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Staff bikes: Suzuki GSX-R600 - MSV Rider Development Program

By James Keen -

First rides & tests

 08 July 2010 12:59

When the shiny new GSX-R600 turned up at the MCN office, people kept asking me what I was going to change on the bike. My answer was and is: Nothing. The fact is this bike is already a lot better than I am. If something needs to be improved on, it’s me.   

That’s why – for less than the price of a tarty end can - I decided to take part in level 1 of the MSV Rider Development Program at Cadwell Park. The course is aimed at track day novices who have at best done a couple of track days and want to learn fundamental techniques to take their riding further. It’s basically track riding 101, which is exactly what I needed.

What makes the course so great is that there’s a maximum of 3 riders per instructor and chunks of the day are effectively one-on-one. It was like a luxury track day - we were fast-tracked through sign-on, had our own hospitality suite for the day and snuck to the front of the queue when going out on track.

The course focused on 3 main areas – lines & cornering, body positioning and overtaking.

Cones were laid out at the turn-in points and apexes and our instructor Stuart spent some time in the early sessions leading (and then following) us round individually to make sure we had the lines down. I’d never even been to spectate at Cadwell before but now I have every corner and its name seared into my memory.

By the time we’d been shown the perfect body positioning using a simple 3 point system, I was going so much quicker than before that I understood why overtaking was next on the syllabus. The same bikes flying past me in the morning were holding me up later on – by the end of the day I was havin’ em round the outside at chris curve. I even managed a few lame wheelies over the mountain!

The course is the single best thing I’ve ever done for my riding. It’s given me the basic tools I need to go away and get faster. If you want to get into track days, this is the place to start.

For more info, visit www.clubmsv.com.

Further reading:
Staff bike blogsSuzuki GSX-R600 blog

gsxr60010 blog10