Reg’s End of Season Newsletter – Nov 2017

Hey CLASS mates,

I hope this note finds you happy and healthy as we head into the holiday season. The CLASS season has come to a close having finished up at VIR, and Gigi and I have had a couple of weeks of kick back time. Now it’s time to start thinking about next year, and a lot has happened since I last wrote you.

The past 2 months has been very busy in a 6 week run that began with Labor Day at Streets of Willow with special guest Shoei Helmets. That was followed by the Cops and D-Day, more Streets and then a fantastic week long trip to Virginia. For those of you who joined us this Fall, I think you may agree it’s hard to top the fun.

To play fast an loose with the quip by Mark Twain: “The reports of my demise are greatly exaggerated.”

Things have gone well as of late, so well in fact I have laid out a schedule for 2018 – so yes, CLASS will be back! You’ll notice I’ve cut back a little more, but as far as the places where we have the most fun, we have scheduled dates.

TurnTwoOutsideA lot has changed since last summer and we are planning on going full speed ahead at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. We have plans to be there Spring, Summer and over a long weekend next Fall — yes with standard schools — I hope you’ll plan on joining us. We’ll kick off the 2018 season there on March 26th and Gigi has set up a very nice early sign up discount, you might want to make some plans early. Thanks Etech Photo for the photos.

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2018 CLASS Calendar

D-Day in September was once again two fantastic days with 12 students, 13 instructors, and we watched as skill levels sky-rocketed with the help of our talented and attentive team. Some of you even requested we do D-Day at other tracks, which perhaps is not feasible for a variety of reasons (mainly costs), but you also said a second D-Day would be a welcome addition. So we’ve added D-Day #2 for 2018. If the May dates go well, we’ll proceed with the September dates. I’d love to hear from you if one or even two D-Days 2018 are in your plans! Learn more about D-Day…

We’ll also have a few standard schools at Streets of Willow as well as one Motor Officer Advanced Training date on April 10th. As of now I have had a lot of good response for the Cop day and I expect that one will fill, so if you’re planning on joining us, don’t hold off in registering.

This year our bike rental business was very successful. Many of you had the chance to ride one of our Honda 500s or 300s at CLASS – mostly to rave reviews. As the rental program has gotten rolling, we sold out of bikes for many dates 2017. So in planning for next year, if you think you might want to join us on one of our rentals, get your reservation in early.

VIR2017AlBobI know you “VIR Faithful” may have picked up a glimmer of optimism about CLASS going back to Virginia in 2018. That final wrap meeting on Oct 17th was really one for the record books, and may I humbly add that a standing ovation from you guys for the second year in a row had something to do with it I am sure. Though I have been trying to make a graceful departure from the travel back east, members of the team, including my wife, have weighed heavily on my decision making process. We do love that track and Stuart might just be the best host ever. So with that in mind, I have accepted the dates the track has offered and have included the same October dates for 2018. I would really like your assurance that all those cheers and raised hands will mean you’ll be back too, and if you can get registered early with just the deposit, you will again save money.

NorwayShotOne last thing on the 2018 schedule, you’ll see I have scheduled a motorcycle tour of the Mountains and Fjords of Norway. This will be the 5th time Gigi and have taken a group over there – do you think we enjoy Norway? It pretty much sold out when I announced it to a group of friends, but I put it on the schedule in case we have any cancellations which sometimes happens. If this is something you would like to consider, solo or two up, talk to us and we can put you on the waiting list.

I will be in touch as the year winds down and the Spring approaches. In the meantime, feel free to contact me at any time with questions and comments. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Happy Holidays!

regsiglg

Reg Pridmore
reg@classrides.com
www.classrides.com
(805) 933-9936
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P.S. a couple of things to remind you of as you head into the winter season:

  • The Gift of CLASS! The holidays will be upon us very soon – it’s never too early to consider gift certificates in any amount for the Santa season.
  • If you would like to purchase a pair of Dunlop Q3+ tires, we have a few sets on order to sell. $275 includes tax and shipping and don’t forget you get a $40 rebate on them if you attended CLASS this year. If you’ve attended CLASS and purchased tires in 2017 and have not yet applied for the rebate, get in touch with us and Gigi will get the proper info out to you.
  • 50% off DP Brake Pads: As a CLASS student this year you are entitled to half off DP Brake pads. These are my favorite pads and if you have not yet tried them, you don’t know how much stopping power you’re missing. For details on how to get the deal, drop us a line. Use their fitment guide to find your pads here.
  • Check out psr-usa.com where CLASS students get 15% off any order til the end of the year. PSR makes high end aftermarket products for dirt and street bikes – things like levers and covers and even a great easy lift dirt bike stand that Gigi likes in particular. Use the code CMSULVHSI to get your discount.

