Ask The Coach 900x500

Ask one motorcycle riding related question, and get the answer from a experienced professional rider. Punch in your question as a comment below and Coach will answer as good as he can. We’ll keep track of all questions/answers in the section below so that everyone is able to read it. Coach Can will try to answer in a timely manner.  He’s not obligated to answer and can decline to answer questions.  Please use the contact form below.  Before you can post your question, you need to confirm your email address. You also can read questions/answers beneath the Question form.

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Questions And Coach’s Answers

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Question: I wanted to come for the knee down and wheelie class. Can u explain a few questions as i was coming from Kentucky.
.Would two classes back to back be fine
.Which airport is closer ?
.Which hotel do you recommend to stay in Stockton
.Which bikes do you have for the knee down and wheelie. Do we rent them ?
.Do you supply gear or i should bring mine ?

Coach’s answer: Absolutely. Most riders who are coming to us with long travels are taking advantage of both classes. Double the learn with us- and double the fun.  If you never been in California, then San Francisco Airport should be your choice, and to visit an amazing city at the same time. Our rentals are a Ninja 250R and a KTM520 Supermoto and they come on race tires, with gas and a wheelie bar (Superm.). Just opt them with your booking and pay the fee later. We prefer to bring your own gear. See you soon.    Headcoach Can Akkaya

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Question: Rain, wet road, exit roundabout, from the apex towards exit turning left. I over-steer the front tire a little, like its slipping, meanwhile, I’m starting to get my weight to the right to turn right and too keep my balance to get rid of the front slipping over-steer, which the bike exits the front slip and then taking the right turn. If i would lean left with the bike, the font would slip further and i would crash from losing front grip. Is it because i ride bikes for more than 20 years I’m able to keep it straight :)? or yeah just an instinct maneuver saving myself and the bike. I guess rake is a bit on the short side and the rear has much more grip than the front. Would stiffer springs ( front preload) help to prevent front slipping? Its a honda grom 125cc and my weight is +300lbs.

Coach’s answer: Too many variables have an influence to answer this properly. Technically: tires, air pressure, worn status, geometry. Road: oil, sand, ditch, etc. Rider: bad line, harsh steering, harsh throttle, etc. Also, I don’t know that bike. Sorry. Headcoach Can Akkaya

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Question: I was getting into racing via track days and was given ok to get license but have not done it it since I high sided at the track 2x in row after. It was just too expensive and I couldn’t afford it. However, I am always interested in improving my riding but was wondering if day 1 is a must to do day 2 etc.?

Coach’s answer: Counter question to you… what makes you think day 1 is not good for you? Especially when you high side all the time you should be open to suggestions, because picking wrong lines vs throttle could be the reason for high siding all the time… and all that IS DAY 1. So no day 2 without a day 1. That’s our logic here. I’m worried that this is not your logic. Headcoach Can Akkaya

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Question: I recently purchased a dedicated track day bike in order to get back to riding in a more controlled environment vs street riding. The bike is an SV650 and it currently has Slick tires front and rear SC1 front, SC2 on the rear. They still have some life left in them and I got another set with the bike. Would I be better off taking them off to take part in cornering schools and track time at the little 99 due to not getting enough heat in them, and use a sport tire? (I have tire warmers, need a power source though). Thanks in advance!

Coach’s answer: :-) who says you don’t get enough heat in your slicks. I’m running slick tires there all the time, and I don’t even use tire warmers. Those are better tires than any sport tire. Period.  Headcoach Can Akkaya

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Question: Hello, I am a lawyer at the XXXXXX County Public Defender’s Office and I have a client who was arrested for going 130 on a fairly empty freeway. I am looking for information as to whether riding at this speed can be something that can be performed safely. Thanks, Ebony K.

