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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The LOML surprised me with a two-day course at CSS as a 60th birthday present! Gawd, I love that woman!

I did the course at Barber Motorsports Park this past Memorial Day and Tuesday. I'd never been on a track before, and had never ridden a high-performance bike, so I didn't know what my expectations were, but any I could come up with were far exceeded by the school!

EVERYTHING about the school was first rate! I don't know how much of the instruction will translate to street riding, but the techniques taught there certainly apply.

Yes, the course is right pricey, but it's pretty obvious that there's LOTS of overhead. They have two transporters, maybe 50 S1000RR's and a half dozen 'special' bikes (braking, leaning, sliding), and at least two dozen staff, most of whom are flown in. There was one riding coach for every two students in Level 1 and 2.

I can't say enough about how impressive the school was; two solid days of instruction, including seven track sessions, each day. And, you ride a S1000RR! That is one amazing motor scooter!

So, if you can find a way to swing it, I cannot recommend the CSS highly enough! They have classes at several tracks in the 'States, and have schools in Great Britain and Australia.


It was very weird feeling when I climbed on board my trusty old 955 ST for the commute the next morning!
 

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+1 Did a one course two years ago at Barber, and a two day course in May at VIR. Great School!
 

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I think it was in '10 that I observed the course being given at Barber. I lived in Mobile and didn't have a bike, and didn't have the cash for the course, but I was interested. I wrote Keith and asked if I could observe. He said yes, and it was a great learning experience.
 

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Did the CSS out here at Willow Springs a few years back. And plan on doing it again this summer with a few friends. Hands down the best money I have ever spent as a motorcyclist. Believe it or not, decided to do it on my old 790 Bonneville. Everyone thought it was pretty awesome to see a bike like that being ridden hard. She did much better than anyone expected.

 

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Did the CSS out here at Willow Springs a few years back. And plan on doing it again this summer with a few friends. Hands down the best money I have ever spent as a motorcyclist. Believe it or not, decided to do it on my old 790 Bonneville. Everyone thought it was pretty awesome to see a bike like that being ridden hard. She did much better than anyone expected.
The next track day I do, I plan on taking the Sprint.

What did they require you to do to your bike to prepare it for track use, besides taping up all glass/plastic?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
From their site: https://superbikeschool.com/faq/

"What do I need to do to to prep my own bike if I bring it?"

Good tires (90% TREAD) We offer good tire deals & mounting at the track.
Good brakes and throttle action.
No fluid leaks.
No need to safety wire or swap out fluids.
 

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From their site: https://superbikeschool.com/faq/

"What do I need to do to to prep my own bike if I bring it?"

Good tires (90% TREAD) We offer good tire deals & mounting at the track.
Good brakes and throttle action.
No fluid leaks.
No need to safety wire or swap out fluids.
I was wondering about the safety wire. I have read up on some other schools and they require safety wire on the dip stick and oil drain plug.
 

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That was the biggest thing really, taping up anything that may shatter. Then they gave the whole thing a visual inspection for any sort of fluid leaks, inspected tires, and brakes etc., made sure the throttle returned on it's own, stuff like that. Then gave me one of these...


And I was good to go.

I was shocked how much love the Bonnie got from everyone in tech. The guys in my riding group were a different story and mostly new riders under 3 years of riding or so and on 600cc sport bikes, so they destroyed me on the straight sections. I have been riding quite a bit longer and had a lot of saddle time on that bike in particular here in the canyons. That bike and I just had an understanding I took care of her, and she took care of me.

Before our first session the questions about why I brought a "bike like that" and "you should really get a sport bike, were fairly common." A couple of them were actually kind of jerks about it. And, I found it interesting that the guys in the more advanced groups all came over to check out the bike and were far more approving and supportive. I just kept sort of quiet honestly.

The streets of willow is a relatively tight track in some sections, much more of a handling/riders track than a power track. After our first real laps, the smart a#$% questions stopped. And I was really happy to be on my bike, I wanted to and see what she was really capable of. Was not disappointed.

Planning on taking my Thruxton R this time. Now that should be fun.
 

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I think I'm going to sign up for this in the fall in CA pending approval from the wife. Sonoma raceway is probably easiest from where I live but the appeal of Laguna Seca is huge...

