Ping talks about what it takes to announce Supercross, if JMB would be a good podcast guest, and if the moto industry is ditching CA for FL.

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


I think you and David Bailey would make the best team for color commentating on SX and MX racing. You guys would make viewers feel like they were riding the motorcycle while in fact just watching and listening, I know I would.  And, I bet this view is shared by many!




That’s very nice of you to say, but I don’t know that either one of us could carry a show. We would both be working as color commentators, but you need a host or announcer to carry the show, and that is a very specific and difficult job. I know Ralph took a lot of heat back in his day, but that job is incredibly difficult. You have to bring the right energy, remember all of the titles and sponsors you need to plug, ask the right questions and throw to the right person at the right times, all while being chirped at in an ear piece by the producer. It’s far more difficult than you would think and you have to REALLY want to be in the broadcasting business to be good. One of the biggest issues I’ve noticed from many of the broadcast teams over the years is that the color commentator tries to be the announcer; those are two different jobs and you need to stay in your lane. Let the commentator call the action and when he throws to you, that’s your time to tell the why/how/who/etc. So many times, the color guy tries to start calling action and it ends up being a strange back-and-forth of two guys doing the same job. Again, it is much easier to sit here and type what these guys should do than to be in the spotlight with the pressure on. I think Ricky is hitting his stride and I like what he brings to the table, and I think Leigh does fine as well. I’m curious to see how these two do after a full season together. 


Hey Ping,

Love the Whiskey Throttle interviews.  Very well done.  Keep up the great work.  

I've been debating in my head about a MX celebrity that might actually be too controversial to interview.  And, although it might just piss me off to hear the truth, I would really like to know what went on inside JMB's head when he came over to the US and kicked our butts.  But on the other hand, I'm doubtful that our national pride could really handle a candid open interview with JMB.  I fear that our USA national heroes like Stanton, Bradshaw, Ward, and others might get their feelings hurt (as well as their fans such as myself) if we really knew what JMB thought of the US and the riders of his era.  What do you think? Maybe we should stick with the beloved USA MX celebrities so we don't get too butt-hurt.

PS - Any luck with Bob Hannah or Kent Howerton? I bet that is a long shot.  
God Bless. 
Tim Hodes



I actually think that a good JMB interview would change a lot of folk’s opinions of him. I don’t know him very well; I’ve only seen the interviews he’s done and comments he’s made over the years. However, after listening to Dave Arnold talk about him in our latest episode, he sounds like a good guy who was very misunderstood and probably came here at a strange time in our sport. He was the first rider from Europe to kick our asses decisively since 1981, and we don’t like to lose here in the U.S. of A. Between the language barrier and our American pride, we didn’t embrace him the way we should have. I don’t think he tried hard enough to immerse himself in our culture either, and that didn’t help. The bottom line is that he is one of the most enigmatic, talented and successful racers to ever throw a leg over a dirt bike. I’m working on getting him on the show and I think American fans will come away with a new opinion of him. Bob and Kent are both on our list, but each pose different issues with getting them in the studio. I’ll keep working on it. 


Dear Mr. Pingree, 

Coming to you from undisclosed deployed location: Given the current state of economic and political affairs, do you think Florida could become the new industry hub for MX/off-road instead of California? Or, is it too late?

A.F. Guy

P.S. Was watching YouTube, Kaplan America. Ken Kaplan, put out a video needing help/investment for a motorcycle museum in Connecticut. I was struck by his vision and his love of mx bikes and motorcycles in general. Other than donations, do you have hook ups that maybe you could help the guy out with? I understand you must be super busy but I am putting out the word for the guy and don’t even know him. Other than throwing him money, which I will do, this is my contribution to him as a fellow Christian/patriot/mx lover. If you can't, no worries. Thanks for Whiskey Throttle, your paramedic/firefighting service, and being a patriot. God bless the U.S.  




Thank you for your service. There are plenty of us who still appreciate what you are fighting for. This is an interesting question, and timely, because the shift has already begun. Yamaha moved their watercraft division to Georgia, and their side-by-side group as well. Some of the other manufacturers are in the process or looking at moving that way as well. The Star Racing/Yamaha team is relocating their entire operation to Florida in what could be the start of more teams doing the same thing. If you’re running a business and you don’t have to pay state tax, that alone makes it worthwhile. Add to that the overcrowding in California and the emissions laws that California continues to push, which are not friendly to our sport, and it’s a simple decision. I don’t know if the industry will move completely, or how quickly that might happen, but you’ll keep seeing businesses leave California. 

I don’t know anything about Kaplan America, but I’ll check it out. It sounds like he has a great idea and something that our sport really needs. Brian Deegan is currently looking for a museum to put some of his moto memorabilia, and that would be a great fit! 

Stay safe, and God bless all of you fighting for our country.


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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