They met during a 40th birthday bash, a Porsche driving camp to be exact. So it was only fitting that they would both come to a Broxy Bootcamp- except that one Stephane had loads of dirtbike experience while the other had none. Any normal human being would take a long time to catch up, but this one had an advantage.
Coming from a background of racing sail boats in the America’s Cup circles combined with many laps around race tracks on four wheels, this Stephane knew a thing or two. He instinctively knew to keep the entry to his turns open, a skill I had to spend more time teaching the others to do. You see, Stephane had very few bad habits to break because it was all basically new to him, and that was a very good thing.
Something of a disadvantage was his bike. A road legal WR250F, it had been ridden across Canada before being shipped to NZ. Quite the story, but far too soft for motocross conditions.
After a day and a half of making do with the blue beast we were finally able to persuade him on to my CRF250R, which he did enjoy. He compared it to the revelation he discovered at that Porsche driving camp, showing just how much better the focused machines were suited to the race track. Now we could really get stuck in.
Jumping is not something that I have to teach people, but it really is a natural progression. Stephane had proven he could hold the right standing position and even do the beginnings of a whip, so I was confident that we could help him get up and over the main step up. All he needed was to accelerate his rear wheel right off the upramp with his head past the handlebars, which he did. I think he was hoping for more than that, but this was literally his first time riding a dirt bike. I thought it was pretty darn impressive.
The other Stephane and our friend Zakk had to fight old habits a bit harder, but we definitely helped Stephane carry more corner speed around the berms, he just needed to commit to leaning further in the ruts. Zakk accomplished his main goal of whipping better, suddenly clicking on the last day with whips both ways. No doubt he will be practicing that up hard and should go far with it.
My CRF may not be the Porsche 911 of dirtbikes, but it certainly gave one rider a better idea of what is possible off road. Will we see him on dirt bikes more often? He did say that he would be keen for another camp sometime, so I certainly don’t think we put him off.