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Go Back   REVscene Automotive Forum > Automotive Chat > The John Norwich Riders Corner

The John Norwich Riders Corner In honour of our fellow moderator: John Norwich R.I.P. September 17th, 2014
Buy, sell, trade bikes and gear, set up bike rallies, meet discussions. #revscenebikes

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Old 05-26-2014, 02:11 PM   #1
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California Superbike School? The Ridge, Seattle

Hey,

Just wondering if other Vancouverites are planning on heading down to The Ridge for the California Superbike School. Anyone heard of it or ever been? There are tons of great reviews and I want to start tracking my bike. I think this will be a great experience... Bellow are the dates:

July 15 The Ridge Motorsports Park All Levels 475/675
July 16/17 The Ridge Motorsports Park 2-Day Camp 2450

The cost for just the one day training is $475, own bike, or $675, their bike (BMW S1000RRR)... SICK

Then, the two day camp, which I'm thinking of doing is $2450, with their bike. I know its expensive, but what do you think? Many say online that it is worth it.
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Old 05-26-2014, 04:27 PM   #2
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Hopefully CharlieH can chime in. He went to a riding school, I just don't remember which. Pretty sure it was California Superbike School because he rode on a S1000RR.
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:00 PM   #3
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they give you a s1000rr to ride? wot?
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:56 PM   #4
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So7nds to me like you are a newbie at MC track day. If that were the case, i would recommend you to do some local events at the Pitt Meadows / JIBC Integrated Training center first before heading down to the Ridge.

I no longer ride, so I am not intimately familiar with the details, but i know there is a group that regularly host MC mini "track day" events at the Pitt Meadow pad for a modest amount - i think it is only around $100 for a full day stint, and less for a half day thing. The good things about this local event are:

- it's cheap
- it's close
- it's your first time
- the pad is HUGE on a bike
- the pad is flat

That last point is the single biggest reason i think Pitt Meadows is more appropriate for you at this point. The Ridge has tons of elevation changes that makes te track immensely fun, at the same time, that correspondingly requires more riding skills. With you not having any prior MC track day experience, i am not sure if you have developed those skills yet.
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Old 05-26-2014, 06:18 PM   #5
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Hey, thanks for the response. Yes I have absolutely no track experience so far. I have been riding bikes for a while now though. I started dirt biking at a young age and have been riding sport bikes for 4 years now. I have had a CBR600RR and now, I ride a 848evo.

I'm a total newb when it comes to the track, but people say online that it is newbie friendly?

Also, thanks for letting my know about the local events, do they have coaches or guides at these events? The reason why I like the California Superbike School program so far is because they give you a coach and critique your riding. There is also some class time where they teach some theory. This is what i'm looking for... I want to improve my overall riding.
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Old 05-26-2014, 06:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcrdukes View Post
Hopefully CharlieH can chime in. He went to a riding school, I just don't remember which. Pretty sure it was California Superbike School because he rode on a S1000RR.
Charlie went to California Superbike School down at Laguna Seca

Quote:
So7nds to me like you are a newbie at MC track day. If that were the case, i would recommend you to do some local events at the Pitt Meadows / JIBC Integrated Training center first before heading down to the Ridge.

I no longer ride, so I am not intimately familiar with the details, but i know there is a group that regularly host MC mini "track day" events at the Pitt Meadow pad for a modest amount - i think it is only around $100 for a full day stint, and less for a half day thing. The good things about this local event are:

- it's cheap
- it's close
- it's your first time
- the pad is HUGE on a bike
- the pad is flat

That last point is the single biggest reason i think Pitt Meadows is more appropriate for you at this point. The Ridge has tons of elevation changes that makes te track immensely fun, at the same time, that correspondingly requires more riding skills. With you not having any prior MC track day experience, i am not sure if you have developed those skills yet.
I am neutral about starting out at Pitt Meadow. Pitt Meadow is cheaper and closer but if you can afford and go down to a bigger track, why not? You learn a lot more by attending classes at bigger tracks than local ones here in Vancouver.
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Old 05-26-2014, 11:19 PM   #7
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I did a quick search and I am reasonably sure this is the Pitt Meadows MC track day that I was talking about:

https://pittmeadowstrackdays.ca/

Their next event date looks to be Sat, June 28. Instructors are also available for extra cost.

One concern I'd have with you taking out your 848 Evo is, that 848 is a darn nice bike, and I'd hate to see you wiping out on it. To me, lowsiding on an MC at a track day is kind of like an eventuality, much like how how spinning out is something that will eventually happen when you autox often enough. It really isn't a matter of whether you will or you won't -- it's simply a matter of when. But hey, if that's what you have right now and that's what you want to track, by all means, go for it.

Regarding the Pitt Meadows vs Ridge school issue, I'll just draw a familiar analogy that almost every rider have heard before -- there is a reason a lot of veteran riders recommend newbies to pick up a 250cc learner bike to log some kms on before moving on to something bigger. A lot of riders think a brand new 600cc is perfectly ok to be a first bike, and they may be right. I belong to the camp that thinks a decent 250cc is more appropriate for new riders. It is your first bike, not your last. By the same token, it is gonna be the OP's first MC track day, not his last. So why not try something that is nice, cheap, close, and easy before heading down to the Ridge where a higher skill level is required? He is still going to have boatloads of fun, and there will be more than enough skills and techniques for him to work on at the first several outings.
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Old 05-26-2014, 11:47 PM   #8
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Oh, I should also add that if you are interested in something closer to home, but more exciting (and higher speeds) than those Pitt Meadows mini track days, you should look into these guys:

Westcoast Superbike School- Track Daze At Mission Raceway

Personally, I would rank their Mission Track Daze as the next step above the the Pitt Meadows mini track days. The bigger US tracks would come one step after.
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Old 05-27-2014, 02:05 AM   #9
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I did the 3 day camp at Laguna Seca and it was a blast. On the contrary to what some may say, I think going to track days at mission and pitt meadows first would not be a good way to get started. CSS is first and foremost a school that teaches you the fundamentals of track riding which will make you an immensely better rider in all aspects. It's not a racing school (at least levels 1-4 aren't). Instead of testing the waters by yourself first without any real instruction, CSS has a very detailed and specific curriculum that will weed out and break any bad habits right from the get go. I didn't have any previous track experience before CSS but by simply following their drills I ended up going faster than I ever thought I could by the end of the third day.

My biggest gripe was the price, since the 3 day camp was actually around $3600USD + flight, hotel, car rental, etc. But I justified it because it was Laguna Seca and I figured it'd be a once in a lifetime experience. Getting my knee down on the 2nd day at the corkscrew was one of my proudest moments LOL

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Old 05-27-2014, 12:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I did the 3 day camp at Laguna Seca and it was a blast. On the contrary to what some may say, I think going to track days at mission and pitt meadows first would not be a good way to get started. CSS is first and foremost a school that teaches you the fundamentals of track riding which will make you an immensely better rider in all aspects. It's not a racing school (at least levels 1-4 aren't). Instead of testing the waters by yourself first without any real instruction, CSS has a very detailed and specific curriculum that will weed out and break any bad habits right from the get go. I didn't have any previous track experience before CSS but by simply following their drills I ended up going faster than I ever thought I could by the end of the third day.
Agreed! I took a course up here with West Coast Superbike School and also a day course down in Seattle at Pacific Raceways with 2-fast. I actually learned more in one day down in Seattle than I did all 3 days combined with the local school.

I think it was to do with the qualitative content in the way the course is structured and how they are better able to efficiently deliver their curriculum. They also take shit a lot more serious down in the states and there are a lot more hardcore riders. Up here the fast guys are just big fish in a small pond.

I started tracking on my 1098, Charlie on his S1000RR and we both enjoyed a phenomenal first 2 seasons. While a smaller bike may be beneficial to your learning curve, it is not an absolute necessity. You may find that after a while as you progress, the excess power becomes more of a crutch when you start to push the tires and actually try to ride the bike hard. Wheel spin was a huge issue for me, eventually I just couldn't efficiently deliver the power to the ground due to all the torque..

You're on an 848 though, and they race in the same class as 600cc inline 4's. That being said I think you'll be fine starting on the 848.

While I agree with Traum in many aspects of starting on a small bike, I'm also saying don't be discouraged to start on your 848. It can be done. I think a 600cc machine or anything equivalent to that will be a fantastic platform to start tracking on.
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Old 05-27-2014, 05:56 PM   #11
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^

I'd like the record to show that I was too much of a pussy to ride the s1000 hard on the track so I got an R6 instead :3
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Old 05-28-2014, 01:15 AM   #12
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Holy fuck this sounds amazing. I'm a bit inexperienced as this is my first season (and all my bikes aren't working)... does the school change tracks every year? Would I be able to do it next year at the ridge?
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Old 05-28-2014, 01:27 AM   #13
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they hold the school at a variety of different tracks every year. willowsprings, NJMP, las vegas speedway, laguna seca, infineon raceway, etc.

Superbike School :: Schedule
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Old 05-30-2014, 05:04 PM   #14
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laguna all booked up.

Which one do guys think is better for first timer(so got to do the level 1 stuff) doing the two day program? Streets at Willow Springs or Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
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Old 05-31-2014, 12:18 PM   #15
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streets of willow is a pretty rough track. it's quite bumpy and the road surfaces aren't very good. not too sure about vegas though.
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Old 05-31-2014, 01:25 PM   #16
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I drove Willow many years ago ... can't imagine that on a bike...
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Old 06-01-2014, 11:33 AM   #17
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Thanks guys! I think I will just wait for laguna.
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Old 06-04-2014, 12:58 PM   #18
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I have also decided to wait for Laguna. Seems like an unforgettable experience. Thanks for all the great info everyone.
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Old 06-04-2014, 05:50 PM   #19
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CSS is pretty good if you're new to the track.

If you're somewhat experienced and are exploring the limits of things like trail braking for example, then Yamaha Champions Riding School is where it's at.
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Old 06-06-2014, 03:27 PM   #20
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i'm in cali but my bike and all my gear is in vancouver!!!
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Old 06-12-2014, 07:49 PM   #21
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I have never tracked But planning to make Ridge the first :3
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Old 06-26-2014, 10:24 PM   #22
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I hope you pay the difference and use their bikes. Cause even on a slow speed lowside, your personal damage is gonna be a lot more than a couple hundred. Also I wouldn't worry if you're new to the track. It's much easier to learn new good habits rather than try to change bad habits. But most of all relax and just enjoy the experience. Just have fun and don't worry about being the fastest guy out there!!
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Old 07-12-2014, 09:39 AM   #23
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hoping a spot opens up on the 15th
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