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California Superbike School – Levels 1 & 2

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I went along to levels 1 & 2 of CSS a few years ago. At the time, I had no track experience and was wary about taking my own bike on track so I hired a bike from LS Supersport Hire (I don’t think they’re still operating) who delivered a really nicely prepared GSXR600 to Silverstone for me.

The days were very well put together with classroom sessions between each track session. Each session focuses on a particular drill which you learn about and then go out on track to put it into practice. These are exercises such as practicing your counter-steering at the exact turn-in point and ensuring you hit it on every corner; then moving on to the apex; then working on expanding your peripheral awareness. Each exercise is performed in isolation with no other distractions and to start with, you’ll be only using one gear (usually 3rd) the whole way round and no brakes to make sure you are fully focussed on the specific exercise and not worrying about changing gear and braking points.css1

Throughout the day, the exercises start to be combined together and additional gears and the use of brakes are drip-fed until the final session which brings together all the drills and, for the first time, all gears and brakes are allowed. During each session, instructors ride around and spend time observing the small handful of riders assigned to them and then debrief each rider individually after the session.

One barrier to CSS is that the days are relatively expensive compared to doing a trackday but, unlike a trackday, the time you aren’t on track is spend in the classroom either learning the next drill or being debriefed on the previous session. There is a lot of learning so it’s a fairly intensive day, but not overwhelming. I found both days very useful as someone with comparatively little track experience as it breaks down the cornering process into bite-sized chunks which helps to learn the steps logically. I do fully intend to complete the course by doing Levels 3 & 4 at some point which are more tailored to each person and Level 4 is one-to-one instruction all day.

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Alex Wood #26

Hi, I’m Alex Wood and I’m 15. My passion is racing motorbikes. I’ve just completed my second ever year of racing and I loved every second. I ...