YCRS: The Yamaha School at MMP is going great. August had WSBK/AMA champions Scott Russell and Ben Spies come to the school as guest instructors. What a great time listening to what they had to say and hearing why they do the things they do. Guess what? They are doing the same things we teach at the school and the same things I coach you with. Why? Because it’s faster and safer. The glaring points I heard Scott and Ben say were; get it slowed down to go fast and control your speed….sound familiar?
New Bike: I sold my beloved 2008 CBR1000 and bought a new R1 from Mach 1 Motorsports. I was a bit nervous (OK really nervous) getting one after the magazine test I did and the initial shake down of the bike at the school, but after riding mine for the first time at Thill, I am really excited about the bike and can’t wait to ride it again. With just a set of Pirelli tires and suspension set-up, I am right at my CBR's time right out of the gate. Come by and check it out when you see me at the track.
Seminars: I have been having a few away from the track seminars and they are going great. The videos, questions and body position drills are really eye openers for everyone. September is already full, but I am planning an advanced seminar in early October, dates to follow. At the advanced class, we will review your track videos, go over advanced track theories and I have a fitness handout I have been working on to give you.
Video Review Service: With my schedule being full, I get emails and phone calls from people asking for any type of track help they can get. So, I’ve started coaching some people by watching videos they provide and giving feedback. This has worked out great and I have even reviewed videos from morning race practices and given feedback in time for riders to fix things for their afternoon sessions. There are few hosting services that work well for this and as long as it is set up in advance, is a great alternative to a full coaching day at a fraction of the cost. Call or email for more info.”
Riding Tip: “I need a slipper clutch”…."The rear of my bike hops around going into turns”… I hear these comments all the time and what I see is truly a simple fix, let your clutch out slower on your last downshift! Remember, your downshifts need to start in your first 10% of your brake zone, any later than that and you are going to be rushed and of course, you end dumping the clutch trying to get your downshifts done in a hurry. Watch MotoGP, even though they have electronics so they don’t even need the clutch on downshifts, they still use it and control the clutch lever release until they are happy with how the rear wheel has caught up to the engine RPM’s. Like Mr. Spies said, “Control your speed”.
August 13, 2009 "I have a few days that have become available. These days are $100 more, but the open days have proven to be a ton of fun and great for coaching. I also only have a few spots left for the August 22nd Away From The Track Class." Sept 2 Thill Private day-Open format, Sept 16 Thill Private day-Open Format, Oct 19 PTT Thill
August 11, 2009 "I am having 2 Away From The Track Seminars for the month of August. Same as last time, each class has a limit of 10 people and the cost is $100. They will at my home in Woodland, start at 6pm and go for around 3 hours. Food/drink will be served.
Class #1 Saturday August 22 -This class covers my basic techniques and track mapping. There will be tons of videos and handouts to go over.
Class #2 Sunday August 23- This class is a slightly advanced class for people that want to have their own riding videos played and critiqued. A great class to guide you to your next steps. As you sign up, I will work with you on what type of videos to bring. There will also be a bunch of new information for people that have already taken one of my away from the track classes."
June 23, 2009 "Going to the Buell trackdays have been great. Testing myself to learn new tracks in sometimes adverse conditions, with riders I have never ridden with has been a challenge. (Oh, and a hell of a lot of fun!) The common issue I see is people sitting in the middle of the seat, or going back to the middle of the seat between corners. This rider usually ends up running out of time to go back to the side of the seat before a turn and I find, never ends up taking weight off their arms. They end up off line, have too much weight on their arms and never get the bike to change direction. Commit to never being in the center of the seat, either 100% to the left or right, all the time.
I also had the opportunity to talk to 3 of the winners of the AMA races at Road America after their races. All 3 had one common thought, have a plan for your riding. All 3 used a track map between sessions as well as writing notes…..So, do you?"
April 30, 2009 "The faster you go, the sooner things have to happen and the first place that has to happen is with your eyes. Getting your “eyes up” sooner is especially important on exits, as the sooner you can see your exit, the sooner you can put the bike in a position to accelerate. So, look for your exit apexes and accelerate to them! Practice this in your car driving to work, go karting, bicycle riding or wherever you can build muscle memory for it. Make it a habit for your first laps of trackday or race warm up lap for scanning where you want to go. Riding season is in full motion and I have a bunch of info for everyone as well as a great riding tip. The away from the track seminars went very well and I want to say thanks to all that attended, as well as a big thank you to Shelli and Mike at the Dainese store for hosting the SF event. There were a lot of great questions and good information passed around, so I plan on having another one in mid to late May. Keep a look out for the date and I promise to not crash in my front room again! The special Pirelli Dragon Super Corsa tire deal announced last month is still available from Viets Performance. Mike Canfield is also going to be offering his AMA winning suspension-tuning capabilities for you at trackdays. This is a great opportunity to get first class information and understanding of how the pros set up a bike. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org to get his schedule and reserve a spot."
