophy season 1991, where Superbike-Coach Can Akkaya became Vice-Champion, 250cc GP class

Newspaper cutout of the final German Track Trophy season 1991, where Superbike-Coach Can Akkaya became Vice-Champion, 250cc GP class

I shouldn’t have give away almost all pictures of me, made by sports photographer and media, to fans and sponsors. I wished I had spend more time back then to scan and post at least the final championship stand of the German Track Trophy of the 250cc GP class in 1991. where I became Vice-Champion and turned to a professional racer. But guess what… there was no such thing as a scanner existing- and if so- where to “post” it, when there was no Internet- no blog- no Facebook, and whatsoever?! Hmmmm…

So yea, there are even TV, radio, and interviews besides newspaper articles all over Europe about me- but they are catching dust on a archive shelve, and who the heck has those lap records and race results, when race organizers- sport authorities and even press has no interest to pay someone to digitalize old stuff, especially when meanwhile those orgs have taken over- turned- and changed multiple times in 20 years?!

You wonder it’s all in German language- and not laying translated on a New York Times server? Yea- that’s because I’m not a Valentino Rossi and I don’t have the interest of the medias that much. At that point I am actually happy to have listen to my wife Marion, to not throw everything away as I retired- like my last International FIM Race License, which is the 2nd highest license in motorsports on this planet. Imagine someone would say I maybe never raced on a level like that… what then huh?

Btw… I also kept my last racing suit which was designed by MJK leathers in the Netherlands only for me. But I had many fans in Europe, whom started asking them to get a suit like mine. MJK put a ‘Akkaya Replica’ suit on their catalog which was a best seller for many years. For me, it was positively surreal when i was sitting in the truck going to the next race, and some rider passed us wearing that suit- or some fan in a paddock asked me to write my autograph on it. Till today I have fans in Germany, telling me that they still have ‘my’ replica suit and not giving it away- even though they got older and ate too much pizza to fit in :-)

Speyer 1993. Can Akkaya's with no.9 in his first German IDM race. 60,000 fans watching the most competetive class on this planet- 250cc GP

Speyer 1993. Can Akkaya’s with no.9 in his first German IDM race. 60,000 fans watching the most competitive class on this planet- 250cc GP

And yea… I didn’t win many races- I didn’t make a lot of Pole Positions- and I didn’t won big championships… I was just somebody who had to compete in German IDM 250cc GP. You might think that’s comparable with AMA Superbike pro racing? Well- that time gap between the riders in qualifying is not a match to what we’ve been through- when a field of 50-60 European champions and vice champions is only 3 seconds apart from Pole to the last qualified rider on the grid.

Champions Gala 1991, Can Akkaya and Marion Akkaya after becoming German Track Trophy Vice Champion

Champions Gala 1991, Can Akkaya and Marion Akkaya after becoming German Track Trophy Vice Champion

My very first international pro race was on Assen TT and I lead it from the start- almost won it, if I would have been quite smarter with those lapped riders- but i crashed in the last lap. So tell me how could I possibly proof such things like that?! You might just have to believe me here. And hell yea… I could have won way more races, but I found lots of ways to mess up- which was fine with me you know. In the end I was ‘just’ a guy who won some international races- competed in a field which was frequently filled with a bunch of German MotoGP racers like Martin Wimmer, Tony Mang, Volker Baehr, Bernd Kassner- until i caught Honda Germany’s eyes. HRC guys from Japan came and see me as I kept up for a couple of laps on Assen TT Circuit with some MotoGP pro’s until I broke my left foot.

Can Akkaya official race result of a International race in the Netherlands in 1994. He also set a speed record during the race

Can Akkaya official race result of a International race in the Netherlands in 1994. He also set a speed record during the race

No, I didn’t had the comfort to learn from a Coach and to earn the respect from these guys till today, no. I was sitting in the pit and cried, because I did not understand why I was 2.5 seconds faster than ever per Nurburgring lap, even though I needed help climbing up the bike caused by a high-sider the day before in Brno/Cz. I left sweat and blood on all tracks over Europe to get to the point where I almost made it to the big show… MotoGP- but I got hurt again.

That 120 mph on Hockenheimring during the qualifying for the European Championship round in Germany was different as all the other crashes I’ve been through… because it was the first time that I was confronted with ‘death’. But even then, my ‘Never Surrender’ character made me trying to slide off the table in the hospital because I wanted to race next day… that was the first time my wife hearing saying “Please, Can… don’t!”.  Till today I have these words ringing in my ears. My fast forward mode was stopped and after that I never found back to the racer I ones was.

