Hello Ping,

Greetings from your old stomping grounds, Scottsdale.  I have two pet peeves that begat two questions. First, who in tarnation designs riding gear lately? Picasso's colour-blind grandson? I missed most of the 1990's with the schizo yellow/blue/lime green/pink/purple/red fashion disasters. I consider myself lucky that way but now the asymmetrical eye-sore style is back. Not only that, most of its black and teal and safety-vest yellow. Don't those people understand basic physics? Black - all dark colours, in fact - attracts heat, and riding or racing dirt bikes is hard work. Anywhere sunny like the desert, especially so and teal is the ugliest colour on earth. What's wrong with light-coloured gear that doesn't look like two different sets stitched together??

Second peeve: unlike riding gear it has no real impact on my life but it irritates me when I see it, possibly out of ignorance but I don't think so. We all know how to pivot a bike in the air: either pull the clutch in and tap the rear brake to drop the front wheel, or rev it - panic rev - to raise the front wheel. Why do riders rev 4-strokes off jumps as if it drives a propeller pulling them through the air? Am I missing something about the gyroscopic effect of the rear wheel with the engine popping and farting on the rev limiter when throwing a bike around like that? Or is it just to be noisy and flashy? 

Great job with WT Show. Do all riders who remember the 70's and 80's a solid and get Rex Staten on the show will you? 
Not Colourblind in AZ.



“Nobody ever lost money underestimating the good taste of the American people.” That was one of my favorite quotes from a friend of mine, Dave McElyea. I think Dave’s quip covers a lot of ground when discussing gear in the motocross industry. I’ve seen gear with cats on it, flannel, denim, skulls, eyeballs, and every color under the sun. We have a tendency to get caught up in our little bubble of dirt bikes and we don’t see things from an outsider’s perspective. Think about the gear you are currently putting on when you go to the track… would you wear something in those color combinations to a coffee shop or to the movies? Probably not. In fact, you might get your ass kicked if you went to the wrong place. 

We aren’t the only group; have you seen the costumes horse racing jockey’s wear? If I saw myself wearing those checkered pants, I’d have to kick my own ass. Football players wear really short pants, golfers wear plaid and knickers, and don’t even get me started on the rubber suits cyclists wear. We each have our own issues, and for every person who thinks a set of riding gear is ugly there is another person who thinks it looks amazing. Troy Lee Designs implements a “Wild to Mild” theory in their design in order to make something for everyone. If you like crazy colors and styles, they have it. If you want simple designs and primary colors that don’t send you into an epileptic seizure when you look directly at them, they have those too. Find something you like and don’t worry about others.

Revving the bike in the air? Unless you are genuinely panic-revving to lift the front end, this a stunt to make it sound like you’re going faster than you are. There is absolutely no purpose to it. Trust me… you aren’t the only one annoyed by this. Oh, and we’ve been talking with Rex to find a date to have him on the show. That one is going to be great.



It strikes me that there's been 3 major advancements in riding styles over the years, or at least since 1974 (I'm a little long in the tooth). The first was Bob Hannah introducing the attack style - elbows up, head over the bars. The second was McGrath introducing the BMX style in SX. The third was Stewart's scrub. I might be missing some but these are the major ones. No coincidence that each of these guys won early and often. My question is, what's next?  What's on the horizon? Or are we at the end of style advancements? Should we take the advice of Teddy Roosevelt's patent administrator and close the patent office of mx style because everything that's worth inventing has already been invented?


  Red Bull


I would agree that those three guys brought about significant change in riding style in our sport. But you’re missing some really great riders that have influenced all the riders you mentioned. Damon Bradshaw was a huge influence on riding style and technique; ask any rider from generations after him and they’ll say they watched him closely. Some will argue that Jean Michel Bayle was the first rider to properly skim a set of whoops, one of many contributions he made to riding style. Ricky Carmichael changed the way every rider had to train and how hard they had to push during the race. He overjumped things and carried more speed into and through obstacles that any other rider ever had. Ryan Villopoto had corner speed unlike any rider I’ve ever seen to this day… he would be on the gas before he even made a direction change! Even now, Ken Roczen has influenced the way riders address corners by keeping his feet on the pegs more than any other rider I’ve ever seen. 

There is always progression and there always will be. Some are more game-changing than others, but they are all drawn from by the next group of kids who will be the ones elevating the sport. 



What’s the deal with Suzuki, man? Not only did HEP let go of Chisholm and Ray, but that they kept the 7 deuce deuce? I guess what I’m trying to ask is why get rid of two pretty consistent guys for a guy that really has more of a social media presence than anything? Just frustrated with the decision Suzuki has made the last couple years man. 



Suzuki has been the least consistent with their professional racing program here in the US out of all the top manufacturers. They had some good runs here and there, particularly in the 125 class, but it wasn’t until DeCoster joined the program that they started to get their poop in a group. For the next decade they had one of the best, if not THE best bike, on the track. The problem is that if you don’t take the advancements the race team is making and apply them to production, implement a competitive marketing plan, and get involved at the grass roots level of the sport, none of that matters. As much success as Suzuki had with Carmichael, Albertyn, Reed and others, I don’t think their bikes sales ticked up much. That indicates a breakdown somewhere and they still haven’t sorted that out. I’m a Suzuki fan as much as anybody, but their odd decisions don’t surprise me anymore. I’m just crossing my fingers that they turn things around soon, or they risk disappearing from the motocross scene altogether. 


Do you have a burning question you need answers for? E-mail Ping at ping@vitalmx.com. Want more? Click the @PING tag below to quickly find all the previous columns

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