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Old 11-16-2012, 04:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Southern Calif tracks

Hey, been riding the 600CBR 4k mi so far, starting to feel a 'little' more comfortable riding it. Got some new tires, and was wondering if there's a good track for newbies.

I don't feel confortable riding on back road twisties as I've used the 600 for just communting to and from work, but I'm bored on the weekends so wanted to maybe ride the bike on a track where crashing it will not mean getting run over by a semi.

Any SoCal riders know of a good place to start out riding on a track, maybe in a class?

I found this school:
Motorcycle Riding School - California Superbike School

but seems kind of a lot of dinero. Are these costs pretty much the same for any track?
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm not sure if any track is "bad" for newbies. Any closed riding environment can offer positive learning experiences with the right track day organization.

A couple good friends of mine live near San Diego. They go to Chuckwalla Valley Raceway pretty often. Got married on the start/finish line actually.
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I've heard nothing but great things about Keith Code's California Superbike School, and I am thinking of treating myself next season. But that is an intensive instructional program that costs 3 or 4 times what a day at the track with most other organizations cost.

In my limited experience, reputable track organizations do offer coaching to those who want it, and have well-organized novice programs with classroom and on-track instruction. If you have 4k miles under your belt, you're more than ready. I wish I had gotten on the track earlier in my riding career. It's a lot easier to learn proper technique from the start than to try to undo years of bad riding habits.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Almost all of the local trackday organizers have support in the C group for beginners and are excellent and inexpensive places to start.

Your local tracks are Buttonwillow, Willow Springs, Fontana, and Chuckwalla.

KeS

Here's a trackday calendar, btw:

Sportbike Trackday and Riding School Event Calendar - Motorcycle USA
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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What Kevin said, but add to that the fact that there are 2 tracks at Willow, Streets, and the big track. All of them are within 3-4 hours drive, with some being much closer.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If you're really interested in doing track and you still use your bike for commute, I would suggest getting another bike for track, or use the 600 for track and get another commute bike. IMO
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Fastrack Riders

i did streets of willow and took the instructional option for an additional $150 and i swear it was the best money i've spent. you learn SO much about riding, technique, science of riding, track positioning, angles, etc. (they also introduce suspension and make you understand how important tuning your suspension in correctly is).

even if you don't do that instructional option, just riding on the track is a very beneficial experience.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by stnkbg1 View Post
What Kevin said, but add to that the fact that there are 2 tracks at Willow, Streets, and the big track. All of them are within 3-4 hours drive, with some being much closer.
Three.

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Old 11-19-2012, 10:25 AM   #9 (permalink)
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+1 for California Superbike School. I did levels 1 & 2 back in April at Infineon (....err, I'm sorry, Sears Point) and it totally changed my riding. It is a couple of hundred more than your normal organizations' trackday/ trackschool if you bring your own bike for the back-2-back levels, but the off-track drills and instructor/student ratio make up for it in terms of listening to the theory in the classroom then going out to try it firsthand on the track. FWIW, my on-track coach for both of my days currently races in AMA.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by SactoPat View Post
If you're really interested in doing track and you still use your bike for commute, I would suggest getting another bike for track, or use the 600 for track and get another commute bike. IMO
Yeah, thinking I might do this...get a used 250cc bike and have some fun. At least if I crash it, I don't have to worry about fixing it right away as I use the CBR600 as main transporation.
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:49 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OreoGaborio View Post
I'm not sure if any track is "bad" for newbies. Any closed riding environment can offer positive learning experiences with the right track day organization.

A couple good friends of mine live near San Diego. They go to Chuckwalla Valley Raceway pretty often. Got married on the start/finish line actually.
While I do agree with you that any closed course can be good for learning I will say that I would steer clear of Willow Springs as your first track day. I did Streets (at Willow Springs) for my first motorcycle track day and it was great because it is a small technical track. I would say either do a school or at least get instruction for your first day.

And have fun! Maybe I will see you would there next season.
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:57 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I dunno - I kind of like big track for beginners, as it's so simple and easy to learn. You don't *have* to go balls-out through turn 8.

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Old 11-19-2012, 04:03 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin_stevens View Post
I dunno - I kind of like big track for beginners, as it's so simple and easy to learn. You don't *have* to go balls-out through turn 8.

KeS
I guess I think of the technical tracks as better for learning lines and body position.

Maybe I also feel this way because I am not a big track fan.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:09 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin_stevens View Post
I dunno - I kind of like big track for beginners, as it's so simple and easy to learn. You don't *have* to go balls-out through turn 8.

KeS
agreed. big willow is awesome and a very VERY forgiving track.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:12 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I guess I think of the technical tracks as better for learning lines and body position.

Maybe I also feel this way because I am not a big track fan.
Oh, I'm not a huge *fan* of big track (my big problem is that I don't really have enough experience setting braking points at 160mph, and screwing that up can end up badly). But I think it's nice for a beginner - you only have 7 turns to remember (turn 7 doesn't count for bikes, and counting 8-9 as one) - and there's time to BREATHE and think about what's coming up next, run through a mental checklist, etc.

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