Ask Ping!

September 26, 2008 12:05pm | by:
  • Is this you?
Dear Ping,
This may be outside your area of expertise but I would like to get your thoughts on road riding etiquette because the sad truth is that I don’t get on my dirt bike nearly as much as I’m fortunate to ride my road bike to work. One of the cool things about motorcyclists is the fraternity and solidarity that transcends virtually all styles of riders whether it’s crotch rockets, cruisers, dual sports, hogs, supermotos or sport touring. It doesn’t matter if you are at a stoplight or riding past each other at a combined speed of 120 mph, there is almost always a salutation of some sort whether it’s a nod of the head or a gesture with the clutch hand. It’s our way of saying, “peace, nice bike, ride safely, two wheels are better than four, etc.”

I say virtually all styles riders because I’m not quite sure how to handle the growing number of scooter riders taking to the road these days, nor do they seem to be aware of this unspoken language. Part of me wants to sympathize with their efforts to save money on gas and applaud their entry into the world of two wheels and yet another part of me keeps hearing the old adage about mopeds and other forms of less attractive chassis, “they are fun to ride but don’t let your friends see you on one.”

So my question is, should I welcome these two-wheeled, red-headed step cousins into the brother/sisterhood of motorcycle sublimation and extend my good graces or would doing so be a bastardization of everything that is holy and sacrosanct about riding the world on two wheels? If you think they should be welcomed and indoctrinated with the proper respects then I will do my part to share the love. However, if you think that would be uncool, I could just as easily flip them off.

As usual, your advice is greatly appreciated.  



Dear Adam,
Oh, that’s a toughie. On the one hand you’re glad to see more people joining the brotherhood of all things two-wheeled, even if it is on a bike built for their little sister. On the other hand its kind of hard not to point and shout, “Haha!” like Nelson from The Simpson’s every time you see a man ride by on one of those emasculated machines. I’ll tell you what: Do your best to ignore them for now. There are plenty of great bikes out there, many of them very affordable and easy to ride, so they don’t have any excuse not to get a real machine and get rid of their current bike, which was built for passengers with female reproductive parts. If they don’t realize that they are embarrassing themselves after a certain amount of time than I will give you the green light to pull out your middle finger and get to work. Happy riding.


Dear Ping,
I was just reading Mike’s suggestion on building domes at the outdoor tracks and it got me thinking.  Why not have a combined Supercross/Motocross series?  After all, we have the World SX and AMA series combined (although scored separately).  You could run both series as they are now, just keep the points accumulating.  Wouldn’t it be interesting to see who could stay healthy, who could avoid bad luck, and who could stay consistent enough in both disciplines to earn a combined title?  Yes, it would make for a long season, but it might just be the next step for our beloved sport. After all, NASCAR has a very long season and they run road courses, short tracks, super speedways, etc. Most importantly, it would eliminate the issue of “SX only” deals…

If they AMA needs any help in sorting this out (and I’m sure they would)… I’d be happy to offer my services.  


MSgt John C. Becker

  • Stewart would love these
Dear MSgt Becker,
That is an interesting concept and certainly one that would alleviate the “SX only” issue. And it’s not nearly as ridiculous as Mike’s idea, which was so bad I felt like picking him up and shaking him violently and repeatedly until the handful of minutes of my life that were wasted by reading and responding to his letter fall out. Years ago they used to have a separate supercross and motocross title and at the end of the year they would crown a Grand National Champion by determining which rider had earned the most points in both series combined. Wrangler sponsored it and they even put up some money to the winner. There are a few caveats in your suggestion. First, the two series are owned by different entities so getting them to come together could be difficult. And the idea of a 26 round series might scare some riders out of the sport altogether. Stewart seems like he is just waiting for the right time to make his move to NASCAR and that might be the shove he needs. I would hate to see us lose riders by making that switch. On the other hand, it would be great to have one rider crowned champion at the end of the year. Staying healthy would become such a big part of the series. If you get hurt now you can sit out one series and make a strong run in the other. That wouldn’t be the case in this scenario. The truth is that I would just love to see James Stewart rocking a pair of Wrangler jeans. That would be awesome. Here’s my vote for next years 26 round dirt bike world championships.


  • Um, what is that?
Hey Ping,

Is it just me, or does the Red Bull Moto X of Nations symbol look like a giant wiener? Why do you think Red Bull did this? Is it some kind of subliminal message? Second Q, why is it that females who ride motocross look so incredibly sexy while they are riding/wearing their gear even if they are physically ugly off of the bike.


Dear Dan,
I hadn’t noticed that the logo is a massive phallic symbol until you mentioned it. And it seems to be a leaking as well. I have to believe that this is just an unfortunate coincidence though. And I will agree that we have some cute girls that race motocross but I’m going to have to stop short of saying that all of them are pushing the mercury on the hotness scale. I’ve seen more than a few that look like they should be playing on the defensive line for the Oakland Raiders. One particular chick from Europe even bears an uncanny resemblance to Ivan Drago from one of the Rocky sequels. So, anyway, good luck hooking up with one of those gals. Don’t forget your shoulder pads, jock strap and cleats.