BikeMaster Tools

Every garage needs tools to function, and if you have one or want to start out getting into wrenching yourself, then i might have the right supplier for you.

bikemaster producat with Superbike-Coach Tools and shop supplies are expensive. What you need is a plan to overlook what you want to maintain or repair. Sky is the limit. Yes you spend on tools, but you’ll figure soon how quick it all paid off, as long as you look into BikeMaster Products.

So, do you want to maintain things around your bike? Like servicing your chain- swapping oil or tires and brake pads? That will only take a few standard tools and saves you loads of money already.

Over time you’ll get more confident and start replacing things, like broken fairings, levers, and service brake fluid and such. That will take also some more specific tools, especially when you go into repairing engines yourself. I can tell ya… that saves you fortunes, being able to do stuff like that.

Superbikecoach uses bikemaster toolsOnes you are through this, you are also not far away from crafting things, like building brackets etc. Fixing things the ‘MacGyver’ way. Also here, BikeMaster can help you with in the most possible affordable way.

Especially when you are into track riding or racing, you’ll have to do things on your own. Measuring tools, bearing replacement kits, and tools which make work easier and quicker.

Go check BikeMaster out and start doing some stuff on your own. It’s fun and makes you positively more busy with your hobby.

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp

Can Akkaya with HRC technician in Zolder Circuit, Belgium 1993

How to become a professional motorcycle racer

If I would get a dollar, each time someone asks me on how to become a professional racer…

I am a strong believer in dreams, because all good things BEGIN WITH A DREAM, but becoming a professional racer is something only a few can turn into reality. I was one, and now I’m a professional coach- which is why I know. An easy way to look at it is: You gotta be THAT GOOD at it, that you get paid for it.

Just this explains a lot and makes dreams pop like soap bubbles already, right?! Especially when you just started racing and look out to those stars already by asking that question too early. Cuz’ how do you know that you’ll ever be THAT GOOD at it?! If you look for it too early, you just make yourselves a four years old who says ‘I wanna be an astronaut when I’m grown up’. Not saying it’s impossible- but it kinda skips quite some significant steps there. Btw… nova days you kinda have to be on the race bike at an age of 4 years already to eventually make pro level. If you are not, then I suggest to make sure to graduate school so that you have a plan B. Sorry for brutal honesty.

Let’s clean something up before we go deeper into this. I noticed that some claiming the title ‘professional’ because their fast- or someone calls an instructor at a track day a ‘professional’ while they are not actually. It seems this term has become a indicator for skill level, like: Amateur> Advanced> Professional. So like a replacement for Expert kinda thing. In fact- they are not professionals, unless they can make a living of it so that they don’t have to follow any other regular full or part time jobs anymore. That’s a professional.

To become one of those few comes with broken bones, blood, dedication, discipline, soul, live changing decisions, sweat, fitness, age, management skills, organization, relationships, and a drop dead killer instinct. There is way more going into this. Things which are off bike and track. You are doing things according to create or to maintain your ‘market value’. At this point… OMG, just overthinking all the facets is almost impossible to bring this together here. But let me try…

how to become a professional motorcycle racer, superbike-coachBeing a professional racer is a 24/7, 365 days a year job. You have ‘vacation’ during the time your bones are healing and skin slowing closes wounds. I did 30 kilometers per day on a mountain-bike. Your daily nutrition is carefully picked (in other words, also your family etc has to play along with your racer life cycle!). Between scheduled testing new parts, you travel a lot from track to track or to the team quarters. You have an appointment for a TV show or a radio podcast interview to do. Magazines or newspapers calling for interviews. You’re sending pictures and autograph cards to fans. You organize team travel and dates for an entire calendar year. Just think of the time and money that point consumes. One of your local sponsors has an event and wants you to pick up your new mountain-bike, which he gives you for that. You shake lots of hands and smile into cameras even if you don’t feel like it. You have lots of dinners with team owners who want you to race for them. You have to evaluate a lot and make the right career decisions. In-between you do Moto Cross and whatnot, just to kick and haulin ass. You have dinners with sponsors or those who hopefully become one.

This is just a fraction of the ‘pro package’, and if you call someone a professional while they are not… then you literally slap those few in the face and take their credit away from being a real professional, because they are THAT GOOD at it- on and off the race bike.

