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Hi, Im planning on doing my very first track day this year and was wondering if someone can recommend a good track and track day organization for a total beginner? I'm in north eastern PA. I appreciate any suggestions you guys can give me!
 

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Every person will have a difference experience with track day orgs. Any organziation focused on the safety of the riders first with a good customer experience is a go in my opinion. I would say to try them all in your region, see what type of people are running the show, who shows up, how well they're organized, and who makes you feel the most comfortable for your money's worth.

I've had one that wasn't the best on customer experience - it was borderline horrible, and I received a refund in the end. In short, I never got to ride, and others were bumped so they could ride. I've had pleny that were great, and others which were super-dooper-orgasmically awesome (had to include the corny geek lingo). However, my experiences weren't the same as some who showed up on the same day in the same group.
 

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I'm in the southeast. I've ridden with every org that holds track days between Texas and N Carolina. I can honestly say I have never had a bad experience with any of them. You will find a lot of the same coaches regardless of which org is sponsoring the event.
 

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Thanks for the reply guys! Any recommendations for a good track for a beginner? I was originally thinking about going up to the New York Safety Track, but was later told it was a pretty technical track. There's also NJMP which is only about 3 hrs away from me, and Pitt Race which is about 5 hrs. There may be others that I'm not aware of. Any suggestions?
 

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Thanks for the reply guys! Any recommendations for a good track for a beginner? I was originally thinking about going up to the New York Safety Track, but was later told it was a pretty technical track. There's also NJMP which is only about 3 hrs away from me, and Pitt Race which is about 5 hrs. There may be others that I'm not aware of. Any suggestions?
The technicality of the track won't really matter to you as a beginner. You won't be going that fast. The most important thing to do is just get yourself signed up.
 

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Exactly. All you have to do is pay attention to what they say in the coaching sessions between track sessions and you'll be fine. They walk you through everything no matter how technical the track is. It's those who don't listen or pay attention that normally end up on their @ss, crashed, sitting on the side somehwere in the grass.
 

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Hi, Im planning on doing my very first track day this year and was wondering if someone can recommend a good track and track day organization for a total beginner? I'm in north eastern PA. I appreciate any suggestions you guys can give me!
California Superbike School. I'm a coach with the school (they are currently teaching at VIR and moving to NJMP and Barber later on in the month). The school runs all students though the fundamentals of cornering and all skills can be used for street or track riding. It's a great way to be introduced to the world of track days because there is a HUGE focus on rider safety (we have a 6-8 ft passing rule) and keep careful eye on all students to ensure they are following good track protocol and doing the drills. It's a safe space to learn the proper skills FIRST before you develop bad habits and then when you head to a track day you have some specific things that you can then practice and focus on.

I've been coaching with CSS for 15 years no :surprise: so if you have ANY questions at all about the format or any of the skills taught please let me know! I also wrote an article on my blog about choosing a track day vs a riding school and that may give you a bit more information. You can read it here: http://www.motomom.ca/school-or-track-day/

Good luck!
 

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Find one that has a dedicated new rider class. Not all of them do. Some even split the normal 3 level track days to 4 levels with the 4th level being dedicated to totally new riders. The local one that does this around here only does it on Fridays. Check your local ones.
 

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Hi, Im planning on doing my very first track day this year and was wondering if someone can recommend a good track and track day organization for a total beginner? I'm in north eastern PA. I appreciate any suggestions you guys can give me!
I think N2 has a structured track day format. Personally Id suggest signing up for the earliest, closest one to you and get your feet wet.
See how you like it and figure out how you want to proceed.

The whole theory about "bad" habits and specific structure that requires you to spend 10s of thousands to learn fundamentals that should be taught the first day before lunch... eh. Also keep in mind that everyone progresses at a different pace... might take 10 track days... maybe 30 or 50...

Single biggest ride improvement tool I ever bought was a CRF100 or TTR125. All the skills transfer right over to the big bike(s).
Also the 2nd biggest thing was getting my fitness up to improve riding skill. Makes a HUGE difference in safety.
 

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The whole theory about "bad" habits and specific structure that requires you to spend 10s of thousands to learn fundamentals that should be taught the first day before lunch... eh. Also keep in mind that everyone progresses at a different pace... might take 10 track days... maybe 30 or 50...

Single biggest ride improvement tool I ever bought was a CRF100 or TTR125. All the skills transfer right over to the big bike(s).
Also the 2nd biggest thing was getting my fitness up to improve riding skill. Makes a HUGE difference in safety.
No one said anything about tens of thousands of dollars. One day with CSS can give you a great base of good solid information and a handle on some amazing riding skills that can then be practiced over and over again during regular track days. I don't see the point in spending money doing 10 or 20 or 30 track days if you have no solid understanding of basic riding techniques. When I took the California Superbike School as a student I had already been racing for 2 years but had zero formal training. It took an awful lot of time to get rid of some bad habits I had developed (improper body position) for one....It would have been better and faster for my own improvement if I had gone to the school BEFORE I started racing and doing track days as I could have spent my time practicing with good technique instead of with improper technique. That's all. We get lots of students that have been riding for a long long time with poor technique and when we correct it they are amazed and wish they took the school a lot sooner in their riding career. :smile:
 

