20 years after professional racing… 20 years man- but it actually feels like yesterday, and sometimes it seems i have still the 124 octane/racing oil mix of a 250cc MotoGP bike in my nose, while a HRC mechanic warms up that high-end engine at a 120 db.
But you know what?… I’m sad, and I’m mad about myself, because lots of things have changed in those 20 years, and I didn’t keep enough material to just have it for myself- or for people who might think all of that didn’t happen, and some keyboard junky could easily put a question mark over my credentials. Almost understandable, because hundreds of newspaper cutouts are nice, but they are not even to find online on the website of the magazine who wrote it, because there was no internet back then.
I shouldn’t have give away almost all pictures of me, made by sports photographer and media, to fans and sponsors. I wished I had spend more time back then to scan and post at least the final championship stand of the German Track Trophy of the 250cc GP class in 1991. where I became Vice-Champion and turned to a professional racer. But guess what… there was no such thing as a scanner existing- and if so- where to “post” it, when there was no Internet- no blog- no Facebook, and whatsoever?! Hmmmm…
So yea, there are even TV, radio, and interviews besides newspaper articles all over Europe about me- but they are catching dust on a archive shelve, and who the heck has those lap records and race results, when race organizers- sport authorities and even press has no interest to pay someone to digitalize old stuff, especially when meanwhile those orgs have taken over- turned- and changed multiple times in 20 years?!
You wonder it’s all in German language- and not laying translated on a New York Times server? Yea- that’s because I’m not a Valentino Rossi and I don’t have the interest of the medias that much. At that point I am actually happy to have listen to my wife Marion, to not throw everything away as I retired- like my last International FIM Race License, which is the 2nd highest license in motorsports on this planet. Imagine someone would say I maybe never raced on a level like that… what then huh?
Btw… I also kept my last racing suit which was designed by MJK leathers in the Netherlands only for me. But I had many fans in Europe, whom started asking them to get a suit like mine. MJK put a ‘Akkaya Replica’ suit on their catalog which was a best seller for many years. For me, it was positively surreal when i was sitting in the truck going to the next race, and some rider passed us wearing that suit- or some fan in a paddock asked me to write my autograph on it. Till today I have fans in Germany, telling me that they still have ‘my’ replica suit and not giving it away- even though they got older and ate too much pizza to fit in :-)
And yea… I didn’t win many races- I didn’t make a lot of Pole Positions- and I didn’t won big championships… I was just somebody who had to compete in German IDM 250cc GP. You might think that’s comparable with AMA Superbike pro racing? Well- that time gap between the riders in qualifying is not a match to what we’ve been through- when a field of 50-60 European champions and vice champions is only 3 seconds apart from Pole to the last qualified rider on the grid.
My very first international pro race was on Assen TT and I lead it from the start- almost won it, if I would have been quite smarter with those lapped riders- but i crashed in the last lap. So tell me how could I possibly proof such things like that?! You might just have to believe me here. And hell yea… I could have won way more races, but I found lots of ways to mess up- which was fine with me you know. In the end I was ‘just’ a guy who won some international races- competed in a field which was frequently filled with a bunch of German MotoGP racers like Martin Wimmer, Tony Mang, Volker Baehr, Bernd Kassner- until i caught Honda Germany’s eyes. HRC guys from Japan came and see me as I kept up for a couple of laps on Assen TT Circuit with some MotoGP pro’s until I broke my left foot.
No, I didn’t had the comfort to learn from a Coach and to earn the respect from these guys till today, no. I was sitting in the pit and cried, because I did not understand why I was 2.5 seconds faster than ever per Nurburgring lap, even though I needed help climbing up the bike caused by a high-sider the day before in Brno/Cz. I left sweat and blood on all tracks over Europe to get to the point where I almost made it to the big show… MotoGP- but I got hurt again.
That 120 mph on Hockenheimring during the qualifying for the European Championship round in Germany was different as all the other crashes I’ve been through… because it was the first time that I was confronted with ‘death’. But even then, my ‘Never Surrender’ character made me trying to slide off the table in the hospital because I wanted to race next day… that was the first time my wife hearing saying “Please, Can… don’t!”. Till today I have these words ringing in my ears. My fast forward mode was stopped and after that I never found back to the racer I ones was.
I recovered from my injuries and tried to get back, but the total commitment was gone. Technical problems let my results looking bad, so that I wished to rather have crashed than to see the finish. Meanwhile, radicals burned down my fathers textile company in Germany. He was a Turk you know, and since then I was not calling this place ‘home’ anymore even though I was born and raised there. It was the worst time of my life, and I decided to do one more race and to retire. Marion and I went to Poland to some national race event with minimum equipment in a Van- almost the way it all began- and won the race. We went back home- happy, no regrets, and almost relieved.
We got married and our honeymoon brought us the first time to California- and many additional travels to the land of our dreams. I remember how we fell in love with everything and how deep the wish grow on our souls to finally leave Germany for a place which deserves the term ‘home’ much more.