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Reg Approved: The Shoei X-Fourteen

The New Shoei X-14: In January I had the privilege of being invited to the Shoei X-Fourteen Launch Event at Chuckwalla Raceway. The morning press meeting was as you would expect, full of info and testing results that show how vastly improved – aerodynamic, visual, cool and lightweight the new helmet is.
       But when I was able to put it on and take it for a ride, that’s when I realized it truly lives up to the hype. My personal findings were that the helmet is exceptional. All the major areas: the visual is improved, the fit was perfect, the ventilation is remarkable and the streamlining made the helmet exceptionally steady at speed.
       Shoei has done their homework in the wind tunnel and I am confident that this new helmet is a vast improvement over last year’s model. I’ve never been a complainer but I’ve listened to some comments about heads buffeting at speeds such as are found on the straightaway at VIR. I figured it was just part of riding fast. And helmets are warm when the temperature gets in the 90’s, that’s how it is. The new X-14 aerodynamics along with the ventilation system promises to keep my head comfortably steady and cool all year long.
-Reg

Holding You Close: Some Advice on Two-up Riding

    What makes a good two-up rider? First is a sense of caution and respect for
your companion. You need to assess your passenger. For some people, a ride
on the back is very exhilarating. They enjoy the speed factor. For others, it
can be very scary. It’s your job to gauge this before getting under way, by asking
your rider about their experiences and preferences.
    One of your most important responsibilities is to keep your ego in check.
Never try to impress your passenger or condition them to your accustomed
speed. Not only is this dangerous, but they may never want to ride with you
again (or with anyone else, for that matter). Being a responsible two-up rider
also means accounting for the added weight and its effects on turning and
stopping. Since the total package has more mass, you’ll need to apply the
brakes harder and allow more stopping distance. You’ll also need to educate
your passenger about the various methods of holding on. If you’re carrying an
unfamiliar passenger, make sure you get used to their movements and effects
on the bike. Fatigue is another issue to be aware of because two-up riding can
really wear you out due to the added weight, so moderate distance and saddle
time accordingly.
    You should get the bike off the side stand or center stand and be comfortably
seated with both feet down and the front brake on before allowing anyone to
get aboard. Settle in and give the word OK to board. A tall passenger may be
able to swing the right leg over the bike and put both feet on the passenger
pegs simultaneously. A shorter rider will need to stand on the left peg and
swing his or her right leg over, and for this you need to be well braced with
the left foot down and the bike straight upright. The passenger should put a
hand on your back or shoulder for balance while climbing on. Both of you
should give a thumbs up or verbal OK when ready to get underway.
    On the track or for sport riding, pillion riders should:
Reach around and place the hands on the tank.  This way passengers can support themselves under any braking conditions rather than forcing you to support them
with your arms. If they cannot comfortably reach around to the tank, they should
push on the small of your back during hard braking. Gigi also squeezes with her
knees to hold her back under braking. Don’t have them push on your upper body,
which requires that you support them with your arms and affects your use of the
controls.
    Squeeze with the elbows, squeeze with the knees.   Those passengers who are
able to place their hands on the tank should squeeze the operator’s torso with
their elbows under acceleration. This will help keep them planted in the middle
of the saddle under hard acceleration. Those riders who can’t reach around to
the tank should simply grasp the operator’s waist under acceleration.
    Use proper foot position.  Passengers should keep the toes up (not pointed
down) and the balls of the feet on the pegs. This ensures that their boots
don’t touch the ground in corners (for aggressive sport riding), and provides
a good foundation for weight shifts and moving around in the saddle. (Riders
aboard cruisers or big touring bikes with footboards needn’t pay attention to
this.)
    Look through the corner.  Passengers should keep their eyes level with the
roadway, turn their heads, and look through the corner–just as the operator
does. This is critically important, as it directly influences body position,
ensuring that the operator and passenger move in unison. It all starts with
the eyes and head! Work together.
     Don’t be a wet sack. Being a passenger at a sporting pace isn’t a passive
role. No daydreaming, please. The passenger needs to be an active part of the
rider/machine combo, and not daydream.  Many passengers on Honda Gold
Wings and other large touring bikes might contest that last point. In fact, some
pillion riders see nothing wrong with taking a nap back there in that big old
armchair. In my opinion this is a dangerous practice. Snoozing riders on the
back will negatively affect handling–especially at a sporting pace. They may
also endanger  themselves in the event of a quick stop or evasive maneuver.
This doesn’t mean they can’t relax and enjoy the scenery. But at all times,
passengers have a responsibility to be an integral part of the package. This
also includes traffic and road awareness.
    Passengers should also take care not to distract the pilot with a constant
refrain of “Look at that!” This type of distraction could cause an accident.
    As we Spring forward in 2016, I hope these tips help to encourage pilots and
passengers to enjoy the ride together. Ride safe, think fast.
Cheers,
Reg