Ask Ping!

Hey Ping!

How would I go about getting an autographed picture of Johnny O'Hannah?  That guy rocks!  I love reading the stories he tells.  The picture he's signing in the autograph session with Weinert and LaPorte looks like it might be pretty cool (I can't see all of it).  Any idea where his next appearance will be?

Michael W. Smith

  • Believe it or not this man could kill you with one strand of hair from that afro wig.
Dear Michael,

There’s no telling where Johnny O’Hannah might be. I don’t know if you know this about him but he has some crazy top-secret job with the government. His fanaticism for motocross is eclipsed only by the possibility that he has killed a man with his bare hands. Respect.



I have been riding and racing since I was 13. I have not raced in a few years but I still ride every other weekend with my kids. I have 4 kids now and since all my kids are starting to ride including my 4 year old, I think my family should be awarded a full factory ride next year. They all have the potential to be great riders one day and with a factory ride, we will ride their bikes every weekend and will promise to be loyal from this day forward to the team that sponsors us. 

Ok, all political B.S aside, we really need a factory ride. With the price of these bikes today going up like they are, I can’t see getting a new bike unless the motor seizes. Then, only because the cost of replacement parts are so high, it’s cheaper to just get a new one.

 While I was in the store the other day, I did notice that the new 2009 bike prices had dropped to $5995.00 because they can’t sell them. I guess I will get to my point. How does the motorcycle and accessory manufactures think they can continue to charge such lofty prices for their goods? If I can go and get a new 2010 car for just over $10,000 how can it cost $8,000 for a dirt bike? Don’t even get me started on $400 helmets, $300 boots,  $250 neck brace, $150 pants,  $100 roost guard, $50 goggles, $30 gloves, and for god sakes, $30 underwear.  Then there is the whole parts issue. It used to be you could do a top end on a bike for less than $50. I can’t even complain about labor unions as the cause of the high prices since I’m sure it’s all “made in China” anyway.

I don’t see how your average 16 year old, want to be pro, could ever afford to race each year without a sponsorship or wealthy parents. With the minimum wage at $16,500 a year, you need to make a lot of money to get a new bike a gear.  I think the industry needs to look closely to how the motorcycle sales are going down each year as they continue to raise prices. Frankly, people just can’t afford their prices anymore. I remember a few years back when my local dealer would sell over a 100 bikes a year. They might sell 20 this year only because of the New Yamaha.

What are your thoughts? Have we hit a price plateau yet our do you think they just think it’s a down economy and everything will be better next year?


  • Here's an idea: Sky Team bikes for everyone!
Dear Carl,

I understand your plight but since Ivan Tedesco is still looking for a factory ride I don’t think your chances are very good. But you bring up a good question: Have the manufacturers priced themselves right out of business? The new Yamaha is nearly $10,000 out the door! I’m in the process of buying a used truck right now for half that amount. Still, people are buying them. From what I hear you have to get on a waiting list to get one of those new bikes. Who are these people that still have money to spend? If the total number of bikes sales keeps dropping though there will have to be a price correction. How is that going to work? Maybe they could go back to selling bikes with steel handlebars? There’s $20 right there. Maybe we go back to two-strokes? I don’t have the answer but it might be something we have to face eventually. As you said, not many kids can afford to work hard for one summer and then go pick up a good used bike. More realistic is that little Johnny has to work at the mall selling hot dogs and lemonade in one of those ridiculous hats for two years saving every last dime he makes and he still doesn’t have enough money to buy an old P.O.S. 250F. Out of frustration he’ll end up spending the money on an exhaust system for his beat-up Honda Civic because he wants to be like Paul Walker from 2 Fast 2 Furious. That spirals into a terrible street racing habit that ends in a very serious accident or multiple speeding citations. Sorry, Tokyo Drift was on HBO last night. Damn that Paul Walker and his chiseled abs! Carl, either commit to spending all your money on dirt bikes or get your kids into soccer. Good luck.


  • Say

There’s lots of talk on the web about why Stewart pulled out of the last night in Bercy. Original reports said he was sick but there’s a lot of skeptics. I read that he didn’t want to get beat and a bunch of other stuff. Do you know what really happened?

Scotty B.

Dear Scotty,

Yeah, I know what happened. James ate some bad crepes and he was crapping his pants. It’s pretty simple. Have you ever tried heading to start line with your ring piece stuck on full-throttle? It’s hard enough to grip the seat of a fast 450 when you don’t have an even coat of colon grease in your shorts. Don’t act like it’s never happened to you. Can we please just leave this topic alone? James handed everyone their rear ends for two nights straight and he would have done it again. Please, drop this subject and show some respect for James “Poopy Pants” Stewart.