I think I have the riding skills to hang but I've never been on a track before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think I have the riding skills to hang but I've never been on a track before.
The CSS instructors repeatedly stress that the track, for us, is not a 'race track;' rather, it is a 'training course.' They don't want you to try to go fast until you learn how to get around the track smoothly. And, EVERYONE goes through Level 1 in the same order, regardless of experience or skill.

I think they pair you with your ridercoach with some consideration of your experience, though.
 

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What impressed me when I watched was that each instructor on a bike only had three students. ....and that instructor was riding damn near side saddle so they could turn around and point to the best line for their riders to follow.

....and side saddle, turned around, with only the throttle hand on the bar....those instructors STILL went around corners better than I can now on my best day!
 

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CSS thoughts

Hi all, just wanted to add my 2 cents.
First for all of you on the fence any school that offers instruction is well worth the investment and while getting the "SO" to approve the finances my be tough they will see an improvement in your ability to safely operate your ride at all speeds!

I've taken schools from Class Rides, Star Motorcycle School, Team Suzuki Advanced, and California Superbike along with having the opportunity for some one on one instruction from Doug Polenand many track days both with and without instructors.

They all have great things to teach and some fun extras to learn on. The best overall school in my opinion for street riders is Class Rides www.classrides.com. Reg and his crew teach mor skills and "lines" that are directly transferable to the street than any other school!

Again they are all good and teach you to be a better rider! Oh defiantly take your own bike if you can, like mentioned above some non sport bikes can really do a whole lot more that we as riders can!

Keep learning!

Sam
 

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Thanks Sam, I'm looking in to doing it with my riding buddies now. Thinking we will do the streets to try it out and then I would love to do Laguna next year.
 

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\

I've taken schools from Class Rides, Star Motorcycle School, Team Suzuki Advanced, and California Superbike along with having the opportunity for some one on one instruction from Doug Polenand many track days both with and without instructors.

They all have great things to teach and some fun extras to learn on. The best overall school in my opinion for street riders is Class Rides www.classrides.com. Reg and his crew teach mor skills and "lines" that are directly transferable to the street than any other school!
Sam,

Can you elaborate on the benefits of CLASS vs CSS? It's $1k cheaper which is huge. I probably can't do them both any time soon but could do one or the other. The class website seems less put together in terms of their training plan or what you'd do each day. they also have fewer gimmicks like the slide bike, etc. I'm not sure that matters much though.
 

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Class vs CSS in my opinion

While I like some of the principals and ideas CSS uses and for those that can't take a school either because of cost or location Keith's "Twist of the Wrist" books are a good way to get some of the schools information in a very affordable package. The "gimmick" bikes are actually pretty cool but there is so much ground to cover for first time students they can be a distraction.

Class is defiantly a more relaxed family type atmosphere. But Reg is a 3 time Superbike champion and most of his instructors have been with him for years. CSS is more structured.

Now what I like about class is that what they teach is not necessarily the "fastest" line around the track but how to determine where you should be based on a lot of factors, do you think you should be in the same place on the track and use the same markers as Valentino Rossi? They teach you to learn where you need to be based on your skill and speed. They teach you to learn the a track from the inside out expanding how much track you use based on what you need to use. Reg talks about riding the fog line when on the street as the safest line and I've had the privilege of going on a couple of street rides with him and it's amazing how tight he holds the right side of the road in the canyons! What they teach really does apply directly to the street

Many of the other schools teach the "fast" way around the track. While we all want to learn to go faster and the track is a place to do that, most of us also want to be safer on the street and I don't think track lines are the safest way on the street.

Having said all this Reg and his crew can teach you to go FAST too, but I think their focus for those that this is their first and maybe only school is certainly better for the street rider.

Sam
 

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I like this whole philosophy honestly. I did feel like I got a TON out of CSS. But anything that keeps me out of trouble in the canyons is worth the investment to me.
 

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OK, I think i'm going to try to take both over the next year. I want to ride Class with my own bike but the logistics of getting it to LA in track ready form are a huge hassle so I think I'll wait for a buddy to join me or another Class to happen in Northern CA.

CSS this fall it is!

Also, I have a 1 piece Aerostitch and a Vanson leather jacket. I could a.) just use the stitch b.) buy zip on pants for the vanson but they won't be 360 zipped or c.) buy some used leathers.

Are the full leathers worth the benefit for schools like this vs just using the trusty stitch?

Thanks again!
 
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