XR1200 Owners Group banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Don't touch me there!
Joined
·
1,761 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a bit off the XR beat but since our bikes are based on the XR750 and it seems like we've got our share of Flat Track aficionados here, I figured I would share this.
Headed into MotoGP/Indy Mile weekend I heard that Mike Hacker was going to be doing his flat track school in Indy, with an all star cast of instructors. Hey, Indy is right by me, I love flat track but have never really done any, I should do this!
So, a buddy and I signed up. We rented bikes (Honda 230's at Mike Hacker's recommendation given our beginner status) for the day.
It was a blast!! I cannot recommend this class highly enough. If this is up your alley and you get a chance, do it!
We started out with body positioning on a spring mounted chassis and then we took to the track. We went on a ride following an instructor at '50%' just to get a feel for the track. This was about 100% of my comfort level, or maybe a little beyond, so I was a little worried but then we did a series of drills (slalom, start drill) and by the end of the day it all came together. I'm sure I wasn't fast, but I was way faster and more comfortable than I had been.
The instructors were Mike Hacker, Brad Baker, Kenny Coolbeth, Johnny Lewis, and Cody Johncox, which is some serious flat track talent! I was already a Coolbeth fan but now I am a Johnny Lewis devotee as well, Cody Johncox too. Those guys really went out of their way to teach, particularly Lewis and Coolbeth. We got rained on several times and during these delays while they worked the track back in shape they would find people and talk to them about what they were doing on the track, work on the simulator with them, etc. Most of the folks there were kids, and they really seemed to take an interest in helping the youngsters up their game, although they didn't neglect us old folks by any means.
The track it was held it is Mid America Speedway and it is a short track and pretty round with no real straightaway. The owner, Jim Terchila, donated the track for the school, which was very cool and then spent several hours getting the track back into shape after the rains, very cool :clap:. As for Mike Hacker and the other instructors, they were content to stay as long as we were into it. The class started at 9am and my buddy and I ended up leaving around 9pm and there were still folks on the track.
I hear that you folks like pictures though so, here goes:
The wife welded us up some hot shoes, she is alright!
Smile Table Automotive tire Tableware Barware

The track. The sky looked like this pretty much all day, or at least until early evening.
Cloud Land vehicle Sky Tire Car

Mike Hacker, Johnny Lewis, Kenny Coolbeth, Cody Johncox, Brad Baker, Les from Dunlop. Teaching!
Vehicle Wheel Tire Automotive tire Motor vehicle

My buddy (Jason) on the 'simulator'. That's Kenny Coolbeth behind him. We did this early, and then again a couple of times later in the day. It's really helpful. It took me all day to finally get it, but once you get it the bike feels completely balanced in the turns and it is an awesome feeling.
Tire Shorts Wheel Sky Automotive tire

The slalom
Tire Wheel Sky Cloud Automotive tire

Cue the eurythmics, here comes the rain again
Wheel Tire Sky Cloud Vehicle

Kenny Coolbeth's bike. Slightly more powerful (and louder!) than the 230 I was on.
Tire Land vehicle Wheel Vehicle Automotive lighting

Jason and Brad Baker, taking it all in. Getting roosted by Brad Baker going, oh, twice my speed, in an experience I got to have several times ++
Wheel Tire Plant Automotive tire Vehicle

Johnny Lewis and Cody Johncox, these guys were great!
Tire Wheel Motor vehicle Vehicle Automotive tire

Kenny Coolbeth and me. It's a pretty great thing to have a three time national champion critiquing your ride and giving you tips. Super friendly and down to earth guy too. He and Johnny Lewis really really impressed me!
Smile Sky Muscle Shorts Vision care

And we finished up under the lights.
Sky Atmosphere Cloud Sunlight Floodlight


In case I didn't mention it, it was really great and you should go if you ever get a chance.
 

·
Don't touch me there!
Joined
·
1,761 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nice.

So, this is the wrong way to turn, right?

I mean, Jason is negating the effect of the turn by sitting up on top of the bike in the turn instead of leaning in with it.
That's what I thought too, and the instinct I had to fight all day long. On the street you are right but dirt is different because of the lack of grip. You want to lean just like he is, a little more actually, and balance the bike under you. When you get it right, with your outside knee pushed into the tank (which also took me forever to get right), the bike feels completely balanced keeled over in the turn. It's pretty great. But, yeah, it doesn't make sense initially. Very different from the street.
 

·
Endeavor to Persevere!
Joined
·
5,336 Posts
Looks like a GREAT way to spend a weekend! :clap: Good on you for stepping out of your comfort zone, trying something new, and letting us tag a long! :clap:


My hat is off to you sir.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,659 Posts
That is so cool, lucky you. Now let's see some photos of you using what you learned on the XR1200!

Even though I did some flat track stuff way back, I have always wanted to do Chris Carr's school - this looks like a great alternative . Now if either one would come to So Cal!!!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
12,721 Posts
Wow Bruce! That sounds like a super experience. Something I would truly love to do. :nana:

We used to "pretend" out on the dry lakes in the desert on our dirt bikes. The dry lakes are so smooth, you could get going pretty fast, although the knobbies on our bikes were not the best for "leaned over" traction, there was a lot of slipping and sliding.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,910 Posts
The wife welded us up some hot shoes, she is alright!


View attachment 45697


Kenny Coolbeth and me. It's a pretty great thing to have a three time national champion critiquing your ride and giving you tips. Super friendly and down to earth guy too. He and Johnny Lewis really really impressed me!
View attachment 45769

UN believable thread ...... Your wife welded up your steel shoes? That's pretty freakin' cool :)


The pic of you and Coolbeth is awesome ...... Kenny looks happy to be there :)
 

·
WTF???
Joined
·
15,967 Posts
Fun times.

And +2 on the wife.
 

·
Don't touch me there!
Joined
·
1,761 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That is so cool, lucky you. Now let's see some photos of you using what you learned on the XR1200!

Even though I did some flat track stuff way back, I have always wanted to do Chris Carr's school - this looks like a great alternative . Now if either one would come to So Cal!!!
American Supercamp (Chris Carr's school) is coming to So Cal in December it looks like (non-racer camp is at http://www.americansupercamp.com/camp-calendar/supercamp/los-angeles-ca-dec-5-6-non-racer, they have a racer camp too, http://www.americansupercamp.com/camp-calendar/supercamp/los-angeles-ca-dec-7-8-racer). I imagine it's pretty similar but it's two days. Looks like a lotta fun for anybody in those parts.
I have a ton of respect for Chris Carr, and you can't argue with his results!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
12,721 Posts
American Supercamp (Chris Carr's school) is coming to So Cal in December it looks like (non-racer camp is at http://www.americansupercamp.com/camp-calendar/supercamp/los-angeles-ca-dec-5-6-non-racer, they have a racer camp too, http://www.americansupercamp.com/camp-calendar/supercamp/los-angeles-ca-dec-7-8-racer). I imagine it's pretty similar but it's two days. Looks like a lotta fun for anybody in those parts.
I have a ton of respect for Chris Carr, and you can't argue with his results!
Thanks for posting that Bruce..............we may have to schedule some time.
 

·
What do you mean, Harley's vibrate and connectors
Joined
·
2,167 Posts
She had experience making things that would keep him safe and honest-



She made this for him to prevent JeffB disease while riding with the XR1200OG's in the hills. It's actually the reason he rides the way he does, the thingabob there kind of collides with the tank if he isn't off centered. :whistling:
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top