Love reading your mail every week, very funny and you always hit the nail on the head!
I’ve been riding dirt bikes now for 20 years and raced motocross at a quite a high level in Australia. It has always baffled me and I have been quite vocal about reducing weight on a bike to increase performance and putting go fast parts on your bike. I find it amusing that someone who already is obese and cannot even go hard for two laps without near passing out feels like he has too spend $1000 on all sorts of shiny parts to maybe save a few grams and increase his performance. Then there is always the guy that buys the brand new 450 who probably should have brought a 250 then decides it does not have enough power and he better go and put a $1500 exhaust on it, a sticker kit (because sticker kits make your bike go faster apparently!) and coloured rims!
I am sure you would agree that until your very fit and can actually ride (use your brakes and clutch as good as you think you can use your throttle) have set your suspension up accordingly (with the great range of choice you get with a new bike these days) you do not need to spend shit on your bike! People do not understand that when you buy a motocross bike from a dealer it is built by experts and is specifically designed for racing. It is a bit like buying a formula 1 car from the shop! Your not buying a standard ford and having to spend $100,000 on it to get it race ready. Weight and power can easily be seen at a pro level as well. Its not hard to see that Windham and Pastrana were way heavier then Carmichael and McGrath, but still competitive! Villopoto at the MX des nations when he smoked everyone on a 250, power did not mean shit that day, Villopoto was simply awesome!
I guess when these guys spend all there savings on there bike it only grows the sport and keeps bike shops open so by all means keep emptying your pockets at the bike shops. But when times are tough, instead of trying to buy your way into being fast, try going for a run and doing some exercise! Trust me, you will look way cooler riding up front with a stock standard bike then being the fat guy at the back of the pack with the shinny bike! Only my point of view, lets here yours Ping.
Remember the movie “Ride MX”, can you tell us about the 10 pack and about you being as comfortable as a reggae band at a KKK meeting? Haha!
Keep up the great work Ping.
You are 100 percent right about those aftermarket parts not being necessary. Any of the top racers today could jump on a stock bike, set the sag, and turn lap times on an average motocross track that wouldn't be far off what they would do on their race bikes. That speaks volumes about how good production motocross bikes have gotten, and we should all be thankful for that. At the pro level you are fighting for every advantage you can get, and often times, the little changes you make to the bike have a bigger effect on your confidence as you head into the season. Maybe lap times only drop a few tenths of a second after changing a setting, but if the rider feels more comfortable going that speed, it will translate into more confidence in his riding. That's pro racing. On the amateur side it’s really not as important. Still, I'll play the devil's advocate here and say that part of the fun of this sport is dialing in your bike just the way you like it. I've been doing project bike builds for Racer X for the past few years, and I love bolting on new parts and pieces that make the bike look good, even if they aren't going to make the bike work better. If these folks want to spend their money on that stuff because they enjoy building up their machine, I think that's great.
If they are bolting on products in hopes of dropping weight on the bike or going faster, they are probably wasting some cash. A better place to start would be working off the massive boiler hanging over their riding pants and the extra chin squished under their helmet strap that looks like a piece of dental floss wrapped tightly around a fat kid’s thumb. Hope you are enjoying summer down under. Thanks for reading.
What happened to the full side fairing that some were running in the 90’s? It seems that anymore the manufacturers are trying to eliminate all the plastic that they possibly can off of the side of the bikes. I would think with the uber dollars and all the companies trying to throw money into MX that they would be a no brainer these days. The Monster/Rockstar/Muscle Milk/Splitfire/Pro Circuit/Makita/Redbull/Jack in the Box/Toyota team could be a real powerhouse with all that money pasted on the sides. Were the bikes too hot? Did riders gear get caught on them?
Crank up that brain of yours and spit out a clever answer.
Of all the ridiculous trends that this sport has seen come and go, this is one product that I thought would catch on. I know some of the issues early revolved around access limitations and heat buildup, particularly in muddy conditions where mud and dirt would become packed between the shrouds and hold in heat. Those issues would be easily fixed with different fasteners or better fitment, but for some reason they just haven't caught on yet. The marketing potential is obvious, and with outside sponsors looking for more signage, I still think these could be seen in the sport on a professional level at some point. Or, perhaps at an amateur national with a giant cougar painted down the side and "Me" listed as the title sponsor. Hey, it's better than Laughing Clown Malt Liquor. [Ed note: Ryan Zimmer and Blue Buffalo ran Slater Skins last year at Unadilla. The company was pleased and will have a team with Zimmer and Killy Rusk next season.]
Have a question for Ping? Send it to Ping@racerxonline.com