Though…

Remember Michael ‘Eddie the Eagle’ Edwards? He never was that good at Ski Jumping actually, but his ‘Never Surrender’ attitude, the shortest jumps in Olympics ever, and his cricket way to jump got him into the hearts of the crowd. ‘Eddie’ had more publicity than the actual competition winner and got TV, radio and the press. That is marketing value, and so he got into lots of lucrative sponsorships. Proof that anyone can make it. Go get creative if you aren’t THAT GOOD at it :-)

how to become a professional motorcycle racer, superbike-coachGetting hired?

Most likely you won’t, unless you are already THAT GOOD at it. If so, than this is either the so called ‘Works team‘ (for example: Yamaha Factory Racing, HRC Honda Racing Corporation, etc)- a ‘Satellite Racing Team‘ (like: LCR, Tech3, etc). By then though, you are professional for a while already.

You’ll most likely run this just like a business. You won’t EVER get a million dollar RedBull contract of the batch. It takes time to find the right relationships. They start to trust you and discounts turn into free of charge products. If you really getting that much better, you’ll be able to have no more costs in regard bike and gear.

As your calendar fills up and you got tons better, you could turn product sponsorship contracts to monetary support a little, From here it might be enough to have a regular part time job now, and boom- you’d be a Semi-Pro. At this point you’ll pay taxes for this and your life has been immensely changed by then.

All of a sudden there is this championship winning team who just lost their number one racer due to injuries. They call you because they know that you are about to be THAT GOOD at it, and you go contact the relationships you’ve built and tell them about this opportunity. An opportunity which attracts press, fans, other teams… and the circle is closing! You are about to be a professional racer, who gets paid because he’s THAT GOOD at it.

how to become a professional motorcycle racer, superbike-coachHow much can you make?

A pro racer is a promoting machine which has a market value. That value depends on many things: Character, personality, skill, fan base, intelligence, press attractive and much more- all that grows into your racing skill/appearance. Look, if you don’t have the personality to close a sponsor contract with a bunch of zero’s, then you walk away with 2 sets of tires, right?! Your race personality plays into that. Some have more fans crashing all the time just because their ‘bad ass’. Make sense?

There was a German world champion in the 90’s ones. While he barley collected $300k for his next MotoGP season, some upcoming Italian got $7 million for finishing the season 5th. Honda Racing saw more in this guy, and to be able to promote the brand. If you look like you’d ‘race for free’ and the umbrella girl next to you steals the show, then you know. You’re not walking through the paddock, low on confidence and in healthy flip flops- but expect to be seen by fans, press and sponsors. There has to be an aura, attitude, personality, race intelligence.

So there is no exact amount. It’s pretty much what you can make of it. Sky can be the limit, and that could be product sponsorships, monetary sponsorships, licensing, TV rights/share, Merchandising. season bonuses, cash for wins/results, or/and top league… a permanent pay check from a team.

What now?

I know. It sounds like that you’d have to be born with all this to become a professional. Trust me, all this is learnable and you grow into it. Let’s not destroy dreams… let’s have many. Now here is what I want you to do as an amateur racer…

You go race the living dead out of it. You develop a racing intelligence. Have an attitude and show personality god damn it. Be the one to beat and make others feel this. Create little relationships with sponsors. Ask for discounts, then for this or that product for free- and when time comes and competition level grows, you ask for money. Run your own team and learn things around it. Look good- just like you could promote something. Then you might become THAT GOOD at it that some team calls you up and ask you to race for them- OR you find sponsors so you can buy yourself into a team (they hand-pick!) which has man and equipment power to win international championships.

Then… you might don’t need to do a regular job anymore. BUT make sure you play and race real well, because pro athletes have an expiration date. Pro racers are like comets… they are glowing bright for a short moment in time only.

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp

The truth about motorcycle riding gear

The truth about motorcycle riding gear

We’ve been all 18 years old ones. Lacking on reasonable decision making big time, and the only thing slowing us down was the size of balls. Back then, when I started riding on the street, I was not thinking in terms of protection, and it actually didn’t seem anyone would care, really. Also I didn’t freeze money to be able to buy riding gear along with that motorcycle. A ridiculously cheap helmet and a not even real leather jacket should do the job. Guess what… I’ve learned it the hard way.

