Supercamp instructors soak the track with a fire hose during several sessions to keep students on their toes.
Last year our friends at Hot Bike magazine invited us to crawl out of our normal workday routines and throw a leg over some Yamaha TTR125's for a day of dirt track training from Danny Walker at American Supercamp
. For anyone who didn't follow '90s 250GP or endurance road racing, Danny Walker is a retired motorcycle pro who calls Colorado home when he isn't driving an unmarked semi 'cross country to host one of his bi-weekly speed seminars. By Danny's reckoning, he and his revolving staff of past, current and future motorcycle champs work one-on-one with 30 riders at 22 to 25 Supercamps per year. Crunch the numbers and that's 750 starry-eyed foot draggers every 12 months. Danny keeps the student head count low to ensure everyone regardless of gender, fortitude or experience gleans something meaningful during his tutelage. So impressed was our own Bill Bryant with Danny's curriculum, this year he booked a dozen seats in one of Supercamp’s two-day classes in SoCal for some of our staff. Loaded with Gringos, dirt-bike gear and ibuprofen, our motley crew of managers and marketing goons descended on the equestrian center in the City of Industry in early December for two days of bar banging, foot dragging and crippling physical misery on two wheels.
Coach Danny Walker's holeshot secrets were good for a few tenths into turn one.
GM Mike D (yellow helmet) and King of the B-Roll Flynn Bryant banged bars and swapped podium positions all day.
GO IN DEEPER, COME OUT HARDER
The training Danny and his talented protégés have developed over 25 years is simple but nuanced, and focuses on four obvious yet frustratingly illusive steps. During several half-hour lectures and over ten hours of track time over two days, Danny and his instructors—World Superbike standouts and aspiring road-race pros mostly, with the occasional dirt track legend or retired MotoGP star thrown in for good measure—badger and browbeat you into compliance with witty tips and tricks over a bullhorn, or right in your ear from the seat of a minibike passing you on the outside. That's right—these teachers don't merely teach, they rub their finely-honed track craft in your muddy face lap after exhausting lap. Watching each 10-man session from the stands looks like a Chinese fire drill at a flea circus; elbows flying, bodies falling, minibikes bouncing off hay bales faster than Danny can scream, "push down on the inside grip and r-o-l-l-l-l on the throttle, cupcake!" After each moto of ten students has practiced each drill two times in both directions, Danny calls the whole class to order to explain another skillset. When everyone is sufficiently smoked from the first four hours of track time, Danny magically shows up with tasty catering. Over Olive Garden or El Polo Loco, eager students break bread with helpful teachers to learn about life in the fast lane, or at least as fast as it gets on a 10-horse trail bike in a muddy bull ring.
Sponsored Biltwell dirt-track am "Filthy" Rich Silva showed McGoo the fast way around Supercamp track all weekend.
TEN PONIES IS PLENTY
Cynics and tough guys might be mumbling, "Ain't no dirt-track clown gonna smoke my ass on a shitty little 125!" Spoiler alert. Unless you live on the sharp end of the expert pack at your local MX park, you probably aren't fast enough to carry Danny's knee braces. at 5-foot-8 and 240 in riding gear, Danny Walker and I displace roughly the same amount of salsa at an all-you-can-eat taco bar. In one seven-lap speed session on day-two, the 54-year-old founder of Supercamp lapped me. Twice. The knowledge Danny and his fellow instructors impart for $550 per student is gold, and will make anyone regardless of bravery or experience a better rider, guaranteed. I paid attention, took notes, tried hard and still got passed by a third of the guys on our payroll. As the sun set on our second and final day of class, the guys and gal on Team Biltwell swapped stories of skills mastered, crashes survived and Tylenol swallowed. Two days after class my back was so jacked I couldn't stand up to pee. To anyone but the biggest bad ass on planet Dirt, American Supercamp is a bucket list experience you can't miss. -McGoo
Supercamp founder Danny Walker educates the masses while South African pro Cam Petersen, NorCal speed teen Josh Serne, teacher's pet Devil Dog and retired endurance road racer Robbie Petersen have a laugh.
Biltwell brand manager Bill Bryant came to race. His flamed Gringo proves it.
Muddy conditions tested Supercamp students to the limit. Gary passed with flying colors.
Supercamp seeded the three groups of trainees based on a quick interview during sign-ups. Group 2 was stacked with talent from Biltwell.
Breakfast of champions.
The younger Bryant showed his old man an inside wheel on more than one occasion. Flynn's aggression rarely stuck.
Biltwell's very own Kenzie rode like a champ. No powderpuff class for this throttle jockey.
Biltwell Supercamp graduating class of 2017: Bill Bryant, Mike Ellis, Rich Silva, Flynn Bryant, Erik Westergaard, Victor Offutt, Mike Deutsch, Kenzie Rosenquist, Geoff Kowalchuk and "Extra Special" McGoo
More info: American Supercamp