I remember testing one of the first Traction Control systems coming out, and it was horrible. Back then, a TC prevented any rear wheel spin immediately. Not in a smooth way, but almost like a light-switch type shut off. That might have helped a less experienced rider, but for those who operating the throttle on turn exits at a level where the rear wheel purposely spins faster than the front- might works against them. It takes smoothness to powerslide and a committed and steady throttle control. An interruption just like a TC causes at that time got me in trouble. That clearly has changed a lot over the years and electronic rider aids have improved immensely. That benefits especially street bikes/riders, and the development ‘department’ is motorsports.

More stuff is coming from there, like: Backing-In control, Wheelie control, Launch control, and even Powerslide control. Other rider aids like ABS have not been developed there because they are not using any ABS. Why not?… because they extent braking travel- ergo- you’d have to brake earlier- ergo- slower lap times. That should ring the bell already, shouldn’t it?!

In motorsports… doesn’t all the electronics take away the advantage the top racers have in terms of riding skill actually?! Where did the ‘surprise effect’ go when the red light turns off and all bikes/cars coming off the start literally equally? How to judge a performance when a TC replaces pure determination and drawing fat black lines on the exits of turns? When mastering a throttle turns to a ‘just hold it wide open’ wheelie control. Does it really give the race more quality this way? Personal preference I guess…

Significance had the computers entering the motorcycle sport. Tons of sensors reading data into the software which truly helps to get closer to the ‘perfect’ setup. Just imagine what kind of advantage this took away from those racers who had the ‘butt-meter’ and the smartness to communicate it to the team engineers. Sure, the top guys are still able to do this, but what does this make the others?

Examples out of Formula One are easier to pick because the influence of electronics is way more obvious as in MotoGP? In the area when Formula One cars had a few driver aids, there was Canadian racer Jacques Villeneuve the only one who took the Eau Rouge chicane at Spa Francorchamps in Belgium, flat out. Needless to mention that this didn’t work out all the time but you can say the man was flying and on height of his career. Electronics makes the famous Eau Rouge chicane to a video game everyone can play, well almost. There is barley smoke coming off those fat tires when they start. Launch control took it away from those who could control a almost 900 hp beast, and not to mention traction control which replaces a sharp feel to max out tire grip.

Lot’s of it has been banned meanwhile… luckily, but the technology went over to street cars. Power-steering and stabilization, auto-downforce wings, electronic stabilization- just to name a few- and also to see in motorcycles such as active suspensions, traction control, power brakes, backing-In control, cornering ABS, quick shifters, auto blib and whatnot. Don’t understand me wrong here, because I don’t undergo today’s MotoGP or Formula One racers at all. They are on the highest level of Motorsports for a darn good reason, and to max out these new elements have to be mastered as well.

Sure, the aspect of rider aids in regard rider level quality has no relevance for street legal bikes. Mainly these e-gizmos are helping riders in regard safety, but… is all of it really such a great thing?!!!

ABS for example. Good thing to cover the panic grab, but other than that it actually extends braking travel (which is why it’s not in racing btw). It takes braking power away. So I coached a upcoming CHP Motorcycle Officer ones and when I told him this, he actually choked. He mentioned that the CHP ran statistics to find out why their Officers got more hurt since they swapped from Harley’s to BMW’s, which supposed to be safer rides. They found that Officers ride beyond the pace they use to and that all those electronic aids kicked off a confidence boost and a false feel of safety. Hmmmm…!

My theory also goes into Traction Controls, which are making young riders more likely buying a 230 hp motorcycle. In the end, Joe might rides over his capabilities. Oh and there is a Slid Control now too, which controls a powerslide when exiting turns in lean. You gotta be freaking fast already to even get there and to make that work… but Joe might thing that this is no big deal anymore:

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp


Imagine, there was a class where you could ride all day on a race track for only 49 bucks. No hassle, no distractions, no drama. And now picture all of this would be perfectly organized in level groups on a track which wouldn’t be too far away from you. How cool would that be?! Let’s take it further… imagine that you could add a workshop to it and to get your bike dialed in at the same time by a professional- or even better- you would also get the knowledge, tools, and a helping hand to learn how to do that stuff on your own. That would be killer right!?