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No one said anything about tens of thousands of dollars. One day with CSS can give you a great base of good solid information and a handle on some amazing riding skills that can then be practiced over and over again during regular track days. I don't see the point in spending money doing 10 or 20 or 30 track days if you have no solid understanding of basic riding techniques. When I took the California Superbike School as a student I had already been racing for 2 years but had zero formal training. It took an awful lot of time to get rid of some bad habits I had developed (improper body position) for one....It would have been better and faster for my own improvement if I had gone to the school BEFORE I started racing and doing track days as I could have spent my time practicing with good technique instead of with improper technique. That's all. We get lots of students that have been riding for a long long time with poor technique and when we correct it they are amazed and wish they took the school a lot sooner in their riding career. :smile:

All due respect here... you begging for people to sign up for CSS is kind of used car sales sleazy. You always steer the convo to that... great, its what youre paid to do. I can respect a hustle. I too jumped into racing with the belief I could just follow people and learn as I was repeatedly told. You know what else I heard? About the copious amounts of regret people had taking however many levels needed to progress in CSS... when they could have bought a whole lotta seat time on a mini plus the bike and had money left over.

FYI... I took CSS back in 1988 @ Watkins Glen. It was an $800 weekend for me on the schools ninja 600 and rented gear. I wasnt really much of a closed course guy back then. It was kind of militant and preachy for me. Not the ideal environment for me. Did I get my moneys worth? Um I guess...I rode watkins glen and I have a picture some where of it...lol
 

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All due respect here... you begging for people to sign up for CSS is kind of used car sales sleazy. You always steer the convo to that... great, its what youre paid to do. I can respect a hustle. I too jumped into racing with the belief I could just follow people and learn as I was repeatedly told. You know what else I heard? About the copious amounts of regret people had taking however many levels needed to progress in CSS... when they could have bought a whole lotta seat time on a mini plus the bike and had money left over.

FYI... I took CSS back in 1988 @ Watkins Glen. It was an $800 weekend for me on the schools ninja 600 and rented gear. I wasnt really much of a closed course guy back then. It was kind of militant and preachy for me. Not the ideal environment for me. Did I get my moneys worth? Um I guess...I rode watkins glen and I have a picture some where of it...lol

All due respect here... the title of this thread is "Can you recommend a good track/track day organization for a beginner?" and that is exactly what I'm doing, recommending something that I'm passionate about, familiar with and a strong believer in. Not sure where you detect I'm "begging people to sign up for CSS" I'm simply sharing my own experiences as both a student and as a riding coach. Honesty, I could care less where people choose to go and get training, as long as they do some research and investigation on where might be the best and most helpful for them to learn from. I'm a huge advocate for rider training and have done schools other than the California Superbike School, most recently the Race Academy with Troy Corser in Spain along with the Texas Tornado bootcamp with Colin Edwards and Rich Oliver's Mystery School. I have nothing to do with student sign ups, so it makes no difference to me whether someone signs up or not, ain't no hustle here, just some good ol conversation.

I'll reiterate my opinion on doing track days before getting any formal schooling and those around can take my advice/suggestions or not, I don't care. But, I was recently doing a track day at Area 27 in B.C. and a novice track rider crashed TWICE in only 4 sessions. When approached by the organizer and asked what happened he just said, "don't know, the bike just went out from under me...it happens." He had NO IDEA why he had crashed (twice) and therefore no way of correcting or improving his riding and preventing it from happening again. Now, I happened to be right behind him when he crashed so I told him what he had done wrong and gave him some information on how he could change his riding so that he would (hopefully) not make the same mistake again. Without that bit of information he would have continued on riding, either that track day or another one, without any clue of what he did wrong and would continue to make the same mistake over and over again.

So, take it for what it's worth, IMHO if you don't get some kind of formal training (from wherever) you won't know whether you are riding with good technique or not.
 

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Since you get "free" track time from CSS... Im curious if you ever paid for or ever took any one elses school? Or do you feel there is no equal to CSS?
 

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Since you get "free" track time from CSS... Im curious if you ever paid for or ever took any one elses school? Or do you feel there is no equal to CSS?
I wouldn't call my time with CSS "free track time," as I'm there to do a job that I take very seriously and my focus always is and always will be the success of my students. We don't get free run to do hot laps or ride around working on our own riding, so it's not like a track day or anything, it's my job. I certainly love my job and appreciate the fact that I have the opportunity to ride on incredible tracks and get paid to do it, but first and foremost are always my students.

In the above message I listed off some of the other riding schools I have attended, most recently in Spain last October with Troy Corser at the Race Academy, the Texas Tornado Bootcamp with Colin Edwards, Rich Oliver's Mystery School and I just took an Enduro course with Pacific Riding School here in Vancouver. I'm open to learning from reputable schools and riders that are faster than me for sure. I'm constantly looking to improve my own riding and have taken away a lot of new skills from my experiences at other schools and with other people.

