On Track: California Superbike School – Level 3

The addiction is well and truly real and we were definitely not going to let a little wet weather dampen our spirits as we headed to Sydney Motor Sport Park to participate in Level 3 of California Superbike School.

Western Sydney had turned on a wet and miserable morning for the next step in our program, but no matter, we had access to Sydney’s best track, a BMW S 1000 RR M Sport, and some of the best instructors in the industry.

Like the previous Level 1 and Level 2 courses, we began with a safety briefing, before we shifted to our first classroom session of the day. This time round, the focus is on body positioning and working in harmony with the bike.

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In all honesty, this is the level yours truly has been most looking forward to, as it brings together everything we’ve learned so far. Out of the classroom, it was time to hit the track for our first drill. At the same time, the Gods were starting to get the hint about the rain.

By the end of our first session, a clear dry line was developing on the track. Our next classroom session would focus on what’s known as knee to knee, which ensures you have contact with the bike at all times and lock on to the tank correctly with your knee.

California Superbike School Level 3 SMSP
California Superbike School Level 3 SMSP

From there, we hit the track for session two, to put said knee drill into practice. At the end of the session we would receive expert feedback from our on track coaches, with some areas to work on moving forward.

The added bonus for this session was the track had dried and the sun had broken through (just in time for lunch). Post feed, it was classroom lesson three time, adding a new technique to our riding repertoire, called the hip flick.

This is a skill which helps you move body weight and position quickly on the bike when changing direction. After practicing in the classroom, it was time to hit the track again, with the instructors giving us a demo before we’d do one of our own.

From there, we underwent a debrief to maximise our understanding of the training, before classroom session four – the hook turn. We went through body positioning on a stationary bike, which gave us the knowledge to take to the track for what would be the final time.

It wasn’t meant to be that way, but more on that in a moment. First, track session four – which followed the same process as the other sessions, with demonstrations, and then us putting our new found skills into practice.

California Superbike School Level 3 SMSP
California Superbike School – Level 3

While the session was dry, the clouds were rolling in. From there it was back to the classroom for Pick Up, a technique that teaches you how to lift the bike out of corners more efficiently, and maximise exit speed. It was at this point, things got a little mental.

Those clouds had turned to thunder and lightning, and with the sky looking properly nasty, the final track session was canned. While it was disappointing, safety comes first, with the heavens opening big-time as the decision was made.

It was 100 per cent the correct call, with some of the doors blown off the pit garages during the treacherous conditions. California Superbike School – Level 3 has continued to fuel our passion for track riding, as well as teaching us a bucket load of skills.

We’ve learned plenty, and can’t recommend these courses highly enough. Now we just have to wait patiently for our Level 4 course in 2024. If you’d like to know more, you can visit the California Superbike School website.

BMW Motorrad Australia provided our BMW S 1000 RR M Sport, and track test rides can be organised through local dealerships. Images courtesy of SDPICS.

California Superbike School - Level 3
California Superbike School – Level 3
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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