I’ve seen riders struggling with their bikes- or in bad cases- they even get hurt just because of lack of reach-ability. How’s this possible?!… well, you can go install a light switch too high for someone to reach, and see how long it might take to turn the damn light on. And yeah, the subjects seem complex and the fear of wrenching the bike is big. This is why we’re there to check on your baby in regard suspension, lever adjustments, tires, throttle free play, and lots of other stuff. Together with you, we’ll make significant changes for the better. Let me tell you some stories and literally terrible things we’ve discovered in the previous… …classes. There was a female rider in our workshop, and her throttle didn’t return at all. Her answer–“I’m used to it”– is not helping, but we’ve fixed it for her. Another rider installed an aftermarket front brake lever and didn’t even notice that the damn thing hit the starter button housing, which restricted the full potential of the brake down to 30%! Another rider just got a racing rear shock installed for about $2 grands incl labor, The damn shock didn’t work at all and was as stiff as a stick. The rider thought it was all in the setting, but it wasn’t. I bet if he would have lost traction and to crash, he wouldn’t even know that the shock/shop was responsible for a possible injury.

Quite frightening huh?! But that’s not all by far… missing bolt in the master braking cylinder, cracked handle bars, loose steering stems, leaking seals; and top on the list… a fully destroyed rear sprocket where the f’d up chain just skipped all those rounded teethes. Oh yea, and the rider actually assumed it was a broken gearbox!

On the suspension side in previous workshops, we helped riders to find their bikes more agile and holding the line better. Some report to literally have a new bike feel. Bottoming out, lack of grip and overly worn out tires they complain about; even after they have had ‘specialists’ working on their bikes. Why?!… because with them, you can’t go out on a track and learn to report- learn to ‘what to focus on’ while going through specific sectors- then to come back and to directly work on issues. With the Superbike-Coach ‘Workshop & Track Time‘ class… you can do all of that and have a fat grin on the face at the same time!

Now… you wanna blame me for pointing things out in all honesty, or the shop which makes a front brake work on 30% only?! Your choice.

Our next Workshop is coming up on 7/15/2018, and you can sign up here for it.

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Sacramento 7/4/2018

If you follow my monthly topics, then you might have noticed the red line to the struggle of riders on mental focus – so let’s stay on this topic and clear something up at the same time. This goes mainly out to the track riders and racers.

It seems that there is a wrong picture of what a teacher has to look like and be capable of. Sometimes I hear things like “Coach is to old”, or “He raced in the 80’s, that was different back then.” The conclusion seems to be that because I’m older, I can’t teach them anything. This is wrong and misguided, so let me throw a light into the dark tunnel for you.

Of course I am not as fast as I once was, but I actually still have the fire of a thousand suns in me when I’m on track, and I can rip lap times at Laguna Seca Raceway that would make active racers quite nervous, even when the years on me have replaced my 6-pack with a beer belly. Even when I am a little hip-lame… I still know what it takes to achieve Pole Positions, International Pro Racing victories, and even lap records. And here’s the deal… besides technology and tires – we’re still fighting the same old element… gravity.

Still not convinced? Remember Karate Kid’s Mr Miyagi? How about Yoda? Or Panda’s Master Shifu? They are all old, and they mentor their students to become hero’s anyway. Yea… I know. That’s all Hollywood?! So what about reality- like Coach Bill Belichick and his New England Patriots for example? He’s old and he keeps creating winning teams. Just recently I saw a documentary about Peyton Manning’s Super Bowl ending carrier. Here’s a multi-million dollar NFL player who got hip-lame himself and loaded with mental blocks. This man had a coach on his side- a 72 year old Sensei!

Does that mean that his sensei was expected to throw the damn ball further than record holder Manning? Was it necessary for his sensei to be quicker out of the pocket? Should his sensei have been mentally and physically strong enough to get past a 280-pound linebacker and throw a touchdown anyway? NO, but his sensei helped him on a way different level, and all what that 100 Million dollar MVP and multiple record holder was replying to his sensei was- ‘Yes Sir’ and ‘Yes Coach’!

Still not seeing the comparison? How about a basketball coach who is 2 ft smaller than his player- or a hockey coach who can no longer skate fast and handle a puck like a 20-year old. They may not be able to play the game, but they know what it takes to be a success in the game. They know what to say- when to say- and how to say!

So here is the logic, which I believe got lost with all those track day instructors who believe that a 10 minutes ‘workout’ and a succinct tip in regard ‘body positioning’ is all what it takes to be a good teacher. At a certain level of an athlete, a coach on the sideline is working just fine. I as a coach, see weak spots to delete, strengths to develop, tailor a race strategy, finding details to improve in the skill set and most important to mind set a competitive nature, because I know what to say- when to say- and how to say!

