Thanks for saving people, nice ‘stache, your wife is pretty, cool show.....that’s all I’ve got.
Now, I want your opinion on the overall financial health and viability of professional racing as we know it. I just read an interview on Racer X with Coy Gibbs and it was not reassuring. Sounds like they are losing money and struggling to find support. While I am the furthest thing from a marketing expert, I don’t see how any of the teams justify the cost of big time racing. How many bikes does a manufacturer have to sell to cover a salary and bonus schedule of riders like Tomac, Roczen, and Anderson? Speaking of which, Anderson’s recent injury is a reminder of what I think is a major problem in our sport. Riders get injured way too often to be marketable for big sponsors outside of the industry. Lowes is not going to give a supercross rider the Jimmie Johnson treatment. Granted, watching paint dry is more exhilarating than Nascar, BUT, how often does a Nascar pretty boy suffer a season ending injury? Even though they drive in circles while combing their hair, they are available to smile and sign every single weekend, and that’s what sponsors need.
Seems like we could be on a bubble. Let’s not even talk about what would happen if the energy drink well ran dry....
I guess I would just like you to help make cents of the simultaneous abundance and shortage of dollars in SX at the moment.
Billy Robinson’s Manager
As you saw in that interview with Coy, motocross isn’t the only sport struggling to find new sponsors or even maintain old ones. Fewer and fewer kids are riding these days; they’re too consumed with gaming, texting, and expecting things for free. Companies know this and they are placing their marketing dollars where these window-licking teens will see them. Here’s what you need to realize: Professional race teams don’t make money. There are a couple exceptions to the rule, but not many. Most teams lose money or spend every single dollar they have trying to improve their effort. I’ve said this before but the teams that stick around in this sport are the ones that use race teams as a marketing vehicle to sell a product. Pro Circuit, Troy Lee Designs, Factory Connection and GEICO Insurance, Rocky Mountain ATV/MC, all the OEMs… these are the teams that will stick around because they have a compelling reason.
Hopefully the JGR guys sort things out with a title sponsor soon because we need them in the sport. And you’re absolutely correct regarding injuries… we need to keep the top guys on the track. I think Ben Townley had the best solution: He said we need to make the tracks easier and drop the CC’s on the bikes the top riders are racing. There are only a few riders on the planet capable of really utilizing all the power that a 450 makes and far more who end up planted in the stadium dirt like a daffodil in the spring. BT runs an event in New Zealand that uses a tight arena with four obstacles on the entire track and he says the racing is incredible. Fans don’t know the difference between a technical rhythm section or a simple double-double from the stands; it all looks the same. Getting Feld to tone the tracks way down could be a tough sell, but it might be the best thing they ever bought for their product long-term.
First I would like to say I thoroughly enjoy the Whiskey Throttle show, I enjoyed it even more when I started watching them instead of just listening. Anyhoo, my question is that I have heard you mention on multiple media over the “decades” that your knees are banged up and that you didn’t seem to have the “mindset” to be like a multi-champ (hope that is somewhat accurate)? How do you think your life or industry presence would have changed had you won that 125 supercross championship? Would you have had other opportunities, a different mindset to win? Multiple championships? I’d like to think you fared well these days in hindsight, but then again I crashed trying to keep up with the local pros as a 125 mid-pack intermediate!
Thanks! Keep up the good work
Jeremiah, only a 125 dreamer now
Thanks for listening to the show; it’s been really fun so far. I’ve had those same thoughts go through my head from time to time and I’m not really sure what would have happened if I had won. I would have negotiated for a two-year contract with a year in the 250 class; that was my goal all along. But none of us can really say what would have happened if something had turned out differently. Maybe I would have let the success consume me and turned into a coke head, spending every dollar I made from the title on boogar sugar and strippers? Or maybe that would have been the mental puzzle piece that I was missing and I would have become a multi-time champion? Who knows? I can tell you that I wouldn’t take any number of titles now if it meant my life would turn out differently than it has. Somebody said to me a few months back that my championships came after my racing career was over. That didn’t sink in right away but I’m married to the perfect woman, I have three of the coolest jobs you could ever ask for and my family is my pride and joy. I’m winning, big-time, just not in the way I expected.
I recently got back in the market for a 450 after a two-year hiatus (injury induced). I shopped around and ended up with a good opportunity through a friend. Albeit not my dream bike, by far the best deal turned out to be a 2013 CRF450. In the process of acquiring this noble steed, I have been checking the interweb for some older tests to see how much of a turd I’m buying and what to remedy before I even get started on it. A certain three letter magazine which considers itself a powerhouse in bike testing and fork oil level dropping, had a post that made me wonder. The 2014 KTM 450 finished in second albeit being the best handling bike with the best engine, brakes and accessories, fit and finish, only because of its WP suspension is so bad. How does the worst suspension go hand in hand with the best handling? Being a versatile test rider yourself please educate! Lastly on the 2013 Honda air forks, should I replace the forks with older spring forks or send off the air forks to a suspension shop of my choice and have them redone?
Thank you for your enlightenment!
Congrats on the new (to you) machine. I don’t remember settings for that bike but I do recall that is/was a decent bike and it should be good for you. The chassis setup is as important as the suspension when it comes to bike handling, plain and simple. You could put factory suspension on a bike with a terrible chassis and you’ll hate it, and never get it to work right. So, in that sense, the alphabet magazine got it right. However, there is no way for them to determine in a shootout if the chassis is good or bad without changing parts [which you don’t do in a shootout] or swapping suspension. So I’m not sure how they made that determination without some presumptive speculation.
My recommendation on your forks is to put a spring conversion kit in them. The air forks are a waste of time and buying new forks is expensive. Pro Circuit, Race Tech, and Factory Connection all make conversion kits and they work great. Enjoy your bike and be safe.
To read our original test of your machine, click here.
Have a question for Ping? Hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org.