Yamaha R6 Forum: YZF-R6 Forums banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Make good choices.
Joined
·
2,808 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
On May 22, 2014 I attended a private coaching day with Rickdiculous Racing and Ken Hill Coaching at Thunderhill Raceway Park. If you’ve never heard of Rickdiculous Racing, we’ll let Adam Bronfman explain:


Next, Ken Hill explains what goes on at a Rickdiculous Racing day.


Sounds pretty rad, huh?

Back in September I, along with many others, was disappointed to learn that the Yamaha Champions Riding School was shutting down. (The school has since re-opened, but has been relocated from Utah to New Jersey) I had hoped to attend the school someday, but it appeared I had waited too long. Shortly thereafter I learned about Rickdiculous Racing and that they had joined forces with Ken Hill Coaching (Ken Hill is the lead instructor at the Yamaha School). At this point the above videos hadn’t been produced yet, the Rickdiculous website was still ‘under construction’, and I wasn’t 100% sure what this was all about. But once I learned that Ken Hill Coaching would be doing 1 on 1 instruction at private track days, I was in. The 2014 schedule was announced in late October and by early November I had signed up for my May coaching date.

The coaching crew at Rickdiculous Racing are some of the Yamaha Champ School instructors. On hand this particular day were Ken Hill, Shane Turpin, Garrett Willis, George Grass, Phil Horwitz, and frequent guest coach Scott Russell. Upon arriving at the track that morning, one of the first things Ken said to me was “I’ve got a treat for you today.” I thought to myself, “huh, well, that can’t be a bad thing.”

The first thing we did once everyone had arrived was head out on track for a car ride. We piled into Ken’s 8 passenger Sprinter Van and out on the track we went. The teaching emphasis in the car ride is discussion around how to use the track. This knowledge is universal; it applies at every track and it doesn’t matter if you are driving a race car or riding a motorcycle. Over the course of a few laps (with a lot of stopping, and even some backing up) Ken talks about how to identify what type of corner it is, where the slowest part of the corner is, and how that dictates your use of the brakes, throttle and change of direction. The only bad thing about the car ride is that it’s tough to take notes while Ken is screaching the van’s tires around a corner! And you’ll definitely want to take notes, because everything that’s said in that van is golden.

We headed back in and a few minutes later it was time for the morning riders’ meeting. The meeting consisted of the normal discussion of ground rules for the day, a handful of Ken Hill nuggets of wisdom (I was glad I brought my notebook) and the pairing off of coaches and students. All the students were listed off but me. Ken smiled in my direction and asked if I knew who I would be working with today. I shouted MR. DAYTONA!! Everyone laughed at me. For the rest of the meeting I sat there with a grin I couldn’t wipe off my face. World SuperBike Champion, AMA Superbike Champion, Suzuka 8 Hours winner, and record 5-time Daytona 200 winner Scott Russell was going to be my personal coach for the day. I couldn’t wait to get started. Open track all day, 6 coaches, 10 students (plus Adam and Josh) meant there could never be more than 18 people on track at any given time, all day long. It would be a good day.





After the meeting Scott and I were introduced. He asked what my goals were. I said that I was a new racer and my goal was to lay the Novice field to waste. I wanted to get kicked out into Expert status holding my championship trophy and being accused of sandbagging. He laughed and said ‘I like that attitude’. The rest of the day went like this: go out with Scott for a handful of fast laps, the quality of laps, not the quantity of laps is the focus. Other than leading a few laps to show me something, most of the time Scott would follow me on a ZX10 with the GoPro running. Come back in and load up the video. Watch the video with Scott while we discuss what I’m doing well, what I could do different, and what I could do better. Take a break to cool off, drink some water, and recharge. Repeat. Other than an hour break for lunch (with a delicious meal prepared by the Thunderhill Catering Staff), and two brief track closures due to a crash (no injuries) and a blown motor (no oil on track) the track was open to ride as much as you were willing and able all day long.





As far as what I learned, that’s the beauty of a personalized coaching day in this format. I learned exactly what I needed to learn. The main thing we focused on for me was increasing roll speed through corners, specifically the exit corners, by teaching me to get off the brakes and on the gas at the correct point in the corner. Along with some other little things here and there. If you come to a Rickdiculous day, you will work on exactly what you need to work on, weather your goal is to just be a better, safer street rider or to win races. To ride as fast as the instructors do, we’ll all have to eventually learn the same things. How you learn them and when you get there is different for everybody. That’s what is so great about professional coaching in a low student:teacher ratio; they will identify exactly what is holding YOU back right now, so you can get past it and move along to the next thing. I came away from the day with a new and clear understanding of this particular aspect of getting around a racetrack quickly.





Working with Scott was amazing. He is a super nice guy, a really talented rider (obviously), and a great instructor. I wish I had video of us watching the video, so I could go back a re-watch everything he told me. Instead, my scribbled notes after each session will have to do. I also got to do a handful of laps with Ken himself and picked up more great info about my riding.



I enjoyed my Rickdiculous day immensely and I would definitely go back for another. Likewise, I would recommend anyone who is serious about riding a motorcycle faster and safer, whether on the street or the race track, to go Get Your Rick On too.

http://rickdiculousracing.com/
https://www.facebook.com/rickdiculousracing

Thanks to Joe @ 4theriders for the images.
 

·
Rubber side down
Joined
·
512 Posts
Sounds like a blast. One of the drawbacks of ycrs is not being on your bike. I won't mention names, but a certain racer took that school, and his race pace dropped a few seconds a lap at njmp because he was on a street oriented bike and not his race bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,656 Posts
wow..cant even imagine the knowledge you can acquire when you do this. Definitely for the more serious riders coz this cant be cheap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
806 Posts
Nice I'm for sure wanting help to work on some things. I'm going to the American super camp in July! And want to try and do a school every season for a bit. How much was this ?
 

·
Make good choices.
Joined
·
2,808 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Nice I'm for sure wanting help to work on some things. I'm going to the American super camp in July! And want to try and do a school every season for a bit. How much was this ?
Right on dude, Supercamp should be cool. I've been wanting to get to Rich Oliver's Mystery School, which is basically the same thing.

The cost for a Rickdiculous day is $1k. It's about the same as a private day with Ken Hill ($750 + your track day) or YCRS w/ bike rental ($2,400 for 2 days).
 

·
Make good choices.
Joined
·
2,808 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Well shit, they have dates at Chuckwalla. I may have to check this out.
Yeah, the general program is they are at CVR in the winter, a few dates at Thill in the shoulder seasons, and at Miller all summer. Adam and Josh live in Utah so that is their home track.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top