I was knocked out and woke up on the lap of a Dutch lady who gave me water. Even though I hit that guardrail pretty hard, it seemed I got away without fractures. To give you a measure… the chassis of my bike broke in three pieces. My helmet flew off my head even though the strap was closed. My ‘alibi leather’ jacket ripped apart on the left side, as well as my jeans and sneakers. Positive aspect… that EMT didn’t had to cut much to get me out of the rest of my clothes. The pain of 3rd degree burns is something you’ll never forget, and the treatment is is a journey. Nurses pulling asphalt pieces with pin setts and literally washing your wounds with iodine. I’m sure today you’ll get a partially anesthetization and a trophy just for attending… I got a wood stick to bite on back then. Then they patch your open wounds up, which gets renewed every day. Done that ones?! Well, at least there the hair ain’t grow anymore.

Akkaya Replica by MJL Leathers

Akkaya Replica by MJK Leathers

Needless to mention that my interest for proper riding gear was triggered immensity. Since then, the quality and efficiency of my riding gear has priority and is top notch. I actually can look back through decades of development of riding gear and to be somewhat part of it when I got into racing. One of my early sponsors developed my racing suits in an impressive speed, and upon lots of fan requests they made a street rider version, the ‘Akkaya Replica’, which turned to be a bestseller for MJK Leathers in Europe. It was quite a pleasure to autograph fan suits in the paddocks :-)

But enough of me, so let’s see what’s suppose to be “real” motorcycle riding protection here. Let’s see what I can give you on the way here from what I’ve learned with all this, and with the things I still get to see with about 1500 students per year. First off… when do you need the best riding gear possible? How about during the time when your riding level is not that good- or if your balls are bigger than your ability to judge ‘distance and speed’?! That’s when you’ll need it the most. Don’t ya?! Now where are you at? How do you see yourself leveled objectively when you take ego out of equation? That seems to be impossible for the most, so how about we don’t put the gear question based on level and prioritize this.

MotoGear USA and Superbike-Coach

MotoGear makes affordable custom suits

I’m guessing you are not a professional rider, so you do a regular job. You have Mondays to do- a family to feed. Someone is waiting for you at home and you want to be safe as possible. Now what is the safest motorcycle riding gear… real leather! Tight sitting and sweat tearing leather- from the neck down to your feet. At this point it doesn’t matter if it’s a one-piece or two-piece leather suit as long as you can zip them together. Why leather over textile? If you watch MotoGP, then you see them getting up 90% at a time, and sometimes running back to the garage to keep going with the session… in the suit they just crashed with. I’ve seen riders crashing in textile on a parking lot which made that stuff useless. Just this comparison should ring the alert bell.

Even if your textile gear sits some kind of snug- the flex in there and the fact that it burns through (so things come lose then) doesn’t keep all your protectors in place. They turn away at first contact with the asphalt and so your knee, elbow or shoulder is receiving full impact. Non of the textile like materials can deliver the strength, flex and heat resistance leather can give you. I’ve seen riders actually getting injured by the protection. He was in kevlar jeans. The ‘alibi’ knee protector slid away- he broke his knee cap, and the protector cut so deep into his flesh so that his leg bone was exposed. Yea, no shit!

Snug leather is more sexy anyway, isn’t it? Yup, I know it’s hot- I know it’s more expensive, but you guys need to finally understand to add another 1500 onto this subject… your health over horsepower.

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp

Shouldn’t I See A Bigger Percentage?!

Shouldn’t I See A Bigger Percentage?!

Yep, I can feel you might think that I’m sales pitching. I ensure to you that I’m not. I leave a final opinion about this to you of course, but I need you to look right into a ongoing problem. Let’s have a peek what I got to see within all the years I’m coaching countless 1on1’s and tons of classes on road and track…

The beginner rider

I bet that you personally have hundreds of stories yourselves, about friends who made their motorcycle drivers licenses. Then you might know on what kind of rider level they’ve been released into the wild. Beginners who shouldn’t have get a license that quick actually, getting it almost effortless by paying around 300 bux and 2 days in some parking-lot-tiptoeing school. The “training” is basically useless and counterproductive actually. It creates anxieties for using brakes- and it gives the rider a hard to remove picture of how schooling looks like and keeps most people away from even looking. Besides this- I have to unfuck pretty much everything they’ve been taught.

