First-time reader, longtime commenter. First off, I’m a huge fan of the sport who likes to take my stock 250F to practice at the local MX park where if I can clear all the jumps by the end of the day I go home happy. I have NO idea what it’s like to ride a true race bike.
Here’s my question/observation: HRC couldn’t slap some triple clamps onto K-Dub’s MXoN bike?! I mean, STOCK? Really?! Do triple clamps just not matter? It’s hard to imagine they don’t have a spare set in the truck he could borrow. Shiny new billet triple clamps look awesome and I’ve always wanted a set. But now, my thought process tells me that if K-Dub doesn’t need them for MXoN, then no amateur rider does, either. Are they JUST bling?
Anyway, great Friday read you got going here.
Jared, a.k.a. “the guy on a stocker you keep lapping at the track”
For many people, triple clamps are just about the bling. They look nice and shiny and can be anodized whatever color you like. But there is a performance aspect that good test riders/pros can feel, and very small differences can dramatically change the way a bike feels.
GEICO Honda went through a period of time where they were running stock triple clamps on all their bikes because they liked the additional flex and feel of them. In fact, they ran stock out fork tubes on their 250s as well. I haven’t spoken to them about Kevin’s current preference, but it could be that he likes the flex and forgiveness of the stock clamps. Typically, an aftermarket clamp will have a more rigid feel and a guy who is out-of-shape and overweight might not like that. Additionally, they are auctioning off Kevin’s bike, so they probably didn’t want to hand off a set of works triple clamps. And honestly, there aren’t many amateur riders who need aftermarket clamps, especially on a 250. Keep that stock bike of yours roosting and I’ll see you at the track.
You are having one hell of a "Rockstar" summer: Riding bikes in Costa Rica to racing the Vets Motocross Des Nations, fighting fires, and being a husband and father in between. You are living the California dream (if there is one), my friend.
Quick question. Everyone has been reporting since July that Cooper Webb is going to KTM and it's a done deal. With just about everyone announcing where they will be come January, I can't help but feel Webb's deal isn't done and maybe, just maybe, his relationship—or lack thereof—with Marvin [Musquin] could be an issue. What is the holdup, old wise one?
Jeff / Irvine
It’s been a wild year so far, and there are still a couple fun trips and the peak of fire season yet to come. The Cooper Webb deal is done. I don’t know of any extraordinary beef between Marv and Cooper, and even if there were, it wouldn’t keep KTM from hiring the best riders they can. A better explanation is that Cooper is still under contract with Yamaha at the moment. It is customary to wait until your current contract expires before you go splashing it all over the news that you signed with a new team. After all, Yamaha is still sending him a check every month. I would expect an announcement October 1 or shortly thereafter regarding Cooper’s new job over at KTM. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to finish planning my next international vacation. Cheers.
I’d like to be enlightened by you, who is a lot younger than me and hip on the social media thing with riders and athletes. I can’t for the life of me figure out that if a rider has 1.5 million followers, what this gains them other than a big ego. Do the manufacturers (OEMs, clothing, helmets, goggles, tube socks, jock strap, kidney belt ,etc) look at these numbers to determine value of a rider to them, then base that on the money they pay them?
I can watch and follow a rider, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to buy anything that rider is wearing or riding. What’s that getting their sponsors, other than views? There’s no money spent window-shopping; the merchant wants you to come in the store and buy something. What’s putting money in their bank account should be the results on the track, not putting out best whip videos or their newest tattoo or YouTube followers. If they do, how do they get paid for that? In the old days, it was decal placement and “win on Sunday, sell on Monday.”
“Win on Sunday, sell on Monday” is an antiquated notion, and it has been for a while. Did Ricky Carmichael’s perfect seasons at Suzuki sell more yellow bikes? Nope. Time are changing, my friend, and every part of marketing and advertising is shifting to digital platforms. The new generation of “adults” doesn’t sit down at the breakfast table with a cup of black coffee and read the newspaper while their homemaker wife brings her man a square meal.
Millennials wander around without ever looking up from their phones, they drink caramel mocha Frappuccinos with soy milk while eating vegan egg substitutes, whatever the hell that is. Their entire world exists in the thin information box they keep in their pocket. Are social media numbers important? Absolutely. Every company that spends money on an athlete in any sport is researching the number of followers, type of content, and fan engagement they have. And some tech dork has engineered an algorithm to translate those stats into a dollar figure that each athlete is worth.
Yes, race results are still the prime mover. But there are only a few guys capable of winning, and after those riders, it’s all about marketing value. Think of social media like the old helmet sticker, just more interactive. Or, better yet, move to a cabin in Montana and unplug from society completely. And please save a plot of land for me. I don’t think we’d miss any of this modern nonsense.
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