Love your weekly article…makes my Friday!
Here’s my question.
With all the recent injuries and retirement announcements from top riders, what happens to the mechanics? I’ve often wondered if the mechanics get demoted to floor/toilet janitors in the team haulers or go on an unpaid absence. Do they hang around at the races and hope for another opportunity with a fill-in rider or just kick it in the stands looking for cheap booze and footlongs? Are they contracted with the team no matter what happens to the rider?
Retired and broken
The mechanics can be contracted labor or full-time employees, depending on the team. When a rider gets hurt, their mechanic turns into the shop errand boy most of the time. They will organize parts, clean/prep/rebuild test bikes, sweep the shop, clean the bosses car, start drinking heavily… you get the idea. The other option is that they begin working for a fill-in rider. This isn’t ideal, but it beats the aforementioned list of chores when their rider goes down. They are not typically fired. After a few weeks of cleaning toilets and labeling parts on shelves, they might wish they were fired, though.
Dear Mr. Pingrum,
The past couple weeks in SX have been a little dicey on the triple jumps. Two weeks ago there was a triple jump out of a 90-degree bend that I thought everyone who did not holeshot was going to die on. I think that was the jump that got Justin Bogle. Now we see Justin Barcia make a small mistake, and he is lucky to just have a broken hand. We all remember Trey Canard getting smashed. So, my thought is, why does it have to be a triple? Take the middle jump out. This should give riders who cannot clear the full gap more room to steer off the track and avoid getting hit on the landing. Maybe build out the backside of the takeoff a bit. Still make it the same distance, of course. Now, I roll most singles, so I do not claim to be an expert in jump construction. Is this the dumbest idea ever, or am I going to change racing forever?
Rollin' singles and crushing Pringles,
Brenden in NY
Keep crushing Pringles, bro. But the idea of making the triples tabletops is silly. The jumps won’t look as thrilling, the cost of the extra dirt will be significant, and the guys who don’t jump all the way over will still get landed on. I appreciate that you want to keep riders safe, but turning supercross tracks into designs for the vet nationals isn’t good for anybody. There are some track changes that could be made, and I believe they are going to sort through it. I also believe the 450 is way too much bike for stadium racing and has led to an increase in significant injuries. But the simple fact remains that supercross is brutally dangerous and it always will be. Keep your wheels on the ground, pal.
So I have a 2015 YZ450F and I really like Yamaha for the power and suspension. I got the itch to get a 2018 CRF450R, but the only thing is from all the reviews I hear a lot saying it has way less bottom end torque than the YZ. I like to ride a gear high. So, the question is, would it be that drastic of a difference? I mean, these are modern 450s. Or is there plenty of bottom torque and people are just getting way too picky in these 450 shootouts?
P.s. I used your Dialed In video for my current bike and it was SO much better. I point everyone to those videos when setting a bike up. Thanks!
Your first problem is that you listened to shootouts. Shootouts are extremely subjective to riders’ preferences and the differences they make seem substantial are mostly inconsequential. Does the Honda make less low-end power than some of the other bikes? On a dyno, it probably does. But I assure you it isn’t going to be something you miss unless you are competing at an extremely high level. In fact, the smooth power delivery down low might actually help you ride more smoothly and for longer periods of time without getting tired. My point is, don’t get caught up in the fake news; you truly can’t make a bad choice these days because all the bikes are good. I’m stoked you like the intros and Dialed In videos, we’ll keep them coming.
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