The California Superbike School (CSS) has just released its 2016 dates. CSS is headed in India by Siddarth Trivellore, director Vidiem and one of the OVERDRIVE Jury members for our annual automotive awards. The school will host two sessions this year. Both will be three-days long and cost Rs 66,000. Registration is now open at www.
Just so we are clear, CSS is not a racing school, like K Rajini's RACR or Apex Racing's school. It is a riding school, like our own school - TWO and therefore you're welcome to ride any bike you like.
As usual, each three-day session will cover a phenomenal amount of ground and is divided into levels. Day one is Level One, where riders focus on getting the basics right - throttle control mostly - a few other skills. CSS rotates between theory session and on-track practice sessions. CSS also ensures that there are just three students per instructor which ensures that your performance is closely monitored and feedback is both rich and accurate. Day two builds on these skills and works on vision related components aimed at smoothening your riding so that you can go faster. The final day focusses on more physical things like how you sit on the bike.
Team OD at the 2011 California Superbike School
We have discovered over the years that the CSS programme is really, really effective at cleaning up your skills no matter what you ride and how long you have been riding. It does sound expensive when you see the fees, but you you must consider that it includes 14.5 per cent service tax, insurance, food as well as fuel. CSS will also provide a motorcycle - usually TVS Apache RTR race bikes, to be confirmed - but we suggest you bring your own to maximise your learning.
In terms of what to bring, it is simple. You'll need to arrive in Chennai on either February 4 or February 11, the day before. The school usually starts very early on day one with registrations, gear checks and all before the first classroom session of the day. You need to bring full gear which must be in usable shape. We have seen riders on smaller bikes use textile gear on track but leather is usually better on track - check with the CSS for the exact rules. If you're bringing your own motorcycle, it's always a good idea to ensure you have good tyres and brake pads. The pace and stress of the track wear both out fast and there's no point trundling around the track on day two because you've worn out one of the two and cannot get replacements in time. Finally, bring an open mind.
Team OD at the 2012 California Superbike School
The CSS often challenges the way you think about riding and that can take some getting used to, especially if you have been riding for a long time using an empirically developed and applied set of principles. Also prepare to be on time for everything. CSS runs a very tight ship during the school hours and minutes wasted here and there will quickly see you miss either a classroom or theory session.
Team OD at the 2013 California Superbike School
Most importantly, be warned. CSS is excellent at what it does and the racetrack is an addictive environment. Prepare to go fast and become safe. But you might end up addicted to the racetrack. Don't ask how we know.