Ask Ping

February 13, 2006 8:23am | by:

Dear Ping,

For Sale: 1994 RM125
photo: Fran Kuhn
I have a little story that you guys might think is interesting.  I finally got around to putting my '94 Suzuki RM125 up for sale, and I never paid much attention to the pink slip.  I bought the bike back in 2000 and shortly after bought a CR250R.  I looked on the pink slip and instantly recognized David Pingree’s name as the seller! But I thought that it might just be a coincidence in names.  I then noticed Nathan Fletcher's name on there and, being a surfer, recognized his name as a pro surfer and remembered that he is an avid dirt biker.  I looked it up and saw that he was featured in an old Alpinestars video called What Up. I bought the video and in the video, Nathan is seen riding an RM125 which I have a feeling could be my bike. Let me know if you guys have any other history on this.  Thanks for a great mag and keep up the good work.
Jeremy Havlik

Dear Jeremy,
That is indeed my old bike. Back in 1994 I was a Suzuki support rider, and part of my deal was that I could sell my bikes at the end of each year. Randy Lawrence, who trains Nick Wey and Ryan Villopoto now, was my mechanic and roommate back then. Randy had been in the industry long enough back then that he had made connections in all kinds of different sports. Somehow, he knew that Nathan Fletcher was looking for a bike when it was time to sell our bikes at the end of the year. So, after I had beaten up on it for an entire season, I passed it along to Mr. Fletcher. Now, knowing Nathan, he probably put some hard miles on that thing as well. In fact, he probably crashed it, caught it on fire just
to light his cigarette off of it, rode it into the ocean, and then threw it off a cliff. A short time after all this, he sold it to an honest, unsuspecting soul: you. Looking back at all of that, I have a hard time believing that it still runs, but if it does, it is a testament to the quality craftsmanship of those engineers at Suzuki of Japan. That bike has been through more destruction than any piece of machinery has a right to, and it is still ticking. So I salute that 1994 RM125. And to whatever sorry bastard makes the uneducated decision to buy it from you, I only want to say “buyer, beware.” And “good luck.”

Dear Ping,
You’re a former pro—who has the best chance of finally to knocking off the GOAT and taking his SX crown?
MXLazarus (

Will James Reed dethrone RC?
photo: Simon Cudby
I think the guy on TV said it best: James Reed.

Hey Ping.

I really like your column. The only thing I can't stand about you is your constant bitching and nagging about the food when you travel outside the U.S. When I read you retired from the Chinese team and you being scared of
their bike—the Tornado—I immediately knew it had nothing to do with the
bike. It was the food, wasn't it?
Jeffrey Beerdsen. The Netherlands

Dear Jeffrey,
It’s obvious that you don’t know anything about the Tornado or European food. Let’s see if we can draw any comparisons. The food in Europe and the Tornado both make me nauseous. Europeans and the Tornado both smoke too much. Europeans don’t use ice in any of their drinks, preferring everything at room temperature, while the Tornado bike is just “not cool.” Europeans like to eat snails, while the Tornado is one….
    Wait a minute, why am I explaining myself to you? You’re from the Netherlands. You’re probably higher than a giraffe’s ass in some “weed bar” in Amsterdam. I guess when you have the munchies that bad, any kind of food will taste good. The fact is, I love Chinese food. I’ve probably eaten more Chinese food in my lifetime than Jackie Chan. The real problem here is that food sucks on your continent. It’s barely even edible. So think about that when you set your joint down, hop on a community bicycle, and pedal yourself home. Peace out, Jeffrey.

(Have a question for David Pingree? E-mail!)