Till then, I started teaching racers in 2004, and the Mohland Verlag in Germany published my Racers-Story ’25 seconds’ in 2006. Working as an instructor for multiple track day organizers and co-developing a program for a top notch racing school ‘Race Factory’, I felt a vocation for it and started Superbike-Coach. Meanwhile the dream came true via U.S. Green Card and we gave up a safe and secured life in Germany to go home- to California on 3rd of November 2008. Risks and costs was immensely high, but we never looked back- nor we’ve regret a bit.
20 years has been gone but I am still living it… this is still who I am, and pro racing is where my experience as a Coach grew- Yes I am rough and though, but this is also why most of my students love me for. However, I’d like to share with you my memories from now on. I truly hope never to regret, because I put my heart into teaching riders in my motorcycle riding school in California, the Superbike-Coach Corp.
Eat this! :-)
Father, family man, ex-professional racer, and headcoach of the Superbike-Coach Corp
Latest Newsletter: http://us7.campaign-archive1.com/?u=442a5138ee28d389a0492ca61&id=813094ce1c
Motorcycle-USA related article:
More Can Akkaya racing pictures and race results are about to come.
I’ve taken several classes from Coach Can and they were all freakin’ great! If you want to learn more about riding properly at speed, then you should definitely sign up!
Currently riding a CBR 600, I’d recommend everyone with a supersport to go take some coaching/trackdays.
Which classes have you done?
Nothing compares to working with Superbike Coach in a setting that makes you feel safe in exploring your limits. On the road or on the track, Can’s lessons have made the single biggest impact on my development as a rider. What seemed complicated before is now becoming second nature, and that gives me the confidence to carry that extra bit of speed going into the corner… knowing that I’m working well within my abilities.
Thank you Coach for sharing your vast knowledge with all of us mere mortals, and for making your world-class teaching available for everyone… can’t wait for the next lesson!!!
Your Pupil and Fan,
Thank you Fernando, it’s been a pleasure working with a rider like you.
Take one class. You can’t not to want to take more I’m addicted , you learn so much so quickly. Thank you
I’ve been riding for 3 years but I don’t believe my riding carrier truly began until I took one of these classes. I’m so much more comfortable on my bike that it feels like a completely different experience! Thanks coach Can! I look f forward to day 3 when work allows!
Can’t wait to see your improvements after getting them settled in Cornering school day 1 and 2 Jason.
i had the chance to get on track with coach Can in Germany and i learnd a lot from him.
even when i was far from being the fastest guy on track with my Kawa 650 Naked,he showed me how to brake hard,get the fast line all the kilo racers could’nt do and to get the right body positioning in long fast corners.
With Coach Can’s help i was fast enough to kick some ass even on fast tracks like Spa Franchorchamps Belgium or Nürburgring Germany.
I realy loved riding with him,he always found a way to motivate me and even when i was not that motivated for ex. when it was cold and rainy like as often in Germany he told me that the track is the same just wet and when you can go fast in the rain you also be fast in dry conditions…
i was pretty sad he left Germany because i would’nt be on track with he again even when i would love come to Cali for a sunny ride with The Coach:-)
And all the time i had the chance to see coach Can there where many people who told about his past and many people who knowed him as Racer,an i tell you if you have the chance to being on a fast track with him,and you’re as fast as you “think” you can be and he blows by with a realy fast student and afterwards he comes by and tells you that you have to chamge your body position to get bit lower and get the knee better down you will believe this guy did all he says he did.
So Can keep on believing in you and never surrender!!
Greez from Luxemburg
I miss my students and friends back in Europe.
It has been 6 years now, and it’s time to see some again!
Great story.. some day I’ll make it down )))
I’m ready when you are Karl
I’ve only know Can since Oct 2014 from his wheelie school. Since then, I’ve been taking pictures fir his school and have witnessed first hand his teachings and students reactions.I for one believe his classes should be part of your learning to become a better rider. Just listening and watching him has taught me to re-think how I ride. Well worth the cost of admission!
Coach’s classes are worth much more than he charges. The lessons I learned from Can Akkaya are lessons that have saved me from crashing. I highly recommend taking each and every one of his courses. His wheelie course is useful for figuring how to control your wheelies should they happen in a track setting so you don’t panic and not just for fun but it is also extremely fun! I am probably alive today because of taking his courses and I will continue to attend Can Akkaya’s superbike-coach classes.
Well said Ahmed…we’ll said.
Motorcycle USA article :-)
Hey Coach, thanks for sharing great stories and to get to know you better. For all of ya visitors: take at least one class, it’s more than worth your time and money; and if you know it all, the little tight track is a load of fun, it will show you where your rough edges are, and give you a chance to work on them. If you only ride on the street, and take my word for it because I didn’t die today, every single skill translates into more margin and competence on the road.
Thx Aleks, looking forward seeing you again.
I’ve had the pleasure of photographing the many riders on the wheelie school back in 2014 and it was so much fun! My boyfriend learned so much from that class and wants to take more. We drove almost 8 hours to take the class and it was worth it! I would do it again in a heartbeat.
I’ve taken other professional motorcycle trainings and by far, Supercoach is the best! Coach instructs, demonstrates and works with you to stretch your personal capabilities no matter your riding level or skills. I would recommend his trainings to all riders.