As a kid you have idols you look up to. Bands, actors, or athletes. Needless to say that they have an influence on us, so I wanted to learn to play the guitar just like Angus Young of the rock band AC/DC. The big goal was, to have my own Marshall Amplifier and to rip it. The problem… those are hell of expensive and totally out of reach for me. That dream never left and today I have the damn Amp.

Can Akkaya on Honda RSR250, Hockenheimring 1987

Can Akkaya on Honda RSR250, Hockenheimring 1987

So my first helmet was a German product, a UVEX for 60 bux. Goofing around the town on mopeds in that way to big helmet- which actually broke my nose on a crash one day. Somewhen then, I’ve stumbled over motorcycle racing while zapping through the four TV stations we had back then, and there was that American racer who looked so different then all the others. His name was Freddie Spencer and he was wearing a Arai helmet. Needless to say that I wanted to have one myself, but the price was totally out of my league. Years later, when I was racing myself… I finally had one, a Spencer Replica RX-V.

Man was I proud for it, but killed my finances. Though, I had comparison to what’s wrong and what’s right, and in this case it’s not just the quality which comes to account. I’ve learned the hard way what difference a good lid can make, cuz’ you’ve got only one head- one life. I lost that Arai in a actually horrifying crash on public roads, when I hit against a static object outside a turn. I would have died in a other helmet. I know!

Making my way through amateur racing, semi-pro and finally professionally- also the sponsorship contracts are developing. Until finding the ‘right’ relationship, I had to wear top notch helmets from multiple manufactures but I ended up with Arai Germany as a coach until I left Europe in 2008. Again… I had comparison to what’s wrong and what’s right, and I was super happy that Arai Helmets USA took over and to continue this relationship till today!

Can Akkaya

 

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp

So, have you ever cleared the dung out of your garage?! I mean, that kind of stuff you horde throughout the years and glue on you from move to move. Not even stuff which doesn’t belong into a garage/shop. I’m talking about all the parts from previous and current projects which are catching dust. You know- those which are either way semi-broke or just not ‘enough’ to sell. Or all those tools you’re collecting, like dozens of same size IKEA allen keys. That weak cordless drill which delivered you for years just enough power to make that one hole- then another one- and another one, and each time you think why the hell are you not just go get a new one.

When you are just like me, then you also like to “MacGyver” things. Not just because you want to save the money- you also do this based on impatiens, because you need and want ‘it’ NOW. So also stuff like Velcro, aluminum profiles, steel materials, blade rollers, foam, and whatnot. That kind of stuff you find a place for on top of shelves, in drawers and boxes. You know you have it somewhere when you have a craft-impulse, but each time the search for it consumes time and motivation.

So yea, to un-dung the Superbike-Coach shop took a week, but I can assure you that it wasn’t even messy as you might think it was. We have lots of bikes to maintain and to clean, and that doesn’t go without order and discipline. That’s not the problem, but the overload was.

The dung is just one of many things. I also wanted to change some things for a better workflow. I mean, if you have to stand on a chair to find the right bolt on top shelf- or to have to use a flashlight in the dark corner- or to walk to the tool shelf a thousand times…

After filling 1 ½ recycling bins of dung, the cleaning was next. The dirt you bring in with those tires is phenomenal actually. Re-organizing was next. Two big shelves are helping to store oil, gas and all those boxes which we need for classes. Those were parked alongside the wall, so no more moving them out of the way anymore. Every bike has its own box now, and no more stationary tools- instead they are movable wherever they are needed. Additions were a self retracting power source- light fixtures- new carpets- a parts washer, and yea… a f’n new electric drill. I actually was considering to tile the floor, but I’ll postpone it. Instead I’ll put together a computer the MacGyver way, because there is a pile of e-dung in the office that I can use somehow :-)

There is one thing I found in a drawer though. Somewhere deep beneath the dung, there were my daughters working gloves. She wore them when she was 3 years old and when she helped mom in the garden back in Germany. She didn’t do anything with them because she didn’t want to make them dirty, she said. There were too many bugs in that bush anyway, she said :-)

These gloves will never ever leave me!

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp

 

 

 

Lest Sundays ‘Suspension Workshop & Track Time’ was extraordinary.

Continental tire for demonstration

Ones more we could help riders not just to understand how and why to set up motorcycle suspension to their needs and riding purpose. This goes way deeper as it may appears in the first place. It begins with insights into tires and their effect on grip and geometry. A Continental RaceAttack slick helped to make things clear. Big surprises on air pressures and influences in tire performance, but when they went on our Little 99 Raceway the surprise turned over to smiles.

We moved on with the why’s and the how’s of setting up levers and controls. This isn’t just going into more riding comfort- we also can make detailed suggestions towards their existing equipment, or more appropriate stuff. All our tools were ready to use, so that they were able to make adjustments. The Superbike-Coach team Marion, Mark and Dean were always there for them to help out.

BikeMaster rider-sag tool

That was clearly needed when we went on adjusting suspension pre-load settings. That after they got to know what to look for with a general suspension setup. At that point the support of BikeMaster really helped, because they support us with their outstanding tools . Just like the rider-sag measurement tool.

The next subject was damping, so in compression and rebound. That is not easy sometimes, because some bikes don’t have any of these options. This is where we can make strong suggestions in this regard. Oil viscosity, spring rates, shim stacks, and so on and so on.

Not to forget to mention, that all students go on the track to feel the differences after each subject. So they’ve done that many times already before we initial the last subject- troubleshoot. They’ve learned what and where to be most focused with, so that they can bring back a objective insights of the behavior of their bikes.

Besides all this, we can identify issues their bikes may have. It’s very normal for us to get to see stuck throttle cables, brake levers touching housings, or loose bolts. We are not just clicking +/- 4 steps around and let them go like others do. This here is something you should have on your plan, because I decided to take this program also to 2020.

How racers explain bike behaviors

#bikemaster  #contimotousa

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp

Yea, I know you might think ‘well they have to praise a sponsor’, but be assured- we have them as a sponsor for a darn good reason- our shop and to maintain our school bike fleet.

T he thing is, when you do everything yourself on your bike, then you gotta go the whole nine yards. You need regular tools, special tools, tool boxes, carts, chemicals, lubricants, lights, seats, stands, tie downs, and whatnot. Nothing goes without a range of general parts like chains, sprockets, seals, brake pads, lights and mirrors. That, and a whole lotta more is BikeMaster.

Does it need space to turn your garage into a DIY shop?- sure- but maybe less than you might thing it takes. Does it cost?- of course- but not as much as you might thing, especially not with BikeMaster. Looking at their pricing proofs that part real quick.

Now, if you consider to start doing some little things yourself, you actually not just save lots of money- you are also about to connect more to your bike and to understand things on a different level. You’ll learn a lot. See, when I started racing I couldn’t do anything myself so I had to go into it. And last year I’ve rebuild an entire 4 stroke engine myself. The savings on the labor went in to the thousands and I had fun doing it, besides gaining a slight childish proud’yness about new abilities :-)

An oil change, swapping a battery or even a set of tires- it can go far. And to be clear- it’s not just the labor to save- it also is the time you spend for the back/forth and the confidence that things really have been done.

We at Superbike-Coach are super happy to have BikeMaster on our corner. Just the transport drama has been completely solved with their products.

So let’s wrestle some wrenches and get even deeper into your hobby. Check our BikeMaster and find out about their huge portfolio of bike specific parts or general tools. Viva BikeMaster :-)

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp

I wished I could put in words how it feels like to master a wheelie or to drag the knee. While a wheelie feels like flying- a dragging knee get’s you in contact with ‘the enemy’. Short and simple pure AWESOMENESS :-)

Now what kind of riders are attending these Superbike-Coach classes?!… the ‘you and me’ rider to be straight up. Riders who want to get into it in the most save possible way and legal. Riders who are most reliable actually, from lawyers to nurses, office workers and whatnot. We welcome riders from all over the planet to these classes because they know we deliver in this order:

  1. Safety
  2. Fun
  3. Success

So two weeks ago, we initialed another knee down class and a wheelie course next day. We combine these so that riders can extend their experience and learning with us and to give their long travels more value. Our rentals are ready for the task.

Twenty riders made it out for the knee class. Most of them are trying for years to finally get it done. Videos, other schools and lots and lots of track days. 169 bux and 7 hours is what it takes for me to make 15 of them dragging now. Our highest rating was 18 of a 21 ones. That’s a rating you need to think about for a second, and then you might know why all classes Superbike-Coach has to offer are booking up since the last 7 years!!! Remarkable at this point is, that those riders who are successful were mostly students in our cornering school program. Our knee students run through 3 stations- the big oval to use their bikes and rentals. The break area to rest (needed!), and our mini bike on a small oval. Every time our mini bike gets a hell of a beat, and guess what… no questions asked. I mean… try to find this somewhere else where you are allowed to damage! When you feel all this and add the darn good reviews we’re getting- then do you even wonder why the next Knee Down class on 10/26/2019 is booked up more than 3 months upfront?!