Coach’s answer: Mrs. K., I appreciate you are contacting Superbike-Coach Corp in this matter as we always try to help out, so here is my take on this. Speeding is a strict liability crime.  So, it is irrelevant whether driving over the posted legal limit is “safe”.  So, I assume your client was arrested for a violation of ‘Cal. Vehicle Code § 22350’, which provides, “No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.”  See also ‘CACI 706’.  The statutory language says it all:  whether a speed is “safe” depends on many conditions, which are not revealed in your question.  I would add that the mechanical condition and properties of the motorcycle, the rider’s training and physical condition, and safety gear are also very important to determine what speed is “safe” under any circumstances. There are conditions under which driving a motorcycle at 130 MPH would be reasonable.  A well-trained rider riding a sound motorcycle in appropriate safety gear (leathers, body armor, helmet, armored gloves, track boots) riding on a closed racetrack with supervision of corner workers and with emergency medical personnel on standby can reasonably ride 130 MPH and beyond. California freeways are full of hazards, including grooved pavement, potholes, and other unforgiving impact zones.  We would never teach our students to ride that fast on public roads. Legally- 130 MPH on a public road is about as safe as holding yourself out as a lawyer before you receive a juris doctor and pass the bar, so I hope you are not getting in trouble for doing so Mrs. Koger.  Headcoach Can Akkaya

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Question: Hey coach, I have a technical question about tire pressure. I’ve installed a bigger tire to my bike as my bike weight is 286 lbs only. The PROBLEM is that the tire manufacturer recommends 37 psi on the rear tire, while other recommend only 33 psi rear for better grip which should i follow? Malik

Coach’s answer: 37 seems quite high Malik. Did you eventually read this off the tire wall? If yes- that ain’t the recommended tire pressure, but the maxed out PSI recommendation. According to the low weight of your bike, it would make sense to go way lower. Let’s go with 33 of psi. Headcoach Can Akkaya

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Question: Hey coach, so your trackday on 3/20 will have 4 groups standing, (15 min per session)? for $150 how many groups can you ride? because 15 min sessions for $150 on a 2 mile track? I plan to purchase a ticket with your group by the end of this week permit weather. Annie

Coach’s answer: 15 min on a short track which has pretty much NO straights to relax = 20 minutes on a 3 mile track. 4 groups doing 7 sessions each. Also… a SUNDAY track day on a only 1 mile longer track goes for about 190 bux. Put this in a percentage if you still don’t see the relation. Good luck getting a available ticket next week. Headcoach Can Akkaya

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Question: Hey Coach do you think anyone can benefit from a slick tire (Dunlop KR448 / KR449 in my case). Or until a very advanced level is reached they are not worth the money. I’m speaking about a dedicated track bike. Your advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks! Sebastian

Coach’s answer: Good question Sebastian, and good guessed as well. 1) you can’t ‘appreciate’ the resources a slick could give you (actually most of the racers are not even there yet). 2) Slicks are bitches when cold. They need temperature you can’t get in at a certain pace. 3) shorter life span. 4) softer carcass. They need a different setup. They will be worth the money for you soon. But for now I would think of Dunlop Q3 or something. Even a DOT race tire would be a slight better idea than a slick, but it goes close to it. Headcoach Can Akkaya

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Question: Hi Coach, I have a question about motorcycle clothing.  All the leather clothing is available in perforated and non-perforated. Which do you use most often?  Which do you recommend for students? Thanks, Greg

Coach’s answer: As a racer I use perforated only, and I never had a safety problem with it- if you question goes that way. They are lighter and keep you cooler, but in the end it’s all preference. Headcoach Can Akkaya

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Question: Hi Coach, Im interested in attending the CSD courses as I have heard many good things about it. I’m not sure which bike to use. I have a 2002 CBR600 F4i and a Honda Grom 125cc and trying to figure out which one should i take to the class that would benefit me the most. I have about 6000 miles worth of seat time combined. I’m definitely more comfortable on the Grom since its a smaller bike and i can probably learn faster. But part of the course is to learn to deal with fears so i think i could benefit riding on the CBR600 as well. I’m torn between the two. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks. Tim

Coach’s answer: Without knowing exactly which one you really want to learn to ride… I am guessing the big bike, so I would take the motorcycle out, which also matches more the dynamics of the Cornering School program. But hey, why don’t you just bring both in case you absolutely can’t make it work. I am totally on your page anyway. Headcoach Can Akkaya

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Question: …my bike has more touring sttle bars on it although its still a sport bike. Alot of people have clip ons, and they seem to tell me that clip ons provide the best handling control over the bike. Is this true? I enjoy my bike and enjoy riding it and getting low around corners. But im getting tired of people telling me this. What is your opinion. I will definitely listen to what you say over these random people however i don’t know if this is true. Thanks for your time. Kris

