Being a talented motorcycle rider

I hate the word ‘talent’. Nobody is born with a ‘racing DNA’. Just because your dad rode bikes or even raced, doesn’t mean ‘you got it’. They might be able to teach you though, but that’s not what I want to throw a light on. Let’s take a deeper look what that word might does to you.

casey stoner slide

Casey Stoner

You see a rider or watch MotoGP racing and go… man, this guy is talented! But you, personally, don’t see such mystical medical phenomena running through your vanes. You are not even confident enough to lie to yourself that you are some kinda ‘talented’. And here ya go… your road block is set, because you don’t believe you don’t have talent- you’re not even trying to get there. You might think this all came naturally to those who are ‘talented’.

To be honest, you didn’t just extended learning curve- you also put a crack into your own confidence. Oh, and you also just took the credit of all those racers who dedicated their life to become what and where they are. They gave their blood, sweat and bones to ‘learn’ everything which you might see as naturally gifted. That’s not right, cuz’ some even have died to get there. Nothing good comes for free, naturally, or in a nice gift box in this sport. Nothing. Everything you see is learnable, so don’t ‘hide’ behind a fancy, lazy, and mystically glowing word.

Though, there is something in one or the other. Those who have a good eye-hand coordination. Those who have a good feel for distance and speed. A person with ‘this’ is probably good with any other sports too. If you have ‘this’, then you might pick things up quick. If you don’t… don’t worry. Just don’t hide behind the word, stand up and say ‘I can get there too no matter how long it’ll take’. It just needs self-honesty and allowances to have a less steep learning curve. If you can arrange that with yourself, then you are on a more health path actually. Let’s see why.

Superbike-Coach level chartNow let’s say have a good eye-hand-coordination. Everything seems to get to you easier and quicker. Being a quick learner sounds incredibly positive, doesn’t it? But is it really?! Let me tell you why not with this time line. The red line reflects all the physical skills you’ve learned, so braking steering, shifting etc. The better your eye-hand-coordination, feel for distance and speed, and also depending on your size of balls- that line goes up quickly. Too quick for the most, because with all the physical skill set you’ll become TOO EARLY TOO FAST!

By then, your eyes and brain are not trained yet- not ready yet. Your instinct hasn’t developed yet. That blue line right there takes up way more time to create. This line feeds on all the stuff during your time as a rider or racer. Feeling the front tire limit the first time in your life is quite an experience. The difference of a good/bad line. A stressed out bike at maximum braking power and so on and so on. All this creates muscle memory. Feels, sounds, smalls, time, distance, sight, memory. It’s what granny use to say… you’ll learn more from loosing than from winning, and she’s damn right!

So why are you trying so hard to learn all those physical skills so fast?! Rome hasn’t build in one f’n day. Take your time, because if those two lines through your time isn’t in a health balance… you’re screwed. It begins to work against you. Go, ask me how I know…

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

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

superbikecoach corneringschool 2020 december06 Feature Pics 33

Congrats to our Cornering School Graduates

Congrats to all students to graduate from Cornering School. They finished the program with day 3 last Sunday.

Those guys went from day 1 to day 3 and they’ve learned a ton. I am proud for each one of them and I hope to see them again. With their graduation, they also received a ton:

  • A Superbike-Coach Corp completion certificate to get a discount on their motorcycle insurances
  • 2 Superbike-Coach stickers
  • A permanent 50% off discount code when repeating cornering days
  • Discounts from our sponsors: Carrillo Law Center, Raver Synthetics Amsoil, Moto Gear, GoMotoTrip Motorcycle fairings, and Forma Boots USA
  • They are now qualified to do the Track Academy

That’s quite something huh?! Other than that, all of them made their signatures on the Superbike-Coach class banner, and I appreciate the memory a lot. They truly became members of the SBC family where we remember their names.

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp

There is ‘that one bolt’

There is ‘that one bolt’ which extends a simple job in regard time, dirt, and resources… ONE fuckin’ bolt. You know those?!

So I did a brake job on my Multistrada Enduro Pro, because ‘Indy’ was missing braking power, which is already restricted with those knobbie tires. The plan: New brake fluid and bleeding air- new pads and cleaning caliper pistons- and 2 new rotors.

While everything else went well, the rotor bolts are glued in the wheel as shit, and I knew that was coming. Some manufacturers also make it harder by using bolts you’d need Torx tools for. I have, but those are really fragile. One after another coming off, not without a fight though… a bleeding finger and a trip to the hardware store for a new set of Torx tools is what that took. Then there is that one bolt. Out by a quarter and a destroyed head.

“MacGyver mode” is on now, as well as a never surrender mind set. Not enough meat to grab it with clamp pliers. Not enough out to saw its dead head off. Figuring that those cheap bolt removal tools you can buy with those TV commercials are senseless. Drilling the head was next, but the next half size bigger hexa did the job after hammering it in as much as possible. Then turning it as straight and smooth as possible got it finally out.

Four f’n hours and a garage floor covered with dirt, tools, sweat and blood for that one bolt :-)

Coach Tip: Heating up glued in bolts helps too.

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp