Ty Howard's Typhoon Roadracing Academy Review
I was pretty tired when I wrote this after a day at the track....hope it makes sense !
Wish I could have taken the Academy on a Monday then ridden at RideSmart trackday on Saturday....that would have been PERFECT !
My experience at
Ty Howard’s Typhoon Roadracing Academy
This was my 1st time at Typhoon Roadracing Academy. I’ve been wanting to attend since I first heard about it this season but didn’t have a chance until today.
Boy I am really glad I did !
I have taken Ty’s Advanced Rider Course at Ride Smart several times before at several different Texas tracks over the past few years (they were "lapping" track day schools)…..but the Road Racing Academy is a lot different – it’s better !!!
Ty has an extensive background in motorcycle racing (see the web page for full details) and is a very good instructor, He keeps it fun & interesting while teaching you important skills, tricks, & tips that help improve your riding. His video & drill critiques are priceless information you can use to improve your skills.
The things we did at T.R.A. (Typhoon Roadracing Academy) today you just can’t do at a track day.
The student to instructor ratio was 3 to 1 . Class size was about 14 students if I recall correctly.
The track is a 2.5 mile circuit with varying elevations (70' change), blind turns, off camber turns, double apex turns & several (5) long straights varying from 970’ to 2000’ in length.
My recollection of the events may be off or out of sequence….I’m kinda tired after a day at the track & I have an old man’s memory
Arrived at 0700C, checked in, unloaded & ‘readied’ the bike, then met in the classroom at 0800C
After a brief outline of the class we took a track drive stopping many times for Ty to explain the lines, corners, trouble spots, the track’s idiosyncrasies. We got to ask questions about each corner.
They had set up cones in the track that were tipped over on their side. The point of the cone pointed you to the side of the cone we were supposed to ride on. Those cones kept you on the proper line when we were riding. They were set up for the ‘fast lines’ we needed to memorize
After that we suited up & took to the track for a ‘Round Robin’ to learn ride the lines – Ty’s fast lines around Eagles Canyon Raceway.
Due to the recent rains the track had a couple of wet spots where the water was weeping up to the track surface. These areas were ‘coned off’ so we wouldn’t hit the wet spots & crash
Next came the first drill – Trail braking. At 2 different points on the track we were instructed to practice a trail braking drill. The assignment was to go down the straight towards the turn, smoothly apply hard brake n the straight, tip in & slowly release lever pressure trailing to the apex. The instructor was at the apex & our job was to trail to a complete stop at the instructor’s position without bouncing the front. In other words smooth braking technique from high speed straight to a stop at the apex of the turn without upsetting the motorcycle chassis.
Other select turns on the track we were assigned to do similar braking drills but not come to a complete stop.
All riders would come to a stop on the main straight after the last turn (11), make a line, & wait to be released by Ty for rider seperation. This kept us safely distanced from each other so the fast & slow guys wouldn’t get in each others way during the drills. Ty & the instructors used radios to communicate during drills.
Both the full stop turns were blind coming down the straight. The first was a slightly downhill right hander and the second a steeply down hill left hander.
I was only able to get the slightly downhill turn pretty good but the steep one seemed impossible for me to get right
Back to class to discuss, then an on track video session of each student. Back to class to review the videos & discuss the good & the bad points on each rider.
Lunch was provided & we ate while reviewing the videos
The next drill was to ride a zig-zag course on the front straight. 11 cones were set up on both sides of the main straight & we were to ride a zig-zag pattern accelerating towards the cone, then trail braking, turn around the cone, then accelerating towards next cone, brake – turn –accelerate – repeat for 11 cones. After the 11 cones we took a lap & came back to stop & get in line for the next go at the cones.
Kind of like a slalom course only with a motorcycle instead of skis.
It was fun but it was hard ! We all started out slow but picked up the pace a bit after a couple sessions
I could finally get a couple cones really good but got off line slightly & blew the next ones. It did teach me better bike control in tight turns. Taking a lap afterwards helped relieve the tension of trying hard to get all the cones right on each run thru the slalom course.
Back to the classroom for discussion and brief on next drill – Maximum smooth braking in a straight line to a full stop at a predetermined point. Ty briefed us on the tricks to accomplish this in class
We went on track and took a lap then stopped on the main straight to form a line. A pair of cones were set up about 100 yards down track. We were released by the instructor & were to accelerate to the cones, pull in the clutch and at the same time smoothly apply hard brakes, & come to a complete stop abeam Ty without bouncing the front forks when the stop was complete. The goal was a smooth maximum braking full stop while fully in control of the bike w/o lifting of the rear wheel off the ground & no suspension bounce when stopped. Brake & bike control.
When finished we took a lap & came back to get in line again ot repeat the drill.
This drill really helped me push my braking markers closer to the turn. I was able to work on max braking & try to combine it with smooth trail braking on laps. The rider spacing kept us apart & allowed me to work & concentrate on putting my braking techniques together. I still need more practice but I was able to make considerable improvement today
After the 1st time thru the drill I thought it would be a good idea to practice my race starts…worked ok a couple times but then next time I kinda over accelerated & got quite a bit of tire squirm,,,prob due to rear wheel lift…DOH ! I backed off some the next time to get a more controlled stop. Ty did NOT tell us to practice race starts – now I know why !
By this time it was hot – 90 something degrees & I was tired so my recollection is kinda fuzzy.
WE spent some time in the classroom talking & went out again to work with the instructors putting all the stuff we learned in drills together for some laps.
After another break we went out for the last session of the day. All the line reminder cones were removed (thank God I wouldn’t hit any more with my knee) except for the wet spot cones.
We got to follow instructors & had instructors follow us. They would signal a hot pit to give tips & suggestions. I got in a few good fast laps but did find myself slipping back to old bad habits a few times. I knew it was time to call it a day before I did something really stupid.
We had a great day with no crashes. I learned a LOT !!!
I strongly suggest taking Ty’s Road Racing Academy. It will help any level rider for track and street riding. If you can’t get to Texas to take this class I strongly suggest you hook up with an advanced riders school that does bike handling drills like these in your area of the country.
I started riding track day “lapping” schools in 2006 and I gotta say Ty’s school taught me more in one day than I could have learned in several track day “lapping” schools . you just can’t do the drills like we did at a track day – no stopping on the track & getting instruction at those kinda track day “lapping” schools.
I’m betting my next track day or race I will have improved after taking Ty’s Academy.
I’m also looking forward to taking the Academy again – I bet my next time will be even better
It was well worth the $350 I spent on the Typhoon Roadracing Academy !
I can't wait to get to the next Ride Smart & practice what I learned at the Academy !!!
i wish I could have taken the Academy on a Monday and go to a Ride Smart that Saturday....that would be PERFECT !!!
Night all – I’m beat & need to get some sleep !