The British Superbike School
21 February 2012 23:01
Mike Abbott started post-test motorcycle training in 2009, having qualified as a RoSPA Instructor, and was later accredited by the DSA.
He had road raced from 1989 until finally giving up in 2005, attending any race school he could find, preparing his own bikes as a qualified Automotive Engineer.
You’ll see him on page 170 of Rupert Paul’s book ‘Pass the Bike Test and be a Better Rider’ dealing with a recalcitrant Rupe.
The intention in starting the British Superbike School was to provide the best coaches in the best setting in which to master bike control.
The approach is in explaining the very basic ‘science’ of how motorcycles stop, turn and accelerate so riders can understand how bikes react to rider inputs, to improve rider skill and confidence and help develop that vital ‘feel’.
And hopefully explode some of the motorcycling myths (e.g. we all countersteer instinctively – otherwise we couldn’t turn).
‘I find teaching on the road great - for hazard perception and positioning - but limited regarding bike control, due to the risks’.
Mike has taken clients to track days in the past, finding riding shotgun ‘interesting’. The basic problem on track days and for most schools is the number of riders on the track (sometimes 40 or more) of varying abilities.
Riders often find themselves stuck in the crocodile behind slower riders, or intimidated by a passing stream of more experienced riders (where overtaking is allowed).
This makes working on your riding very difficult, and fast or slow you’d be lucky to get many clear laps during the day, when the secret is finding a good consistent pace on which to build.
The cause is the sheer cost of track hire on the major circuits, which means that you have to pack them in to get the price down to an acceptable level. Or use the shorter in-field tracks at tracks like Silverstone (Stow Circuit) or Rockingham, as this allows the ‘international track’ to be hired to others, or run short ‘shifts’ through the day.
Almost by accident Mike came across a very enthusiastic Richard and Jane Usher and their new 1.6 mile Blyton test track in Linconlnshire, which is ideal for bikes, fast but without the hazards associated with the old circuits.
The response from experienced coaches and trainers to sign up has been fantastic and the school now has star riders and experienced local coaches in the form of Paul ‘Marra’ Brown on board (Ex BSB Virgin Mobile and 3 times British 250 Champion), Pete Boast, Jules Croft, Dave Hewson, Geoff Baldock, and experienced qualified trainers/track riders in the form of Ade Thomas and Nigel Entwhistle, Andrew Fyffe, Matt Hull the bike journalist, Officers Kev Harper and Nick Pulfrey the two very experienced South Yorkshire Police Rider Instructors, and Mark Roxbrough an officer who very successfully races endurance in BikeSafe livery for FR Racing.
'We have tried to get the best balance between cost and the number of riders and have settled for just 9 riders on the 1.6 mile track plus coaches, which along with grouping riders into 4 session by experience and ability, should give all riders the space and time they need.
'On track there is also a maximum of 3 riders/coach, although 1:1 coaching is also available. First date is the 26th April, then the last Thursday’s of the month through to September.
'We have looked in detail at what track training is currently available and the latest ideas on coaching methods, which we hope together with a great new and relatively empty track, and with the wide variety and experience of our excellent coaches, will represent the best value to riders and fill a what we believe is a major lack of professional track training in the North.'
For further information or photos, please contact:- Mike Abbott, The British Superbike School, Ivy House, Lound, Retford, Nott,s DN22 8RX
Tel: 01777 818013 Mbl: 07939 041606