Dale Kieffer Rider Instruction | Track Time

Turning track days into school days

By Barry Burke, Photography by Cali Photography

Maybe you’ve heard of Dale Kieffer from AMA, WERA or WSMC road- racing. Or maybe as the proprietor of Racers Edge Performance, Mich-elin’s West Coast race tire distributor. What you probably don’t know is that he also provides personal riding instruction at select track days. The kind that can help just about anyone improve, whether you’re riding at the track just for fun or launching a professional racing career.

It seems like every championship- winning former racer has a school, but not all racers are good instructors. Kieffer is one of the few who is. His “school” may not be formal, or the biggest, but it is one of the best.

Kieffer started club roadracing in the 1980s and advanced to the AMA Pro Racing ranks, competing in the Superbike and Supersport classes and notching respectable finishes in Formula Xtreme. I raced with him back in the no-rules Formula USA days, when men were men and ambulance drivers knew all the racers on a first-name basis. Kieffer has since become an experienced riding instructor, working first with the Freddie Spencer High-Performance Riding School and currently with the Yamaha Champions Riding School.

Kieffer condensed that experience into a wide range of options, from one-on-one instruction to small groups, tailored to fit most any budget. Single-session instruction costs $100; a half-day is $400; a full day is $700; and he’ll even do multi-day schools. Prices don’t include the cost of admittance to the hosting track day, but every session includes video analysis and riding critique. A half-day gets you three sessions and covers all aspects of controlling the bike, from body position to throttle control and trail-braking. A full day gets you all of the above with even more detailed analysis. Kieffer also plans to add wireless headsets to his program in the near future.

After signing me up for a full day, Kieffer followed me for a few laps at a Fastrack Riders track day at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. I was focused on improving my trail-braking, but Dale noticed a few things that needed attention first. Like why was I holding my head at a peculiar angle though the corners? Huh? I knew he was wrong about that until the video we’d just shot revealed he was right. It was an eye-opener to see I had some issues with body positioning as well. Watching everything unfold with Dale’s frame-by-frame commentary was priceless. He suggested changes, I checked my ego, listened to what he said and made steady improvements throughout the day.

Kieffer’s insight, combined with video reviews before and after each track session, delivers rapid results. After working on a wide range of riding skills—picking lines, driving out of corners, brake and throttle control—I made surprisingly quick progress. At the end of the day, I left with a plan that would help me make necessary changes to my riding style. If you’d like to take your riding up a few notches, the learning process starts at www.racersedgeperformance.com.

By Barry Burke
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