Ask Ping

Ask Ping

February 10, 2017 8:05am

Ping,

Thanks for taking the time to ponder the mindless drivel of the moto masses.

I am hoping your insight or connections can shed light on a question regarding Tomac's "new" setup. On a recent episode of Pulp, Tomac eluded to clamp/suspension changes that resulted in a "front biased" setup which is improving his main event strength and endurance. Given what I believe I have gathered from RV's Kawi setup, is it possible Tomac moved towards something similar? Or is this unrelated given a completely different bike, rider size/height, etc. Just curious if the Kawi's maintain some characteristic that can push setup in one direction or another at the level of speed an RV or ET exhibits. 

Thanks,

JG723

Eli finally found his mojo.
Eli finally found his mojo.

JG,

I’m not in the Kawasaki team meetings so it’s impossible to know for sure what direction they are going. I will say that Eli Tomac and Ryan Villopoto could not be more different in the way they ride a motorcycle. RV got on the gas early in the turn and used the back tire to steer around the corner in a slide. It was unconventional and ugly, but he made it work with throttle control and finesse. Tomac muscles the bike and slams it into ruts and berms like he’s trying to break it in half. Sometimes when a team has a lot of success with a rider, like Kawi did with RV, they tend to drift toward the settings that rider used. Eli has struggled to find the feeling he wanted for the past year and a half and maybe it’s because the Kawasaki guys were trying to push settings that worked for other riders, not Eli. Or maybe I’m over-thinking it. Either way, Eli is happy now. Each bike has specific characteristics, but because riders’ styles are so different the changes made will be different. It’s hard to believe that something as small as a clamp or link arm change could make THAT big of a difference, but at that level every bit counts.

PING


Ping,

This may seem like a stupid question coming from an ignoramus but why is there so much emphasis being placed on going to mars when we could just go to the moon and ride Altas. Set up a few solar panels and ride our nuts off. You know how much air time you could get on the moon! Supermoonocross! Braaaap!

Justin

Justin,

Thanks for showing all of my regular readers what the human brain is capable of conceiving when influenced by hallucinogenic drugs. I don’t know how many mushrooms you gobbled up, but you don’t need the gravity-free environment of the moon because you are already super lifted. Since we are talking crazy let me throw out there that the dust situation would be out of control on the moon. No water and roost would just hover in the air in perpetuity? Hope the rest of your trip is mellow, bro.

PING


Hi Ping.  Great job on the Racer X Films: 2006 RM 250! That was drool-inducing. I have a ’06 that I bought new in April of that year. It’s pretty hammered but I still love the bike. I’m sure Kyle is going to really enjoy what you guys have done. 

Apparently Southern California has been getting a lot of rain, which has forced cancelation or relocation of midweek practice for many of the riders. We have also seen that the tracks are breaking down because of the soil moisture. I have heard that some of the riders have been traveling to Arizona, etc. to find dryer conditions. My question is, why don’t they practice in the same wet conditions as they will be racing in? 

Thank you,
Stan Bruzgulis

Kevin Windham spent some days beating up his personal supercross track in the mud. And he won some muddy supercross races.
Kevin Windham spent some days beating up his personal supercross track in the mud. And he won some muddy supercross races.

Stan,

If you liked that Suzuki wait until you see the Yamaha we’re dropping soon. It’s some of my best work.

I know it seems like they are avoiding a muddy track by heading away from the rain, but there is a significant cost to rebuilding a supercross track and it gets destroyed when you ride it muddy. On top of that it’s impossible to test parts in the mud and rain, so you need to find higher ground to test. When riders have the opportunity to ride a muddy track they will often take it because it is a reality in this series. In Seattle the odds of having a dry track are about the same as Kurt Cobain singing the Anthem. The guys who are on the podium at the next mudder are the guys who ruined their test track when it was a mess. Cost of doing business, I suppose.

PING