Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hampton Downs Superbike Level 2

My last post on the subject of Hampton Downs was how I had been the only cruiser at the California Superbike School and how I had said:
[sigh - where is that Ducati 748 when I need it? - I wish...]

...well, I went back for Level 2 and instead of the red Suzuki Boulevard C90 I had my black Ducati 916 - so this was to be an education on cornering as well as learning to ride on a full on sports bike. The USS Enterprise was at left at home, and the Evil Stig took the stage.

Evil Stig

Level 2 of the Superbike School was different from the first, in that we were all in no doubt that we would learn as much or more about riding a motorcycle than we knew so far... and we weren't disappointed! The format was similar, with the early no-brakes rounds opening our mouths, eyes and eventually minds to the track and getting us focussed on where we were and where we were going next.

This time there were no floor-boards scraping on the track, and there were large handfuls of throttle and the seemingly never-ending acceleration available from the Ducati 916. It was just fantastic to be able to twist the wrist and just... fly...

The flying part was fine but there was a small problem with the clutch that was a little distracting - there was no clutch. While changing up or down the gears was not a problem, coming to a stop meant finding neutral and coasting back down pit-lane. I had some very good help from Bernard, the mechanic on site, it didn't fix the problem for long. BTW thanks Bernard you were awesome! I have since given the slave cylinder some love and replaced the fluids, which were full of moisture and dirt.
Riding home was entertaining and thank goodness for riding buddies Ivan and Dave who had to push start me at the lights when we hit civilisation ;-)

The next training days are in March, and that is going to be too soon for me.

1 comment:

johnhs said...

Well guess what, I am going to the Friday session for L3.