I am obviously biased towards CSS because it is where I have learned the most about riding and because every time I coach, I see students improving while having fun and becoming better, faster, safer riders. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing our students succeed, so ya, I think CSS rocks but it doesn't mean you can't have an incredible time or improve your riding elsewhere. As I also said above, I could really care less WHERE people go to improve their riding as long as they put some attention and thought into become better in order to stay as safe as possible.

In the Roadracing World Track Day Issue (that just came out) is a write up I did on my experience at the Race Academy and with Troy Corser, in case you're interested in reading up on what it was like to ditch the coaching role and become a student once again.
 

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You're in an area that N2 has a lot of track days at. They have a dedicated "new track rider" intro class that gets great feedback. Worth checking into it. They'll be at NJMP at the beginning of June.
 

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All due respect here... you begging for people to sign up for CSS is kind of used car sales sleazy. You always steer the convo to that... great, its what youre paid to do. I can respect a hustle. I too jumped into racing with the belief I could just follow people and learn as I was repeatedly told. You know what else I heard? About the copious amounts of regret people had taking however many levels needed to progress in CSS... when they could have bought a whole lotta seat time on a mini plus the bike and had money left over.
Gotta agree. Gets tiring seeing the same song and dance posted, same fishing technique of proposing the probing questions to get discussion going, and of course finishing up with the sales pitch.
 

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You're in an area that N2 has a lot of track days at. They have a dedicated "new track rider" intro class that gets great feedback. Worth checking into it. They'll be at NJMP at the beginning of June.
I rode with them yesterday. It seems like they are like fairly organized. I had fun and there were a decent group of folks out and about. People were friendly and helpful, and it was my first time back on the track in a year after my crash at LS. They told me I had to start in intro even with my history. They informed me I could get evaluated after during my first sesssion. I'm guessing it's a "cover your ass" method with them to ensure people are placed in the correct group. It was fine, and I was bumped after my first session. Thank God and the control riders because the novice traffic was horrendous (for a faster pace rider). The rest of the day I rode Intermediate. There were some pretty fast guys in the group running A Group/Expert paces (1:36s). It was fun riding with them.

When everthing was said and done, I had a good day. Having to remember the passing rules in I Group are different the E Group, it was, ehhhh - I like A Group but I have to iron out a few things to get back to a smooth rhythm. I was hesitant in my riding, and I'm thinking it was the crash from LS holding me back.

In short N2 was decent. I'm guessing the more you ride with them, the smoother everything will continue to get. Would I ride with them again in the future? Most likely.

Next I'm off to check out Evolve GT.



Oh, and BTW the way, this was the worst trackday ever in regard to the weather. I thought I was going to die. It was like 80 something with a 1000% humidity. It was bad.

EDIT: I'm sure the experince at N2 for Novice riders are different from mine because I have a little more seat time running in a different group. You'll have to check it out for yourself. There was one guy there in Novice who wanted to get bumped the first few sessions, but by the end of the day, he was like, I'm fine right here. He fell on his last session. He was okay and so was the bike. I'm thinking the heat and fatigue. I had to sit out the last session as it was HOTTTT, and most of us were extremely tired.
 

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On another note, this is my opinion, and I'm keeping it real. I don't care how people feel. :swordfigh

I think the best organization I've ridden with focused on learning best trackday practices and techniques was Performance Track Time. Granted, I rode with them 5 years ago, so I can't speak for them today. However, their class room time and on the track drills and demostrations sets you up to damn near move to intermediate immediately. I remember when I rode with them, I believe there was a control rider/coach for every three people in novice. Granted there were only like 21-24 people in novice, but the interaction everyone got was on point.

I could tell my coach was a trackday adreneline junkie still shooting trackdays/racing in his veins daily. He was super cool. It was a great day.
 

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I rode with them yesterday. It seems like they are like fairly organized. I had fun and there were a decent group of folks out and about. People were friendly and helpful, and it was my first time back on the track in a year after my crash at LS. They told me I had to start in intro even with my history. They informed me I could get evaluated after during my first sesssion. I'm guessing it's a "cover your ass" method with them to ensure people are placed in the correct group. It was fine, and I was bumped after my first session. Thank God and the control riders because the novice traffic was horrendous (for a faster pace rider). The rest of the day I rode Intermediate. There were some pretty fast guys in the group running A Group/Expert paces (1:36s). It was fun riding with them.

When everthing was said and done, I had a good day. Having to remember the passing rules in I Group are different the E Group, it was, ehhhh - I like A Group but I have to iron out a few things to get back to a smooth rhythm. I was hesitant in my riding, and I'm thinking it was the crash from LS holding me back.

In short N2 was decent. I'm guessing the more you ride with them, the smoother everything will continue to get. Would I ride with them again in the future? Most likely.
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Glad you had a good day! What are some of the things you feel like you have to still iron out to get that smooth rhythm, and what do you feel like you are still hesitant with in regards to your riding? :nerd:
 

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Glad you had a good day! What are some of the things you feel like you have to still iron out to get that smooth rhythm, and what do you feel like you are still hesitant with in regards to your riding? :nerd:
The same stuff I posted the last time you asked me. It's an ongoing learning experience. That, and dropping my elbow in the corners more.
 
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