Meet Pat O'Connor. A true STAR School fanatic, he could wallpaper his bathroom with the 20 graduation certificates he's earned in only three years. Now equipped with an arsenal of techniques, Pat can set up an inside pass, execute a masterful exit and serve you an elbow to the gut as he motors past.
Why attend a day at the STAR School? Well for starters, you just got passed by a wily 67-year-old. Ye ol' Fountain of Youth theory just sprouted some legs. Although, as STAR's chief instructor and co-owner Jason Pridmore points out, "There are no magical secrets to riding a motorcycle fast. Speed is a direct byproduct of clean technique and discipline." No matter what your age, gender or the rate of speed that jets you to your happy place, STAR has a program fit for you.
It's humbling to turn your fastest lap on the back of someone else's bike! Students have t
Since its start in 1998, STAR (Skills and Techniques for Advanced Riding School) has gained a following of loyal customers like O'Connor based on its credible reputation. The school has been entrusted to coach professional racers such as Ben Spies, Jeremy McGrath and Danny Eslick. If they're good enough for the Pros, we're confident you can trust them too.
After all, how can you go wrong by turning to the masters of the sport? Known as "The Professor" in the paddock, Pridmore has 21 AMA National wins, countless trophies and is the only American ever to stand on the podium of a World Supersport race. And you want to attend that other school because they serve lunch?
First and foremost, STAR is designed to be a riding school, but the tangible applications are extensive, depending on one's goals. Whether your playground is the canyon roads or the racetrack, the fundamental principles of riding a motorcycle don't change. Sustaining control of your machine as your pace quickens and the physics intensify, however, is where the learning curve steepens and mistakes become more costly. Would you prefer to enroll in the School of Hard Knocks?
If your bike isn't suitable for the racetrack, Suzuki SV650s and GSX-R600s are available f
Each student spends time being followed by an instructor. Having your riding technique scr
All of the STAR Schools instructors are experienced riders, and most have racing experienc
"Every corner has an eventual speed limit," cautions Pridmore. "There are better ways [than crashing] to analyze where those limits are." STAR teaches students to recognize potentially dangerous situations before they happen; for instance, calling on logic to calculate the outcome of a safe pass as opposed to blindly forcing one.
"Investing in a STAR school is worth it when you discover those prized gold nuggets of wisdom," says returning student O'Conner, "Today we covered a braking theory that never sounded so easy. I couldn't wait to get out on the track to try it!"
Walking the track reveals numerous details you could never pick up on at speed. Here at Ch
Beginning October 2-3, Pridmore will offer the first of three "1-on-1" instructional packages. All of these engagements will be held at the new Chuckwalla Valley Raceway in Desert Center, California, and will include an open-track format, student-captured videos, food and lodging. Watch the event board at www.starmotorcycle.com for pricing and details. And visit www.cvrcamping.com to reserve an on-site trailer for $125 per night; the nearest hotel is quite far away.
Although the STAR School staff can't promise to transform a "Kamikaze Kid" into "The Doctor," they can decrease the chances of you having to visit one. Remember the days of playing hooky? Well, this is one part of your education you can't afford to miss.
Star Pop Quiz
1.As lean angle increases:
a) lateral force on the tire increases;
b) braking force must decrease;
c) the rider must trail-brake longer and deeper in order to optimize grip.
2.True or False:
Carrying the fastest possible speed into a corner entrance is what ultimately guarantees you'll exit ahead of the rider behind you.
3.The key component of a corner most commonly overlooked by advanced riders is:
a) the entrance;
b) the apex;
c) the exit.
4.In a decreasing-radius turn, the least ideal technique for preserving rider safety is:
a) executing a double apex;
b) drifting the bike out to the corner's edge until you can see the exit;
c) tracing a tight, constant radius along the inside edge of the corner.
1. Both a & b: Explains Pridmore, "Lean angle equates to risk; therefore maximize braking while straight up and down. More lean angle necessitates less braking."
2. False: The corner will be "awarded" to the rider aimed at the exit point who can increase throttle earliest and strongest.
3. c) Beware of the pitfall known as "apex fixation."
4. c) Hugging the inside line forces the rider to execute a sharp apex, which could spell disaster at high speed or in a panic situation.