The intermediate rider

They are finally through minor operation essentials so that this doesn’t block learning, but since they that watching “Bad car drivers vs motorcycles”, or “Road rage in America volume 155” YouTube videos all f’n night- they don’t see the necessity for professional schooling (especially not since they remember what that was like). Also their riding buddies are all “experts” and tell them that they ‘don’t need this shit’. That’s the time when they create and manifest bad habits, self taught or from that riding buddy who is oh so fast and so must be a good rider and therefore an ‘instructor’.

The advanced rider

They have lots of miles on them meanwhile and went through some riding books. Also are more particular with the YouTube video choice now. Why, because they gained some knowledge of how it suppose to look like. Shouldn’t just this ring the bell here?! Anyway- They begin to look for professional schools now, but most of them end up in a “advanced riding clinic” for 350 bux- and of course tiptoeing again on some parking lot. And I still don’t know what the fuck can be considered to be advanced there. No clue!

The advanced plus rider

Thinks that they need to go to the track now, because they’ve heard that ‘you learn more in one track day than riding for a year on the road’. The actual learning effect is to get to see what total chaos on C group looks like. Yes it’s exciting, but since we can’t admit to our friends that we’re actually overwhelmed- we keep doing this and get to crash for a while. The need for professional schooling is now totally numbed, because there are “instructors” who tell something like “you look great out there” and then this within 5 minutes “just stick your elbow more out”.

The expert rider

Yes they are faster now, but that’s almost happening naturally, surely not because they “stick their elbows more out”. They drag knee now, and so they think that they’ve ‘arrived’. For the majority- this marks top league and there is not much more to do here. Speed indicates goodness. Does it really?! So here and then we’re looking into books again because we stuck. I wonder why….

The expert plus rider

Thinks that there is nobody and nothing out there who can teach one or two things. We keep crashing, are frustrated and lose fun riding. He/she spends now 10.000 dollars on a fancy racing school for all 4 levels but still stuck- finally calls me and asks for help. Yea, I’m still not sales pitching. I just make a point!

The comparison

So… I know that you somewhere see yourself in this picture as well, but please understand that I don’t want you to feel bad with yourselves or even offended. THIS is just the way it goes nova days. You guys learned the wrong things- in the wrong order- at the wrong time- and in the wrong manner. Go ask me how I know!!!

I understand that some of you will hate when I run a comparison to me, and I actually don’t like it myself. But without a direct comparison- there ain’t no conclusion. However, here is the thang… I’ve learned it all from the scratch and made my carrier from a street rider to amateur racing- to international pro racing and almost up to top gun- MotoGP. Today I am still a professional rider and coach. All of it basically learned without any influences in a high volume competitive environment. No books- no schools- no videos- no coaches. Not that I didn’t wanted it this way- it’s because there was nothing like it, besides one totally senseless book.

Yes there is always this ‘well, coach has the talent’ excuse coming, but I can tell you right up… nobody is born with a ‘Racing DNA’ and with that word, you would actually only discredit what I did there giving my heart, soul and blood. So please don’t do that. Just compare my way to your way…

superbike-coach tip of the weekThe conclusion

Cut of wish-thinking and you see that there is nothing else to learn on a damn parking lot ones you can shift through the gears. There is also a very low outcome of learning ‘advanced slow maneuver techniques’ all of those schools came up with, cuz’ in fact this is all they actually allowed do on a f’n parking lot. If you still believe this, you might live in a denial there.

Also your riding buddy knows shit actually. He just became naturally faster than you, so it appears to be a good and free source. I know you might feel offended here with this word and suggest that I’m sales pitching. I’m not… I’m just the one telling you the truth. Truth is a damn sharp knife- It cuts best. Take it.

Reading books about it doesn’t help you much. This is not Math, which you can learn from a book if you’re smart enough. This is more like reading a book about climbing the Eiger North Wall, and then go there to f’n die. And yea, you are guided by your riding buddy who seem and act to know how to get all the way up that Eiger mountain while he actually has no clue how to hold your ropes him selves. Tough thang with that truth huh?!

Same goes for watching all those videos. Why?… even if you read or watch an episode of how to counter steer… who says you got it right or still wrong??? You??? No, because there is no quality control after all for you, right? Another aspect here is… What’s the quality of that information. You don’t even know that YouTube channel guy who believes to be a Rock Star.

