America’s Best Performance Motorcycle Riding Schools

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Performance Motorcycle School

Want to become a better rider? You can read books, ask friends for help or practice the stuff we talk about here on RideApart. But, without exception, the most effective method is to get yourself to a track school. Here’s the best performance motorcycle riding schools in America.

California Superbike School Lean Bike
California Superbike School Lean Bike

California Superbike School
Cost:$360-$2,950
What You Get: If you’re going for the first time, you’ll need to spring for the  “Two-Day Camp” in which the guy that literally wrote the book on performance motorcycle riding — Keith Code — will teach you not to fall over and hurt yourself. From there, levels go all the way up to personal tuition for racers.
Unique Value: Specially built “slide,” “brake,” and “lean” bikes allow you to experience extreme motorcycle dynamics in complete safety.

Jason Pridmore Star School
Jason Pridmore Star School

Jason Pridmore Star School
Cost: $375-$700
What You Get: A uniquely efficient, arguably more effective, approach to performance riding from a guy that’s been an AMA Pro Racer since 1989.
Unique Value: Two-up rides with Pridmore himself. Known to inflict ego attenuation in even the manliest of men.

SoCal Supermoto
SoCal Supermoto

SoCal Supermoto
Cost: $199
What You Get: A DR-Z, A supermoto track, training and photos.
Unique Value: It’s cheap! The relatively low speeds are less intimidating too, allowing you to push that much harder and learn that much more.

Jason DiSalvo Speed Academy
Jason DiSalvo Speed Academy

Jason DiSalvo Speed Academy
Cost: $1,195 (track dependent)
What You Get: A two-day track school taught by one of the nation’s fastest and nicest racers.
Unique Value: Immediate visual feedback from GoPros on your instructors bike as he leads and follows you. I’ve taken lessons from Jason and I found this feedback to be immediately useful and saw huge advances in my riding throughout both days.

Pacific Track Time
Pacific Track Time at Thunderhill

Just Doing A Regular Track Day
Cost: $200-$500
What You Get: Any reputable track day organizer will have instructors on-track, who will be prepared to tutor any level of rider. Novice groups are tailored to be introductions to track riding, giving you the opportunity to get out there on your own bike and see what you can do.

Unique Value: More affordable and easier to schedule than most well-known track schools, riders who haven’t yet been on the track shouldn’t feel intimidated. Some organizers even run formal training programs within the track day. Call the organizer and tell them you want to learn. We recommend (based on personal experience) MotoYard in SoCal, Pacific Track Time in NorCal and Sportbike Track Time on the East Coast.

What You’ll Need
Bike: A machine in good mechanical repair with plenty of life in the tires, brakes and other components. Some tracks/schools/track days will require specialty setup like water in the radiator (it’s not slippery if you leak on track), safety wire or belly pans designed to catch liquids. Check before you go. Or, most of the above schools will rent you one of their bikes, which is usually the better option. Regardless, it’s a good idea to drive a four-wheeled vehicle to the track (at least your first time), at the very least, you’ll be exhausted at the end of the day and in no state to be riding a motorcycle a long way home. If you want to ride your own bike, trailer it to the track.

Helmet: A quality full-face helmet which fits well, is less than five years old and meets either Snell M2010 or ECE 22.05 safety standards.

Gloves: Full gauntlet gloves which use a wrist retention strap and are in good condition.

Boots: Real motorcycle boots that extend above the ankle.

Leathers: A one-piece race suit or two piece which zips together around the entire waist circumference. You’ll also need a back protector.

Rental Gear: Some schools and track days offer rental gear. You really, really don’t want to show up on the day depending on using it, they may not have your size or even enough gear to go around.

Looking for affordable, track-ready gear? Our quick, budget shopping list would include the $180 Icon Airmada helmet, $160 Teknic Chicane Boots, $620 Alpinestars Carver suit and $80 Cortech Latigo gloves.

Want more? Read How To Ride a New Track For The First Time. What track schools have you participated in? Which ones are you considering?

  • http://cartisien.com/ Jeff Witters

    Got anything for us East Coast riders?

    • DG

      What part of the coast?

      • http://cartisien.com/ Jeff Witters

        Virginia – I know they are building a new raceway in Richmond (Dominion Speedway I think is the name) not sure what it will have though.

        • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

          DiSalvo is mostly in the South and Pridmore travels to the easy coast. STT also operates excellent instruction at its track days. All listed above.

          • http://cartisien.com/ Jeff Witters

            Great thanks – going to get a session lined up for the spring.

        • mms

          Supposedly this will be just outside Fredericksburg and will include a “2-mile road course”, which sounds promising, but it won’t be open until 2015.

  • Brian

    on the East Coast, youhave Penguin Racing school in New Hampshire, Cornerspeed at VIR and sometimes at CMP, Kevin Schwantz School at Barber. Also in addition you have several dirt oriented schools that train you for the asphalt like Cornerspin, American Supercamp, Texas Tornado Bootcamp, and I am sure a few others.

    • BillW

      I just looked at the Schwantz site, thinking to help out Jeff Witters, above. They scaled back to one weekend in 2013, and that was at Indy! No 2014 calendar posted.

