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Old 12-02-2011, 04:46 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdill35 View Post
Unfortunately, the competition is so stiff between track organizations it seems that ones ability to promote carries more value, with schools, than their ability to teach.
I would rather pay 300$ for a track day with a lot less people and better instructors than $140 for double the students and half the instruction.
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Old 12-02-2011, 05:16 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1FC View Post
Not exactly sure about this but practicing proper proven riding habits even on backroad riding you can really improve your skills.


A couple yrs back I was able to knock 5 secs off my fastest previous trackday over the winter.
Nice.. I was able to progress to high level 2....in one season of riding.. shoot I hardly have two years of exp.. I have to agree.. It does have to do with seat time.. Im sure my 35000+ miles on the bike has to help.... 2 crashes and a dirty offroading experience.. at TWS (Texas World Speedway)....

The only thing that I hate is dealing with all the for riding the bike on a street like its on a track...lol It will cost you as much as the track does if you get popped..But hey, as I learn a lot from going slower in a turn...I always try to remember what a "GOOD" instructor told me... (many things) but out in the backroads I am trying to find a balance in riding street and track...mostly due to tires, haters, debris, blah blah.....The same ol argument.

I really think like others have mentioned it takes a passion, and the asking right questions...for the insturctor and the student. Setting expectations for your students and building the schools image and credibility is also key!! Not to mention the "right" practice.. Some students/instructors make things to complicated and forget to just enjoy the ride... I have to say also that it really has to do with the feeling you get when leaning in a curve, or hitting it hard and knowing what your bike can do when you come into a turn.. .. concentrating on the joy of that feeling...of course body pos, speed, lean, etc... I really enjoyed lessons when in a slower pace like not use the brakes and just engine braking... it helped me practice being in the right gear.. as I learn brake in points its starts to get a bit more technical, and thats where practice and skill come in....not to mentions some limit pushing.
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:04 PM   #23
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What schools are available to help instructors learn to instruct in the MC world? I've been to Porsche instructors schools but I've never seen anything like that for MC's. At a minimum instructors should be reading Keith Code or Andy Trevitt's books.
That's why I said advanced riding lessons or schools. There's several out there and I was more or less referring to some of Brandt's, Alan's and the like private lessons or at their respected schools. Ty days and his school. All of these could help tremendously with their riding and instructing. If the money is available Code or a Kevin Schwantz school would be great.

I've read Code's book. Good stuff for sure.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:13 PM   #24
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I don't think advanced riding lessons translate to being a better instructor. Instruction is more about communication rather than getting from 1:58 to 1:48 at TWS (Texas World Speedway) or low 1:40's at MSRH. Level one students don't benefit from advanced techniques in place of fundamentals.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:18 PM   #25
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Take body position for example in level 1. Is it more important that braking, throttle control or line in level 1? I'd say not. What's most important at that level is being stable and comfortable on the bike. I'd rather see people focused on learning to get on the throttle smoothly from apex to track out. Even more basic, selecting consistent braking points. Reference points of all types do a heckuva lot more to help riders get faster safely in level 1 than body position.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:25 PM   #26
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Quote:
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I don't think advanced riding lessons translate to being a better instructor. Instruction is more about communication rather than getting from 1:58 to 1:48 at TWS (Texas World Speedway) or low 1:40's at MSRH. Level one students don't benefit from advanced techniques in place of fundamentals.
I think that you can learn how to teach by being a student. I have done a couple of private days with Whoop and Ty as well as the Typhoon academy. I learned a lot about riding and advanced technical skills. I also learned alot from the classroom structure. It has helped me alot when a try to work with others.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:39 PM   #27
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Quote:
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I think that you can learn how to teach by being a student.
i like this
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:46 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxgs View Post
Take body position for example in level 1. Is it more important that braking, throttle control or line in level 1? I'd say not. What's most important at that level is being stable and comfortable on the bike. I'd rather see people focused on learning to get on the throttle smoothly from apex to track out. Even more basic, selecting consistent braking points. Reference points of all types do a heckuva lot more to help riders get faster safely in level 1 than body position.
That right there is a point that too many miss at beginner levels at track days.

SO many people focus too much on BP instead of learning to RIDE the bike.
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:48 PM   #29
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+1,000,000 I really hope Track Orgs & Instructors are reading this, cause if we as a student/intructors put our opinions out there i would hope we would listen. Thats just my .2
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Old 12-03-2011, 12:23 AM   #30
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Curt (Maxgs) is on to what I teach my young riders on the mini endurance teams. The goal I would like to see a rider do is "Commit" to what we are working on. One phase I use is "Connect the Dots" ...........Entry.....Mid-corner......Exit.

Track references for lines such as surface marking on the track, cones placed at certain spots on the track Etc......

Body position as Curt stated. Have you ever considered a change to the way you use the controls? ..........Throttle grip....... brake lever (and the position of your fingers) ...... clutch lever adjustments.

