Last Monday I did level one of the CSS at Rockingham, it was a good experience and I though of posting a few notes about it.
The day was composed of 5 theoretical sessions and 5 practical sessions.
Riding a motorbike (on the track like on the road) is all about keeping the motorbike stable. During the first theoretical session the principal factors were considered. The inputs a rider gives to the bike are using the throttle, handle bars, brakes and gears. These inputs are used to change the speed and direction of the bike. Beside the rider inputs suspensions settings are important as well in improving the stability of the bike; their optimal working range is within the middle third of their extension.
There are five main factors a biker should consider when entering a corner: speed, line, lean, grip and surface. The entry speed is critical and improving the sense of speed is very important to get the corner right. When in doubt it is better to be on the throttle than on the brakes that’s because breaking reduces the stability of the bike.
A biker should close the throttle on the approach of the corner, countersteering in order to change the direction and lean of the bike, when the bike has turned and the biker is happy with the lean and the line, he should accelerate smoothly, constantly and continuously throughout the corner. Within a curve the rider should aim to balance the bike so that about 40% of the weight is on the front wheel and 60% on the rear.
The following theoretical sessions were about describing and commenting the practical sessions.
The first practical session was about riding using one single gear (4th) without breaking; that was about improving the sense of speed and throttle control.
The second session was about turning points using two gears (3rd and 4th) again without using the brakes; they put some crosses on the track with some (non slippery) tape to indicate the turning point they wanted you to turn the bike which they left for the entire day.
The third session was about quick turning by consciously countersteering, you were allowed to use two gears (3rd and 4th) with light breaking; quick turning is very important to ride more safely and to improve your line.
The forth session was about rider inputs and body relaxation which are important to keep the bike stable and to get the bike to cooperate with you.
The fifth session was about choosing apex within a corner and improving the visual skills of the rider in preparation of Level 2.
The day was enjoyable, the people nice and friendly. The day helped in clarifying, putting together and practicing that knowledge a biker should have to improve his driving skills.
I thought of posting a link to these notes in the Trackday FAQ thread as well.