Can Akkaya wins an international race in Oss NL and sets the record of the race. He lead the race from the Pole Position to the finish in 1994

Can Akkaya wins an international race in Oss NL and sets the record of the race. He lead the race from the Pole Position to the finish in 1994

I recovered from my injuries and tried to get back, but the total commitment was gone. Technical problems let my results looking bad, so that I wished to rather have crashed than to see the finish. Meanwhile, radicals burned down my fathers textile company in Germany. He was a Turk you know, and since then I was not calling this place ‘home’ anymore even though I was born and raised there. It was the worst time of my life, and I decided to do one more race and to retire. Marion and I went to Poland to some national race event with minimum equipment in a Van- almost the way it all began- and won the race. We went back home- happy, no regrets, and almost relieved.

We got married and our honeymoon brought us the first time to California- and many additional travels to the land of our dreams. I remember how we fell in love with everything and how deep the wish grow on our souls to finally leave Germany for a place which deserves the term ‘home’ much more.

Racers-Stoy book cover

Till then, I started teaching racers in 2004, and the Mohland Verlag in Germany published my Racers-Story ’25 seconds’ in 2006. Working as an instructor for multiple track day organizers and co-developing a program for a top notch racing school ‘Race Factory’, I felt a vocation for it and started Superbike-Coach. Meanwhile the dream came true via U.S. Green Card and we gave up a safe and secured life in Germany to go home- to California on 3rd of November 2008. Risks and costs was immensely high, but we never looked back- nor we’ve regret a bit.

20 years has been gone but I am still living it… this is still who I am, and pro racing is where my experience as a Coach grew- Yes I am rough and though, but this is also why most of my students love me for. However, I’d like to share with you my memories from now on. I truly hope never to regret, because I put my heart into teaching riders in my motorcycle riding school in California, the Superbike-Coach Corp.

Can Akkaya, 5th place German IDM 1993 in Brno Circuit, Czech

Can Akkaya, 5th place German IDM 1993 in Brno Circuit, Czech on his werks supported Moto2 bike

Eat this! :-)

Can Akkaya

Father, family man, ex-professional racer, and headcoach of the Superbike-Coach Corp

Latest Newsletter: http://us7.campaign-archive1.com/?u=442a5138ee28d389a0492ca61&id=813094ce1c

Motorcycle-USA related article:

Newsletter: Topic Of The Month

Every year I’d like introduce our sponsors to you. Some are new in the family- and others are with Superbike-Coach since I was a ‘heat seeking missile’ in Europe’s international pro racing scene:

So yes, I am connected with some of these big brands with quite a story. With ‘Arai Helmets’ for example. I remember I started watching racing on TV, and there was that American guy whom impressed me so much that I wanted to get into racing myself. Freddie Spencer was his name, and he had that fascinating red-white and blue colored lid which I wanted so much, that I saved every cent to buy me one. Couldn’t make it all the way so I was bagging my dad to help me whit what was missing. I totaled two Arai’s before I made it into racing- one of them so bad, that I would not write these lines if I hadn’t a Arai helmet on at that time. In fact I started racing in a Arai- but had to change due to a sponsorship with a other brand.

Can Akkaya

Can Akkaya and Arai Helmets

I still regret, but I needed every German Mark so I sold my loved Arai. Even I was locked to that other brand, I always wanted to change to Arai- but the offer was too generous to go away. So I never get into a sponsorship with Arai while I was racing the European Championship series, which is the second highest level of racing on this planet.

Years after I retired from pro racing, as my book ’25 seconds’ brought me back on track to teach… I got sponsored by Arai Helmets Europe. Five years later I finally immigrated to the United States, and after establishing the Superbike-Coach Corp… Arai Helmets Americas took over to continue the relationship. And here are all of them:

Their products rounding up your hobby, on the bike- and in the garage. Parts and tools is what they are doing, and the prices are low!.  BikeMaster is also involved with the ‘MotoGP Project Bike’. Coach Can about BikeMaster: “I am happy to have these guys on-board. We’re using their Oil, chains, cleaners and tools. Basically all the stuff you need to keep that motor running. I actually also love their philosophy and enthusiasm about bikes”. Use the Dealer Locator to  find a dealer near you. If a dealer doesn’t have stock on the items you need, they can be ordered and you should generally receive them in less than a few days.

Motorcycles have their own specialized tire needs, and Bridgestone understands them well, developing high- performance tires for personal use and professional racing. Within the motorcycle racing circuit, Bridgestone has established a name for itself by providing tires that deliver the grip, balance, and cornering ability that have carried riders to victory over dirt and asphalt alike. Bridgestone tires combine the strength and safety to put you in harmony with your machine. And so does headcoach Can Akkaya use Bridgestone tires for his street- race- and Supermotard: “Whatever my purpose is… Bridgestone has the right tire for me and the right compounds!”

In 1940 Clyde Wiseman ventured into his garage on the East Side of Cleveland, Ohio and began producing pistons for himself and a few friends. Word of his high quality work spread quickly, and in 1941 Wiseco Piston was established to service the needs of motorsports enthusiasts. And so does headcoach Can Akkaya use all kinds of Wiseco engine products for his street- race- and Supermotard: “I need to have a deep trust in the parts my mechanic puts in one of my revised engine. No matter what it is… Wiseco Titanium vale kits, high compressing pistons, rods, or even their gasket kits… I have that deep trust that these things are working 100%- in regard to power and a damn long life!”