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Old 12-03-2011, 06:59 AM   #31
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the thing for me is that there may be instructors out there that are very good riders, they may be cmra champions... I would pay to watch them race, but if they are not also good communicators, good teachers, I do not want to pay for their being instructors...
a guy who has never won a race, never raced at all but who can communicate and teach, that is the guy I want....
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:53 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxgs View Post
Take body position for example in level 1. Is it more important that braking, throttle control or line in level 1? I'd say not. What's most important at that level is being stable and comfortable on the bike. I'd rather see people focused on learning to get on the throttle smoothly from apex to track out. Even more basic, selecting consistent braking points. Reference points of all types do a heckuva lot more to help riders get faster safely in level 1 than body position.
As much as I love to disagree with you, I like this post.

Quote:
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the thing for me is that there may be instructors out there that are very good riders, they may be cmra champions... I would pay to watch them race, but if they are not also good communicators, good teachers, I do not want to pay for their being instructors...
a guy who has never won a race, never raced at all but who can communicate and teach, that is the guy I want....
I agree that I dont want an instructor that can't communicate. But one thing I appreciate is that if someone is a champion, winner or all around fast guy, then there is no doubt he knows how to ride a motorcycle around a race track. And generally, the ones who can't communicate well don't instruct. They just go out there and smoke your and if you're fast enough to hang for a few laps, you might learn more than you ever did without them saying a word.

The only thing that concerns me about instructors that cant get around the track quickly or can't execute what they teach is how do you really know that what you're being taught is truth? There is always that reservation in my mind. I want people to show me how THEY do it, not tell me how someone else does it.

As a new rider, I believed everything that was being taught to me in the beginning. Then as I began to progress and receive advanced instruction I learned that so much of what I had been taught was just plain wrong. The instructors teaching me just didn't know any better. I had to undo so many things that had become habits and I think it set me back a bit. You would not believe how many students get to ARC that aren't remotely close to the race line because the people that taught them didn't know it and taught them wrong.

I'm not disagreeing with your post, I do agree that effective communication skills are very important. But equally important is that they know what they are talking about.

It's somewhat offensive to me, and other folks that I'm close with that have spent thousands of dollars racing and travelling and educating ourselves and crashing and breaking bones (them even more than I) all in an effort to keep pace with top experts for it only to be suggested that none of that matters when it comes to teaching. Bullshit. It matters a lot. Maybe not to a brand new noobalicious, but to most other trying to elevate themselves, it does.

You're new to the track day scene and have formed early opinions and I think that's great. Once you progress and start outriding your present day teachers you'll get what I'm saying, if you're not getting it now.

Last edited by cdill35; 12-03-2011 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:45 AM   #33
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cdill35, I appreciate your honesty and the input from other instructors that have participated in this thread and I agree with much of what you have said.
I think that some of the issues I have addressed and some that the instructors have addressed are inherent to any track day type organization and some of the issues are here to stay, but some can be addressed and made better. There must be some compromise as to the quality and quantity of instruction because it IS a track day organization and is trying to give the most it can under the constraints of time and money it has to deal with.
I am new to the track day scene and yes my concerns and needs are going to be quite different that someone at a level 3, ready for race school point...
it might be quite difficult for a track day group to give top notch instruction to both levels, but it needs to be done...and I think the novice level rider, new to track days needs more personal attention and supervision than the level 3 rider and that is where I think the track day groups are failing to do a sufficient job... do they need to charge more... maybe...
do they need to limit the number of students to a smaller number per track day... maybe..
do they need to concentrate more on an instructors ability to teach than his racing accomplishments... straight.
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Old 12-03-2011, 12:20 PM   #34
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This year was My first year on the track. , 2010 was my first year on a sport bike, until MH I didn't even know you could just go to the track and learn. I did my first TD with Fastline at GSS in april. I remember the first session after lunch(after the round robins) brena got in front of me and did a whole lap just watching my riding. She pulled me into the pit and the first instruction I got was lines. Not "just hang off more", but "hey, follow my lines, you're making too much work for yourself" and had me follow her again, which helped immediately. Then her and Kib got me on a bike on stands in the pits and helped me better figure out my body position with moving my elbows around, getting my head down etc. By the end of that TD I had my knee down in almost every corner. Not very fast, but felt smooth and confident. I think my best time at the end of that day was around 1:20ish.

Since then I've ridden two and a half TDs between GSS and MSRH, in intermediate. I got great instruction, and even some 1 on 1 time, not just from the instructors, but even from other riders as well. The whole family environment really helps when someone riding with you will take the time to tell you how you looked, and what you might improve on. My last TD was GSS, CCW, and I managed a 1:12.1 with the help of friends and the fastline crew. Still not fast, but much faster and way smoother than the beginning of the year.

For me, that's a victory. In a few TDs I saw great improvement in my own riding. The instructors paid attention to what I was doing, gave advice, and encouraged me to ask questions. But it wasn't only on track instuction that helped make my first TD season so great. There were the friends who got me into track riding, who were very supportive, the classroom sessions, which I think everyone should go to, and the general atmosphere of the people at the track who just want to have a good time and look out for fellow riders.
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Old 12-03-2011, 12:34 PM   #35
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Quote:
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I don't think advanced riding lessons translate to being a better instructor. Instruction is more about communication rather than getting from 1:58 to 1:48 at TWS (Texas World Speedway) or low 1:40's at MSRH. Level one students don't benefit from advanced techniques in place of fundamentals.
I agree 100% with this.
Having the fundamentals down and PRACTICE are going to make you better. Less focus on lap times and more focus on doing things correctly in my opinion make a better instructor. I would say very few people are at track days with the realistic idea they are going racing, and racing is the only time lap times matter.
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Old 12-03-2011, 03:34 PM   #36
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At the end of the day, most instructors get nothing. They spend their time, money, burn up tires and put wear and tear on their bikes for nothing in return.

