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View Full Version : Track day market "cornered" by Superbike School



Johnny in Oz
01-20-2005, 10:05 PM
I've just finished surfing around the various track day sites so's I can prioritise my calendar and noticed that the Australian Superbike School is now officially the only track day provider at Eastern Creek as well as PI.

The others (MotoConcepts, Circuit Breakers and Filco etc) are all being quiet on the issue but nonetheless posting their last ride days at the Creek in February.

I'm not sure this is a healthy development. Witness the almost 100% increase in price for the weekday events ($199!) and weekends at $219. These are'nt even for the Premium Ride Days they used to do.

Don't get me wrong. I've always been a big fan of the ASS approach to running track days and happy to pay an appropriate premium for this, but this looks and smells like a monopoly to me and I'm pressed to think of a single monopoly which has been anything but self-serving for the monopoly itself.

There are also ramifications up and down the line of supply with the photos, suspension tuning etc. Who knows, it could turn out to be a good thing, but somehow I'm not so sure and it'll be a while before the dust settles.

Anyone have any more info on this?

John

Exdukenut
01-20-2005, 11:14 PM
I don't disagree with most of what you say John, but in my last conversation with Brouggy, just before Xmas, he indicated to me that it was put to TENDER, and ALL the track day promoters were given the opportunity, by the Eastern Creek Mgmt, to submit proposals. I also understand that, the other short listed crowd were the Stay Upright crew.

Part of the proposal was to incorporate a COMPLETE package of rider training, and track days.

Also the circuit hiring costs have been hiked by the Mgmt.

Another thing to be aware of is the fleet of bikes and gear now available from ASS for hire at days or schools! Important to some but not to me, but they do have to cover there costs associated with this.

I for one will see how it pans out, and have subsequently booked the 18th March (Fri) and I think May 23rd or 25th?) a Wed. Got 10% off for booking before 10th Jan. I'm happy with the $179ea. And I certainly don't mind paying the $200 for a well run and safe (squidless) track day.

:cool:

Johnny in Oz
01-20-2005, 11:47 PM
I don't disagree with most of what you say John, but in my last conversation with Brouggy, just before Xmas, he indicated to me that it was put to TENDER, and ALL the track day promoters were given the opportunity, by the Eastern Creek Mgmt, to submit proposals. I also understand that, the other short listed crowd were the Stay Upright crew.

Part of the proposal was to incorporate a COMPLETE package of rider training, and track days.

Also the circuit hiring costs have been hiked by the Mgmt.

Another thing to be aware of is the fleet of bikes and gear now available from ASS for hire at days or schools! Important to some but not to me, but they do have to cover there costs associated with this.

I for one will see how it pans out, and have subsequently booked the 18th March (Fri) and I think May 23rd or 25th?) a Wed. Got 10% off for booking before 10th Jan. I'm happy with the $179ea. And I certainly don't mind paying the $200 for a well run and safe (squidless) track day.

:cool:

Leigh I'm sure the matrix of issues involved in arriving at the ride day price is more complex than we probably care to know about, but I'm just trying to keep it simple: We now have a monopoly and the price doubles. Bingo!

I'm forever doing what I can to foster competition in the market. The more the better from the consumer's perspective. Keeps all the players on their toes.

In my last conversation with Brouggy he was talking about leaving the Sydney market all together because of the cut-throat pricing approach taken by the local players. I strongly encouraged him (as did you if I recall correctly) to hang in there because of the superiority of his product, the crappy experiences with the squids, yada yada yada. Next thing you know he's the last man standing. Well I never saw that one coming.

For all I know the current monopoly situation is entirely the result of the strategy taken by Eastern Creek mangement, or the result of poor management on the part of the other Ride Day players etc. Who knows?

I want to emphasise I have nothing against ASS, far from it. I just reckon something smells and hope it does'nt all come back to bite the punters.

BTW, March 18th sounds good to me. :D

John

AdamT
01-21-2005, 12:27 AM
I can't speak for Eastern Creek, but at Phillip Island, the daily fee to hire the track doubled just after Lindsey Fox completed the first of the upgrades to the circuit. Unfortunately for the ride day punters this cost means increased fees to attend a track day.

I beleive Lindsey Fox also tendered for the rights to run track days. Other people can get access to the track eg: Honda Riders Club, but Superbike School is the co-ordinator of the ride day.