March 24, 2009 "With so much critical information to cover in my 1 on 1 coaching days, I find there is not always enough time to cover in depth all the information I feel has the biggest impacts on your riding. I am pleased to announce a series of classroom sessions that will focus on my core theories of track riding. In a relaxed environment away from the track, I will cover technique and riding topics in greater detail than I can during an on-track coaching session. No matter your skill level, trackday novice to AMA racer, there will be something for you with tons of useful tools being offered, special videos, track maps and motorcycles available for demonstration. The class is approximately 3 hours long, costs $100.00 and is limited to 10 students. I will be holding these classes at my home in Woodland on Friday April 3rd, Saturday April 11th, both at 6 p.m. and April 19th at 9 a.m. at a TBA location in the San Francisco area.
I scheduled a few of the dates right before some trackdays to make the drive easier and so you can quickly take advantage of all the information you will be getting. Food and drinks will also be served. Please email to reserve your spot!"
February 17, 2009 "Ahhh, middle of winter….. a lot of rain and not much riding. I've been pretty busy traveling and teaching the last month. I spent several weeks in Vegas with Harley-Davidson/Buell riding cruisers and Buells while teaching classes to the dealers. It was a fantastic experience with a great company. A company that is taking the right steps to put riding education in the forefront of its culture. How does this help you? Easy, since it was my first time ever on a cruiser, it completely reinforced that there is one proper way to ride a motorcycle and the techniques are the same whether it is a cruiser or a sportbike. I did some things on a cruiser that I never thought were possible….
I also have been working with a few of my sponsors to arrange some special pricing for my clients:
Roseville Cycle - Contact Mike Canfield at 916-782-2171 for more information on the following winter specials, Suspension service and Computrack frame measuring and dyno service.
Pirelli Tires - Viets Performance is now working in concert with the new Northern California Pirelli distributor CT Race Tires to offer great pricing and trackside support for racers AND trackday customers on Pirelli tires. They will have deals on Diablo Dragon Super Corsas, Diablo Super Corsas and Slicks for the racers that work with me.”
December 11, 2008 "I missed November so I will combine a few things for this December update. There isn't much happening between now and when the new season starts, so it is a great time to think about your 2009 plans. I am putting the finishing touches on my 2009 schedule and will release it in the next few weeks. Sharp eyes will notice a new email address and I'm even thinking of giving in to this whole electronic thing and getting my own website, hopefully my 11 year old son will maintain it for me…. The off season is a great time to think about getting some bike maintenance done. Freshening up the suspension, starting a set-up sheet, replacing or fixing all those nagging little things you swore you were going to last summer….Look for an announcement in the next week or two for a maintenance and set-up clinic in January hosted by Roseville Cycle."
October 15, 2008 "Last month we talked about getting your inside foot placed properly on the footpeg to put weight on it correctly. This month, let's look at how your outside leg and inner thigh need to be positioned against the fuel tank to further anchor your lower body in order to allow your upper body to move freely. With the middle of your butt (yes, I am talking about your 'buttcrack', ladies and gentlemen) on the inside edge of the seat, your outside foot needs to be anchored on the peg, and your heel pressed against the chassis (see attached picture) to allow your inner thigh to rest up against the tank. A good starting point is to have your mid-thigh pressed against the tank. If it's your knee that is pushing against the tank, then your butt is off too far. And if it's your crotch that is pushed against the tank, then your Gluteus Maximus is not off far enough. Point your outside toes down to firmly anchor yourself in. Precise outside foot placement isn't as important as long as you can point your toes down. Try it!"
September 12th, 2008 "In order to take weight off of your hands, your feet have to be in the correct position on the foot pegs. To start, the ball of your inside foot should be on the leading forward edge of the peg with about an inch and half over the side and your heel to the chassis. (See photo) This will allow your knee to rotate out and you will be able to weight the peg so as to keep your hands light. Try it!"