We should be more grateful for those that volunteer. Myself included.
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Old 12-03-2011, 03:52 PM   #37
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a good instructor gets their students around the track safely.
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:46 PM   #38
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It's somewhat offensive to me, and other folks that I'm close with that have spent thousands of dollars racing and travelling and educating ourselves and crashing and breaking bones (them even more than I) all in an effort to keep pace with top experts for it only to be suggested that none of that matters when it comes to teaching. Bullshit. It matters a lot. Maybe not to a brand new noobalicious, but to most other trying to elevate themselves, it does.
Although this didn't appear to be pointed at my comments, I think it warrants a response and clarification of my views.

I absolutely agree that successful racers have a wealth of knowledge to share. I also agree, but on a more limited basis, that people who have attended advanced riders schools can bring more to the table. It's a question of when to share that information.

In level 1, riders are beginning to get accustomed to the track. Just trying to figure out the line, find reference points, deal with traffic, learning to effectively brake and use the throttle consumes a great deal of their mental faculties. I refer to these skills as fundamentals. Attempting to add to those fundamentals with more advanced techniques, trail braking is a great example, further overwhelms the riders in Level 1. Think about your first few times at the track and how everything seemed to happen so fast when riding. It seemed that there wasn't enough time to brake, blip, downshift, and turn in. With experience that some gain in one or two track days and others in a few more days, the amount of time the rider "feels" they have to perform all these actions increases dramatically. Everything begins to slow down.

Now in level 2 and level 3, the advanced skills are wholly appropriate. This is because the experience level of those riders is advanced to the point that the fundamentals are now rote. They don't worry about threshold braking, traffic doesn't bother them, they have reference points for the important parts of the track and they've learned be accustomed to the throttle.

It's at this level that knowledge from racers and advanced instructors who have been to the ARC would seem to also be best fit for more advanced riders. I'd suggest this is precisely why the ARC is targeted for strong level 2 as well as level 3 riders. Those techniques, without the core fundamentals, just further overwhelm novices.

If there are things taught in the ARC that are directly applicable to Level 1 riders, then it would make sense to educate all instructors in those areas. Nobody wants to intentionally instruct with the wrong techniques. This opens the door to a conversation about instructor training and certifications.
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:30 PM   #39
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Obed,

I have only starting working with instructors this past year. Specifically Tom at LSTD and then Alonzo, Tony, Brandon, etc with Fastline.

To me what all of them did above all else, was a very simple thing. They asked what I wanted to acheive through instruction.

With me, I'm 41 and am not looking to be the fastest guy out there. I want to be able to run safer on my bikes and to get more comfortable on my bikes. Once you get comfortable, you get faster. To me, it's that simple. Track time is play time to me. An escape from work and other bs.

I wanted to run a sub 2:00 at TWS (Texas World Speedway). I quit running a timer though, but I was running 2:08's very consistently before the work with the instructors. I think I ran some sub 2:00 laps, but really don't care now about the number. I care about the fact that I became very relaxed and comfortable at the pace I was running.

At GSS, I just received some key points about where I was transitioning from brake to throttle in the turns. One minor adjustment, and I was running faster. This was on the tard, but transitioned to the 10R as well.

My 0.02, if your instructor doesn't ask what you want to achieve and work with you specifically with feedback between sessions (at least in the morning), walk away and ask for someone else.

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Old 12-03-2011, 09:35 PM   #40
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Great thread and great points I completely agree with Curt and others that their is too much emphasis on body position from level 1 instructors. But I can also understand why there is an emphasis of it...to get the rider away from their street riding habits.

I won't add to the "What's GOOD about an instructor" because most of those points have already been made. I will say though that I have seen a few bad things from instructors not experienced by myself personally, just 'seen'. At one of the trackdays, in L2, an instructor abandoned his 'group' and when we went back to the classroom, it was brought up. And it was also discussed on a thread made here on MH. That is completely uncalled for but luckily that's a rare event.

I do notice that L1 instructors tend to be more frustrated than L2 or beyond. That may be because of a lot of things: slow pace, not getting the point communicated to the student, or the student not learning/committing to what he/she is being taught. Having packed levels must add to that frustration. From my experience, nothing gets someone frustrated faster though than a lack of communication or an inability to communicate.

I spend a lot of my time at work teaching all kinds of people all kinds of things about computers. As an instructor, the one thing that gets me through it all is confidence and being an expert at what I am teaching. Communication, understanding the student's pov or relating to them, etc. also helps. But it also takes a willing student. An instructor is only as good as the product of his/her teachings.
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