Coach’s answer: First off… everyone is different, so there is no “what’s good for some- most be automatically good for you”. If it feels good for you, then this should be acceptable for anyone else. But here some logic physics…  A lever amplifies an input force to provide a greater output force– so the longer/bigger the leverage is… the less input it needs to get the same job done on the other end. Bigger/wider handlebar = better handling. Now- and that’s the most important part to understand especially for your clip-on buddies- If non of you does perform ‘Counter steering‘ well or at all… then the clip-on opinion would be right, just because of the fact that the upper body is lower then on a bike where you sit upright- but that’s relative. Point is… if you would sit on a Goldwing and perform a great counter steer job on that wide handlebar… you’d make the clip-on party look real bad in tight chicanes.  I fact… wider handle/lever… less work- better handling. But in the end I’d put it as a ‘rider preference’ thang. Headcoach Can Akkaya

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Question: If a bike is equipped with a slipper clutch do you recommend training to downshift without clutch?

Coach’s answer: When I downshift my Supermoto (with slipper cl) in low speeds/rpm’s- then I don’t clutch. In high speeds/rpm’s though- I use the clutch because I don’t need surprises right there and gives me a better feeling while trail braking. Headcoach Can Akkaya

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Question: When applying brakes how many fingers do you recommend I currently use 2. I’ve heard about some using one and that way more of hand is availing when blipping throttle on downshift.

Coach’s answer: That’s a minor ‘issue’, and it’s mainly rider preference. I use 2 fingers too, some do 1, Valentino Rossi uses 3. In fact it helps to blip- but mostly having that right handle bar at least in some kind of fist. Headcoach Can Akkaya

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Question: Dave and I were discussing the braking we learned yesterday, more specifically using the front brake only. I was wondering since Dave has ABS does the same issues with the back brake exist or is able to use both brakes? He is wondering if trail braking is changed by ABS.

Coach’s answer: No- ABS won’t have an influence while Trail Braking. Headcoach Can Akkaya

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Question: I am interested in taking some of your courses. I don’t have medical insurance. Can I still take the course? I should be starting a new job that provides insurance in the near future so I can wait until then if necessary. Do I need race compound tires for track day courses? I’m running Michelin Pilot Power 3 up front and Pilot Road 3 rear on my 05 GSXR600. They grip very well but I’m not sure if they could handle high speed cornering. Are there tech requirements such as taping headlight, safety wire, etc?

Coach’s answer: Medi insurance is not required to take our street or track classes. We recommend to have one, but it’s pretty much on you when you sign and agree our waivers. I personally haven’t had an medi insurance for 4 years riding on tracks, and adjusted the pace I was going to this fact. No, you don’t need race tires. The pilot 3 is comparable to Dunlops Q3. These tires are pretty good and give you lots of feedback, while a race tire gives you a little bit more grip- but also less feedback, but that’s priority for a first time track rider. You need to remove or tape mirrors. Taping all lights is enough, and no safety wiring is required. You are all set if you have proper street rider gear with protectors in the right places. Headcoach Can Akkaya

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Question: hi, im currently riding a kawasaki ninja 250r (2013). currently i’m using the stock tyre front-110, rear-140. i’m planning to upgrade to a better more grip tyre. what tyre should i choose? should i stick with the standard size or upgrade to 120, 150? would appreciate any feedback from you. Ahmed

Coach’s answer: From a technical point of view- you shouldn’t change tire size on stock rims. I though understand that you want to change the esthetic of the bike. OK, if you want to keep on going with stock rims… the next bigger tire size (110>120, 130>140) isn’t much of a big deal and “technically OK”- but 2 sizes up on the rear is quite much. Dunlop recommends a 4.25 wide rim for a 150.  A 140 is fair enough. Headcoach Can Akkaya

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Question: Can, will you give me your ‘Moto Project Bike’ and train me to become a Motogp racer?

Coach’s answer: Of course… noooot :-)

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Question: On the twistiest I go on, often there is gravel in the corners. Usually I overreact and go way too slow because I am nervous, and other times I try to avoid it, but end up going right through it, which makes me slide. What do you do in a situation where you are going around a corner fast and there is gravel? Danielle

Coach’s answer: Seems you stare at the gravel which makes you go over it. Stare at the clear line instead. If you hit the gravel, do not brake, try to deal with it by rolling through off the throttle and keeping the line. Use the inside line- which gives you more room to the outside to roll out if you have to stand up the bike. Headcoach Can Akkaya

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Question: Coach, what do you think about lane sharing?

Coach’s answer: Stay away from doing it if your braking and steering skills don’t allow to do lane sharing. Don’t go too fast and watch the cars moving. Don’t do it if you see a gap where a car could jump lane, or when when cars try catch an exit. Cover your brake and make sure you’re not braking on reflectors. Headcoach Can Akkaya

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Question: Hello Coach, I noticed that Dani Pedrosa is able to stand up his bike earlier as other top MotoGP riders. Why?

Coach’s answer: Dani is very small. When centrifugal force builds up while accelerating out of a turn- his low body weight is kicking in. Headcoach Can Akkaya

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Question: Hello Coach, I have a 2006 Ninja 650r and I would like to upgrade my bike but I am not sure what to upgrade to would you have any recommendations?

Coach’s answer: Hard to say, without knowing your budget- nor the purpose (fancy or  useful) of the upgrade: Invest in adjustable stuff. Gilles Tooling has best clip on’s, rear sets, and levers. That makes your bike adapt to  YOU (if you are dealing with numb hands or sore legs). If it’s about power- go with K$N race air filter, a Leo Vince full  exhaust, and Dynojet Powercommander V. Bigger stuff has Wiseco (race  pistons, cam shafts). The cheapest way to gain lots of acceleration is,  to sprocket rear up- and front sprocket down by 1 tooth. Thrust Company has sprocket kits for all bikes, and convert to a 520 chain with a DID  racing chain. Suspension is a big topic, but more than worth to think about it (gain  grip and control). A set of fork springs which are matching to you are  not expensive (http://www.racetech.com/). A fully adjustable rear shock puts you pretty much on a higher rider level. Get a better braking with HEL steel brake lines, and Bikemaster brake  pads (sinter). If you want premium… upgrade to BST Carbon rims and use ceramic  bearings only (huge general weight reduction, more acceleration, top  speed, handling, and style. For more info and inspiration visit http://www.moto-projectbike.com  Did I nail it? Headcoach Can Akkaya

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Question: Hi Coach, I am a new rider and am about to sign up for the Cornering level1 class. I bought a new Gsx 600 as my first bike and do not have much riding experience ( i did ride back in my home country India, but the bikes were relatively less poweful) with the GSX i am comfortable riding in the free ways and within the city, but my cornering , turning sucks big time. I went to ride with a bunch of riders last week and could see that i had to literally come to a stop every time i had to turn and many times i was almost about to run into the side of road. I wanted to know if I should be getting my own bike for the class or should i go for one of your rental bikes?

Coach’s answer: Well, our Cornering School program would be the right place for you then, but please keep in mind that we are not taking Day-1 as a ‘level’. This is part of everyone’s education at Superbike-Coach. In regard your bike… why renting when you have a great bike to use already? Headcoach Can Akkaya

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Question: Hey, am I getting my M1 drivers license if I take your Basic Rider or Cornering classes?

Coach’s answer: No, we are not a license giving school. I strongly suggest to go with the Harley Davidson Rider Academy. if you need to learn from the scratch and to get prepared to be successful in the Academy- then take our Basic Rider first. But ones you achieved your drivers license- that might be not enough skill to stay healthy out there, so you come and see me at the Cornering School Days.  Headcoach Can Akkaya

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Question: I was just thinking, you may have a great suggestion for tires on my Mad Dog Honda XR-200 on cement indoor track. I’m thinking soft to med-soft tires since there is very little power and cool track (winter). Grip is everything of coarse. 

Coach’s answer:  Hm, I guess you race in a slow oval, do ya? I probably would use the softest slicks I can get. Continental has some soft compound and hand made. You’ll have to use tire warmers and relatively low air pressure. I also would consider to cut treads on the left side (I guess that’s where you going?) like this (pic). That heats the tire up quicker. Hope that helps Dan. Good luck, and let me know how it went. Headcoach Can Akkaya

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