Bike-urious does the Baja 1000 – Part 4

In Travel by Abhi3 Comments

So, we were finally equipped with bikes, and getting some dirt practice in almost every weekend. But when you self-teach, you end up learning bad habits! Nathan and I decided to try and get some more formal instruction. The first thing we tried was SoCal Supermoto School, where we learned to get some air – that’s Nathan above.

SoCal Supermoto is probably best described as half school, half club, where you can learn and race with your friends. Nathan and I rounded up a couple of riders to join Dennis and Kate from Beach Moto (and some of their friends) to get a private class.

The school is run by Brian Murray, (job title of “President/All Around Swell Guy”), who started the school as a DMV test bike rental with his personal XR400 sumo. Brian figured the best way to teach his students how to ride was just to take them to a track, and Socal Supermoto School was born.

The concept made sense, and I was excited to give it a shot as I had never ridden a supermoto before. It seemed like a logical middle ground between the street riding I was familiar with and the world of dirt that I wanted to understand better. Plus, it’s always nice to get seat time on different bikes!

I had assumed that our private class would ensure that we would have the track all to ourselves, but I was wrong. To keep costs down, the class runs during open days at Adams Motorsports Park, which means you’re basically on a ’15 minutes on, 15 minutes off’ schedule. I was initially bummed out by this, but by the end of the day you won’t feel like there wasn’t enough track time. The class works by alternating 15 minutes of ‘classroom’ time and 15 minutes of track time, and it starts with the iconic dirtbike sound, BRAP. That stands for BRakes, Ass, and Push, or what you need to do your best impression of the Socal Supermoto Logo. The riding position is definitely different – you’re upright but crossed up, dancing with the bike as you push it down. I took a while to get used to the leg out/up posture, but it eventually makes a lot of sense – and it would be helpful as Nathan and I transitioned to the dirt.

Here’s Nathan’s attempt:

Here’s Brian showing us how it’s done:

‘Class’ sessions start with the basics of supermoto, then progress into more advanced topics like the racing line in specific corners at Adams and managing grip on varying surfaces. Here’s Nathan taking you for a lap around Adams, with a GoPro that we mounted on a stabilizer. :

And here’s Nathan taking you for a lowside!

Around halfway through, Brian opens up the dirt portion of the track, as well – and that’s when you really start to have some fun, as evidenced by Dennis from Beach Moto as he gets some air:

And as always, there’s someone else out there that has to one up us!

It’s a straightforward concept. Have fun for 15 minutes, rest up and get your learn on for 15 minutes, then rinse and repeat. Because the track is so short you’re able to learn the course layout quickly – within a couple of laps you’ll know what the best lines are, and then it’s just a matter of hitting them while you practice the other tidbits of knowledge that Brian has dropped on you.

DJI was kind enough to let us borrow a Phantom 2 drone for the day, so we spent some time learning what we could do with it (and trying to stay out of the way of riders):

It didn’t all go well, though:

Tough rig – it held up just fine through the rest of the day despite us, and allowed for shots like this so you can see what the course layout is:
Adams Drone Shot

I had a great time at Socal Supermoto, and it’s clear the other riders did too – whenever we see each other nowadays we usually mention how we want to go back for another round. Two little pieces of advice if you decide to move forward: I’ve spoken with people who took this class and it’s clear that you have much more fun when you do it as a private group with your friends (plus it’s a little bit cheaper that way), so round a crew up instead of joining some strangers, if you can. Also, reach out to Brian in advance so you can verify how many bikes he’ll have that day. He may be a bike down the day of the course (or something might break while you’re riding), and while he’s got someone on staff to fix minor issues, it’s a bummer to have to sit and wait for someone to come in and swap bikes. If Brian’s got 12 bikes available, try to show up with 10 or 11 people!
Socal Supermoto - Abhi and Dennis

Want to learn more or book a class? Head on over to the Socal Supermoto site. An individual class is $249 and that includes the track fee, use of the bike, lunch, a t-shirt, and some photos. It’s a bit cheaper per person if you grab a few friends to go with you.