For this, I don’t have to be with the racer on the track to ’skate faster’ to proof credentials. Though, I bet I even can help a Top-Gun racer to drop lap times also with his riding skill set, because I’ve been there too. At that point to mention MotoGP. Even some of those guys have coaches too. Are they riding with them?! No, because how should that be even possible?!

You’re asking why I put this on the mental side?… well, you might shut yourself down with that type of thinking, and might miss out on something that finally could get you on the path you always wanted to walk… the path to success on the race track. If you still don’t see that the problems are between your ears, then you keep fighting wind mills. But if you are ready- come see me and I might help you to become a mighty Jedi.

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Sacramento 04/25/2018

With every class, events and seminars I learn something new about the needs of the people I coach and talk to. To gather intelligence is one of the building blocks of how I design my programs.

One perception goes deep. Actually way deeper as it might feels/looks at first glance, and this is that most riders are actually don’t even know what they are looking for in a motorcycle riding class. When I ask plain, the general answer is ‘I want to be more confident.‘, or ‘I don’t know. I believe I need to fix my body positioning‘. I have my ways to get more specifics from them they begin to warm up and telling me their stories.

It seems that most are looking for solutions based on the situations they’ve experienced, like ‘I am hitting debris in a blind turn. How to deal with this?’- or ‘How to get around a deer’- or ‘…a merging car…’ etc. Some actually getting a little mad when I reject the question. Why?!… well, because my imagination of what exactly their situation was is pretty limited, isn’t it?! I mean… how can you expect to hear from me a 100% solution if I don’t know ALL OF THESE FACTORS:

  • how fast were you?
  • what was your EXACT lean?
  • what was the EXACT distance to the object?
  • what’s your reaction time like?
  • how do you react under panic?
  • what was your EXACT line?
  • was there a bump?
  • how was the grip niveau of the asphalt?
  • was the space to the left/right?
  • at what EXACT point and angle in the turn?
  • how was the light?
  • how is your bike setup?
  • how old are your tires, and what are they capable of?
  • did you have sleep enough last night?
  • did you have a beer or too last night?

are linked with each other and make a plain answer impossible. Sure, I could give a standardized truism answer like ‘counter steer’, but in the end it is just an empty phrase, because without knowing all of the factors above… how should I know where and when to put an eventual live saving counter steer?!

But no, some really get mad and might think that I wouldn’t know or that I’m just sales pitching Cornering classes, when I keep the explanation in a seminar short when questions coming my way in regard counter steering. Of course I KNOW, but if I would try to explain it without doing live demos, drills, and plenty of riding time and to correct you to finally get it down… then it actually is it just like the same as if you would read it in a damn book, where efficiency is questionable (!). Any answer would be just a waste of time and the rider filled only with half-knowledge.

So what is the ‘perfect street rider class’? How about I deliver the scenario to send you through a bunch of blind turns- covered with debris, and let you go back and forth? Or I send you down a long straight into glaring sunlight and let deer’s jump in your way? Those deers would be exchangeable with red, white and silver Priuses so that would be covered as well. How about a class like that?! Sorry no, because the ‘SURVIVAL SKILLS’ you are looking for are to get a other way. How?!…

OK, imagine you are going trough a blind turn, and you are realizing that you are heading towards debris. What do you think is the appropriate procedure to get ‘around’ it (the solution is in the word)??? Yep… you need to ‘corner’ to go around it.
What about avoiding the deer or the damn Prius?… Yep… you need to ‘corner’. What about to hit the ‘escaping’ gap you see opening?… Yep… you need to ‘corner’. What about to have to emergency brake so hard, but you mental coolness allows to make decisions to ease into trail braking and to counter steer away?!… YOU NEED TO LEARN TO CORNER TO GET THE SURVIVAL SKILLS YOU ARE LOOKING FOR! Ergo- A cornering class is what you need for God’s sake!You think you can get it in a parking lot class which copied their drills from others? Is this the way you could get the MENTAL COOLNESS I’ve mentioned?! Sorry no, and please let me add at this point that your mental stability is the skill which kicks in first when hitting debris, the deer, the Prius driver, or that 20 years old driving that SV while texting a complaint on Facebook how f’d up everyone is driving today. I know I can help you with that too.
Headcoach Can Akkaya, Sacramento 03/21/2018


