2024 California Superbike School Review: Un-Learning To Ride!

After more than 30 years of riding motorcycles, I head to the California Superbike School at the Madras International Circuit to learn to ride ‘properly’. The three-day experience is a revelation!

By Preetam Bora


10 mins read


Published on March 9, 2024

Follow us on



  • California Superbike School Level 1-3 review
  • car&bike attended Levels 1-3 of the CSS course
  • CSS is a motorcycle training program, not a race school

Can you teach an old dog new tricks? That was the question playing on my mind as I packed my riding gear to head to Madras International Circuit in Chennai, for the second time in a week. This time, it was to be three full days of “learning to ride” at the 2024 California Superbike School, Levels 1 through 3. The idea was to go with an open mind, and hopefully come back with some learnings to help become smoother, better and more confident with a motorcycle.


CSS 2024 m3

The author astride the TVS Apache RR 310 while attending the California Superbike School 2024.


With more than a decade of exposure to track riding, in some of the finest racetracks in India, and around the world, I was no stranger to realisation that I needed to upskill. There have been opportunities to learn in the past, using the correct technique and learning the nuances of riding properly, on a racetrack. But signing up for a detailed, in-depth motorcycling course was something that had been playing on my mind for a few years now.


Also Read: Aprilia RS 457 First Ride Review


CSS 2024 m15

Better late than never! Pushing 50, the author finally attends the California Superbike School, and the experience has been a revelation!


Encouragement from a few friends and colleagues, who I have shared track time with, pushed me to explore the possibility of signing up for the School. And the opportunity to sign up for Levels 1, 2 & 3 over a three-day period was just what was needed to become a smoother and more confident rider, I thought. After going back to school, one thing is crystal clear – for anyone serious about riding motorcycles, on the street, for long-distance touring or on track, signing up for a CSS course does wonders! At least for me, it was an eye-opening experience!


Also Read: Ducati Panigale V2 Review


The California Superbike School


CSS 2024 m16

The California Superbike School has been coming to India every year since 2010. A renowned team of international coaches impart training to students of the school.


The California Superbike School is a premier motorcycle training program renowned for its comprehensive approach to teaching riders of all skill levels. Founded by Keith Code in 1980, the school offers a structured curriculum focused on improving riding techniques and safety. With expert instructors and a fleet of high-performance motorcycles, students learn valuable skills both on and off the track. From cornering fundamentals to advanced racing strategies, the California Superbike School provides an immersive learning experience tailored to each rider's needs. Whether you're a novice or a seasoned rider, the school offers invaluable knowledge and expertise to help you become a safer and more proficient motorcyclist.


Also Read: 2023 Yamaha YZF-R3 Review


CSS 2024 m7

You can use any motorcycle to sign up for the CSS courses, including your personal motorcycle.


And contrary to what you’d think with the ‘Superbike’ in its name, it’s not a racing school, or a school for litre-class, or performance-oriented sportbikes. You can sign up, no matter what bike you ride, and eventually, the idea is to make you a better rider, and unlock skills which you may not have been aware of, despite years of riding experience on the street. CSS Level 1, 2 and 3 are divided into a three-day course to help make you understand how correct throttle control, taking the correct line, good vision, as well as effective braking and steering can help make you a smoother, calmer and more focussed rider.


Also Read: 2023 Triumph Street Triple RS & R First Ride Review


The Course


CSS 2024 m12

Classroom sessions, on-track assignments, practice and one-on-one debriefing form part of each session during the three-day course.


The California Superbike School course is divided into two segments. Levels 1,2 and 3 are meant to teach students the fundamentals. And for those who have completed these three levels already, there’s Level 4, which is more focussed on individual areas of improvement. For now, let’s focus on the basics of Leve 1-3. You will learn throttle control first, in the first session, how to use the throttle smoothly, evenly and consistently. Next up, is learning the turn points around corners, which will help fix the proper racing lines. 


Also Read: Ducati DRE Racetrack Academy Review


CSS 2024 m21

The author's coach Siddharth Trivellore during an on-track session and assignment.


The format is a 20-minute classroom session, followed by 20-minute track assignment and a 7-minute debrief session with your on-track coach, as soon as you’re back in the pits after your track sessions. Your coach will, at times, ask you to follow him (or her) to demonstrate the right lines and turn points, and will then follow you, while making notes about what you’re doing right, and where you can improve and correct yourself. For Levels 1,2 & 3, each track coach has a batch of three students who are then individually debriefed after the track sessions.


CSS 2024 m19

The first assignment – use two gears, no brakes and hit the turn points. And to hit the correct turn points, big X’s were marked on the corners which we were to hit at every corner.  The on-track assignment is keenly observed by the coach (in my case, Siddharth Trivellore), who then carries out a debrief immediately after the track session. The debriefing sessions are one-on-one, egging you on to try out the correct lines, and pointing out shortcomings (which you will be encouraged to identify yourself). 


CSS 2024 m20

Each session across the different levels focusses on different aspects, which include the art of using counter-steering consciously (a technique which many of us automatically and instinctively use anyway), figuring out reference points to hit the turn points and to correctly hit the apex and power out with confidence. The course breaks down different skills across the sessions in each level, including throttle control, using the lines, vision, braking, steering and finally, using the correct body position.


