On Track: California Superbike School – Level 2

We were warned when we started California Superbike School at Level 1 that this would be addictive – and it’s true. We found ourselves impatiently counting down the days to Level 2 at Morgan Park Raceway in Queensland.

Our arrival at the circuit also confirmed just how much we’d been wanting to ride the BMW S 1000 RR M Sport on a track again. A cracking morning saw temps of 25 degrees and ensured perfect conditions for everything we were about to learn.

For reference, Morgan Park Raceway is located just outside the town of Warwick, and is a 2.1km long track (with two configurations), comprising 11 turns, made up of tighter and more free flowing high speed corners.

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This time round though, we weren’t the Level 1 newbies, so we had a good idea of what the day had in store. Five classroom sessions would be followed five on track drills, putting into practice what we’d learned.

After a quick safety briefing, we found ourselves seated for the first of those, a recap of what we learned at Level 1. Reference points would be the focus of the opening drill, utilising two gears with no brakes.

California Superbike School Level 2
California Superbike School Level 2

The fact you’re doing it on a 1000cc sports bike adds an extra bit of excitement to learning a new track as well. After completion of our first tarmac stint, we met up with our coaches for the day and gained some valuable feedback on what was working and what wasn’t.

For those unfamiliar with the process, the coaching ratio is one instructor per three students, so a lot of improvement can be gained. Coaches follow you on track before overtaking and having you follow them to learn the particular drills.

Our second classroom session focused on 3-step vision. We’d learned 2-step vision in our Level 1 course, with this new process adding an extra step. Aimed at maximising corner speeds, it really translates once you hit the track.

Wide view would be the subject of our third classroom lesson and drill. This particular vision focused learning helps you scan the track and is particularly helpful for overtaking. A brief and well earned break for lunch would be next on the agenda.

From there, it was a quick lesson on body position. This was perhaps one of the biggest learnings of the day and was designed to wet the appetite for the next Level of Superbike School, which focuses on body position and working in harmony with the motorcycle.

California Superbike School Level 2
California Superbike School Level 2

The fourth lesson was an expansion on the wide view technique and drill, and definitely had the greatest impact. With some help from the team at California Superbike School, we optimised my riding position and style to maximise the benefits on the bike.

While it probably took a good half to three quarters of the session before yours truly started to feel really comfortable, the results once we got into the groove, were instant. The change delivered greater control and more speed on entry to corners.

Mid-corner and exit speeds were improved too, as a by-product of the greater control the change in riding ergonomics delivered. Adding this milestone change to the other skills we already learned saw our track riding undergo massive improvements.

The last lesson and track drill for the day was trail braking. Again we would learn the technicalities in the classroom, before taking to the track for coaching and feedback. And just like that, California Superbike School – Level 2 was over.

We’d experienced a new track, benefitted from some awesome coaching, and again improved our track riding skills considerably. The 2023 BMW S 1000 RR M Sport etched itself further into our hearts too, with its sublime performance, and supreme handling.

California Superbike School Level 2
California Superbike School Level 2

You always form a special bond with a motorcycle when you go through a unique experience, and we’re sure we’ll once again be yearning to ride it when we attend Level 3 in the coming weeks.

With the day done, and a tonne of new knowledge and skills under our belts, it didn’t take long to feel the improvements on the road, with a better riding technique, more control and improved speed.

The teachings of California Superbike School certainly prove themselves valuable, no matter your riding level. Speaking of which, for the third phase in our program, we’re off to our local track, Sydney Motorsport Park, where well again pilot the 2023 BMW S 1000 RR.

After completing two levels in perfect conditions, and increasing our riding knowledge and skill, we can’t wait to see what Level 3 brings. To find out more about California Superbike School, visit their website.

BWM Motorrad Australia provided our S 1000 RR M Sport. Track test rides can be organised through local dealerships. Images courtesy of SDPICS.

California Superbike School Level 2
California Superbike School Level 2
Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkin is the ride editor at Exhaust Notes Australia, founding editor of Two Wheel Addicts, a contributor at Bike Review and panel judge for Harley Davidson's Breakout Boss competition. Andrew has a love for anything on two wheels whether that be sports, naked or adventure bikes, with a guilty pleasure for cruisers.

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