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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I wrote up my CSS experience, for anyone who's curious.

I plonked down for a rental S1000RR and a lap timer, so it was basically an all out splurge.

I'm sure many people are familiar with how the school is set up- basically there are 4 levels and everyone, regardless of experience starts at level 1. The day is broken down into classroom sessions, track sessions where you work on the specific skill discussed in the classroom and a break inbetween. There are a total of five track sessions, 25 minutes long.

The forecast for today has been off and on for the past week. There was a good chance it would rain at some point today, but the website and release form make it clear that they run rain or shine. I got to NJMP at 7 am as instructed to a steady rainfall. Registration was a breeze, and there was a nice breakfast spread waiting for the attendees. This lead to problem number 1 for the day- the breakfast area and the classroom were absolutely infested with flies. I've probably been to over 10 various events at njmp, and this is by far the worst fly infestation (for lack of a better word) I've ever seen. Not sure what that was all about... Anyway, we were called into the classroom, where the man himself, Mr. Keith Code got things going and introduced us to the staff. After the intro and orientation, they sent out a few of their guys for siting laps and it turn out the track was a mess. There was debree all over the place and apparently certain sections had some dirt. This pretty much ground things down to a halt. So we waited for the track to get cleaned up and then waited some more for the groups infront of us to get to do their sessions (25 minute session take a while and I was in the last group to go out). I didn't get on the track until around 11 am. On the plus side, by the time we went out, the rain had stopped and the track had mostly dried up.

The first session had us going out in 4th gear, without using brakes, so as to only focus on throttle control. It was actually a fantastic way to get the day going. As a stress free way to get comfortable with the S1000RR and focus on practicing that one skill, it was just about perfect. At the end of the ride, we had a debrief with the assigned instructor (2-1 instructor to student ratio). My guy Mike had some helpful tips and was an all around easy dude to work with. The second session had us going in 3rd and 4th, still no brakes, and focusing on the turn-in markers. Another terrific drill, with the bonus of having access to 3rd gear on the Beemer, which is pretty much the only gear I needed for most of the day. Ok 4th on the straight, but really...third gear on that bike is incredible. In rain mode, it's just buttery smooth power whenever you want it. Since I was in level 1, there were more than a few guys in my group who were either new or barely experience at the track, so getting around the slower riders was always an issue. Had to cheat and dap the brakes a couple times in a few corners just to make a safe pass, no biggie.

End of second session led to lunch, but before I could grab food, I was called into one of their off-track drills. The drill they had me run was the counter-steering drill. This was perfect for me, because even though I've been riding for 7 years now and done my share of track days, countersteering is something that I understand only academically, but not in practice. They put you on a F800ST and have you weave left and ride at a constant 25 mph in a parking lot. Then you come back and the instructor tell you what you're doing wrong. Basically, even though I know that I should be pressing on the inside bar into a turn, I do it only on intuition, without continuously putting pressure there. By my third run, I had finally gotten to the point where I was intentionally putting pressure on the inside bar and it was like ******* magic, the bike just rode itself. So for session three, as luck would have it, we were working on a quicker turn in and were finally allowed to use brakes. I can honestly say, that was one of my best track day sessions ever. The bike was turning in so mucn quicker, what I had considered to be entrance speed that required serious bravery now seemed normal....I mean it really kind of clicked. The slow traffic just kind of melted away, it was just me and the track....it was awesome. I came in with a huge grin on my face, all set to get into sport mode on my next time out and finally release the POWAH!!! that is the S1000RR.

And then in started raining. Our next session had us focusing on relaxing the grip and I was actually looking forward to riding in the rain. Figured it would be something that could translate very directly into street riding and ease up on the grip of death that seems to always come along with riding in wet weather. And then about 2 laps in, I saw some flashes, a wall of rain came down upon us and that was that.

The good: Keith Code was not only present, but lead a couple classroom sessions and came across as a really cool, down to earth guy. The S1000RR is a ******* spaceship. So easy to ride, slipper clutch is amazing, the power in rain mode is buttery smooth and still screams down the straight just fine. Just next level ****, incredible bike and I didn't even get to ride it in sport mode. The instruction is pretty spot on, both in the classroom sessions and in debriefings. The staff was mostly friendly and attitude free.

The bad: 25 minute track sessions are a bit much. I think 20 would work better and keep things moving along. The on-track instructors really need some go-pros. It's just such a good teaching tool, to see what you're doing wrong on the screen, not sure what they're thinking not inluding it, considering the cost.

The rainy: Paying full price but getting 3/5 of the track sessions sucks. Just no way to get around it. A partial refund, or some kind of gesture to make things right seems like it would've been the right thing to do imo. I understand the track itself didn't give CSS a refund, but a gesture of good will would leave everyone with good vibes. As is, there were some bad feelings lingering in the end.

Conclusion- Fantastic experience, new riders and experienced track hounds alike. Just hope it doesn't rain.
 

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Great writeup, thanks for sharing. Sucks that you guys couldn't go out and spend more time at the track, was the rain really that bad?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Great writeup, thanks for sharing. Sucks that you guys couldn't go out and spend more time at the track, was the rain really that bad?
No problem. The rain was that bad. Basically they run in the wet unless there's standing water or lightning (track policy). My last session had both, so they red flagged it after 2 laps. Tried to wait it out, but it was simply not happening.
 

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That sucks man, but at least you learned a lot and didnt go down. But the I would have been pissed paying all that $ and not being able to get more track time. At least you got the first level done.
 
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