Good on Steve and the crew at ASBK school. They have been providing a great service for many years.

... that reminds me, time to book in for the March 24th track day that some of the Melbourne crew are already booked in for!

Adam

tofoz
01-25-2005, 12:37 AM
Johnny,

Agree with you that this looks suspiciously like a monopoly set-up – I posted a reply to similar effect on the Falco forum last week.

Yes, my understanding was that there was a tender process and a number of track day companies were invited. Whatever, the end result has been a huge increase in the fees being collected (however it’s been carved up) - great for the track manager and / or the ride day operator, but tough shit on the poor old customer.

Superbike school offer a great product, but there are (were) others…

Interestingly, Jamie Spence at Circuit Breakers have changed from ride days to now offering “Race Schools” at the Creek – so looks like these style of events can still be run by different operators.

Exdukenut
01-25-2005, 01:36 AM
Johnny,

Interestingly, Jamie Spence at Circuit Breakers have changed from ride days to now offering “Race Schools” at the Creek – so looks like these style of events can still be run by different operators.

If that's the case then it certainly isn't a monopoly! What you may find however, like the PI circuit, with others (coys), "allowed" to do days, is that ASS may be, the controlling party though.

:cool:

PS You going to join us on March 18th (Fri)?

Johnny in Oz
01-25-2005, 02:03 AM
Yep. Just 7 "Race Schools" for Circuit Breakers at EC this year.

Technically of course it's not a monopoly, since EC management has a right to extend exclusive rights to anyone it likes and if ASS are the successful tenderers then so be it.

Then again, if it looks like one and smells like one . . . .

On the other hand the last thing that ASS would want is for someone like James Spence to jump up and down about ASS "controlling" the show and claim some relief thru the Trade Practices Act. Not that I've thought it thru completely, just a hunch. ;)

Meanwhile, I'm there for the 18th March. The kids may just have to go without some food and maybe I'll have to get a second job, but I guess that's the sort of sacrifice required to pay for the ever-increasing cost of my ride day habit. :D

John

Exdukenut
01-25-2005, 07:49 PM
At $299 for 49 riders only for the day, (and appears to be a sort of Premium Ride Day, ala ASS when they first came to town), it ain't exactly cheap either, by the way. But the instructors names would ring bells for some to go and do it.

Also, a Race School, doesn't exactly set you up for road riding, or am I way off on this one?

:cool:

tofoz
01-26-2005, 06:38 PM
My comments about a monopoly refers to the ability of other operators to run just ride days – that appears to now be firmly under the control of ASS – there’s no one else at EC.

Talking to the Circuit Breakers crowd, I think that their Race School is set up more as alternative to ASS Cornering Schools. I see that to do the Race School requires a 1 day MA licence (which does cost). So yes, they could be seen either as a “premium ride day”, or perhaps as a cheaper alternative to the Cornering School (for which ASS now charge $400).

Unfortunately, can’t make 18 March – I’ve got rellies in town. Although that does raise a thought – perhaps I can sell a grandmother or two to help pay for a few more days at EC? :D

Exdukenut
01-27-2005, 12:40 AM
Although that does raise a thought – perhaps I can sell a grandmother or two to help pay for a few more days at EC? :D

No grandmas, but young and nubile blonde daughters are gratefully accepted, in lieu of payments for track days! :D :D :D

:cool:

Exdukenut
01-30-2005, 04:31 PM
The Mt White cafe, had paper handouts, asking people to sign petitions against the increase in prices for the days from ASS. Interesting.

OZSLR
01-31-2005, 06:21 AM
$175 gets me premium tickets to a Kylie concert, $199 gets me 6 x 20 minute sessions at the island with the premium track day providers (IMHO). That's money well spent :p:

Try getting your racing licence (almost $400) and then paying your fees for a race day (starting around $150). I reckon at $199, it's money well spent. The other thing you have to consider, is public liablitity insurance. Over the past few years, this has skyrocketed. Also, what's the cost fo getting nabbed at >30K's over the speed limit ?????

$199 seems a good investment to me !

Johnny in Oz
01-31-2005, 05:28 PM
$175 gets me premium tickets to a Kylie concert, $199 gets me 6 x 20 minute sessions at the island with the premium track day providers (IMHO). That's money well spent :p:

Try getting your racing licence (almost $400) and then paying your fees for a race day (starting around $150). I reckon at $199, it's money well spent. The other thing you have to consider, is public liablitity insurance. Over the past few years, this has skyrocketed. Also, what's the cost fo getting nabbed at >30K's over the speed limit ?????