However, it would be naive to think that everyone must/should be successful. That wouldn’t be fair to expect from us and the students. this goes mainly towards the wheelie class because the success ratio there is about 60%. Most of the riders who couldn’t get it done are coming back, which says a lot about this program too doesn’t it?! So our wheelie students are running through a 4 stations circle- the long straight to use their bikes or rentals. The break area to rest (very much needed), our mini bike for coordination, and our own wheelie machine which makes you fee balance point and throttle control.

This machine allows us to instruct right next to you, which is why I’ve build it in the first place. Another aspect for me was, that those wheelie machines to buy are not realistic enough. They are not up to my measures and don’t deliver the feel nor options to learn the actual control of air-time. The plan and build time took about 6 month. Testing and developing another month, and now this piece of SBC equipment is permanently part since the last 3 classes. Established stuff, and you can use it! No question… also the next Wheelie Course on 10/27/2019 is going to book up.

You ask yourself if you should do it- and I go- WHY NOT?! :-)

SBC photographer’s (Dean Lonskey) pic gallery of the entire class.

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp

Painfully, I remember the outcome of my first top 10 race as a semi-professional in St. Wendel Germany in 1992. That was one of a bad ass half track half street tracks you don’t get to see these days anymore. I came of from 3rd row in qualifying and made my way up and kept 9th position till the last lap. I didn’t make any mistakes until exiting the last turn onto the straight. One single miss-shift, and three guys passed me. I was heartbroken. A year later the first quick shifters came out and when I tested it, I remembered that devastating mistake and I wished I would have one back then.

But a quick shifter doesn’t only help to reduce miss-shifts. In racing it reduces energy loss on two levels- forward momentum and physical input. That and a certain mental relief opens reserves. Today, most high-end street legal bikes are coming with a quick shifter, and if you don’t have one… go get one. Dynojet Research, one of the pioneers in regard fuel management systems for the aftermarket offers those for a variety of motorcycles and universals. Their famous Power commander adds their quick shifter in no time plug and play.

Now let me first explain what a Power commander can do for ya. Besides a gain of power with the right map (fuel/air management), you can determine every percentage of throttle position so that weak spots can be reduced- like an harsh throttle response for example. Ergo, drive-ability and general performance. If you’ve changed your exhaust and air filter, you might have to have a ECU flash done. That is not just pretty expensive, it is also imperfect if its data are not developed on a roller. On top of this- a flash is a one time thing, so any change would require another expensive flash. The Power commander is adjustable anytime.

Dynojet also offers an AutoTune, which optimizes fuel/air ratios on the fly, and a Ignition Module which can make the difference on the track. All of it can be connected to a network and fine adjusted on a computer, just like in a MotoGP garage. Additionally, the Quick Shifter Sensor. We just recently installed a PC-V and a Quick Shifter to one of our school bikes. The instructions are clear- nothing has to be spliced- and a matching map is a download away. The quick shifter need to be activated, and that’s it. The bike shifts through the gears as smooth as it can get.

These Dynojet systems are a big upgrade you can do to your bike.

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp

 

This is great news. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) launched the new Get Up to Speed on Motorcycles campaign to help motorists understand standard motorcycle driving behaviors and to learn how to drive safely around motorcycles.

Motorcyclists accounted for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities while motorcycles make up just 3 percent of all registered vehicles in the United States. Motorcyclists are about 27 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash, and 5 times more likely to be injured.

The NHTSA has some general suggestions on how to stay save on public roads:

  • Slow down, assess your surroundings, and don’t rush when crossing intersections, entering the roadway from a parking lot or driveway, or turning left. Always give yourself enough time to thoroughly check for motorcyclists.
  • When turning left, ensure there is enough time and space for the motorcyclist to clear the roadway before you initiate the left turn.
  • Don’t follow motorcyclists too closely and allow sufficient braking cushion between your vehicle and the motorcycle in front of you to give your vehicle enough room to come to a complete stop without a collision. Remember, a motorcyclist’s brake lights might not always be engaged when a motorcycle decelerates.
  • Always double-check your blind spots when changing lanes or starting to entering or exiting the roadways. Adjust your rear- and side-view mirrors and use them properly.
  • If someone you know drives a motorcycle, tell him or her to always wear a helmet—even if the law doesn’t require it. According to NHTSA, an estimated 740 lives could have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn helmets.

I think that this is just a fraction of what you could do better as a rider. Isn’t it?!

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp