Provide my review of Keith Code's Superbike School (Level 1 and 2) and help others understand what the school has to offer.
All I can say is WOW!!
I knew going in this was a world-class school based on the famous Twist of the Wrist books and decades of teaching experience (i.e. I knew it would be good). What I didnít know was just how good it was going to be. In a matter of a weekend, I learned more than I did on the street in the 5 years prior, appreciate and now dream about track riding and in general, elevated my love for riding.
I highly recommend this school to anyone and everyone wanting to improve their abilities on a motorcycle. I can wholeheartedly say that this is more than worth the price tag. It also goes without saying but I will definitely be back for the higher level courses along with, because of their professionalism, any track days and/or events the Superbike school hosts.
Thank you Superbike School!! You have transferred my riding and opened my eyes to what my true riding potential could be.
After 5+ years of street experience and only one track day/school under my belt, I felt I was due for another school. I googled the best schools in my area (Southern California) and Keith Code's Superbike School was not only mentioned in every domestic article for being one of the top schools, but in international articles as well.
Note: I will say this general consensus helped a lot when justifying the hefty price tag. Yes, this school is expensive but you definitely get your money's worth as I will explain in below.
I decided to signed up for Level 1 and 2 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 14-15 weekend (one day per level). I did this because I felt the weather in Vegas would be good this time of the year (i.e. not too hot) and I heard a lot of positive things about this track being a great training ground. Specifically because of how technical it is, giving you an opportunity to work on many difference types of corners (i.e. late apex, double apex, elevation change, etc.).
Each day was broken up in the following format:
1) Show up and eat provided breakfast: The breakfast is really good!
2) Sit in during student orientation: This is like 20 minutes the first day and like 10 minutes the second day.
3) Perform off-track bike drills: This consists of the "No B.S." bike, lean bike and other specialty bikes depending on the level and/or requests made. Also note that timing of these drills may occur at different parts of the day.
4) Start class session for ~25 minutes: Where the instructor will teach you one and only one drill to try out on the next track session.
5) Start track session for ~25 minutes: This will consist of the "marshall" quizzing you on the drill you are working on (so pay attention!) and a riding coach following you, leading you and then following you again to ensure you are performing the drill correctly. Note: After the track session, the riding instructor will sit with you and talk over what you did. Very good to have instant feedback after each session!
6) Repeat #4 and #5 until lunch is provided.
7) Eat provided lunch: The lunch is also very good!
8) Repeat #4 and #5 until you reach the 5th class session: There are ~5 class sessions on each day.
9) After #7, you will only have track time: This will consist of track time and a rest when off the track. You can use this rest period to get some time on an off-track bike if you so desire. You also use this time to view the video footage from the camera bike with a riding instructor. (Note: The camera bike provides an amazing 3rd person view of yourself, your body position and the track in front of you. An amazing tool to visually see what you look like. And yes, you are given a copy to keep.) In my opinion, the logic behind these last sessions is to give you an opportunity to work on all the drills you learned that day (without learning anything new) and pull them all together.
That said, for as much stuff that goes on, the school is VERY organized. There is no point where you feel like your time is being wasted. The staff is always telling you what to do and when to do it. The bikes are constantly being gassed during the day so running out of fuel is never an issue. There are plenty of snacks (i.e. fruits, cookies, etc.) and liquids (i.e. water, sports drink, etc.) available all day to keep you fed and hydrated.
To speak to the riding coaches, they are extremely talented individuals. It is not a matter of being fast that makes them talented, but being able to pick up on both the positive and not so positive things you are doing on the track that make them special. All while not making you feel like an incompetent riders. This was very important because it makes you feel like there was no judging going on and that they really just want you to improve.
And as for the bikes (BMW S1000RR), they were a dream to ride. The school get new bikes every year (I believe) so wear and tear is not an issue. Having taken the school in 2015, I got to ride the new generation (2015) BMW bikes and I couldn't ask for more. Yes, they are very powerful, fast machines, but their handling and electronic package really does instill confidence in the rider. This confidence is important because the sooner you can trust the bike, the sooner you can focus on learning the drills and only the drills (rather than learning how to ride and trust the bike). Another note to point out is that you are assigned a bike from day 1 and you keep that same bike until you are done with the school. Not only does this eliminate any changes in feel (or adjustments) from bike to bike, but if you wanted GP shifting, they will work with you to get your bike set up that way.
I don't know if there is anything more I can say. You can definitely tell that the program's daily schedule has been refined and perfected over the years. Between the great staff, amenities supplied throughout the day, insightful instructors and super talented riding coaches, I can honestly say that this weekend was one of the best experiences I've ever had in my life (on or off a bike).
While I will wait some time before doing another level by doing some track days and reinforcing what I learned during Level 1 and 2, I will definitely look into other events that are hosted by the Superbike School. Whether it is track days or higher level schools, I was so impressed by how professional and organized they were, that I can easily see myself paying for their services in some capacity if given the option.
Thank you everyone for such a wonderful weekend. I am so happy I choose your school and can honestly say it transformed me as a rider. While lap times alone don't mean anything, I think it is safe to say when you are able to knock off more than 25% from the starting lap times, you're doing something right.
I highly recommend this school to anyone. I know I'll be going back.
Tip #1: Depending on the location, choose a time of the year with comfortable weather. Because I was doing mine in Las Vegas, I felt early in the year (March) would avoid doing the school in scorching hot weather.
Tip #2: Be aware that you will be VERY tired after each day of school. Because of this, stay somewhere close to the school and don't plan to do too much that evening. There were people in my school that stayed at the Vegas strip (30 minutes away) and didn't go out at night because they were so tired. That said, I would plan to come a day earlier (or stay a day later) if you really want to do something outside of the school. Note: The school does a good job at providing you with a list of nearby places to stay that offer a good rate.
Tip #3: Bring your own gear if possible. I felt this benefited me because it will allow me to transition the skills I learned more easily when I get on my own bike.
Tip #4: Bring a notepad to class and keep it with you all day. While they do provide booklets with a summary of the lessons, I felt by taking notes throughout the class sessions helped a lot. If not for the class sessions, but for the feedback provided by the riding coaches. In general, it helped retain a lot of the information I received that weekend. And yes, there is a LOT of information that will be thrown at you.
Tip #5: I recommend taking Level 1 and 2 on the same weekend. While it is a lot of information to take in, having the two days back-to-back really gives you an opportunity to get into a rhythm and further develop your riding skills more efficiently and effectively. The purpose of the school isn't to have you walk away being able to perform the drills perfectly through all the corners in every lap. I believe the objective is to have you walk away with a set of tools to practice at future trackdays and/or street riding.
Tip #6: Come with an open mind. This one sounds silly but you have to be willing to let go of your previous habits and tendencies and start over if that is what's necessary. I started off very slow because I consciously didn't want to do what I was used to doing. As difficult as it is sometimes to get feedback on things you can improve on, the instructors and coaches really are out for your best interest. Trust them and your new-found abilities will thank you.
I have been riding for 5+ years and currently own a 2005 Suzuki GSX-R750. Took Level 1 and 2 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 14-15, 2015.