The old saying ‘we are never too old to learn’ is particularly relevant to motorcyclists. The ability to ride safely and within our limits is paramount to riding enjoyment but we can all learn from people with greater experience. One exceptional way for all motorcyclists to develop existing skills comes in the form of the BMW Motorrad Motorsport – The Race Academy.Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the Race Academy is only for die-hard supersport fans, because it teaches all kinds of riders (from beginners to experts) on all different types of bikes. The Race Academy is a great experience for everybody and not only for track riders – remember that you can learn the same techniques on a BMW GS as you can learn a BMW S 1000 RR.Having enlisted the talents and experience of guest racers such as former World Superbike rider Troy Corser, The Race Academy can instil and expand every area of two-wheel racing upon all participants of the ‘Academy’. But the Academy is designed to go much further than training race riders, it can ably assist road riders to perfect their road craft techniques.Quite simply, every element of racing is a faster, more accurate extension of riding on the road. Obviously, road riding is punctuated with everyday elements such as opposing traffic, hidden junctions and corners, roadside furniture, pedestrians, animal life and much, much more. So the idea of using racing techniques and facilities to sharpen a road rider’s riding ability is a logical one – and this is the aim of the Academy.With its head office based in The Netherlands, The Race Academy is perfectly positioned to make use of European mainland and international racing circuits along with the facilities they offer. Maudie Veenstra, head administrator for BMW Motorrad Motorsport – the Race Academy, explains more about the Academy:“Together with Troy Corser we wrote a teaching programme about many different riding techniques, which will make any rider a better, but most of all a safer rider on the roads. We teach motorcyclists to think about their riding and also to understand and realise what the bike does when they use new and different techniques.“A racing circuit has the perfect surroundings to try different techniques – there is no other traffic or roadside element, which makes it a considerably safer and more relaxing environment in which to learn and try without unforgiving mistakes being made. After a training course every rider feels much more comfortable with their riding. A common example would be having more confidence in approaching, reading, braking and exiting a corner safely and without worry.”There have been many hundreds of potential race champions that have participated at the Academy since its introduction. Today more and more road riders are taking up the services of BMW Motorrad Motorsport – The Race Academy. One such person who has attended and openly admits to benefitting from the Academy is José del Busto, originally from Guatemala but who now resides in Munich. Talking about the course he attended, José said:“The course comes with a very high level of content, with clear examples and useful tips… BMW Motorrad standards are very high and somehow Maudie and her team, thanks to their impressive experience, exceeded all expectations. The two-day course consisted of intense 20-minute track sessions, followed by breaks where instructors showed us video clips explaining bad postures and curve lines, in order to correct errors in the following trainings. The sessions were full of tips and anecdotes that made the course one of the most interesting events in which I have participated…. Although dead from exhaustion I had a smile that an orbital sander could not delete.“I can assure you this has been the motorcycle riding course that I consider most important. Now I feel more comfortable on the bike, especially in curves. To correct two or three simple things makes you a better rider, safer and more accurate in handling – either on the circuit, out on the roads or even in my passion, off-road. I cannot imagine what such training would do for someone who is passionate about a supersport bike. Infinite thanks to Maudie and her team for such a magnificent experience.”So, no matter what kind of rider you are, a Race Academy course will help you feel more comfortable about riding on the roads. If, like José, you are insecure about your cornering technique, then why not enlist the help of professionals and use your favourite track to improve your road riding abilities. There are even opportunities to hire a BMW bike or use your own – the choice is yours.For further information on the activities, timetables and availability of BMW Motorrad Motorsport – The Race Academy, please visit: Race-AcademyAlternatively please visit the Academy’s Facebook page for up-to-date info and insights.
February 2015 | © BMW Motorrad Motorsport
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