  • RC51guy

    I’ve done the Mid-Ohio School a couple of times and that track never gets old.

    As a bonus, right before the AMA weekend there you can usually meet a couple of the AMA racers at the track day getting their bikes set up!

  • El Isbani

    Anyone ever did track or dirt school in Texas?

    • Nathan Haley

      Try Texas Tornado Boot Camp – http://texastornadobootcamp.com. Very fun, very safe, they loan you the bike and it’s a smooth dirt track.

    • Csorin

      I’ve ridden with RideSmart quite a few times. They have class room instruction between each track session. You get personal couching, optional GoPro video, etc. It’s a super cool, low stress environment. Really good value too.

      http://ridesmart.info/

      I’ve also done Ty Howard’s school with I believe, Lone Star Track Days. Whomever it was with, I loved it. The lunch time track drive was amazing. You go from corner to corner and watch a guy fly through each bend from 20 ft away. Was spectacular.

  • David Bober

    i think it’s interesting you’ve recommended different schools of thought, no pun intended. the counter steering vs. body steering debate is alive and well with these recommendations. personally i think it all matters but that’s just me

    • Piglet2010

      The real difference is that some will teach you to “flop” the bike over with a relatively abrupt counter-steer, while others (e.g. Pridmore’s) want you to ease the bike over and turn in as smoothly as you can. Learn both, and see what works best for you, a particular bike, and a particular corner.

      What Keith Code teaches still has a body steering component, and riding like Pridmore some counter-steering will naturally occur, so the gulf is not as wide as the written discussion makes it seem.

      • David Bober

        i would agree to an extent, however if one decides to only focus on counter steering or body steering, the inputs to the bike are quite different. not to get into too much of a debate here as it’s a complicated one that most riders have encountered more than they want to, but like i stated i think in the end it all matters and all has merit depending on your pace, the bike you’re riding, the tarmac you’re on, etc. but the approaches are vasty different and that’s just part of what makes riding so interesting, at the end of each extreme you’d be hard pressed to say either were “wrong” per se given how many champion caliber riders have used one or the other. anyway…

  • Robert Horn

    Check out the local roadracing club – they might have a class as well. Colorado’s MRA has an all-day class with lots of instructors before the first race of the season at HPR. There’s also a “Superstreet” class on most race weekends – there’s always an interesting mix of bikes (Not often you get to see someone flogging a Brutale, S4R Monster, ZX12R, ‘Busa, etc… around a track!).

  • Piglet2010

    The 2014 schedule is not up yet, but Road America also offers Supermoto classes with rental DR-Z400SM bikes.

    http://www.roadamerica.com/get-on-track/ra-motorcycle-schools/supermoto.html

  • Piglet2010

    “…and Sportbike Track Time on the East Coast.”

    Uh, they also have dates at several tracks in the Upper Midwest.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Good for them. Local locations aren’t something we get to spend a lot of time worrying about.

  • Tristan Meyer

    I’d like to recommend Rich Oliver’s Mystery School, it’s all dirtbikes but it helps immensely with street riding. I rode there once before I even had a bike and once after, and both times I felt like a much better rider after.

  • http://thecrumb.com/ thecrumb

    I’m so close to VIR. Gotta get this on my todo-list!

  • jefflev

    You don’t have to do the two day camp at California Superbike. The two days are Levels 1+2 combined. You can split them up. And most people who split them up over time get more out of it and are also happier. I did levels 1-3 every 6 months over a year. Oddly, levels 1 and 2 individually end up being cheaper, too. Whenever I ask someone how the two-day camp was, they say it was “too much”. As in, too much work. Learning overload.

    • Piglet2010

      I would generally agree with you, but if I have to travel between 750 and 1,000 miles one-way to attend CSS, two-day sessions may be an economic necessity.

  • socalutilityrider

    http://www.motoventures.com/

    Just wanted to give a shout out to Gary at Motoventures for everyone. I’ve done four training days, two “big bike” (adv) days, one trials bike day and one “small bike” (250-450 dirt bike) day. I can’t say enough for how great of a value I have found these classes-Gary is an A+ teacher and really should be charging a lot more.

    If you just ride street, any of these classes will help you immensely and give you an edge over pavement only riders. If you ride dirt, you will be better. For me, the results were immediate and extremely beneficial-my rear broke loose and “skipped” while leaned over after hitting some sand that washed into in a paved intersection (after a hard rain) and due to this training, I stayed on the throttle and stayed smooth through the turn and recovered vs crashing.

    Check him out if you ever get the chance, it’s worth it.

  • David Bober

    Personally I do track schools so I can do more of this:
    http://youtu.be/bwRKqfQSAek

  • dreygata

    Any recommendations for schools in the Southeast? The only track I have nearby (I’m in Huntsville) is the Barber’s MotorSport Track in Birmingham, AL. I’d LOVE to find a school that teaches better turning techniques and body position in a safe environment.

  • JimMac

    Anyone have experience with Yamaha Champions Riding School? They’re close to me but their two day course is $2500…