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Hi All-

I just completed Kevin Schwantz’s Program at Barber Motorsports and thought some of you may be interested in my experience.

Let me start with the only negative thing. For me getting to the facility was a little difficult with no direct flights from Milwaukee to Birmingham, and only a couple out of O’Hare which is further and not at great times. I took a connection in Memphis on the way down and out of Atlanta on the way back, I just personally prefer direct flights as it’s less chance for the airlines to lose my bags! :)

On to the fun stuff! I’m sure most people on the forum spend some time at race tracks either as a spectator or on the track yourself, Road America is my home track (And I love it) and I have been to countless others.

This was my first time at Barber, I was in heaven. What a facility!!! It literally looks like a country club or PGA course, the folks at Autobahn Country Club should spend some time at Barber and learn about how to truly present a facility. Barber is nothing short of breath taking (for a track guy that is!) The track is a bit too short but to be honest in a learning situation like this I actually liked that as I was able to get better on the track quicker and learn the layout faster.

For those of you that have been to Barber you know what I am talking about. I could spend days at the museum alone, during the two day class Kevin lined up a tour with the museum’s curator and even fired up some of the oldest most beautiful motorcycles on the planet. They claim to have in excess of 1200 motorcycles onsite and hundreds in a warehouse waiting to be restored or other.

Of course the Tamburni (I own #105) was proudly on display :) (and anything else you can imagine.)

The Schwantz program allows you to bring your own bike or rent a school bike. They have brand new Gixxers and CBRs I own a Gix so I chose to ride the CBR the bike I rode for the program had 400 miles on the clock and I put 186 on the bike during the two days so I’m guessing about 85 laps. By the way the CBR was awesome on the track, but I still love my Gix. During the two days we had on and off rain, with sessions in the wet and dry, so we got to experience a lot of different riding conditions and different ways to approach the track.

Most of my track experience has been in cars, I have done several Skip Barber open wheel school’s, BMW Driving experience stuff, Track days with PCA and BMWCCA, as well as Super Moto at Road America. Every time I have gone to a driving school the instructors have huge ego’s. It’s to be expected in this Testosterone filled environment. I have never left a driving or racing school having learned as much as I did at Kevin’s school. His instructors are the best I have seen. They knew when to give feedback and when to let you figure it out on your own, the class was extremely safe and always in control yet it was not done in a way that reduce the fun or made me feel like I could not go as fast as I could.

The class is broken up by skill set group one being the fastest guys and in our case they all raced on a regular basis and they brought there track bikes to class. Class two is where I slotted in, this is for guys (and gals) with track experience, or are learning quickly and class three is for novices (with a minimum of one year experience on a bike)

I started off as one of the slower guys in group two but rapidly moved up the ranks as I learned. The instructors were very good at being able to judge the students ability and push them to do better without getting anyone out of there personal comfort zone.

During the class they had two instructors filming on 1000RR’s and a professional photographer taking pictures at various track spots. After each 20 minute session we would watch video and see for ourselves how we could improve. Each student is mailed a DVD video of a lap they did from an instructor bike behind them and photo’s from the photographer included in the package which I thought was WAY better than the sales pitch you have to site through at Skip Barber.

If you can’t tell I was thrilled to have gone, and I will be going back probably many times. What a great two days. :f4: I'll post up some pictures in the next day or so.

P.S. #34 Kevin if you read this get some three day classes on the schedule!!! :drummer:

Eric Perkins
 

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Nice write up. It sounds like a great way to spend 2 days!! Do they post the cost of those classes on the net, or on their website? I might try and get my wife to buck up for a birthday present!
 

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Nice write up. It sounds like a great way to spend 2 days!! Do they post the cost of those classes on the net, or on their website? I might try and get my wife to buck up for a birthday present!
They do, it's funny you mention this two guys at class wives had given them the class as a b-day present and they both said it was the best present they had ever had.

You can do the sign up on the website or call them Marnie runs the program and is very nice. It's $1500 if you ride your bike and $1800 if you ride a school bike.

Worth every penny

http://www.schwantzschool.com/
 

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All the more reason to come to the Bubbalicious in October.....great post.
 

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You lucky Bars***d, i think reving Kevin is a leggend.

I read a book on his life story and his 93 GP title winning race was sheer agony through repeatedly being high-sided throughout his career. So much so he was loosing sensation in his right wrist but knew he could win if he kept in the race. So, down the long straight he would keep the throttle pinned with his left hand- thats 180mph+!!!!!!!

The guys a legend-

Nice one

James
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
You lucky Bars***d, i think reving Kevin is a leggend.

I read a book on his life story and his 93 GP title winning race was sheer agony through repeatedly being high-sided throughout his career. So much so he was loosing sensation in his right wrist but knew he could win if he kept in the race. So, down the long straight he would keep the throttle pinned with his left hand- thats 180mph+!!!!!!!

The guys a legend-

Nice one

James

Seriously Kevin was a great guy too. His entire team is good people.

He was on the track with us at times, he is uhm... FAST!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7

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Nice pics.

Randy: make sure Barber is on the list of things to do at the Bubbalicious.
I'm going to do some searching for this Bubbalicious event, if Barber is involved I'm down! I could spend another day for sure.

ESP
 

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Nice pics.

Randy: make sure Barber is on the list of things to do at the Bubbalicious.
Caggy.......go back and read my very first post on the Bubbalicious. The Barber and the Historics are the primary motivator for the entire event. Do I need to talk to Beth about getting you back on your memory medicine?
 

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Discussion Starter #12

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Great wite up & pics!
 
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