@PING 5

Ping talks about what we learned from this year, worrying about getting hurt, and if the recent bike sales numbers will turn into a boom of dirt bike enthusiasts in the future.

@PING

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

David,

Former Firefighter/EMT myself… Great life experiences and amazing way to contribute your resources. Whiskey Throttle guest idea: George Holland (and any riders from that era). Also wanted to know what you would take from what we learned with the 2020 season to make the new norm? I loved having meaningful racing in the fall and think a longer season with more breaks would be awesome. 

Thanks, 
- PB 

PB,

Thanks for your service! We have George on the guest list, and many from that era… stay tuned. What did I learn from this season that I would carry forward? Actually, there are quite a few things. From a personal perspective, I have enjoyed spending more time with my family. With fewer sports, fewer events and the occasional superior overlord-style lockdowns from our California governor, we’ve had more time to hang out at home as a family. I think it is also a good reality check for some of the very basic things we take for granted. Going out to dinner, hanging out with friends, seeing a movie… how much more will we all appreciate these things once we can return to normal? As far as racing goes, I think the double-headers are a great way to cut down on costs for the teams and the promoters [as long as they can get crowds to fill the stadium for multiple races], and it gives riders and teams more weekends off throughout the year. Really, I’m just happy there are going to be races in this absurd climate we’re currently in. 

- PING


Merry Christmas, Ping!

This may be the first groundbreaking multiple choice edition of @Ping. First, a couple of wise sayings to help our younger readers. Man who go to bed with itchy butt, wake up with stinky finger. Next, man who ride dirt bike long enough or fast enough will need expensive medical attention in future. With this info should we...

A: spend obnoxious amount of money on lifted 4x4.

B: spend obnoxious amount of money to make my dirt bike faster, lighter, louder and bling-blingy.

C: spend nominal amount of money on health and flight insurance (and shower before bed). 

Please help us choose wisely with your wealth of knowledge and experience. Thanks for the time and effort in bringing us some info and entertainment each week! You are just as essential at Vital as you are at the fire station.

Whitebread

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Whitebread,

Sounds like you need to take me up on the “wet wipe challenge,” Mr. stinky fingers. If you know, you know. And, yes, if you are swinging a leg over a bike you should absolutely have insurance. Major medical coverage is every bit as important as a helmet, and the only guys I know riding dirt bikes without a helmet are doing one-handed wheelies down the streets of Baltimore while weaving in and out of traffic on their likely-stolen machinery. Side note… how are those guys so good at riding wheelies? I’ve been riding since I was three, raced professionally for fifteen years, and I still ride regularly and they’d laugh at my wheelie skills. Anyway, if you tell me you can’t afford insurance then you can’t afford to race motocross. Period. Because you WILL get hurt eventually and then the burden falls on your family and all your friends who have to pony up cash to fund your medical bills. Don’t be that guy. Oh, and the answer is “C.”

Merry Christmas!

- PING


Ping,

With the recent Geico/Suzuki/COVID dynamics, it’s clear to me that the root cause is the shrinking dirt bike market. Gen-Z kids dream of owning the latest iPhone vs a dirt bike. I guess it’s no secret to anyone. You mentioned that back in the 70’s we used to sell around a million bikes a year. I wonder where do we sit nowadays, even after this pandemic mini surge.  

Tony

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Tony,

I think the market has been shrinking steadily since the 1980’s, but we may be in the middle of a resurgence of riders. Talk to any dealership in the country and you’ll hear the same story: We’ve sold more bikes this year than in any other year we’ve been in business. And the quickest movers are the entry-level machines like Yamaha’s TT-R line or Kawasaki’s KLX machines. Stacyc has also sold every unit they built, and then some. Could all those kid and families lose interest and head back to their video games and cell phones once the world opens up again? Sure, I suppose. But maybe some of those booger-eaters catch the bug and they turn into the next Ricky Carmichael. Or maybe they never sign up for a race but they love riding and, in turn, share that passion with their kids? I’m optimistic that there are some silver linings that will come out of this shit show of a year. Actually, calling 2020 a shit show is an insult to gatherings featuring fecal matter all over the world. If you are one of those kids who gave up Call of Duty to get outside and ride, don’t fall back into that old trap. Need a reason? You think girls are attracted to guys who’ve worn a divot into their couch while wearing a headset that looks like you’re taking a drive-through order at a greasy fast-food chain? Not so much. Do the right thing.

- 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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