Ping talks about the comeback of chest protectors, the intersection of faith and motocross, and when electric bikes will be the norm.

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


Are the over the jersey chest protectors making a comeback? Are the French to blame for this? I am unable to decide if a vet rider with a dad-bod (asking for a friend) should be going OTJ or UTJ? Does this mean that kidney belts are next? 

Double Extra Medium


Double Extra Medium,

I would love it if chest protectors came back in style over the jersey. If you go back to the 1980’s and 1990’s, most guys chose to wear one over their jersey. And whether it was the Fox Roost 2, the HRP Flak Jak, or JT’s V2000, they were all cool! Riders started dropping them because they felt less restricted and they thought they looked cool without it. I’m guilty of this as well. Sadly, many of this sport’s injuries could have been prevented if riders were wearing them. The European riders always went with the under-the-jersey look and, between that and the elbows-down riding style they used to have (not the case anymore), our friends from across the pond looked more like amateur hockey players than motocross racers. 

There are some really good under protectors that you can barely notice, so I think there has been a resurgence of chest protectors under the jerseys. I also think the brutal roost from a 450 made this piece of equipment a must-have. 

As far as aesthetics of chest protectors as it relates to dad bods, I’m not sure which is worse. Any time I race I use the TLD chest protector under my jersey, which is super comfortable and very protective. For folks who are really concerned with how they look, I recommend running a front only, whether under or over the jersey. This is a good compromise that doesn’t make you look as, ahem, round as you would with a full protector. Since we are typically traveling forward, the front will do a good job of protecting your vital organs in a big crash or contact with the handlebars. Of course, the best solution for a dad bod is a better diet and some exercise, but that’s another column. I’m also down with moto girdles coming back… no better way to tighten up the squishy part of your midsection. 


Hey Ping, 

Glad you are doing well my friend. I have a question/comment. With all the madness in the world right now, it is nice to see that pro MX/SX has steered clear of all the BS. I began racing in 1994 and lasted about 15 years. I have never encountered any type of sport, including school sports, that has more faith-based families than moto. 

We have seen a number of top MX champions give praise to God; Dungey, Canard, McElrath and even Poto have. Curious to see what your thoughts are? I think it speaks measures for moto and the people and families that live it. Moto is filled with exceptional God-fearing people with values. One of the biggest reasons I am such a big fan of yours is that you are one of those and it is nice to see someone use their platform for the big picture. Much respect, brother.




Motocross is a very conservative sport, collectively. We didn’t get consumed with the politically correct mania that has taken over many other sports, which is a great thing. Our sport is rooted in individualism, where your results are largely based on your effort/talent/commitment rather than the collective performance of a team. Because of that, we are a sport that doesn’t get consumed by group think as easily. I’m grateful for that because if Feld or MX Sports would have brought any of the political drama into our race programs, I would have turned off the TV, just like I have with football and basketball. I watch athletics to escape the mountain of political feces that is flung at me 24/7 in every other part of my life. 

Motocross is also filled with men and women of faith, another thing I love about it. Incredible humans like Greg Albertyn, Nathan Ramsey, Steve Hudson, and others have literally changed the direction of my life, now and eternally. I love that our sport allows people of faith to express their beliefs without persecution, just as our constitution demands. Thanks for your support… It is much appreciated. 



California Governor Newsom has signed into law Executive Order N-79-20. Section 2, Subsection c specifically references a ban on the sale of all gas-powered off-road vehicles by 2035. This is a bit of political virtue signaling, but it is still law until it is rescinded or amended. The same state government and its agencies created the 4-stroke revolution and regulated the 2-stroke into obscurity not just in California, but the entire world. They have nailed the coffin shut this year by making 2021 the last year for the sale of new 2-strokes in California. It is not a matter of if but when the "Electric Revolution" begins. How soon do you see E-moto MXers being sold by all the major manufacturers? Honda and Yamaha have working E-moto MX prototypes. KTM has had an E-moto trail bike for years.




I’m all for protecting our environment, but this feels forced and premature. How about we address the massive pollution coming from China, India and other gross polluters globally before we hamstring our own economy? California literally cannot handle electricity demands when we all turn on our air conditioners during warm weather, so what’s going to happen if we all plug our cars in at 5:00pm? Sounds like we’ve put the cart way before the horse, if you ask me. 

However, companies like Honda are all-in and have committed to driving the electric movement; they pulled out of Formula 1 to redirect funds to electric vehicle development. Sounds like they will do the same thing to internal combustion engines they did to the two-stroke years back, forcing the hand of all their competitors. The political grandstanding that this governor is pulling has consequences. Manufacturers will have no choice but to start moving in that direction, which means the change will come sooner rather than later; I give it ten years if I had to make a guess. By that time, I’ll have the knees of a 100-year-old and somebody else will be doing my job. In the meantime, I’m going to buy a YZ125 and YZ250 with enough spare parts and VP T2 fuel to get me through the next couple decades. 


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.


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