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

3 replies
  1. Jim O
    Jim O says:

    So true Coach Can. Rome was not built in a day! I have taken 5 classes over a 2 1/2 year time frame and feel the time in between is well spent to practice the skill sets you teach.. I will be back for more. Thank you for all that you have taught me!

    Reply
  2. Aleks
    Aleks says:

    Yeah, I just needed to hear that again today.
    I am struggling with my homework and I am seeing the amazing work of other students, who are much, much younger than me.
    And I have to remind myself that, just like I did with writing, they started in drawing when they were young and have been CONSISTENTLY at it for hours a day for over 10 years.
    I also remind myself of skiing. I am not “good” at skiing. I learned to ski when I was 2, but it never caught me like wildfire, it’s just something I did because that’s what you do when you live in Switzerland. The result? I can get on skis anytime even after years of not doing it, and within an hour, my body remembers how to do it all. And while neither elegant nor flashy, I have the experience to get down pretty much any reasonable mountain, trees and all, and have fun doing it!
    If I am really lucky, I got another 30 years to practice…plenty of time to get good…even at motorcycling, even at drawing people. :-)
    Now, off to do that homework…

    Reply

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