On Track: California Superbike School – Level 4

Sydney Motorsport Park was the venue for the not-so-final stage of our California Superbike School journey – Level 4. Taking everything we’d learned in the Level 1-3 programs, this one is tailored to the individual rider.

With 15 core fundamentals under our belt, this last piece of the puzzle (which really is the beginning of your own performance riding development), takes all those required cornerstones, and asks exactly what you need to improve on.

Level 4 is about ironing out the kinks in your individual riding, and is delivered in a similar format to Level 1, 2 and 3, with a mix of coaching and track sessions. There’s no shortcut though, you can’t jump straight here without doing the first three.

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What’s different this time round is the inclusion of an off-track consultant to work with your on-track coach. Together with you, this duo tailors drills to suit your riding needs. As an added bonus, you can do Level 4 as many times as you like.

skills session
California Superbike School – Level 4

That’s quite significant, as it means you can further improve each time you come back. For today’s festivities we were again aboard the sublime BMW S 1000 RR M Sport, a truly epic sports bike that’s an absolute blast on the track (and great on the road too).

With access to the full 3.93km Grand Prix circuit too, there was a good mix of sweeping corners and tighter, more technical turns to enjoy. And so it was that we kicked of Level 4 with the customary safety briefing, before forming into groups and heading for the pits.

There we would mingle with like minded folk who were also completing the same program. Session one fired us straight into a drill designed to assess current skill levels, before the tailoring process kicked off with our own requested areas of improvement.

Trainer feedback plays an integral role in this process too, and each rider gets a turn at being filmed, before watching footage back with the aforementioned coach and consultant to pick up further improvements.

California Superbike School Level 4 SMSP
California Superbike School – Level 4

We can attest to the value of the program structure, noticing significant improvement from the get go, as we dialled in our technique. In sunny conditions, we completed the first three sessions, before the heavens opened ahead of session four.

In a déjà vu moment (the same thing happened when we did Level 3) we waited out the rain for a bit, before braving the conditions and taking to the track. While it was cold and miserable, it gave us the chance to tweak our wet weather riding skills.

Not content with dropping a little water from the sky though, the Gods eventually threw it down in buckets, forcing an early end to the day (again). It didn’t matter though, as we’d had heaps of fun throughout the morning, and gained some invaluable rider coaching.

As we mentioned, there was a definite boost in skills and speed, and we have no problem recommending this entire program to anyone keen to learn, in what is one of the most enjoyable experiences you can have on two wheels.

California Superbike School Level 4 SMSP
California Superbike School – Level 4

We’re now plotting a way to head back to the track with the team from California Superbike School, mostly because quite frankly it’s addictive. Not only can you improve your bike control, but in doing so, you make yourself a safer rider.

To find out more, visit superbikeschool.com.au.

BWM Motorrad Australia provided our bike for the four parts of the California Superbike School program. Track test rides can be organised through your local dealership. Images courtesy of SDPICS.

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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