Hello from Ireland again. I’m back to ask another question of the world’s most knowledgeable MX & SX guru! So here goes… Is racing destroying our sport??
You probably think I’ve been eating too many potatoes & it’s gone to my head but hear me out. I watched your last KTM intro where you tested the new 2019 KTMs. I found myself struggling to control my lust as all i could think about was trading in my 2015 350F for the 2019 450. Then i discovered how much the new beauty cost. My lust instantly disappeared & was replaced by sheer disappointment! Some people blame 4-strokes for killing our sport but the truth is, it only costs KTM about £2000 to build a bike. The rest of the money goes to paying the huge wage costs of Cairoli, Herlings, Musquin etc., etc., etc. All the wages, win bonuses, race team costs, parts, personnel, crazy development, marketing… The list just goes on. Racing is just so expensive for all these factories and it’s us, the bike buying public that pays for it all. I know KTM doesn’t pay all the racing costs, sponsors pitch in but that pushes up the price of oils for us too. Then all the local dealers give away free bikes & parts to local riders too so they can win the C Classes.
Don’t get me wrong, i love watching racing but when bike prices are rocketing how can we get more people into the sport? Or how can i buy a reliable bike to ride for fun or still be competitive if i race the odd race?
Why do the OEMs not release cheaper models with cheaper parts that costs a few grand less with a “Ready to have fun” motto?
Ur Irish Fan xo
There is certainly some truth to your thoughts, though I don’t think it’s as pronounced as you make it out to be. Marketing is part of business and if manufacturers weren’t spending money on race teams they would be buying ads on TV/radio/etc. The race teams also help drive innovation. Things that work on race bikes help shape future production bikes. I guess what I’m saying is that the racers and team aren’t solely to blame for the cost of things, there are many factors. The transition to four-strokes, which was pushed for political reasons, was a huge factor in increased bike costs.
I will agree that the manufacturers are missing an opportunity to offer a price point machine for recreational fans. If one of them would build a two-stroke in one of their plants outside of Japan (they all have them) with cheap tires, steel bars, and none of the frilly fluff, they could probably offer it at a decent price. This would be an excellent entry-level machine and create a pathway for new riders. Those of us who want to build a good two-stroke could start with that model and bolt on parts and pieces as we saw fit and turn them into fun weekend bikes. I honestly have no idea why this hasn’t happened yet.
I’m an avid reader and first time question asker. This is kind of a follow-up to a question you answered last week. The guy stated that a majority of fans in the US prefer supercross because it has better racing, better weather, and its more family friendly and it’s just better than outdoor motocross.
I disagree 100%. Everyone I know cannot wait for motocross to start because that’s what we all race every weekend of the year. Not only do you get more bang for your buck; practices, qualifiers, two stroke races, two hours of motos, but you also get to leave your seat and be right up close to the action. I haven't been to a supercross since 1999. However, I've only missed three Washougal nationals since 1987. Motocross is the real passion of the true US fan.
My question to you is this: When you raced which did you prefer, Supercross or Motocross? Now that you are retired which do you prefer, Supercross or Motocross? Feel free to be as sarcastic as you want because I’m pretty sure we are exactly the same.
Cheers to you and hopefully I’ll see you on a 125 at the Shoug Next year.
I loved both of them, but for different reasons. Supercross is technical, exciting, and the money is exceptional. As a rider the convenience makes supercross an easy choice; from flying into major cities to staying in nicer hotels to an easier race day. The nationals are gritty. Like a triathlon or other endurance sport, you learn to appreciate the grind and it becomes a challenge to face it. But getting from San Diego to Unadilla is way more work than getting to St. Louis or Jacksonville. There is no such thing as a direct flight to those regional airports; it takes three flights and the last two are on planes that look like they belong on a 25-cent kid’s ride in front of Kmart. You work your ass off all day long and run yourself into the ground physically. If you don’t enjoy the grind, you’ll struggle at the nationals.
As a fan, supercross is just easier. I can sit in a comfortable chair and see the entire race while inhaling beer and hot dogs like Takeru Kobayashi at a frat party. The weather is usually pleasant and the show is entertaining. The nationals are more work. If you aren’t really a fan of the sport, outdoor national spectating isn’t going to suit you. The small country roads to the tracks get overwhelmed with traffic, you’ll walk miles to get to a spot you can see, you’ll be rained on or you’ll sweat profusely (or both) and when it’s all over you’ll be filthy dirty. The payoff is standing right along the fence as your hero’s motor past, roosting you as they speed by. What could be better than that? It’s epic for a diehard fan, but don’t expect your girlfriend to feel the same way. She might leave you after a day like that.
I was better at supercross because I always sucked in the mud, and every national is muddy at some level. I podiumed a handful of nationals and the common denominator at all of them was perfect conditions. The minute it was dusty where vision was hampered or muddy so that traction was at a minimum, I turned into the best-dressed novice on the track. As a fan, I just like to see good racing, indoors or out.
As a fellow old guy, I use that loosely since I’m only 38, I have a question about how hard it was for KW and TP199 (sorry Sipes you race way too much to be included in this question, mad respect though) to race the MXoN? I’m smart enough to know that I’m not a 21 y/o who can wake up at 7am, work out like a beast, eat McD’s for breakfast, swallow a pound of bro shakes and multi vitamins, play some video games, eat a double meat with cheese, go train my sport for 4 hours, eat 3 plates at the ALL YOU CAN EAT buffet, go drink till I can’t stand, order a late night pizza, go to bed pass out at 4am. Then wake up at 7am and do it all over again like nothing happened. So how would you equate what those guys did to those of us normal weekend riding, working old dudes?
Not young and not old,
Having raced nationals while out of shape, I can tell you that what Windham did was impressive. I do believe the wet conditions probably played into his favor a little bit, but it was still a gutsy performance. I guarantee that he was exhausted after 20 minutes and the last half of the race he was running on nothing but heart. As for Travis, he is one of the few guys my age (or slightly younger) with knees that are as hammered as mine. He showed images of his knees ballooned up after riding and I know he had a front row seat on the struggle bus from there on out. Both of those guys have talent to spare but when the body can’t keep up with your mind, that can be frustrating. Much like Kevin, I’m sure TP was questioning his decision before the halfway flag came out. But Travis doesn’t know how to quit and those two beat up old guys put on one hell of a performance that fans will never forget. And they raised some serious cash for a great cause along the way. Kudos to a couple of absolute legends.
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