Ping talks about pro riders wearing neck braces, the 2019 Honda CRF250R, and set up tips for WP suspension.

@PING is brought to you by Troy Lee Designs, Eks Brand, and VP Racing.


What happened to riders wearing neck braces? Have they been deemed irrelevant or detrimental? Once upon a time, most all riders were wearing them. They seem to be disappearing at an alarming rate. I understand wearing a neck braces is a personal choice, a choice that may need to be reevaluated. 



I think the issue has to do with lack of test results to back up the claims. First of all, there is no device that can protect against a compression injury where the rider goes into the ground head-first. Neck braces are designed to protect against hyperflexion, hyperextension and lateral injuries in a crash. The problem is that every crash is so different and dynamic, there really isn’t a way to recreate it in a simulation. And then there are the theories that the brace actually works as a fulcrum and can exacerbate an injury. Add to that the restrictive feeling and, at least for me, the fact that they’ve almost made me crash and the case for NOT wearing it becomes pretty strong. I’ll argue every single day for spending your money on a good helmet and a chest protector; those are the most important pieces, in my opinion. We discuss all of this in the Whiskey Throttle Show with Doctor Bodnar and Eddie Casillas. We all have some free time… check it out.



I’ve heard of all the problems with the Geico Honda riders in 2019 hating their bikes and talks of them even leaving because of it. My question is, I just bought a 2019 Crf250r and am curious if the Geico problems could be the same with the production bikes or if they’re just totally in a different league with their bikes and I shouldn’t have anything to worry about. So far, I’ve ridden it once and loved the feel. Also, I’m nowhere near or even in the same stadium of talent that those guys are at. So, there’s my question… thanks, Ping!



You’re going to be just fine. The chatter you hear about the Geico team bikes is just rumor anyway. Sometimes it takes teams some time to get a new bike up to par, and other times a rider can go down a wrong path in testing and wind up with a setting they don’t like. After a couple bad results, it’s just easier to blame the bike than to own your crappy riding and work harder. At any rate, those issues have nothing to do with the stock platform! The 2019 Honda is a great bike and I’m sure you’ll love it.


Hey Ping! 

First of all, I really appreciate your bike reviews, dialed in videos and so on! I’m from Europe (Latvia), following every single video with your participation, keep up the good job! I have questions regarding 2020 Husqvarna fc 350 dialed in video - so as I understand You went to 10.6 bar pressure, went 2 clicks in (rebound) for forks, but what did You do for the shock? What did You meant by softening the shock 2 clicks? (I am 175 pounds (with gear) and 6ft) I have a feeling that the fork dives a bit too much in the turns (so I guess adding air pressure and adjusting rebound should work as You recommend) whereas the back of the bike kind of sits too high in the corners.. Any other tips n tricks for fc 350? If I’m not mistaken, were You one of the guys who was cutting the length of the handlebars on each end for like 1/4 to 1/2 inch?



Hey man, thanks for watching and supporting all the things we’re doing here at Vital MX. Our weight is pretty close, so the setup I recommend should get you pretty close. The fork on all that bike is a little quick, so slowing the rebound down just calms the front end and settles it down. The higher air pressure will hold the front up also, which will feel much better for you. On the shock, I went out two clicks on the compression clicker [low speed] to soften the feel of the shock; I’d recommend trying that as well. If you still feel like the back of the bike sits a little high, open the high-speed adjuster ½ turn and try that. By opening that up, the shock will sit a little lower in the stroke and allow it to settle into turns a little easier. Be sure your sag numbers are correct and also make sure your low and high-speed adjusters are in the stock position when you start. That means you need to turn them all the way in to zero, and then back them back out to 12 and two turns out... those are your starting points. As a sorter rider, I do like to cut ¼ inch off each side of my bars. This allows me to get further back on the bike and it calms the reactivity of the front end. The stock KTM/Husky bars are particularly wide, so if you feel like you’re holding on to the ends of a broom handle, try cutting the ends. Best of luck, and if you have more questions shoot me another email. You’re going to love that bike!


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


The Latest

The Latest