Axo America Inc is Superbike-Coache’s newest sponsor and is local to Santa Clarita, CA,  Its outstanding quality standards is coming from the factory in Istrana, Italy.  So no China/Pakistan junk- but still affordable. Coach Can: “We have a special relationship with Axo USA. These guys supply European racing teams.  We love the quality, and they love Superbike-Coach” Our clients have an advantage in cause of this relationship:  Axo is no cheap stuff, and gives ONLY our clients a 40% off discount… No matter what you need, street or dirt gear, a 40% off from Superbike-Coach is a huge deal.

Bel-Ray continues the sponsorship with Superbike-Coache’s in 2015.  These guys know the need of every engine to keep its performance. William (Bill) Kiefer started the company in his family’s suburban New Jersey garage, specializing in high temperature bakery lubricants. Coach Can: “Bel-Ray lubricants are all over Superbike-Coach school bikes, and I can’t find one reason to change. Just my project bike with that high performance engine needs pretty much everything Bel-Ray has to offer… engine, transmission, suspensions, coolant, brake fluids, grease, chain spray, and cleaners!”

My grandma use to say… “You’ve gotta have Italian shoes. Basta!” As I’ve been for year on the search for the right motorcycle boots- which are fulfilling my relatively high standards in my gear as a professional rider- I found out that she was right! Forma boots are developed with high-end materials on a very high quality level, and the look is fantastic. 2015 is the 3rd year I’ve been using Forma Boots for their quality- durability- safety- and design. These guys are bike enthusiasts and we love their passion- and they love what Superbike- Coach does- which is why Forma is donating a 20% off discount (code: superbikecoach1) for all of our students- plus free shipping! How cool is that?!

Racer Gloves USA is the culmination of 25+ years in the motorcycle and apparel industries for company founder Lee Block. Riding motorcycles since the age of 8, Lee has been a lifelong motorcyclist.  A former Loudon, New Hampshire road racer in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, Lee has raced a variety of motorcycles at racetracks across the country. Residing in California since 1997, his current motorcycle collection consists of both street, road race, and off-road motorcycles. Racer Gloves USA’s mission is to bring you premium quality products that make your riding experience safer and more enjoyable. Racer Gloves USA is donating 10% off discounts (voucher code available) for all of our students- plus free shipping! Sweet huh?!

Can Akkaya raced German IDM

A new racing season will start very soon

Very soon…

…the racers getting out of the ‘winter silence’ and come back into the light. The draft-carousel has slowing down, and hopefully everybody has a safe seat for the new racing season. The best seats in this little elitist world are long gone of course… quite rightly.

Tcha, and the off-season of the elite guys is pretty short. Their break is too short to become worried, but not for those guys who are on the way to the elite. They are still doomed and hoping to get ‚something‘ out of the Sponsor Odyssey, without getting hurt by the in the game involved rejections.

Don’t give up hope, cuz‘ very soon, your for a BBQ working like a dog mechanic will push you out of the dim

garage into the sunlight of the pit lane. Then, nothing else matters as just you, those fn… three miles per lap, and to squeeze these unlasting ‚One-Minute-Whatsoever‘ out of this hotter getting machine among your ass.

But even though for the elite teams it is uncommon to get a ‚external-big bran

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Definition Of The Ideal Line

Let’s find it out…

In racing sports, the racing line is the route the vehicle must take in order to minimize the time taken to complete the course. When analyzing a single corner, the optimum line is one that minimizes the time spent in the corner and maximizes the overall speed (of the motorcycle) through the corner. If one used the path with the smallest radius, that would minimize the distance taken around that corner. However, by fitting a curve with the widest possible radius into the corner, the higher speed which can be maintained more than compensates for the extra distance traveled.

The apex or clipping point is often used in motorsport, though other racing sports such as skiing and bicycling have similar concepts of an ideal line. The apex is often but not always, the geometric center of the turn. Hitting the apex allows the vehicle to take the straightest line and maintain the highest speed through that specific corner. It is also the tightest part of a corner. Within the context of motorcycling, the apex is referred to the point where the motorcycle is closest to the inside

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Just another new year resolution

Just a new year resolution

New year is here… oh hold on, racers think in ‚racing seasons‘ actually… you don’t become old that way you know.  It’ll just reminds you that you have something like an „expiration date“, especially as a pro. Time is a factor in many ways in racing.

However, the Christmas food was fantastic of course, as also the New Years party hangover. Now let’s get back on the treadmill  to get rid of that fat belly and to stick with the self-imposed new year resolution “to make the breakthrough this year” and that’s a top priority goal, every racer has to have, from the novice to the top-no Read more