Ask Ping!

Ask Ping!

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Ping,

Going back a few years, how was it that James Stewart rode for the SplitFire Team Green amateur team and never ended up under Mitch Payton’s tent and on a Factory Kawasaki KX125? I love that he did but did Mitch not want him? With Carmichael, Villopoto, and now Cianciarulo starting off on Team Green and coming through the ranks to get a ride for Mitch seems like it would have been inevitable for Stewart to do the same. I’m a huge Stewart fan and have been since Terrafirma 4 so I just wanted a little insight! Also you see EVERY single rider either married or with a solid girlfriend, what’s up with BUBBA?! Never have I ever seen him with a girl or even talk about them. Is he trying to eliminate distractions?

Alex,

San Diego

 

Fastest 125 rider ever.
Fastest 125 rider ever.

Alex,

James was obviously a hot commodity when he entered the pro ranks and he was able to write his own check, so to speak. He was a longtime Fox/Oakley rider and he would have been forced to give that up if he rode for Pro Circuit. Also, the Stewart camp doesn't like to be put on a team that is considered "second tier," and Mitch's program is a feeder team for Factory Kawasaki. Of course Mitch wanted him there, but they wanted to go straight to the factory team so Kawasaki made it happen. As far as James' dating life I'm pretty out of the loop. My guess is that his lack of a serious girlfriend only means he has a [much] larger number of not-so-serious girlfriends. Who knows? Maybe he's saving himself for marriage.

PING

 

Ping,

So I've noticed that all of the top riders have their own entourage that get to accompany them to the races.  For example, James Stewart has his father aka Big James, Roger Larsen, Eric Sorby, and some guy named "Rado"?….My question is, what do these members of the entourage actually do for the rider at the races?  Are they strictly there for moral support?  And how do I become a member of the James Stewart entourage....he has ignored all of my tweets.  Hopefully there isn't some sort of weird initiation ritual.....

Thanks Chief,

Jeffro

Some of these people contribute to Stewart's success.
Some of these people contribute to Stewart's success.

Jeffro,

Unless you are family, the position of motocross entourage member is one of the most difficult to attain. Years of ass-kissing, sandwich-making and helmet cleaning are mandatory for those who wish to break into the upper echelons of the moto man-service world. You have to be capable of believing the sky is green if your rider tells you it is so. The sun rises and sets around your moto deity and any deviation from their plan will lead to a permanent exile from the inner circle. A good place to start for this job is repping for a goggle or gear company. You can shoehorn your way right into their life and eventually convince them you can make a better turkey sandwich. Weird initiation ritual? The whole job is a weird ritual. What do they do?? Hey, if you ever find out let me know. All I've ever seen them do is jump around behind them after a win to get their face on TV.

PING

 

Mr. Ping,

What do you know about manufacturers testing or developing new two stroke engines for motorcycles?  Street or Dirt, there are rumors of new technology making it to the consumer soon.  Can you put some truth to this rumor or put it to bed?  Will the moto industry use the technology from snowmobiles?

Thanks,

Mike

Want EFI two-strokes?? Just go fishing.
Want EFI two-strokes?? Just go fishing.

Mike,

I know there are fuel injected two-stroke engines being used in marine applications and snow machine products. In fact, Suzuki has had two-cycle EFI outboard marine engines for almost a decade now. Of course if you ask folks at the manufacturers they give vague responses or say they don't know anything about it. The issue isn't whether or not they have the technology or whether or not they can make a good product with it. The issue is market demand. Sure, there is a nucleus of two-stroke fanatics who would love to see the sport go back to mixing fuel and oil but the industry as a whole doesn't want it. Modern four-strokes are so much easier to ride that even though the cost has skyrocketed people are still buying them. I'm not saying we'll never go back. After all, this sport started with big, heavy four-strokes before they realized they could make more power with a much smaller engine and made the switch. Here we are, once again, riding bigger and heavier bikes. Maybe some of this new two-cycle technology will be the thing that sends it back the other direction.

PING

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