Ron Haslam Race School After Lockdown

Anyone attended or or going to attend the Ron Haslam Race school?

I’ve not been on track for a couple of years now and miss it, and whilst I can hold my own in the fast group, I’ve always been worried or held back by a couple of things that I think tuition could help with, and of course I’d like to learn how to rider quicker, safer.

What I like about the Ron Haslam school is all kit can be provided. I think I’ll take my own leathers, helmet, etc, but having to use their bikes is appealing, giving a level playing field, a common platform, etc.

When the lockdown is over I’m looking to book some days.

https://www.haslamraceschool.com

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I’ve been 3 times. I’ve done Premier once and Elite Twice. Elite was more expensive than premier but about 10 times the value overall because tuition was 121 and you had data logging. I was able to choose to do Elite on a 600 rather than a 1000. That worked for me because I own the same 600 so didn’t have to adjust to it. I’ve looked on their site just now and you still have to do Premier in the last 2-3 years before you can book Elite. They’ve also introduced Premier Plus which is 121.

I wouldn’t bother with Premier 221 unless you are going with someone you know who is roughly the same ability. When I did it I was paired up with Bryan from here (I think that was his name, he works at Nescafe) who is a lot faster than I am (we didn’t know better at the time, well perhaps he did but was being polite) so the first session was a bit of a waste for him. To his credit though, stiff upper lip. Because you have to ride as a group with the instructor, the slowest rider just holds everyone up. Bryan won the award for rider of the group at the end of the day.

They swapped us around for the second session and I was paired with someone who thought he was Gods next gift to motorcycling and felt he was being held up as he’d been demoted from a pairing with a faster rider to swap with Bryan. He lost his sh1t after the second session so we were given 121 tuition for the final session and I passed him on track having found the rhythm. The point is it’s a bloody minefield and given that there are only 3 sessions one of them is easily wasted.

The second time I went back I did Elite on the 600RR and it was a riot. I learned so much and got so much out of the day. The instructors were first class and it was so much easier to progress with 121 tuition and all of the data logging. In the earlier sessions I was carving up lots of the other Elite Riders on Fireblades because they weren’t used to the bikes. Afterwards I was completely wired for days. So much so I booked to come back a month later at the end of August.

Then of course it rained. And when I say rained it was a bloody monsoon. The whole day was a washout and a bit of a waste to be honest but I tried to make the most of it. All the lines I’d practiced from the previous time, lean angles, gear patterns, braking points and so on went out the window as it was completely different in the wet. It was more a case of trying to stay on. Several sessions were red flagged because people went off the circuit and if you go off your day is over. There was something fun and twisted about giving it full throttle down the start finish straight in the driving rain with spray everywhere but it was nothing compared to the previous experience. Yes you always learn something and being competent in the wet makes you a better rider in the dry and so on but it is still nowhere near as much fun as in the dry and you don’t learn as much. And that’s the gamble with Ron Haslam. Even in August there is no guarantee you’ll get good weather and then you’ve spent the money to arse around in 3rd gear in the driving rain trying not to bin it. There are no refunds and you can’t defer your course to later.

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Thanks @Joby, that’s remarkably insightful. I must admit, I hadn’t considered the weather aspect. It’s a shame they don’t have a wets tyre option for such days (I guess logistics involved in changing over 50 tyres would be a challenge) but on balance it might save them money with crash reductions.

Considering what you said about the risk of being paired up with someone far +/- your ability, I’m surprised they don’t let you out on track first, time you and then pair you up with someone of the same ability. Maybe that’s too risky/costly.

I think both @pricetta and I would do it to at the same time (in different groups).

I found it was a good experience (only once on Premier or whatever the basic one is with 600rrs) but it wasn’t much in terms of tuition and you tend to be “speed limited” either the rider you are paired with or the instructor themselves.
For me, it was a safe way of getting on track without risking your bike or the faff of your own stuff… But you get more out of a normal track day.

That was a really good write up @Joby.

I’ve only done the lowly 600RR day the once, and it was a bit shit imo.

Despite confirming beforehand that they’d have leathers etc in my size, on the day they had nothing in my size. Luckily I’d taken my own kit so at least I was able to get some track time. Not a great start…

The tuition was pants and the classroom sesh and my instructor told us two different things. I was unlucky enough to have a wet day and I was told that I should still go as fast and brake as hard as I could, just not in the middle of a corner. Derrrr :roll_eyes:. I was then paired with another rider with totally different abilities, attitude and experience to me.

Considering that the RRs were advertised as pimped up and set up for track, I found the one I was on rough and the gear changes were very lumped and the ride was nowhere near as smooth or responsive as my own road bike.

I get that it’s called a race school for a reason, but I just didn’t get the point of why I was being told to stick my knee out etc. without addressing my whole body position and the reasons WHY I should be doing this. It was all very formulaic and done by rote and didn’t focus on ME and my individual riding needs. As I said, unfortunately it was a really wet track and I had two pretty nasty (to me) tank slappers in my first sesh. To put that into context, I’d never had that happen to me riding in all conditions in my 12+years of riding up until then. I was cold, wet, scared, pumped full of adrenaline and my instructor didn’t even try to address any of that. I admit that I flounce at that point and couldn’t face going back out for another session.

