superbike coach corneringschool General Pics

When I talk about braking- I am not talking about picking up a six pack at a gas station for sure. There is extreme heat, G-forces and wining tires!

You also need to know that I’m a ‘burned child’ in regard brakes. In all the years of riding and racing, I’ve had three major front brake losses out of high speed. Luckily all happened on a track where there is plenty of space to at least reduce impact. My first one was during a European Championship race, when a brake piston seal broke. I was lucky cuz’ I could run this one out without hitting something. The second one happened way later when I was teaching. Brake fluid was boiling due to cheap brake pads (long story and I don’t want to go there). I won’t ever forget the impact at about 200 km per hour. The third one happened at Thunderhill West, when the G-forces of a huge tank slapper (another long story) pushed back my caliper pistons.

So yea, try to imagine that when I figured that there ain’t no brakes- that that happen at a time when I was late braking. You know… that comes with quite a surprise at ya. Great way to test your mental strength btw. For me- brakes need to be top notch and well maintained.

Braking in Pro racing is like martial arts. High temps taking and with a stopping power which makes your sweat comes forward off your face. MotoGP brakes cost a fortune and most of the time only go out to hand picked teams and racers. Today, I am still somewhat in need for high level brake equipment but not willing to invest that kind of money into bikes which are not prototype race bikes. So just like in my prime, I am abusing what’s there. One brake rotor after another needs to be replaced because they are binding and wrapping up, and my brake pads go like butter in the sun.

Let’s take my 2022 KTM 450 SMR Supermoto as an example. The bike had about 18 hours on it. You can say 15 hours of this were done at slow to moderate pace during classes- and about 3 hours at my pace. That front brake rotor is toast! I needed a solution and found it with BrakeTech braking rotors. Why?… because of how they are designed and materials been used. When looking closely at the picture, you’ll notice the rotor carrier is meant to be holding the majority of brake force, and not the buttons themselves. Besides this smart design, this rotor is about 2mm thicker, uses exotic materials and is real floated. That keeps temps at the actual disc in check and delivers a more linear bite and more even wear (more info in regard materials etc).

I am still glad that I kept looking in the BrakeTech product portfolio, because I also found brake caliper replacement pistons which are coming directly from MotoGP. High end titanium can take the heat way easier than aluminum materials, and ventilation holes around the pistons allow the air to go inside the pocket between piston and brake pads. Best part… they seem to have these pistons for Brembo and Nissin applications for an actual affordable price.

Don’t know yet if we are able to make a install video, but this is fairly simple. Maybe you’ll think about it when you next brake fluid change need to be done.

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp

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This is might controversial to you, but I literally get to experience a phenomenon every week- not just with riders I don’t know, but also and mainly with students. It obviously doesn’t apply to all of you, but to a big percentage for sure.

So here is ‘Joe’ who is signed up for his very first track day. Joe did some schooling and has a lot of riding experience. His visions, wish-thinking and especially expectations of how he’s gonna look like during that track day are astronomical. The same goes for hundreds of my own students, who went through a lot of hands-on and real life coaching. Most of them did it all- cornering programs, knee down classes, and 1on1’s. Also here… visions, wish-thinking and especially expectations towards their first ever track day at ‘the big track’.

The expectations of/in themselves and especially in what they’ve learned, will probably lead them right into confusion and frustration, and that will cause them to question that what they’ve learned was good or right. Some will start pushing their limits and crash- some won’t come back to finish their schooling. At this point you might smile and think that I am worried to ‘lose them’. I can tell you that I am worried to lose them to foolishness. Not more- not less.

So I am extremely confident in what these guys have learned and I am truly not looking for excuses… they are at the end of their first track day. The actual problem is though, that their expectations are STILL beyond their capabilities. That’s just one point. Another one is, that they are dropped off into a boxing ring. There will be passing all over them, which is something a brain has to get use to. Additionally, the pace they gonna make is way beyond they ever been and the track they are on is way wider.

There is a lot you do not know yet. You are only totally overwhelmed, so that you might can’t put to action what you’ve learned. This is fooling you quickly!

I remember one kid at this point. He had a blast during cornering day 1 and he made a quantum jump forward with his abilities. He came to me and said that he can’t wait to get into day 2. Till then, he got himself a new bike and went to a track day. Naturally, pretty much everyone was faster than him and he very likely was all over the place which is probably why he crashed. Finally day 2 arrived and I already felt a distanced student there. He already looked frustrated and wasn’t really ‘attending’. First turns into the first track session, I saw him overly pushing already. It didn’t take long from there for him to crash.

I had a lot of talks with him from there, just to understand what happened to him. It was like talking to a different person- to someone who lost faith and trust in what he had learned. Someone who is more frustrated than confused. He actually started talking to other riders, expecting that they can help. How can they, when they don’t understand neither what the actual problem is, nor to know what the fix is?! Then it was on me to tell him what I am thinking the issue is, but held back, cuz’ he might only sees it as a desperate attempt to not to lose him.

Trust me… I don’t want to even look this way and I actually think he is a loss already because he ‘likes to think’ that this is a good excuse. This is some deep stuff, you know?!

So… for the rest of you going into your first track day… It is not about what you’ve learned. It will be all about being totally overwhelmed. It will narrowing your vision because you are STILL far away from being in control of distraction and fears. It is because of high speed and passing’s you’ve never experienced. You might still believe that this is all about balls and that sticking to track days does the rest…

Don’t be a fool!

Superbike-Coach Corp

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp

superbike coach suspension workshop General Pics

There are lots of misunderstandings about how to setup a motorcycle suspension setup. 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. I’ve really experienced this. There are a lot of things to look at, even motorcycle tire pressures.

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 by Erik

Superbike-Coach conclusion: Don’t be blind and use logic to see the reality. Even totally overrated suspension hero’s can change much on OEM shocks and forks. Don’t make a big deal out of it. Just make sure the preload settings are right, and bring it in a balance as close as possible. If the OEM springs are way too soft… exchange them it more harder ones. If you want to have it ‘real good’… you’re looking at 4-5 grand… easily! [….]

Even better… come see us in our ‘Suspension Workshop & Track Time‘ class.

Touring, Sport, and Cruiser Motorcycle Education

We congratulate to our Cornering School graduates of the last Day 3 class from 11/13/2022.

Each one of them grew on the physical skill and on the mental side. Loaded with a new passion and love for the sport they go enjoy their journey hopefully even more. Gonna miss all those personalities and certainly hope to see them again.

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp

Coach Can Akkaya tries the Rabaconda street tire changer to swap the rear tire on his Ducati 1199 which has a single sided swing arm. Rabaconda has an adapter for such wheels which should make it easy, so we’re swapping a rear tire of a single sided swing arm.

Rabaconda USA

Superbike Coach tested Rabaconda tire changer

We at Superbike-Coach have lots of motorcycle tires to swap. We have all kinds of school bikes- Supermoto, Superbikes, Touring and Adventure bikes, mini and race bikes. Rabaconda provided a prototype of their street bike tire changer so we could try out ourselves. Coach Can Akkaya and Dean Lonskey unboxed, installed and changed a tire pretty much in real time in this video. The Rabaconda tire changer will save a lot of money and waiting time getting tires swapped. It will pay off quick, so check it out.

rabaconda superbikecoachThe unit came from Estonia in Europe very quick, with way less weight and size as we use to know about DIY tire changers. Since Rabaconda send us the prototype (patent is undergoing), they couldn’t include any install instructions because they were not done by the time. So Dean and Coach took it as an additional challenge and had lots of fun with it.

Enjoy the video and see how easy it can be.

Superbike-Coach Corp

 

 

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