Why We Ride Producer James Walker recently attended the legendary Danny Walker’s American Supercamp in Southern California. James shares his experience attending the lauded riding school…
What went through your head when you were first invited to Danny Walker’s American Supercamp?
Wow, this is going to be cool! I got to meet Danny at this past Indianapolis MotoGP and really liked the way he approached training. I knew that eventually I would find a way to take his class — getting the invitation to join the So Cal class last month was really special!
Tell us a little about your experience on a bike prior to attending the camp, and if you had participated in any other training programs along the way.
Well, from those of us on the film crew who did ride, I’m definitely the newest to two-wheels — I got my license while we were in production in December of 2012. I’ve put in a good bit of street riding, done some long distance trips on a Victory Judge, Honda Shadow 750, and a BMW R1200GS, but the only instruction I’ve had was the MSF class I took to get my license.
Did you take a few spills? Did you make any good saves?
No, but I did get to slide that Yamaha TTR 125 that they use to train us with quite a bit. We got to ride the course in groups and, of course, the racing tendencies come out among some of the guys, including me. It got gnarly at times in the corners, but I always managed to pull through.
The school often brings in professional racers to help out (and sometimes to do some training of their own). Did you get to bump bars with any notable guest instructors?
Yeah, I did. Legendary flat tracker Chris Carr and RoadRace Factory/Red Bull AMA Pro Jake Gagne were both there. Not only did I get to ride and learn from them, I got to chat with them a bit during the group lunch. Pretty cool!
What is one thing you learned that you can see making a difference in your day-to-day riding?
Better understanding of basic skills. Though I have only been riding for 2 years, I was already starting to develop some bad habits. The class covers so many things, but the emphasis is always on basic fundamentals, once you master that, you can master riding at any speed, any angle, any turn.
How sore were you the next day?
Ha! Pretty sore. But it was so worth it — being sore from spending 10 hours on a dirt bike is a great reward! Can’t wait to do it again!
After this experience do you see yourself taking more riding courses in the future?
Most definitely. I will be back to Danny’s school. There are a lot of solid schools out there, I hope to try a few others too.
Any final thoughts?
Regardless of your skill level and experience, school’s like Danny Walker’s are a great way to improve your riding skills. Personally, I’m a more confident rider now that I have taken his class. I think that makes a big difference when you find yourself in a hairy situation that you did not plan. How do I navigate that obstacle? How do I make it out of this situation still on two wheels? Training yourself to react in the proper way in these situations could make all the difference in the world.
Feature Photo of Danny Walker taken from Bonnier Motorcycle Group’s Facebook page.