$199 seems a good investment to me !


I appreciate the humour. But I figured out a long time ago that a tonne of bananas does not equal a tonne of coal, even if the price is the same.

And if you extend the logic on price then where does it stop being good value?

Let's be honest about this. Greed is the Word. OTW we would have been inundated with all the press releases under the sun extolling the economic/safety issues for these changes. Instead, all we get in the mags is ads from ASS and something about the EC managment wanting a greater say in how ride days are run. :rolleyes:

Why did'nt they just stipulate this in the contract with the promoters?

I'm not saying I'm dead right about all this, but I want to be convinced I'm wrong and there's just no sign of it out there.

John

OZSLR
01-31-2005, 05:59 PM
I understand completely where you are coming from and I guess with the increasing risks/costs associated with enjoying our pastime outside the envelope on public roads, Track days become more attractive (only option) which increases the value of them (as an asset) to those that have them, and the owners of the curcuits have the key resource.

We now as you say, have a monopoly with EC and PI and that means little to no competition = prices will rise not necessarily associated with costs.

I don't think we can blame the ride day operators, they would simply have to tender at a level that would hopefully see them guarenteeing their bid, then pass on the costs through invididual fees. I am sure if one of the other providers had been successful, they would do same, that's business and I guess ASS (and Stay upright) were seen as the most viable, as they cover skills training, bike set up and ride days. The track owners obviously see a growth market and are looking to invest heavily in infrastructure and then recoup costs + profits.

So I guess I just look at it that $199 for the time being buys me a lot of fun. And try not to think about the cost too much at this point. But the apparent corporatisation of our pastime is raising a lot of concerns of which I share not only for ride days, but as an attendee of racing events also.

Johnny in Oz
01-31-2005, 06:25 PM
Seems we're on the same wavelength Trevor. And I should be up front about being a vocal critic in the past of some of the unsuccessful operators at EC. In some ironic sense their shoddy, amateurish practices have brought about this whole situation.

Regrettably, I can only manage to get to maybe a handful of track days a year and shall keep going along with the ASS in control - I've certainly never had reason to complain in the past. On the contrary, I've taken the time to give Steve Brouggy the positive feedback he well deserves.

But I don't like being taken for a mug and hope the ASS does not get complacent.

BTW Trevor, did I bump into you at the Eden Motel on the way to the MotoGP last year? I was the guy with the dented Factory.

John

mike71
02-01-2005, 04:32 AM
$199 is a lot for a track day IMO

Sure my race license cost $280, and club membership $25

BUT $200-$250 gets me two days of club racing.

6 races, 4 practice sessions and 2 qualifying periods.

I'm not saying everyone should go racing (why not though?)

Just pointing out $199 isn't a bargain. I can't afford to race every weekend (I'm budgeting $2500 for this years entry fees if all goes to plan) but at $199 for a ride day racing isn't a bad option.

Now that the cost of a track day is $199 I'm hoping that stays fairly constant over the next 3 years. Given a 5 year deal on the track, pricing should be stable.

If the fee stays at $199 for a few years I'll be happy and do a few days when I can, but if fees go up every year for the next 5 years it's back to the streets for me. :crybaby:

OZSLR
02-04-2005, 06:13 AM
Mmmmm, I'm sure I posted a reply here :( Yes John, it was me at Eden. You were understandably not happy.

I'll be doing a similar run for supers, meeting a mate from Sydney on the Friday night and probably the same again for GP.

If you are ever down our way, let us know.

The Dr.Jon
02-24-2005, 02:51 PM
Whingeing Ozzies ;)
Just be thankful that you are able to ride on the Philip Island track. It has to be my favourite of the Moto GP and WSB season (and on Playstation)!
:peace:

vp rsvmille
02-24-2005, 05:32 PM
Yep. Phillip Isle is a bloody marvelous track and I have spent a glorious 4 days of riding it - not nearly enough though cos it's hard to commit to 1000kms of travelling to get there. And I will be going again in Nov this year about 2 weeks after the MotoGP.

Even though cost has risen slightly, the mob I'm going with (Garage Motorcycles - Aprilia dealer) are charging $550 for 2 week days and that includes 3 night accommodation + continental breakfast.

