Ask Ping!Friday, January 19, 2007 | 9:46 AM
What ever happened to Jeff “I Aaint No Chicken” Matiasevich? It crossed my mind the other day at work. I remember I had an old training video he made awhile ago. Did he go Japanese or something?
Brandon Dalpoggetto. Grass Valley, CA
Chicken at the Daytona SX in the early 90s photo: Racer X Archives
What kind of question is “Did he go Japanese or something?” To be totally honest, I’m not even sure how to respond to that. I mean, he did go to Japan to race toward the end of his career. He won a pair of national championships there and then got fired for having too many tattoos. Or is “going Japanese” some kind of gen-Y lingo that I am unaware of? Does it mean, like, his eyes got squinty and he disappeared for a while? I’m not sure what the heck you want to know. But Chicken is living in SoCal and working at his dad’s produce distribution company. He shows up at random events throughout the year and even competes at the Day in the Dirt GP and the occasional Supermoto race. Hope that answers your question. I’d hate to see you go all Taiwanese on me or something.
Chicken at the Daytona SX in the early 90s
photo: Racer X Archives
Maybe you could shed some light on something for me. Is it my perception, or is it really difficult to restart a four-stroke motorcycle? It seems like if a racer stalls the thing during a race, half the field gets by before the bike will go again. It was painful to watch this happen at the recent Toronto Supercross to Troy Adams and of course Ricky Carmichael. What do you think the deal is? Also, do you think you will be doing any Canadian races next year? It would be awesome to see a racer of your caliber up North. Heck, with the way you’re going you’ll have a single digit racing number in Canada soon.
Dear Jeff, Ping's Idol
Thank you, Captain Obvious. It’s obvious to me that you haven’t been following the sport for the last five years, because that has been one of the main issues in four-stroke competition motorcycle development. Hey, crawl back into the cave you’ve been calling home for the last five years and then pop out in another five and ask when electronic fuel injection is going to hit the market.
I’m sorry if that response seemed a bit Simon Cowell-ish but my blood sugar is low right now and I’m a little cranky.
I know you’re bombarded with a great deal of “what kind of bike” questions, but I find myself in the same predicament. I am 5’11 between 175-180lbs and I ride the Novice class. I love my 2005 YZ250F but I need some updated equipment. My buddy suggests that I get a 450. Although I would have great race results in the 250 novice class I find the step to the monster a little hard to swallow; 450s just seem so heavy to me and furthermore I feel like the bike is riding me instead of vice versa. College has really put a damper on my racing, so I usually try to race about twelve times a year if I can; the rest of the time I am riding motos at local tracks. Although I grew up with four younger brothers my mother never submitted to the mini-van lifestyle, she didn’t want to admit that she was getting old; do you think I am going through the same syndrome? Should I step up to the 450 and beat up on guys more my own age or get another 250F and pray for my life every time I line up on a gate of more than thirty insane 125C riders all age 16 and below with the common goal of getting their 1st place trophy and not pissing their dads off? I definitely have 3 years left until I can even think about the vet. class. Your advice is very valuable oh great ping, master of all things motocross. I need your guidance!
Travis “Tiki” Barber. Wilmington, North Carolina UNCW
The cure for the common mid-life crises
Listen up, Tiki, because you and every other person that asks me this same question really need to get this. You aren’t getting paid to race motorcycles. That means the only reason you do ride bikes is for the enjoyment. So, if flapping around off the back of a 450 with a white-knuckle death grip is your idea of a good time, then a big bike is definitely for you. But maybe you should do yourself a favor and buy a 250F. You’ll have more fun riding it, save some money on the price, and your odds of losing control and crashing violently into the grandstands will be significantly reduced. Besides, everyone knows that mid-life crises are best dealt with by purchasing a new Porche 911 turbo. Good luck.
The cure for the common mid-life crises
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Playing soccer on 250cc motorcycles might sound like a strange form of riding, but in Russia they do it with great passion—and for very little reward. Page 112.