@PING 8

Ping gabs about no-production-rule works bikes, trying to get a job in the industry, and how to make motocross more approachable again.

@PING

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

Ping, 

Good seeing you randomly in our hometown of Temecula CA. Always gracious and cool every time I run into you. Appreciate it. I had a thought and wonder if you can give your opinions on this… What would bikes, teams, racing look like if there were no limitations on bike builds whatsoever? Full factory works bikes and other than engine sizes how different would racing and teams be? Would we have one class for just works bikes and then another for production? Thought provoking at least. Likely? Or not?

Enjoy your holidays and Merry Christmas.
Michael

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Michael,

I’m just old enough to remember the days of true works bikes, and there is nothing like it. The factory Honda HRC machines of the 1980’s were pure works of art. The idea of going to a production rule was to keep the playing field level for privateers, but you could argue whether or not it really worked. Personally, I’d love to see an open class and a straight 250 class. The open class would have zero limitations; if you can afford it or build it, you can run it. The 250 class would be open to two or four-strokes machines and have some limiting factors built into it. For example, maybe exhaust, piston and ignition would be the only modifications you could make to the motor. Since the 250 class is more of an entry-level class, keep it somewhat affordable. In the premier open class, anything goes. I don’t see any of our ideas happening, but it’s fun to dream. Merry Christmas, pal.

- PING


Hey Ping,

Huge fan of yours and the Whiskey Throttle show! I’m in the midst of a divorce, closing my business and a mid-life crisis! LOL… With that said, I’ve decided I’m done chasing the money and only want to do things I love, one of which is MOTO! I had a wild idea to offer my labor to a team for free for the upcoming supercross season. I’m willing to do anything and everything job-wise. I can sleep in my truck and pay for everything out of my pocket. I was married for over 20 years and owned my own business for 24 years. What do you think of this idea? During this hypothetical time period I would also love to volunteer to help Whiskey Throttle in any way possible! You could have a 50 y/o intern!!

Brett

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Brett,

Geez, Brett, those first couple sentences have me feeling all kinds of emotions. First, I’m stoked that you’re a fan of the show, then I want to kill myself because your world is crumbling, and then we’re laughing out loud. Classic 2020, I suppose. I’ll tell you what I tell other folks who want to get a job in the industry… Consider doing something else. If you still want to get involved, move to southern California and start knocking on doors. Companies like Pro Circuit always have openings, teams down here need different skill sets for various things, and opportunities pop up when you make yourself available. But if you just send a couple emails and hope somebody offers you a job, it won’t happen. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, as they say. If you make it down this way, contact me on here and we’ll see if we can find something for you to do for the show.

Good luck!
- PING


Pingers, 

Everyone is freaking out about the loss of our sport and motorcycles in general and kids not riding, bikes are too expensive, to complicated, to insert your pessimistic view here…  but we are still buying new and used bikes (would love to see the growth numbers of sales for the last decade), riding four-strokes for over 200 hours and doing nothing but changing the oil and basic maintenance. The off-road sector of our sport is growing in leaps and bounds. At my local series for hare scrambles, we had probably close to 300 plus guys and girls racing over a weekend, including my little 7-year-old daughter on a cheap ttr50. My 5-year-old son loves his Stacyc and we all have a blast. At the races they even have a double decade class, any bike over 20 years old. So, off my rant and onto my question… Why are people only looking at this sport as if the only way to get involved is to go buy a brand new 250/450 factory edition race rocket and a rig like you are going to race a pro national? Find a cheap used bike, take your kid to a local off-road event or hell, just trail ride and have fun.  Every kid who wants to play a stick and ball sport start off at something cheap and local, if that kid shows real talent and or interest the parent can then spend tons of money on camps and gear and shoes and etc. or stay local and like I’ve always said, talent finds opportunity. Have we lost sight of that? And Mitch was right on the bike classes, just add more classes, I suggest an air-cooled beginner class open to all ages, no jumping, just pure fun and excitement. You know the whole reason we do this in the first place.  

Stay positive, 
Thank you, 
Kiser

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Kiser,

You’re absolutely right. If you go into a dealership right now and say you want to buy a 110 or TTR 125, or something similar, you’ll get laughed out of the store. Stacyc is also having record sales, and those little guys are the future racers and riders we need to get excited about dirt bikes. Maybe the question we need to be asking ourselves is how do we get people to show up to the races again? Local motocross event numbers are down, and for good reason. Why would you spend hundreds of dollars to go racing when you’re only going to get a couple ten-minute races, then spend the rest of the day sitting around waiting to get on the track again? The vibe has also changed over the years and gone from family-friendly and fun-focused, to a group of professional local racers that take everything too seriously. Of course, I’m painting with a broad brush and there are still some great pockets of racing clubs around the country. But the off-road community is stealing our racers by having the same good-timing vibes that motocross used to have. You also get one longer race and you’re done; no sitting around waiting to ride! 

I’m hoping for a renaissance in our sport in local racing circles. Until folks have a reason to show up again, they’ll continue to just ride practice days at local tracks without signing up for a race. Thoughts?

- PING

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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