Our local track (Mallala) in SA aint too bad and only costs $80 per practice day.

Exdukenut
02-24-2005, 11:29 PM
Our local track (Mallala) in SA aint too bad and only costs $80 per practice day.

Yeh, but the circuit, is an incredibly dinky circuit! :D :D What 5 or 6 corners all up! :D Good luck to ASS, they run a great day, period!

Hows it going Vlad? House underway? Built?

Rgds

TTYS

:cool:

Johnny in Oz
02-25-2005, 12:24 AM
Did everyone else on the ASS mailing list get an email from Steve Brouggy explaining what's heen happening with Eastern Creek Ride Days, or was it just me? It acknowledged that "there has been much discussion about the operation of Eastern Creek Ride Days . . . " much of which is " . . . grossly inaccurate . . . creating the 'Chinese Whisper' effect . . . (causing) . . a great deal of confusion amongst regular Eastern Creek Ride Day attendees"

Boy, Steve's got his ear close to the ground eh?

Not that I'm paranoid or anything. Just goes to show that there is indeed some heat in this debate.

This is clever stuff from ASS. And good marketing to boot. At the very least it's showing that he does not take the market for granted. That's all I wanted to see. The calibre of the ASS team and its organisation shall take care of the rest.

FWIW.

Now I'm off for a 3 day ride down to the Snowies. :bump:

John

Scot p
02-25-2005, 01:56 AM
Did the Circutbreakers ride day yesterday at EC, what a mess, no corner marshals, only the start flag and a spoter up near corprate hill, nearly every incident ended in a red flag, they had about 200 people split over 4 groups, never again with that mob, I'm left with doing the big $$ SBK days or doing Oran park with Champions or Filco...

I only got 5 sessions due to the constant stuffing around , but was still fun to throw the tuono around the track, not real happy with my times best that i timed was a 2'13 in some traffic on worn out 207rr's (7000k's on them).

R1_Paul
02-26-2005, 08:44 PM
I agree that this whole monopoly is not conducive to an easily affordable trackday but hopefully there will be some positive results to come from it in the form of services (eg. Raven Racing provide a tyre service at ASS PI trackdays). I am yet to see how Eastern Creek runs, but I would imagine that it would be similar to PI under ASS.

Speaking of which, is anyone heading out to the Creek soon? I've just moved into western Sydney with work and am bloody keen to head out there :D

Exdukenut
02-27-2005, 03:42 PM
Friday, March 18th is my next day with ASS ride days. We have a couple of Aprilias coming out, and an old Duke, for starters. You are more than welcome to join us.

The ASS days are well run with minimum 5 flag point/marshalls, plus start finish line. Still ain't going to stop the "crashers" though, just better controlled, and 35 people on the track maximum.

:cool:

vp rsvmille
02-28-2005, 01:46 AM
What 5 or 6 corners all up!

Ya know, it's not the quantity but the quality that counts. :p: And I think there's 9 corners.

House is built. Moved in on 17 Dec 04. I now have a paved driveway and path to the clothes line + 0.4m x 3m of established garden.

Hey Paul!! How's the new gig? Did ya get any better times at PI on the two-fiddy? BTW, Paul loves Mallala and so does his R1!! :D :D

R1_Paul
02-28-2005, 04:40 AM
Too right Vlad, I love Mallawalahlala :) But I think my bikes got a bit jealous after I kissed the ground there on more than one occasion :p:

Where did you end up moving to?

The new gig is ok, still waiting to see what it has to offer. My best times on the 250 were down to 1:54's, which I was very happy with. On the R1 I got down to 1:51's which I guess is ok for my first time, it surprised me how close the times were. It makes me really appreciate the 250 :D:

vp rsvmille
02-28-2005, 08:16 PM
Moved to Northgate. Was very busy over Dec/Jan moving, putting floors down, trenching/installing 85m of stormwater blah blah blah.

Your times at PI are not that shabby really. I wish I still had my rs.

Peter S
03-02-2005, 01:01 AM
Apparently the Phillip Island track management has cancelled the Superbike school's March 24 track day because it wants to use the track for another purpose. An interesting development. The school is tied up contractually and will have to cop it. They can't go elsewhere. And what will stop the track owner from doing it again?

Johnny in Oz
03-02-2005, 09:03 PM
Just got an email from the ASS offerring $99 track days during March.

Market economies are so cool.

See y'all on the 18th. :)

John