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Old 12-12-2012, 01:42 PM   #1
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Track Day or Track School?

I want some input on my next step in rider training. I'm 100% road rider - primarily a commuter. I have no plans to race or even buy a sportbike, I just want to be a better rider.

So far, I've taken 2 MSF classes (BRC and ERC) and the NC BikeSafe school.

Option 1: Cornerspeed track school at VIR. It's a one-day school with classroom time and instructors, and costs about $500.

Option 2: Join Team Pro-Motion and attend their track-side school at one of the track days near my house. For the cost of Cornerspeed, I could join the club and have three track days + their school.

I'm sure the ART school isn't as focused as Cornerspeed, but I'm not sure I need it.

What say the perfect line experts?
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:05 PM   #2
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I would pick option 2 to get more seat time and I would ask an instructor to follow and observe you so they can give input to correct any flaws.
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:11 PM   #3
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Team Pro Motion run a pretty good program from what I hear, so there will be some instruction. Ask plenty of questions, as with any good track day organizations, the instructors are there to help. You will most likely find them eager to help you.

I personally would go for the seat time. I am at the point where I've done thirteen track days and feel like I'm ready for a school. Probably looking at Jason DiSalvo's Speed Academy as he is closely affiliated with Sport Bike Track Time (whom I normally do my track days with) and comes highly recommended. Don't do just any old school, make sure their reputation is well regarded.
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:25 PM   #4
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If you have never done any track time, I would opt for the lowest cost option SCHOOL and pick the slowest group possible. The idea is to get a feel for the track experience without scaring yourself half to death. There is no good reason to plunge into the deep end of the experience when other/better options are available. Too many times, I have seen a new-to-the-track rider go to a high dollar school and rent the track prepped bike and be completely put off by the experience for a variety of reasons. And the riders who end up going to the track a lot are the ones that started slow, found something really enjoyable, and built on that foundation. Approaching the track in the same manner as approaching the sand lot ball game when you were a kid is the way to get the most out of the experience. It should be a fun 'live and learn' thing to do. And costs should only go up as your need to have more fun evolves. YMMV

No expert here. But I play as I can and do my best to have a good time.
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:30 PM   #5
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have you considered an off road day? There's a lot of skills used in off road that are easily transferred to on road plus it'd be a different experience.
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:44 PM   #6
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All great advice! Also look into:

Great school, lots of learning and fun time.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:10 PM   #7
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Think about how you best learn things. Team Pro-Motions is going to give you the most track time. But if the instruction is no good (not saying it isn't) you're not going to learn a lot just going 'round and 'round the track.

On the other hand Cornerspeed may be too intense for your liking. If your goal is just to develop good technique and more confidence on the bike then learning race starts and drafting other bikes isn't going to be much use.

We all learn things differently and under different conditions. It's important to know yourself and your goals.

That said, I'd lean toward the Pro-Motion. If they aren't total goofs you should get a lot out of it.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:27 PM   #8
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I'd go with the school first, to get good focused instruction, and then the trackdays after, to practice the good instructions a lot.

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Old 12-12-2012, 05:16 PM   #9
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Some schools assume that you already have some track time under your belt. Look into that.

If Team Pro Motion is anything like STT, and I'm 99% certain they are since they do some events together, you can sign up for the Novice group and get off to a very, very low pressure start to your track experience.

For example, STT divides their Novices into sub-groups and those with absolutely no track experience are lead around at sub-highway speeds for the morning sessions. Each session is followed by classroom instruction as well as a debrief from the coach. Each coach is usually looking after 3-5 riders and can provide very detailed instruction to each rider as to what needs to be done to improve. Pace generally increases slightly as new drills are introduced with each session.

By the end of the day you will almost certainly be far exceeding what you were previously capable of with your bike, all in a relatively safe, controlled environment.

Good luck and have fun!!!
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:21 PM   #10
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Ok, 30 seconds spent on Team Pro Motion's web site (specifically their ART 1 program) affirms my belief that they are probably a VERY good choice for anyone's first track experience.
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:18 PM   #11
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I've run with TPM. They are (were when I ran with them) a good group. I got good oversight, good feedback, and they are a safe group.

I would avoid NESBA, they have some iffy control riders, or so I hear.

Tail of the Dragon at Deal's Gap... Avoid it now, do a trackday.

Do not do business with Myrtle West Cycle... Not a reputable vendor by a long shot.
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:45 PM   #12
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Team Pro Motion

My son is a pro road racer. He went to two Team ProMotion track days at NJMP so we could do some testing and learn the track before the AMA Pro National there. They seemed like a good group. They were a little concerned at first because of his speed, but they figured it out and the testing was successful. I'd say they were very good at making sure their customers got the type of experience they were looking for. My son was placed on the track where he could do his thing without interfering with their regular customers. Let me add, we arranged the tests in advance.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:31 PM   #13
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Any track time will help improve your skills as a track rider by getting more comfortable with the bikes limits but a school is the way to go. You'll learn much faster and more importantly much safer then if you just went out and rode as fast as you wanted. If you aren't practicing the right things or even in the right order you could make the learning curve a lot harder than it needs to be.

Have you looked into California Superbike School? Pretty much everything they teach easily translates to street use and its helped my riding on-road and off-road more than I thought it could. I've never looked into Team Pro-Motion so I don't know how they compare.

Edit: CSS has their school at VIR too. I'm pretty sure its always VIR North Course.
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Fajita Dave screwed with this post 12-12-2012 at 08:04 PM
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:19 PM   #14
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Also look into Lee Parks Total Control. I plan on taking one next year sometime.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:22 AM   #15
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Doing ART with TPM should be sufficient.

Usually they run ART as a separate group, then the usual Yellow, Red, Blue groups. Your first few sessions you will ONLY be on the track with the other ART students and control riders, and they will have a pretty good number of control riders running along with them. Between sessions you will be in the classroom (Yay, air conditioning). It will be 2-3 sessions going over lines, sight techniques, braking, body and whatnot until they give you your head and let you go, once you get to that point the coaches will pass you have them follow them, then waive you by so they can see what you are doing.

You won't be out in the wild with the beginning riders until the end of the day, like the last 2-3 sessions at most.

TPM also does ART II which is aimed more at intermediate riders its $150 over the price of two trackdays, but its 4 riders to each coach and then they get into the real nitty gritty stuff.
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