Lessons & Learnings


CSS 2024 m11

Understanding some basics physics behind the working of a motorcycle, common sense, and some attentiveness go a long way!


From understanding how to smoothly open or close the throttle, and when to do so, and how using optimal open throttle around a corner increases ground clearance and lean angles, automatically increasing corner speed, Level 1 is all about getting the basics right. Level 2 includes vision, using visual information and using reference points before the turn, at the apex and out of the apex. Changing lines, using the two-step drill, followed by the three-step drill are all focussed on using the right vision. Practicing vision and reference points was perhaps one of the more important skills I picked up, along with correct throttle modulation.


Also Read: TVS Apache RR310 BTO Track Review


CSS 2024 m5

Every session in each level is a module in itself, and eventually they all come together to make you a better rider.


Level 3 on the third day included learning proper body positioning. Now, this was the most physically demanding of the three-day course, and it’s not as simple as it sounds. Our classes and assignments included learning and practicing the hip-flick transition, hook turn and pick-up. Needless to say, CSS taught me much more about riding a motorcycle than I could have ever imagined, or have learnt in any previous track outing. 


CSS 2024 m27


For any rider who is looking to improve his or her riding skills, a California Superbike School course is a definite way to improve and to become a smoother, more confident and eventually safer rider. And the learnings on the track can be used and implemented on the street as well. No matter your skill or experience level with a motorcycle, a CSS course is highly recommended, and the course fee of around Rs. 75,000 (for Level 1, 2 & 3) is truly well worth it for the three-day course.


How To Become A Better Rider (CSS Takeaways):

  • Learn throttle control
  • Focus on correct vision
  • Look where you want to go
  • Use the correct line
  • Use correct body position
  • Braking & Steering Properly
  • Learn to be confident & smooth


The Bike


CSS 2024 m14

The TVS Apache RR 310 offers a friendly and forgiving platform to learn and brush up skills. Experienced riders though will begin to outgrow its performance at the end of three days at the track.


If you want to sign up for CSS, you can take your own bike, or take rental TVS Apache RTR 200s or TVS Apache RR 310s. The bike I chose to attend the school was the TVS Apache RR 310, provided by our friends at TVS Motor Company. It’s not the most performance-oriented, but it’s a friendly and forgiving motorcycle, and past track experiences with the RR 310 have always been memorable – easy and entertaining. My bike was kitted out with sticky new Eurogrip Protorq Extreme tyres, and the RR 310, for me, was the perfect toy to learn some new tricks with. 


Also Read: TVS Eurogrip Protorq Extreme Tyres Review


CSS 2024 m26

Smooth and gentle power delivery, predictable handling and friendly performance are the plus points on choosing the RR 310.


Predictable handling, smooth and gentle throttle response allows you to get away with mistakes a middleweight sportbike may not be as forgiving. And its modest performance ensures you can focus on what you’re here to do, learn, rather than focus on besting your personal lap record at the Madras International Circuit. Yes, it has its limitations. On the straights, the RR 310 is outdone by the likes of the KTM RC 390s, and the Yamaha YZF-R3s, which have more performance, but around the corners, I didn’t feel the need for a quicker, more powerful machine, and the RR310 was enough and more to perform the on-track assignments with satisfaction.




CSS 2024 m35

The California Superbike School is a must-attend for any motorcyclist who is looking to improve his or her riding skills, on track, and on the street. The teachings offer learnings which are at a different level altogether. 


After spending three very fruitful days of attending classrooms, on-track training and debriefs, back-to-back, session after session, it dawned on me. The hype about the California Superbike School riding course is real! And this is only the beginning of doing Level 1, 2 and 3. Those who have attended Level 4 tell me that it’s even more focussed on individual strengths and development areas, and it’s something I will look forward to signing up for in future. I may not be the fastest rider out there, and at every track outing, I will still be one of those riders who will always have caution riding pillion. But CSS certainly has made me more confident, and smoother on track.  And those skills seem to have filtered down to the street, no matter what motorcycle I’m astride.


CSS 2024 m34



The only thing left now is to keep at it. Practice, practice, practice. The idea is to look for the next track opportunity to hone the skills learned and do some practical, er, homework (or track-work, if you will). Some of the lessons learnt at CSS already seems to have filtered down to riding on street, and some seem to come automatically, even when behind the wheel, and not on a two-wheeler. As for me, it seems that some dogs can become learners, age notwithstanding, with the right approach. And old dogs certainly can learn new tricks, under the right tutelage, like my coach Siddharth Trivellore’s at CSS. Now, someone offer me a treat, please, in the form of a track day! Yours truly will become a happy old dog once again! Woof!


Photography: Aditya Bedre


2024 California Superbike School Level 1, 2 & 3 Photo Gallery:


CSS 2024 m9
CSS 2024 m23
CSS 2024 m31
CSS 2024 m15
CSS 2024 m25
CSS 2024 m6
CSS 2024 m24
CSS 2024 m29
CSS 2024 m33
CSS 2024 m20
CSS 2024 m1
CSS 2024 m28
CSS 2024 m18
CSS 2024 m4
CSS 2024 m22
CSS 2024 m10
CSS 2024 m30
CSS 2024 m8


Stay updated with automotive news and reviews right at your fingertips through carandbike.com's Google News

Related Articles

Latest Reviews