I know everyone raves about how good the race school is, but I found it all a bit pants as I wanted instructions and to learn and not just to try and go fast. I’ve done the Cally SS 1+2 and I was expecting that level of tuition, so I was really disappointed in the whole experience. To be fair to the rest of the RHRS team, the owners were great and did contact me to try to rearrange another day for me on the smaller kiddies bikes (!) but I just didn’t see the point.

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Janey’s point about the bikes not being race setup is absolutely true. I’ve had Brian setup my suspension on my road RR so it is perfectly planted. The Ron Haslam RRs were on stock settings so relative to my road bike it was like riding a pogo stick.

Thanks for sharing!

They are the only option now. California SB school went under.

Not fully track oriented but you also have

Preferred CSB, shame

Likewise @brains_t, but given how much it cost, it’s not surprising that they went under in this country.

These have had really good reviews (both online and from acquaintances), although they’re not exactly cheap, either https://www.jameswhitham.com/

And going back a few posts to @Joby , it sounds like you were on track with DangerousB.

The Intensive Coaching option with JW looks a bit more appealing. I was gutted that CSS went under. I hadn’t yet had the chance to be schooled by them, despite all the good things LB members and staff have had to say about them.

I’ve done three days with RHRS. Twice with Sam on here for his birthday when he organised it - thanks again Sam. When I did it, it was on the 600s first time, as is/was obligatory, on the 2-2-1, and it was good. But doing it on the Fireblades 1-2-1 was much better, as you have right of way over the 600s, which have to pull aside for the Fireblades.

The best track training I’ve every had though, was with Simon Crafar at Parcmotor, Spain.

A benefit of RHRS is using all of their kit, which is pretty good stuff. the helmet visors are thoroughly cleaned, and all of the kit that I used was very good condition every time.

I did the Level 1 at CSS, and was not impressed.

I’m going to look at the JW website now. You’ve reignited something in me, so I might give this a go this year.

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I haven’t done Rons school, but did a couple of levels of the California Superbike school, I was new to biking at the time and loved it.

Having done a few track days now, i would not do it again.

Since then I have done 121 coaching with Gary Walton, Neomoto and 1 to 3 with Steve Brogan.
I like Steve, but the 1 to 3 teaching ratio was more like CSBS.
The 121 with Gary and Neomoto was great, they do off track and on track coaching and I got soooo much more out of them.

Learning wise I got more out of Neomoto, but I think its because of character (was more compatible with mine).

I think its all in the title, school is like school…they teach at a pace, to a curriculum, if you keep up great, if you want to deviate, you get lost behind.

Coaching, looks at YOU, and tailors the teaching to YOU and your needs.

If I don’t keep practicing something I loose the edge, I didn’t do much riding last year (track or road) so I feel like ill be starting from scratch again.
There are a few other “coaches” now, Simon from No Limits, Spike Edwards

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I done James whitamday at Mallory park after having done about 7 Trackdays and failing to get my knee down​:rofl::rofl:,achieved the knee down on the day with at Mallory so yes made good progress ,advantage is loads of track time with limited numbers,you do have to speak up for yourself and let them know what your looking to achieve.
I never liked the look of Ron Haslem days had already been doing Trackdays when Sam started organising the Ron haslam trips on here, thought they looked overpriced ,not enough track time and very limited riding speeds.
Always thought better to book a day with msv and take advantage of there free instruction.

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I won a free go on the haslam day once for honda’s 50th year … rode up on CBR600F did the day then rode to work for th evening shift at Liverpool st …winner :slight_smile:

So what did you think of it? Who was your instructor? Would you do it again on the Fireblades?

I’ve done both, the Premier and Elite, with a few guys from here back in the day when Sam was still around (where is he by the way?).

Premier didn’t really teach me much and I felt so bad about the way it was conducted that I complained to the management (thanks to Aceman for encouraging me) and they gave me some discount for the next visit.

That was when I did the Elite course and it was like day and night - one on one, telemetry, reviewing my technique (apparently I ride like Lorenzo - smooth and progressive) and at the end of the day I improved my time from something like 2:20 to 1:58. Of course it’s still 20-30 seconds off the pros but who cares. I improved and that’s what’s most important. Oh, and I also put my knee down without really trying. Ended up scraping my footpegs at 100mph several times :smiley:

Best thing is you can ask your instructor anything and focus on something you know you need to improve and they’ll do everything they can to help. It’s not cheap and as others have mentioned there’s always the weather aspect (I got lucky both times but I’ve heard plenty of people having ridden in rain) but overall it’s definitely something I want to do again. You learn stuff you won’t learn on 1) roads or 2) yourself. I say go for it.

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You’re welcome dude.