Another aspect is, that there seems to be nobody out there who knows in what order things should be taught. You can’t properly learn to trail brake- randomly some-when. Your eyes and brain might be not ready yet and many things have to be unfucked first before this can be served in the right doses and in the right manner at the god damn right time.

Same goes for that B-Level racer who ‘works’ for a free meal and track time for a track day organizer as an instructor (i can imagine how that feels like when I’m saying this, but consider it as a help to improve your service). Some call them professionals… no they are not! He tells you to “stick those elbows more out” and then goes back to race the other instructors throughout C-group and to literally cut into peoples lines (guess why I’m working with my 1on1s at only 2 track day organizers!). That’s what’s happening. That’s the truth. You take it, cuz’ you would love to look like Marc Marquez. It supports what you’re wish-thinking right there and so… it must be right. In fact though- you just been taught the ABC starting with a P.

So…

I get to see all these riders in Superbike-Coach classes and 1on1’s. That’s about 1200 to 1500 students per year!!! I see all levels, categories, characters, ages and genders… all of them should be highly educated when you consider what you guys have nova days- ALL THIS- all those ‘riding schools’, rock stars, ton loads of riding books, and especially those YouTube videos…

But guess what… I don’t get to see that. I don’t see much of a solid fully through operated counter steering. A few I can count of one hand who came and performed trail braking in all those years I’m doing this. A FEW…!!!

Consider all this… shouldn’t I see a bigger percentage?! Now what does this make all those books, schools and rock star videos???!!!

It should make you asking questions actually. Not everything which glares in the sun is gold.

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp

can akkaya headcoach perfection

Addicted to Perfection

As usual, I want to describe scenes from professional racing. That doesn’t mean this is about racing and doesn’t apply to you, so go grab a beer and listen closely, cuz’ you get something for free from a professional…

can akkaya about routineFor the most professional racers I know, and that included myself- EVERYTHING needs to be 100% in order. In the right place, at the right time, and in a complete routine. Only THEN it can channel positive energy to make the moment count and also to be ‘perfect’. The moment when your team leaves the starting grid and you are on your own. This routine literally restarts after a race- winding back/up for the next one. It doesn’t feel this way, but it’s there. While the racer goes for some Supermoto and lots of mountain biking… he already dials towards that moment of perfection next Sunday. He’s talking to his friends and laughs. It doesn’t feel like it, but it’s there. It has begun already. The bike gets prepared down to look at each bolt. The office works to organize travels for each member. The team arrives in the paddock and sets everything up. There is fun- lots of fun so that it doesn’t feel like it… but it’s there. Practice sessions- qualifying sessions and warm up… it surly feels different all the time, but all and everyone is following routines. A routine that chases perfection. Now you’re standing on your starting grid again. Warm up sign comes up and the pace car leaves, and so your team members. You are on your own and all you think- all you feel is “…everything is perfect. I am ready!”.

The finish flag falls and you are relieved for a couple of hours before it all restarts… the strive for perfection- for that particular moment.

It’s almost like a solid OCD isn’t it? But do you see what I am pointing out here? It all channels to ‘a perfect moment’. Nothing is perfect forever ones you or someone else decides to have ‘reached perfection’. But that’s something most of you are chasing… to be perfect forever. Nothing is perfect forever. There is always something better you could do or have done. There is always the next bike you want to have- the ice cream you eat- the helmet you wear. I could go on forever one this because this one goes in all live directions.

Let me tell you something which philosophy I decided to follow. Perfection is an illusion! Don’t ever decide to have reached perfection- cuz’ where to go when you’re there? Unless you have the urge of a professional racer to chase and to channel positive energy up to THAT MOMENT, which allows you to snap into the competitor you HAVE TO BE… for you my friends, I hope you never reach perfection.

Because the moment you think you did- that moment is dangerous because you stop searching, you stop striving. Your journey is over. Just make sure you keep that strive in a healthy balance with ‘fun’, because too much of chasing and the feel to never be ‘like that guy’ (or whatever you categorize to be perfect) can lead you right into dark rooms. I’ve been there, which is why I know. A room enriched with frustration, confidence breaking energies and not knowing where the f’n door is out of the darkness.

So don’t chase perfection, cuz’ you never reach it anyway. It’s a dilemma. Instead- enjoy your imperfections. Learn to laugh about yourself, because perfection means pressure! :-)

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp