IENATSCH TUESDAY: Street Riders Only Track Clinics

There are several reasons riders haven’t taken a school: ChampStreet addresses them.

motorcycle riding students listening to their teacher

“Hey Louis, let’s start this Clinic with your goal for every corner.” Ferrari parks his bike at the apex or “decision point” and the learning begins.

Two and a half years ago, I became an owner of the Yamaha Champions Riding School after five years of working as an outside contractor for Miller Motorsports Park. That adds up to over seven years of continually tweaking a riding school that evolves with every class we teach.

Our tweaks and adjustments come from graduate comments. About four years ago a theme began to emerge: "How about an inexpensive street-riders-only track clinic?"

How about it? I started asking street riders why they hadn’t been to a track day or a track-day school. Four answers really stood out: 1) Too expensive. 2) Don’t have the gear. 3) Don’t have a track bike. 4) Don’t want to be taken out by idiots.

Almost every rider I spoke to mentioned their appreciation of the safe learning environment of a track and their desire to “give it a try.”

So last year, Ray McPeek and I started the Sunset Clinics in Pueblo, Colorado, based on customer feedback and the YCRS message. We use YCRS people like Mark Schellinger, Louis Ferrari, Scott Rybarik, Kim Pritchard, and that successful program has morphed into the YCRS ChampStreet clinics, the first debuting March 12th in Phoenix (also coming to New Jersey Motorsports Park in September).

1) "Too Expensive:" The cost is $160. No, we will not get rich, but the YCRS owners have a crusade that ChampStreet will push a long way. We know how insanely fun and safe motorcycle riding can be and we're hell-bent on spreading our techniques to every rider who will listen. Our two-day ChampSchool program is riding a sold-out high right now, but not everyone can afford it: ChampStreet had to be affordable. (We've also added a one-day ChampDay program for only $495, debuting in Phoenix on March 11.)

2) "Don't have the Gear:" Street gear is all you need for ChampStreet. Over-the-ankle boots, long pants, riding jacket, riding gloves, and helmet. Are full leathers (or zip-together leathers) safer? Yes, but expensive gear requirements can't be the reason a rider continues to ride with dangerous habits or no/poor training.

3) "Don't have a Track Bike:" Good, you don't need one. In Colorado we've had everything from Yamaha Super Teneres to custom H-D bobbers. Classic Honda Hurricanes and Gold Wings. Fully-loaded Victory tourers and BMW six-cylinders. The bike doesn't matter. Bring the bike you ride, make sure it will pass a quick safety inspection and tire-pressure check. ChampStreet takes the "race" out of "racetrack" by the way we set up the course. It's a ton of fun, rather than a ton of fear. The curriculum completely ignores that we're at a track, it focuses on how to ride your motorcycle a whole lot better. No racers or racebikes are allowed. Students will be surrounded by riders on cruisers, adventure bikes, tourers, standards and sport bikes, but no racers.

motorcyclist standing with his motorcycle

This is a race-prepped 1976 Gold Wing piloted by a professional roadracer, um, wait, no it’s not. ChampStreet is for any bike and any rider.

4) "Don't want to be taken out by Idiots:" The course setup can't be mistaken for a racetrack. Passing opportunities are safe and well-spelled-out. Instructors remind anyone who is pushing too hard that we're in street gear in a street-skills course. Instructors are hands-on because they've seen riders taken out at track days and know how important this factor is. ChampStreet's entire aura is the enjoyment of riding a motorcycle well, with zero of the competition or aggressiveness of a track day.

motorcyclist riding on their motorcycles

Here’s a male on a Harley and a female on a Triumph. Both have learned to successfully and repeatedly stop their bike midcorner at ChampStreet. Expert riders designed these bikes and ChampStreet students learn those expert-level habits on whatever bike they choose to ride.

But there's a fifth reason street riders give for not taking a school: They don't believe they will learn anything. The Yamaha Champions Riding School has prompted many graduates to tell us that we could offer a money-back guarantee, and they've been telling us that for over seven years. ChampStreet is an intense, hands-on, three-hour course and you will learn a lot.

BMW HP2 loaded for motorcycle road trip
Yamaha FZ1 loaded for motorcycle road trip

Two pics of two of my own bikes loaded for multi-day sport touring where changing weather and unknown roads are the norm. YCRS programs are based on the real-world needs a rider has to survive and thrive, not on theoretical principles achievable only at slow speeds. Our street-riding goals: Complete every ride, have a great time doing it. ChampStreet chases that.

My passion for running YCRS is entirely based on how much the school does for any rider with the desire to improve. Now ChampStreet allows us to reach even more riders and the message focuses on brake-assisted steering, visual habits, adjusting to changing conditions, adjusting to surprises, effortless U-turns and exploring the amazing motorcycle you own. Learn more and sign up at www.ridelikeachampion.com.

More Next Tuesday!

Photo #1

?Hey Louis, let?s start this Clinic with your goal for every corner.? Ferrari parks his bike at the apex or ?decision point? and the learning begins.Nick Ienatsch

Photo #2

This is a race-prepped 1976 Gold Wing piloted by a professional roadracer, um, wait, no it?s not. ChampStreet is for any bike and any rider.Nick Ienatsch

Photo #3

Here?s a male on a Harley and a female on a Triumph. Both have learned to successfully and repeatedly stop their bike midcorner at ChampStreet. Expert riders designed these bikes and ChampStreet students learn those expert-level habits on whatever bike they choose to ride.Nick Ienatsch

Photo #4

Bike loaded for multi-day sport touring where changing weather and unknown roads are the norm. YCRS programs are based on the real-world needs a rider has to survive and thrive, not on theoretical principles achievable only at slow speeds. Our street-riding goals: Complete every ride, have a great time doing it. ChampStreet chases that.Nick Ienatsch

Photo #5

Another bike loaded for multi-day sport touring.Nick Ienatsch