One Day at BMW's Performance Center - Issue #13

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Adam Chandler on Motorcycles
One Day at BMW's Performance Center - Issue #13
By Adam Chandler • Issue #13 • View online
This newsletter exclusive is a summary of my long-form blog post about my day taking part in BMW MOA’s Premiere Training at the Performance Center in Greer, SC for one day on April 17th, 2021

When the trainer yelled out at me to do the cone exercises around a paved track with just one hand then alternate hands the next ride through, I had a rush of pride and pleasure come over me. It was great that I showed enough skill that he trusted I could take on the course with just one hand but I also wish I could have stayed all day on the off-road course where I felt most at home. The group’s sense of relief when we broke for lunch and heard we would come back to the on-road training was clear. Everyone was thrilled to be off dirt and I was longing to be back on it.
I wish I could sell you on attending MOA’s Premiere Training but this program sells out the first week it goes on sale every year. I believe they had 8 dates for training in 2021 and all are sold out with 14 seats per date. It’s incredibly popular because of the insane value you get. Less than $1000 for 2 nights in a hotel, 5 meals, transportation, a day at BMW and the use of one of their bikes. I won’t go next year so that someone else can get a chance to experience this awesome program.
The BMW U.S. Rider Academy in South Carolina is a big play place. It’s over 100 acres and shares the facilities with BMW’s M-Performance Center. The sound of inline 6 cylinder turbocharged cars and their exhaust pops just over the hill from us was tantalizing. The rider training areas is made up of about three by my count off-road areas, one wooded and one most dessert / clay and an on-road track area offering up a nice sweeping roughly 1-mile track figure-8 with a nice long straight of about half a mile..it goes fast and on an R1250GS, you won’t hit 100 before having to brake.
Here’s our Off-Road Training Syllabus for the 4-hours:
  • Balancing the bike while stationary (moving around it on foot), proper mounting, dismount and center stand deploymnet
  • Enduro Warmups (side-saddle, moving around the bike while riding it for 6 laps)
  • Trial Stops (stop to zero, don’t stall or drop the bike, start again before you lose balance)
  • Throttle/Brake/Friction Zone Exercises
  • Dragging the front brake exercise. Get 20 MPH on the speedo, keep throttle on, lock up the front tire for a second then release and do those for 150 feet on gravel. Gives you good feeling of brake and tire traction and resistance without ABS
  • Semi-advanced slalom work around cones requiring full lock of the steering
  • Panic Braking of ABS on, Off, Enduro Pro and semi-ABS on front & rear brakes from 2nd gear 25 MPH
  • Enduro Course exercises (traveling through trees, water crossing, between obstacles in the woods)
  • Rutted/Whoopties/Washboard exercises with random stops and starts added by the trainers
Here is On-Road Training:
  • Group run of the course at a fairly high speed to work off the cookies we just consumed
  • Tight cone slalom focusing on brake & clutch control and full lock turning with body positioning focus. 4 of my 10 runs, I touched no cones
  • Counter steer both left & right. Get to 35 MPH, get in sight of a cone in your way and avoid this without cutting power or touching the brake
  • Road course with descending space simulating two cars that you slowly go through while maintaining balance
  • Two, 1×4 pieces of wood you can go between or ride on top of to focus on balance and your line
  • Full stop, foot down and technique for this
  • Trials stops (no foot down) on pavement
  • Large sweeping slalom of cones where the cones were 8 feet wide and about 6 feet deep so basically if you go through the left cone, 6 feet later you’re passing the next cone which sits 8 feet to the right. I hope that makes sense? It requires full body control and bike control 
  • Braking in an emergency which was fantastic. We started by disabling ABS, climbing to 40 miles per hour and just locking up the rear brake to a stop. Then we turned on ABS and did rear brake only and finally 60 miles per hour front & rear, ABS on. I messed up on the ABS-Off exercise by engaging front & rear brake and luckily, knew what I was doing and just locked up both wheels to a slide without any ill effects
  • Finally, 30 minutes of on and off road track time. We navigated another enduro course that’s more sand, water and exposed roots, a few hill climbs, more gravel and larger rocks then we moved over to the BMW M-Track for 6 laps with no rules other than no-passing
Again, just a taste of what the 2-day off road or 2-day on-road courses offer but still, a jam-packed 8 hours and somehow we found time to eat lunch as well.
I plan to return to Greer in August when I’m down in NC for the BMW Riders Association National Rally and take a 1-day private lesson with one of their instructors. Then, I’ll be back September 4th and 5th for the BMW GS Trophy Qualifier where I’ll try to be the top rider of roughly 100 people in order to win a chance to represent Team USA in Albania in 2022.
I hope you enjoyed this bit of photos and text. Be sure to read the blog post OR check out the video I put together of my time at the Performance Center. Thanks so much for reading! If you enjoyed this, please forward it to a friend or share the link on Facebook. I appreciate it.
BMW Performance Center Riding On/Off-Road Training (GS Trophy Preparation / MOA Premiere Training)
BMW Performance Center Riding On/Off-Road Training (GS Trophy Preparation / MOA Premiere Training)
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Adam Chandler

This is my weekly ramblings about motorcycling. For the most part, these will be editorials you will have seen in regional and national motorcycle publications or longer posts and ride-reports as seen on ADVRider.com. Occasionally, I will post content here that is exclusive to paid subscribers and eventually be made free for all. Thank you.

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