Keith Code Superbike School & Valk! EVERYONE should do it 
 

Posted By: 2States <bradleyed@earthlink.net>
Date: 3/27/2001 at 20:57:21 Hit Counter

 

This is long Ė in summary, the classes at this school are awesome! I think everyone at any skill/riding level could benefit a great deal from going to this school. And classes are held at many different tracks in different parts of the country

What an awesome weekend!!!! I had the most fun I have ever had with my clothes on! I went to the Keith Code Superbike School at the Streets of Willow (smaller, but next to the Willow Springs Track) here in Southern California. I did it at the urging of co-workers. They know that I am a newbie (O.K. going on 8 months and 18,000 miles now, so I canít/wonít use that as an excuse anymore). I never thought I would drive/ride anything on a racetrack. I had to be the most timid, apprehensive, conservative rider on 2 wheels. I am not proud of this, but it is true Ė I love to ride the twisties (canyon roads), but due to my lack of skills, fear drilled into me by the good instructors at the MSF beginners and experienced courses, I ride so slowly, I use turn-outs to let mothers in minivans pass me by. Any of you that have ridden with me know there isnít anyone more cautious than me (since I have never ridden in dirt and have no idea what lean angle and real tire adhesion on a bike is all about).

Anyway, I rode my hybrid Valk (Interstate without trunk, saddlebags, passenger seat or passenger pegs) through the Keith Code Superbike Level 1 Class. They only teach cornering. It was a 10-hour day with 5 different lectures on specific cornering skills followed by practicing each skill on the track for 20 Ė 25 minute sessions. I was the only one in the whole program (Levels 1 Ė 4) that had something other than a sport bike.

Early in the morning I overheard other students saying they were amazed that there is a Harley out there or that someone is taking the class on a new Wing. When I realized there were no Harleys or Wings out there I then realized that they are as ignorant about my bike as I am about theirs.

The lectures are excellent. They are very specific and make their instructions very clear. They also control the track very, very well. It has to be the safest place to ride a bike. Their strict program allows everyone to safely ride at their own pace, yet still allow you to have as much fun as you want/need. Passing is allowed, but you must keep a 6 foot distance at all times while passing.

The bike handled beautifully out there. I was only passed by three bikes and I was able to pass three other bikes. I was able to stay at the same pace as the other bikes (or they were able to keep up with me). I did so well that I was invited back to attend Level 2 on Sunday. They had a vacancy and asked if I was interested. I didnít need to have my arm twisted!

I was only pulled over once during Level 1, and that was for playing my radio. (That classic rock really helped me to get in the groove out there.) I was always dragging foot pegs, but it wasnít till the end of the day that I began hitting hard metal. That turned out to be the Kuryakyn 4500 highway pegs. I was actually grinding them flat. So, those came off at the end of the day.

On Sunday morning, I got three other students to help me roll the Valk over on the side. I wanted to see what was going to hit and how low this thing could go. The other students didnít believe me that they could let go, and were amazed when they finally did. You can imagine the crowd that gathered to see this ďfreakĒ show! Well it looked like I would only hit the engine guards, so now I was prepared, and didnít mind if I rubbed off a little chrome.

After Saturday (Level 1) I just couldnít believe it could be any better. But Level 2 IS better. The focus is on looking through the corner and using the whole track. Suddenly the track grew in size and the speeds went way up. Sunday was a blast! Again, I was only pulled in once the whole day. This time for leaning over too far. It seems that the people staged at the other corners could see me hitting so hard, I was unloading the front wheel Ė not only a big no-no while cornering, but especially in a cornering school. As for cosmetic damage to the bike, I thought I would only scrape a little chrome off of the engine guards in places that was not readily noticed. I actually ground off lots of metal and then started grinding into the exhaust header. Now, I am not one to abuse anything, or even begin to be careless with my possessions or those of others. I was having so much fun leaning, cornering, going fast and keeping up with the fast bikes that I thought I was only doing moderate cosmetic damage. In hindsight, I should have left the highway peg brackets on the engine guards and just ground those down. And no, I donít ever want to experience road rash!!!

Also on Sunday, 3 different instructors told me that the Valk and I were a topic at dinner on Saturday night. They were very impressed with what the Valk was capable of doing. They also laughed that I was the only one to take the class with my radio on. One instructor mentioned to me that he has heard that someone in California makes superchargers for these bikes and that I should look into that. Hmmmm... Lamont....

Bottom line is that I canít say enough good things about the school, Keith and his staff, how much fun I had, and most importantly, how much I learned. I truly believe that everyone who rides a bike on the street would benefit greatly from this school. Now, I know longer have to watch my rearview mirrors for those mothers in the minivans.

Feel free to send me an email if you have any questions or concerns about this class. This may be the best money you spend regarding your motorcycling hobby/passion.

Sincerely, Ed Bradley

 

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