Ask Ping!

Ask Ping!

August 30, 2013 9:45am

Mr. Pingree,

Long time listener, first time caller. So here is my question: Do any of the top racers ever go ride for fun? I started racing in the early 90’s and as a kid, I always looked forward to seeing videos like Terrafirma or Crusty come out. I loved seeing clips of McGrath, Emig or RC out freeriding. It’s awesome to see them out finding natural jumps and going balls out. The last several years there are still videos coming out, but they are all at riders’ personal tracks or complexes. Do any of these guys take an afternoon off of turning laps and just go tear up the hills? I always had fun practicing on the track but it is nice once in a while to get out and enjoy being on the bike without worrying about your lap time. Your thoughts?

Josh Clark

Grand Junction, CO

Deegs and Metz keep it real [weird] in some bondage gear.


The sport has changed an awful lot since the Crusty Demons of Dirt days. I’m not just talking about the shiny suits, beer bongs and parties that all the top riders frequented either. Today there is more money than ever on the line and supercross/motocross has truly become a business for these guys. But all work and no play makes even the fastest rider in the world a dull boy. RV’s podium rhetoric is proof of that. Even some of the most successful, type-A businessmen in the world take some days off to play golf. But the risk of crashing while “play riding” is not worth taking for some so they rarely do it. And some guys don’t even want to look at a bike on one of their off days. They ride so many laps every day that if they have the day off they want to go to the beach or go fishing or go to the local Range Rover/BMW/Mercedes dealership and get completely violated by a slick salesman who convinces them a luxury car is a good investment. Suckers. The DVD video business is dead but if you browse the web you’ll find a handful of brave souls who dare to travel to the hills of Beaumont every winter after the rains and actually have fun on their motorcycles. Crazy bastards.



Hello, good day and many pleasantries.

I was drawn to ask a moto question. Just when and how did KTM take over the moto world? Does the CEO have an evil laugh? 'World domination, woo ha ha'... Was it Stefan Everts retirement? Or was it Ricky Carmichael? I know he never had a direct association with KTM, but surely he paved the way for ginger success. Ryan Villopoto, Sean White, Adam Cianciarulo, have continued the acceptance of gingers in society and success in sport. Has that in turn led to KTM’s rise and the 21st century?

Love you're line-up KTM, especially the 150cc… keep rocking the ginger.

Yours, inappropriately

SUZUKI Stalwart.



Numerous pleasantries to you and a thousand thank you’s for your patronage. History will struggle to define the day the Austrians took over. It happened slowly, like the spare tire around a middle-aged man with three kids, a mortgage and a penchant for soft cheeses and beer. They started with a race team at the turn of the century, acquiring the services of such legends as world champion Darryl King and Provincially-renowned tuner Steve Matthes. The next year they would win their first 125 supercross via Grant Langston, another world champion. Several more 125 supercross wins followed, as did a frame-breaking incident that threatened to set them back a decade. Unwavering in their determination they pressed on. Jeremy McGrath joined the cause for a moment. He helped them, uh… well, never mind. Moving on, KTM refined their small bike program and won a national championship. Thank you once again, Grant Langston. A pivotal moment for KTM came when they hired Roger DeCoster. He shoved their 450 team to the forefront and immediately won championships for them. Now, with Dungey, Roczen, Musquin and more representing [and winning] the brand is poised to become the same force here that they are in Europe, much like the ancient motocross scrolls predicted. “Lo, there shall be an orange steed ridden by a flaxen-haired Viking, and Belgian beers follow with it.”

Scary stuff.



Why do you think it is that Southern California can't seem to pull off an outdoor national anymore? (I just saw on Racerhead that they had to scramble to get the Lake Elsinore finale to come off). Do you think it's the Green movement closing down all the good locales, money grubbing promoters or what?

Now I'm old-school and got to race at Carlsbad and Saddleback back in the day and those were the kind of tracks I would consider truly "Outdoors."  These latest attempts seem pretty lame (Pala was a little bit better as far as track layout). But, if I want to see a completely man-made track, that's what I go to Supercross for-and they already have that more than covered here in SoCal.


Paul Threlkeld

Surface of the sun or Lake Elsinore Motocross Park last Saturday? Too close to call.



You aren’t the only one asking that question. While the MX Sports team truly does have the sport’s best interest at heart I think the last two venues have not been exactly what we all hoped for. I’m not saying the tracks sucked but, you know, I’m not saying they didn’t suck either. I think there are a couple other tracks that could host a national here but all of them are going to be miserable in September. The weather out here is awful that time of year. One of the reasons Glen Helen used to be such a good event is that it took place in May. The weather is amazing here in May! However, the reason the final round was put in California is so they never had to worry about cancelling the final round due to rain [like they did ten years ago in Troy, Ohio]. One thing is for sure: Rain will never be an issue here in September. I think the series is experiencing some growing pains right now but in short order it will come out much better than it’s ever been. And honestly, in a lot of ways it’s already much better. Be patient… good things are happening.