How attending a riding school can make you better & smoother rider
Yes, track riding isn’t cheap. But I believe that the benefits far outweigh the total financial outlay.
BHPian neil.jericho recently shared this with other enthusiasts.
My experiences with Indimotard and RACR are a few years apart from each other. Hence, I might be off on a few points. To the best of my recollection, both Indimotard and RACR teach the same concepts and practice the same drills, for their entry level programs.
Over days 1 and 2, the sessions alternate between theory and on track riding. The sequence is roughly,
- being taught the basics (theory).
- familiarizing yourself with the track.
- riding on track with only one gear and no brakes (throttle control 101).
- riding on track with only two gears and no brakes.
- braking drills (practice in the pits).
- counter steering (practice in the pits).
- all the above + body positioning.
- riding on track with all gears, brakes and body positioning.
Irrespective of whether you go with Indimotard or RACR, by the end of day 2, you are guaranteed to become a smoother, faster rider, than you were, before you started the course.
In terms of differences between Indimotard or RACR, my observations are below:
- Indimotard’s trainers include Anand Dharmaraj, Shumi, TBHPian Vignesh and Daniel Anandraj. All are veteran riders and coaches. RACR’s trainers are national level racers including Rajini, and young riders like Ullas S, Lani Zena, Rajiv Sethu etc.
- Indimotard takes a theory heavy approach from the start, and follows it up it with on track riding. RACR takes a more hands on and practice oriented approach to learning.
- Indimotard’s approach may be more suited to road riding and racing, while RACR’s approach may be more suited to racing. I say this based on my recollection that Indimotard encourages a stronger engine braking style, while RACR encourages a more brake oriented style.
- Indimotard doesnt / may not offer rentals on suits, boots and gloves (do check up on this) while RACR does. Having rentals works to keep entry costs low and allows young riders / first timers, to experience track riding.
- Indimotard offers the facility of bike transportation from Bangalore, while RACR doesnt (at least, not to my knowledge).
- Indimotard’s fees are definitely higher than that of RACR.
I learnt and unlearnt, a lot from attending the level 1 sessions in both Indimotard and RACR. It is impossible to clearly state that either school is better than the other, for every type of student. Each school has their own strengths. Pick which suits your learning style and budget.
The perception in the motorcycling enthusiast community is that going for these track riding sessions is either:
- only for the well heeled.
- only for track nuts.
- only for the well heeled track nuts.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, track riding isn’t cheap. But I believe that the benefits far outweigh the total financial outlay. These theory and practical lessons do translate into real world benefits. For example, when I am riding in the twisties, I actually manage to ride solely on the basis of throttle control and engine braking. I don’t use the brakes, unless absolutely necessary. All this, while keeping up with the other riders (if Im in a group ride) or maintaining a fair clip, if I’m riding alone.
On more than one occasion, the rider behind me has told me at a tea stop that the brake lights on my bike arent working. They get astounded when I show them that the brake lights work perfectly fine. Its just that I don’t use them in the twisties. This is a skill that I have learned from my sessions on the track, and I have taken it out into the real world. Needless to say, please dont try this if you dont know what you are doing!
In addition to this, I have vastly improved my vision, reflexes, braking anticipation, braking and so on, from the hours spent slowly practicing what I have learnt in these sessions. It doesn’t matter whether you ride a mothership or an adventure bike or a faired sports bike or a cruiser. The lessons from the track will carry over into the real world riding.
P.S – I’m one of those guys who advised our friend to not bring his R1 as it would have been too much for the track, for the first session. That said, I have a feeling that Ill be seeing it at Kari, sometime in the not too distant future!
P.P.S – If you want to see what California Superbike School (widely considered the gold standard in track training) teaches in Level 3, do check out the following video. I found the footage to be quite informative.
Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.
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