I pretty much rode Cleo like a raw egg at my track day on 8/5/. Too much going on to be focused. The track gig showed some issues which I’ll be working on in the next 3 weeks: brake rotor wobble, poor brake pads, real bad front end, carbon heat shield came off, GPS lap timer, to flash the ECU, and to change fairings/design.
I finally got rid of that super cheap and way to big looking tire huger. I was looking for a long time and found this one in Italy… of corse

Let me draw up an interim balance:
All the stuff you see on the last picture are parts which I could replace with carbon, aluminum or even titanium (again… I’ll keep the ball low). Even though I’ve measured differences of about 60% less- I will take only 40% off the scale to calculate fair. What you see on the picture makes 9.35kg on the scale, minus 40% = 3.74kg. Now lets look at the stuff I could just take out of the bike: license plate holder, everything what’s in the mufflers, and whatnot. The difference is significant: 4.8kg
The total weight loss until now is 10.41kg, which is about 23 American pounds!

That’s the weight I try to eat less in Pizza, but kinda not getting it done- so here we go :-)

Headcoach Can Akkaya

Not many people talking about this actually , so here am I again with ‘another’ controversy, because I can’t keep my mouth shut about things which should have been said a long time ago. I’m looking forward to see in comments if the subject deserves to be ‘controversy’ in your eyes at all, so here we go…

How easy is it to make a motorcycle drivers license

In Europe as a kid of the 70’s, you had to make a drivers license and to ride a 50cc moped for 2 years. It cost 50 Euros, 6 classes and 1 riding hour. Don’t think you just open that motor to get 70 km/h hour out of it, because it was restricted by law to 25 km/h, so about 15 miles per hour! The cops new our games well, and it was not just costly to get caught… they could also locked your next drivers license step away for another year.

By the age of 16, you ramp up to 80cc lightweight bikes. The drivers license is comparable with the one for riding a moped, but comes with more required class and riding hours before you can make the driving test. That education cost about 1500 Euros, 11 riding hours and 24 hours of classroom! Those bikes are top speed restricted to 80 km/h, and you are riding them for another 2 years.

Now you’re 18, and since you went through a riding odyssey of 4 years- you are looking at another 400 Euros to get a drivers license to ride all kinds of motorcycles as long they are restricted to a maximum of 48 horsepower. You think that’s tough?!… there is more to come, because if you have crashes or fool around with the traffic laws- you will extent the 2 years period before you finally make it to a non-restricted motorcycle.

Now let’s say you are ‘mom-in-laws-favorite’ and stick tightly to the rules for another 2 years… yes, then it is time to make the A-license for another 1700 Euros, 12 hours of classroom and 11 hours of riding including a drivers test. Then… yes, finally then you are qualified to ride any motorcycle with all of its horsepower’s. At that point I should mention that when I was 20, that the entire motorcycle industry agreed with the laws to restrict the horsepower to ALL models to 100 hp maximum- to protect the riders from aggressive horsepower-marketing by the manufacturers. Makes kinda sense to me today, I must say. But I come back later to this once more. However, I don’t know if that ‘self-restriction’ is still ongoing over there, because I live in the country of my heart, the United States of America, since 2008 now.

Make a drivers license in California

So I had to renew my license as I emigrated and I didn’t complain hearing that I can make a motorcycle drivers license for only 28 bux. I mean… compared with the 3500 Euros I’ve spend… that’s a smile on the face right there. So I answered those funny questions in a written exam to get a temporary drivers license for 12 months… WHAT?! I mean… at least back then, nobody knew that Can Akkaya- a ex-racing pro from Europe, actually really can ride or not… right?!

Yes ‘I can’, but this is maybe like a ‘suicide permission’ or a ‘license to kill’ for someone else, because nobody (!) even asked me if I can ride… they just gave me a motorcycle drivers license. Just like that. I’ve passed my DMV circle riding test one week after my written exam. Maybe I was an exception getting so easy to a drivers license?… unfortunately not, but there are at least some more rider orientated looking options out there… but are they really?! Let’s see…

My wife Marion wanted to make her M1 drivers license here as well, so I started teaching her from the scratch. She made it for about $270 bux and a weekend of time after the written exam. Would she be ready to go after this without having me continuing her training?… no she wouldn’t! Then I meet students almost every day who are coming out of ‘Certified Riding Schools’. They ‘past’ the test or got kicked out to go and learn to ride on their own, to finally come back to be some kind of ‘good enough’ to make it then. So that’s what this is about, isn’t it?! To be good enough for the big ‘test’.  However, new riders like this find a place to learn from the scratch in my ‘Basic Rider 1on1‘ program. That’s how Anne-Marie-Pham got in contact with me, and it took a while until my confusion faded. Her journey is the trigger for this article btw.

