Bruno Valeri


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Motorcycle Riding Schools / Motorcycle Racing Schools Review

Following is a review of some of the riding schools that I've attended. While each uses a somewhat different approach and philosophy, they are all aimed at improving your skills and enjoyment of riding.

FAST Riding School

California Superbike School

Penguin Racing School

But why take a track riding school or track racing school?

For one thing, taking a riding school offered at a racing track provides the ideal learning scenario to safely improve your riding skills. Track-based training will improve you more than any amount of money that you can spend on your bike in high performance parts and accessories.

Contrary to popular belief, practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. If you want to learn how to swing a golf club, you can go out to a driving range and practice 3 hours a day for 5 days a week. Unsupervised, this ensures that you will deeply ingrain bad habits and technique. As any sport instructor will tell you, a lot of time is initially spent trying to rid a participant of deeply ingrained errors in technique. And this applies to riding a motorcycle too.

The track provides the opportunity to ride your bike in a predictable and controlled environment. As opposed to the street, traffic is all going the same direction and there are no cars. The corners are all known. Each corner is posted with a corner worker to alert you to any unsafe conditions ie debris on track etc. There is emergency personnel on standby.

On the track, there is also little reason to ever go into a turn a little too hot and get all bunched up. That can happen on the street because we misjudge the turn radius and hence the correct entry speed. But on a track, all corners are known. No surprises. We dial in the entry speed that is comfortable to us and adjust this progressively as our skill and confidence build. A least, that’s how it should be.

Some non-sport riders can initially be intimidated by taking a track riding school. I suspect that a lot has to do with how powerful words are in affecting how we perceive a situation. For example, a track day takes place on a R A C E track. That association can often conjure up expectations of having to go out and slay the dragon, of having to prove ourselves. After all, that's what a race track is about. Competitive endeavor and proving yourself, pushing your limits.

And for some, this can be a little intimidating. I've seen many track days where first timers are a little nervous. And yet, the reality is that there is little to be nervous about. Again, the environment is controlled and there is support staff on hand. Would you be nervous before heading out on beautiful roads in West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, or Northern Georgia? And yet, the environment there is much less predictable.

So if the idea of riding on a race track makes you uncomfortable, you might change the wording and think of track school as a Rider Development Course. The expectation then changes from one of going out to slay the dragon, to one of going out to practice and improve on skills.

Your understanding of how your bike behaves will improve as will your braking ability.

Not only will this make you a better rider and safer, but your enjoyment of riding will increase too.


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