Ping talks about if wheel coverings would give more sponsor opportunities, how the media loan bikes work, and how stand-up PWC are rad.


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


Been wondering about spoke/wheel (think frisbee) covers for front and back wheels. How come there isn't an outer lightweight cover device to keep handlebars, footpegs or rider limbs out of these areas? Seems like a great place for extra sponsor logos, at least while the bike is in the pit display, on the starting line, or winner Podium stage. I realize all that spinning color might look funky live or on TV but has it ever been tried?

Thinking outside the box in Arizona


Outside the box,

I can’t say I’ve ever seen that, and I think I might know why. While one of the issues we face when trying to make new sponsors happy is signage, the wheels might not be a great place to start. A flat surface that blocks airflow would act like a sail and not only have catastrophic consequences in the wind, but even in perfect conditions when it comes to the front wheel. Any time you jump, the front wheel is turned to either side to correct the attitude of the bike. Now imagine that big disk acting like a parachute when you jump and blowing you off the track like cheap roof tiles in a cat 4 hurricane. That’s a really bad situation. There were a couple different brands that have tried to make bike covers; Slater skins comes to mind, and I think they still make them for select brands. Four-strokes presented a different issue with those in terms of overheating, but I think that is an issue that’s easy to overcome. I’m planning on building a Race Shop project with those, so I’ll be able to give you a good idea of how they can look and how they work. 


Hello Mr. Ping, 

Fellow Sabercat from Saguaro High here. I wish I would’ve known you when we were there back in the 90s; I could have bragged about knowing a rock star! Anyways enough of the memory lane, I have two questions for you: 1) When you guys are given new bikes to test, are they free or do you get a really smokin’ deal and have to pay for them? Or are loaned and you have to give them back? And 2) When testing out a new two-stroke (or four-stroke, for that matter), do you break them in first? Or just put some gas in and ride the shit outta them?

Thanks for the info, I love reading your articles.
Dean Colquette, Mesa AZ



Good to hear from you! I grabbed my diploma and moved to California the same day, so I don’t keep in touch with anybody from high school; It’s always good to hear from others I went to school with. Easy with the rock star stuff… an actual can of Rock Star is more rock star than me. But I appreciate the sentiment. 

We are loaned bikes from manufacturers to use for testing, project builds, stories, etc. We don’t get every single bike from every manufacturer, but we try to get a mix of each brand. At the end of the year we typically just return the bikes to stock if they’ve been modified, and we return them to the OEMs. Some brands do allow us to buy the bikes, and occasionally one of the staff will buy them. 

The manufacturers typically break them in prior to taking us out on them, so we don’t have to worry about it. If, for some reason, we do get a brand-new bike, we will put it through a heat cycle or two on the stand, and give it one or two sessions of easy riding to break it in. After that, we twist the throttle. 

Thanks for following and reading my stuff! Cheers!


Hey Ping!

HUGE FAN of The Whiskey Throttle Show and I have followed you since way back in the day. Only podcast I listen to… on any subject. Just wondering when the Justin Motz show will be released? As a near-40 guy who barely rides moto anymore, I’ve become obsessed with riding my stand-up Jet Ski. Can’t wait to hear this episode.

Keep up the great work!


Man, you really set me up to let you down here. First of all, thank you for the support over the years… it means a lot. I’m a big stand-up ski guy myself; it’s the closest thing you can do to riding a dirt bike, but with far fewer and less-severe consequences when you make a mistake. It turns out Justin Motzouris was heavily involved with the testing and development of the 2021 Yamaha Super Jet, and he had one of only two units in the country as of last month. With the other being in Georgia, Dustin offered to come out and let us have a test ride. The video we did with him is out, but it isn’t a complete interview like we would do on the show. This was more of a test video to give folks an idea of what the 2021 Yamaha Super Jet was like. Dustin did pass along some great info, so be sure to check it out on YouTube. And if you ever come out to the coast to ride skis, hit me up! I’m always looking for somebody to ride with. 


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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