Yamaha Champions Women's Riding School | Track Time

Men, if you want to land yourself an adventurous woman who digs DOHCs and likes long, fast, back-road rides, might we suggest you post a singles ad on the classroom wall of the Yamaha Champions Riding School (YCRS)? Picture 13 audacious women clad in tight leather, raring to get down-and-dirty on two wheels. Increasing numbers of women are ditching their roles as riders in favor of piloting their own motorcycles. Realizing this growing trend, YCRS is hosting two-day, women-only schools at the world-class Miller Motorsports Park in Salt Lake City, Utah.

What will ladies learn? The curriculum encourages and equips women to ride with boldness, to be self-suffcient and to throw any intimidation factors out the window when it comes to wrenching on bikes.

Students of all skill levels learn to recognize and steer clear of “risky” riding behavior. Through a series of alternating classroom sessions and on-track drills, they’ll learn to avoid catastrophe by correcting mid-corner mistakes such as sloppy apexing and excessive lean angles. What if your front brake fails to work? Do you have the “lightness of foot” to ride down a canyon road using only the rear brake? Can you comfortably control a rear-tire skid in an emergency stop? The YCRS staff will train you to think on your feet.

They’ll also teach you the “tricks of the trade” for wrenching on bikes. A live demonstration in the garage illustrates common motorcycle maintenance techniques. Here, students observed “best practices” for lubing an O-ring chain, loading a bike into a truck bed and mounting a bike on front and rear stands. Afraid to change a tire? Not after staff instructor Dale Kieffer, tire-changer extraordinaire, gets done with you!

YCRS Lead Instructor Nick Ienatsch advises, “Routine maintenance of your equipment is an indispensable component of riding smart. Chains break and tires wear—both spell disaster mid-corner.” Wrenching on bikes and riding safely isn’t rocket science; it just takes a little studying, patience and lots of practice. YCRS aims to produce responsible, well-informed graduates.

After visiting YCRS, ladies will also learn to sidestep the four most common reasons riders crash. Soon enough, that guy you could never pass will eat his words and scratch his head as you suck the paint off his bike at corner exits. While he’s healing from yet another crash, you can visit him in the hospital and explain why YCRS is a wellspring of trade secrets. If he still has the nerve to tease you for being a chick, just toss him a tube of lipstick…

Is YCRS worth $2295? Absolutely it is if it helps you avoid a crash and a pile of medical bills. Or would you rather leave your most expensive motorcycle parts dangling on a mountain guardrail? Having completed both the YCRS co-ed and female-only course, I can debunk the myth that rider expectations, curriculum and on-track drills are any less demanding in the women-only school. Whatever your preference (there’s no difference in price), both are well worth the cost.

The lady grads of YCRS aren’t gluing on fake eyelashes—they’re learning how to glue cush-drive rubbers to their rims and settle pinch bolts after a tire change.