Anne signed up for my Basic Rider 1on1, which is designed to teach riders who don’t know how to ride AND who are not having a motorcycle drivers license yet. So I ask questions where she’s at and find out that she actually just achieved a drivers license, so I am referring her to my Road Skill 1on1 program which would be the logical next step. She had a hard time to make me understand that she need to learn from the scratch, and rejected my suggestions. My confusion… I am in a conflict thinking that a rider needs to learn from the scratch, even though the drivers license has been successfully mastered already. Feel me here?!

Since I don’t want to charge or offer a not suitable program, I offered to just transfer her Basic Rider to Road Skill after seeing her on a motorcycle and she would have to live with my decision… I was glad I didn’t! Anne-Marie was totally terrified and told me her story with that ‘certified school’ she took at some dealership parking lot:

I signed up for CMSP and I came into this class excited, I came out of this two day class as scared as I can ever be! I can’t even tell you how many times I dropped the bike, I lost count. And get this…. I passed!!!

Read Anne-Marie Pham’s full review here

What I’ve seen was a totally lost soul, but not ready to give up on a new hobby, and I had to win her trust first. I don’t even start talking about the curriculum what those schools have to go with, and which produces fears and hold backs towards braking. It was all showing- and shocked me a lot. Anne’s confidence grew by the hour, and she hired me for another Basic Rider session before I will give her my OK for the Cornering class, where she will learn all survival skills my way!

Comparing the European system with the regulations in the U.S., it seem to be bad for the economy over there and also it makes it hard to recruit new riders, because more and more kids are skipping the pain and just wait till they can drive their stupid VW Golf GTI once they are 18 years old. This is what this is all about friends… the economy. A ‘quick’ drivers license makes a quick sale. For me, this is almost like giving a new rider a unlocked gun and to say… “Just point it where ever you want- and this here is the trigger!”

Sure- if you would have asked me when I was 16, to make a drivers license for only 28 bux by pretty much answering 36 questions correctly and for doing some circles on a parking lot… I probably would have declared that day a Holiday, especially if you also would have told me that I could just go and pick a 210 hp liter bike right away!  Would it been healthy for me?!… no it wouldn’t. Don’t you tell me you’ve done wise decisions from 14 till 25 years of age… so I didn’t, and so it would be not too bad if someone helps keeping things in check a little. The system has to change… now!

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp

I’m hearing it every day. First I see 99.9% of my students braking, and their performance is actually shockingly bad. Straight up… ‘BRAKING’ IS THE PRIOR SKILL TO STAY ALIVE. Then I ask them who taught them and what was the message, and their answers are even more shocking…

In fact, ANY curriculum of motorcycle drivers license giving institutions are telling new riders to “Stay away from the front brake when turning/leaning!” I believe that this is already a CRIME to say, because I would say that you gotta be be able to make a use of your brakes AT ALL FREAKING TIMES! But there is much more coming with this message- mental blockades which I as a Coach who is teaching the total opposite- have to remove manifested habits and overly produced fears!

Now how is that?!… well, if you tell a new rider stuff like that- you automatically manifest a certain hold back towards the front brake, which is actually our primary weapon against scary situations. The blockade is so deep in their heads, that most of the riders are not even using 50% of their front brake potential- which is another guarantee to get hurt or even to die. Besides this, it also leads them to an over-usage of rear brake which causes even more confusion and extends their learning curve… which is time they might don’t have.

You think a street rider don’t need this?… You’re dead wrong! Superbike-Coach teaches ‘Trail Braking’, a MotoGP riding technique since 10 years in Cornering School Day 3, and that is the key to lots of good things the top racers of this planet take advantage of. Priority for them… to lower lap times- and for the street rider to gain the chance to SURVIVE dramatically. Why and how?… find out in the class and learn it, because reading and learning won’t work here.

Is this a guarantee to get out of everything?… no it’s not, because there is always a ‘point of no return’, but it gains you chance to make it exponentially. Are there other schools teaching to trail brake?… probably- are they doing it right?… I don’t know. I do know that Superbike-Coach does it right- and that we have the environment and drills to do this even better. The curriculum and their message in this regard of license giving institutions has to change, because it is wrong and dangerous.

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp