Suspension Workshop goes into another year

Lest Sundays ‘Suspension Workshop & Track Time’ was extraordinary.

Continental tire for demonstration

Ones more we could help riders not just to understand how and why to set up motorcycle suspension to their needs and riding purpose. This goes way deeper as it may appears in the first place. It begins with insights into tires and their effect on grip and geometry. A Continental RaceAttack slick helped to make things clear. Big surprises on air pressures and influences in tire performance, but when they went on our Little 99 Raceway the surprise turned over to smiles.

We moved on with the why’s and the how’s of setting up levers and controls. This isn’t just going into more riding comfort- we also can make detailed suggestions towards their existing equipment, or more appropriate stuff. All our tools were ready to use, so that they were able to make adjustments. The Superbike-Coach team Marion, Mark and Dean were always there for them to help out.

BikeMaster rider-sag tool

That was clearly needed when we went on adjusting suspension pre-load settings. That after they got to know what to look for with a general suspension setup. At that point the support of BikeMaster really helped, because they support us with their outstanding tools . Just like the rider-sag measurement tool.

The next subject was damping, so in compression and rebound. That is not easy sometimes, because some bikes don’t have any of these options. This is where we can make strong suggestions in this regard. Oil viscosity, spring rates, shim stacks, and so on and so on.

Not to forget to mention, that all students go on the track to feel the differences after each subject. So they’ve done that many times already before we initial the last subject- troubleshoot. They’ve learned what and where to be most focused with, so that they can bring back a objective insights of the behavior of their bikes.

Besides all this, we can identify issues their bikes may have. It’s very normal for us to get to see stuck throttle cables, brake levers touching housings, or loose bolts. We are not just clicking +/- 4 steps around and let them go like others do. This here is something you should have on your plan, because I decided to take this program also to 2020.

How racers explain bike behaviors

#bikemaster  #contimotousa

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp

Hundred Miles In Cruise Control

I wake up at 3.30am to kiss my wife good bye, and to head out to Buttonwillow Raceway. I had a job to do, a Track Drill 1on3 on Saturday and a 1on4 on Sunday.

It’s gonna take about 3 1/2 hours to get there and my job entitles to transfer knowledge in a passioned and inspiring way and to be on a highly physical track for 2 days, so that I actually try to enjoy this long and ‘quite’ drive. Even my ‘Cleopatra’ dangles peacefully in the straps. That will be quite a different scenario in about 6 hours, when she underlines her diva status ones unleashed.

The coffee is still too hot to drink and it’s pitch black out there. I am still a little exhausted of the work to be done the previous week. Office… requests, planning 2020 dates, preparing classes and 1on1’s. Shop… maintenance, cleaning, tires, oil changes, gear. And so on and so on. My back hurts and my hands show scarf-skin from all the riding I’ve been doing for more than four decades now. Looking at them pops memories up. All the races I’ve done, from an amateur to a professional with a international FIM race license. I’ve done crazy things in live and gave all my heart, sweat and blood to get there. Nothing came easy- nothing came with luck. Same goes for ‘Superbike-Coach’ btw, and now I’m seeing about 1500 students per year. Seven of them during this weekend.

I finally hit Interstate-5. There is literally no traffic and my thumb sneaks to the Cruise Control button. My V8 hums at 2000 rpm’s and the coffee is good to go. But am I really relaxed?… no, cuz’ I realize that I don’t even listen to music. Instead my thoughts are with the students already- with things I might could have done better in the last Cornering Day 2 class- with a program I want to add- with family things- and with the shit going down which probably bothers anyone right now, and hopefully finds and end in 2020.

Let’s watch a movie. I’ve picked ‘12 Monkeys‘, and oh man… Brad Pitt is such a great actor. Meanwhile, the darkness fades away and hills in the distance arising. Memories coming in, when Marion and I came to California in 1997 for our Honeymoon. That was the trigger for us to live here and to finally make it happen in November 2008. What a journey, but also here… nothing came easy, nothing for free, nothing is perfect.  The Sunrise is gorgeous. Oh btw… nature calls and I take the next exit. The off ramp takes me down to a small, very dusty old road which disappears towards the hills. Seems there is another one stopping for the same reason. The scene was a perfect postcard picture. A silver AC Cobra parked half off the road in the desert, driver door open. I know the bridge is long- but that picture was so ‘James Dean’ or ‘Steve McQueen’, if you know what I mean. I wished I’d have take a pic damn it.

Quicker as expected… exiting Lerdo Highway. I finally stop in the paddock and slide out of the truck. First thing I see is Varun walking quickly up to me with his big smile on his face, witch I know from many classes he works with me now and so today. He hugs me right away and from deep down of his heart he says “I’m so glad to see you Coach!”… and I’ve really arrived. Cruise control off!

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp

Chaos Control

I’ve already discussed the influences of the mind in regard recalling physical skills under panic. Now let’s kinda revers it here and see how you can use physical skills to create more of missing ‘mind-coolness’. Please understand, that your current skill (physical) level is absolutely secondary at this point. The relevance is how you put all those things you have to do to physically ride or race, to action.

Let me make two extreme examples to show you where we heading with this. A total beginner street rider- and a highly paid MotoGP pro racer. This is not a comparison of course, but will point out something which you HAVE to work on yourselves.

So here is our brand new rider ‘Joe’ and the first f’up doesn’t take long (no judgment. We’ve all been there). With harsh in/out movements on the clutch lever, Joe has a hard time finding the

Can Akkaya teaches track and street riders

friction zone. His unsteady throttle operation doubles the f up and the outcome is that the bike responses are accordingly. That freaks Joe out, and so the timing window for a up-shift is closed. His bike is screaming now at about 3% throttle opening. Shifting up through the gears is uncoordinated and never right, and this is just to move off. Joe is cornering now, but his down shifts are so out of line that it breaks the momentum. He most of the time ends up pulling the clutch through out the end of turns. That’s because he doesn’t know what gear he’s in and he is afraid that the engine brake will get him down. The inconsistency of brake/throttle put’s the dot on the ‘i’ and his eyes are following EVERY possible distraction. Etc, etc, etc. Ergo: chaos.

Now let’s have a look over the shoulder of MotoGP professional ‘Gusto’. He’s on his 19th lap of the French Grand Prix in Aragon. Gusto is doing a ‘lonely’ race, so no dog-fights etc. His ‘tire management modulus’ is ON, to make sure he’ll gets them trough the rest of the race. Gusto is highly focused now and totally dialed in. His lap times are about 1.2 seconds slower as his best qualifying time. Though, since the beginning of the 2nd lap he’s doing it continuously, in almost identical lap times… one after another, just half a second apart. With a precision of a Swiss watch, Gusto is nailing every braking marker- entry and mid turn. All in the same way and at the right time. All up and down shifts are pretty much in the exact same place. Gusto’s confidence to know that he’ll finish this race this way is rock solid. Everything is dialed in- continuously and harmonized. Ergo: patterns.

Quite a difference in dynamics, huh?!

Now imagine you (NO MATTER if you are a street rider or racer) would ride in a oval. Let’s say you’d do this totally within your comfort zone. Now let’s imagine that you would shift up twice out of turns, and down twice towards turns. Now let’s add a reliable line to it and a decent throttle brake transitions. Now picture you’d do all of this in the same manner, pace and feel at the same time in the same place… over and over again! Now if you’d do that, at that point you have to admit that NOTHING- absolutely nothing could ever go wrong, correct?! I mean look at it… it’s a pattern!

Patterns help to establish muscle memory- muscle memory leads to automatism. The consistency leads to self control. The control not just gives you confidence. It’s also a ‘risk-management’, because you’ll be fine as long you stay within established patterns. In the end it even helps to be more focused, because you might stop overthinking and just take care to perform the very next pattern- then the next- then the next- then the next…

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp

Featuring BikeMaster and what it can be for a DIY garage

Yea, I know you might think ‘well they have to praise a sponsor’, but be assured- we have them as a sponsor for a darn good reason- our shop and to maintain our school bike fleet.

The thing is, when you do everything yourself on your bike, then you gotta go the whole nine yards. You need regular tools, special tools, tool boxes, carts, chemicals, lubricants, lights, seats, stands, tie downs, and whatnot. Nothing goes without a range of general parts like chains, sprockets, seals, brake pads, lights and mirrors. That, and a whole lotta more is BikeMaster.

Does it need space to turn your garage into a DIY shop?- sure- but maybe less than you might thing it takes. Does it cost?- of course- but not as much as you might thing, especially not with BikeMaster. Looking at their pricing proofs that part real quick.

Now, if you consider to start doing some little things yourself, you actually not just save lots of money- you are also about to connect more to your bike and to understand things on a different level. You’ll learn a lot. See, when I started racing I couldn’t do anything myself so I had to go into it. And last year I’ve rebuild an entire 4 stroke engine myself. The savings on the labor went in to the thousands and I had fun doing it, besides gaining a slight childish proud’yness about new abilities :-)

An oil change, swapping a battery or even a set of tires- it can go far. And to be clear- it’s not just the labor to save- it also is the time you spend for the back/forth and the confidence that things really have been done.

We at Superbike-Coach are super happy to have BikeMaster on our corner. Just the transport drama has been completely solved with their products.

So let’s wrestle some wrenches and get even deeper into your hobby. Check our BikeMaster and find out about their huge portfolio of bike specific parts or general tools. Viva BikeMaster :-)

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp

Wiseco Is Back

We are happy to announce that Wiseco came back to the Superbike-Coach Corp as a sponsor. This is fundamental for our fleet because just to know to know we have these guys backing us up with their high end quality pistons and parts gives us confidence. Pistons, titanium valves, clutch plates and much more to maintain our school bikes.

In 1940 Clyde Wiseman ventured into his garage on the East Side of Cleveland, Ohio and began producing pistons for himself and a few friends. Word of his high quality work spread quickly, and in 1941 Wiseco Piston was established to service the needs of motorsports enthusiasts.

Wiseco USA

7201 Industrial Park Blvd.
Mentor, OH 44060-5396

Toll Free: 1-800-321-1364

www.wiseco.com

 

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp