Is the AMA/FIM changing the wrong things?

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2/22/2018 8:22 PM

Changes to the format have been the hot topic as of late and we've seen them trying things. The results are subjective and have been discussed.
The goal is to make the racing more exciting, thus drawing in more viewers. Move viewers equates to more money.
Now there are numerous other professional sports with proven models that have long term success. Maybe they should take a look at some of those models.

The first rule that jumps out to me that could make a difference is setting a time limit on testing and training. MotoGP, F1, NASCAR, NFL, NBA, MLB, and I'm sure there are several others, all have rules that limit the amount of time teams can spend testing and practicing. Some of those organizations are more strict than others with how they control this, but it plays a bigger role in the end result than we likely realize.

Less time testing with the team means several things.
1. reduced cost
2. healthier athletes
3. it can aid in closing the gap in competition
4. racers not getting burnt out as quickly

From what I can see, this would benefit the smaller teams and privateers the most mainly because of the reduction of costs. Less overhead means more money in the racers pockets.
It could also prevent some riders from developing into machines and dominating like RV, RD, JS7, RC, and the others we have seen. Most of those guys also retired at what many consider to be an early age due to burnout. Maybe this could help keep the big names in the sport longer, which would obviously be a good thing.

Next set of rules to address falls in the amateur ranks. They must change how things currently are. The home school thing is out of control and absolutely ridiculous. Half of these poor kids sound like they are dumb as a brick and have 0 education to fall back on when they can't make it in the pro ranks.
Yes, I know a lot of football players can't form a sentence either. However, the rules make an attempt. NFL requires the players be 3 years removed from high school before they can enter the draft, which means they need to play in college to have a shot at going pro. While in college, the NCAA also has GPA requirements even though a lot of schools really test the rules on this. That's on the school though, not the league.

Should there be GPA requirements at big amateur nationals? The AMA may not enforce it, but I do on my kid. If his grades fall below honor roll, he doesn't race.
Should the AMA address kids living at training facilities? Or maybe just like other pro sports, the AMA should require kids to graduate high school before they can go pro.
Yes home schooling is legal, but we all know these kids are cheating the system. I may be wrong, but I believe home schooling falls under the same requirements as public school. There's a specified amount of time kids are required to spend in class sessions. This could also be different from state to state, I haven't researched it as it's not something I'm overly interested in.

So what effect does this have on the racing? A few things that I can see.
1. The kids are going pro a couple of years later so they are a little more mature
2. there's a big difference between 16 and 18 strength wise, this could help a lot with injuries. We've all seen a scrawny 16 year old step on to a factory 250f only to get bucked off and hurt. Most kids that age simply aren't developed and strong enough to race a bike that powerful at that level
3. hopefully these young kids are a little smarter. SX wants to be viewed as a professional sport, it needs athletes that can speak at a professional level.
4. racing doesn't pan out, they at least have a diploma and can go to college without having to take 2 years of remedial courses
5. It could potentially tighten up the racing since they have less time overall on the bike and honing their skills. Then we get to watch them develop as professionals and extend their careers


Just some food for thought. There's several other points I can bring up, but there are the 2 that constantly jump out at me.

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2/22/2018 8:42 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/22/2018 8:43 PM

I like everything they are doing! Now if they could get 30 man gates in the mains.....

Daytona 500 was sold out for the first time in years a couple weeks ago!

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2/22/2018 9:14 PM

kkawboy14 wrote:

I like everything they are doing! Now if they could get 30 man gates in the mains.....

Daytona 500 was sold out for the first time in years a couple weeks ago!

Daytona did get rid of over 65,000 seats though. So it’s a whole lot easier to sell out now.

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2/22/2018 9:31 PM

I think the testing ban in F1 and MotoGP has been a detriment to racing. In F1, when you show up to race 1 and your car is slow there is no way to really make that up all year. We’ve seen it since the hybrid era began. There is 1 dominant team each season and progress by the other teams is negligible without testing time. It’s one of the reasons Honda has struggled in their return to F1. Limits on development and testing.

In moto/SX it would be hard to enforce a testing/riding limit because guys can ride in their back yards. There’s only so many Road Courses that are F1/MotoGP capable.

However your point on reducing injuries could be something that would be beneficial to help the sport. This season most of the injuries have happened on race day, but guys crash on the test track too.

Part of the reason why stick and ball sports have the high school or college requirement is the NCAA has such a money maker in collegiate sports. And High schools have stick and ball teams and a matriculation program (prep-collegiate-pro). Baseball and Basketball draft high school seniors, but only the phenoms go straight to the NBA (Kobe/Lebron/etc). Most baseball players play in the minors for years before they are brought up. In football, players are not physically comparable to NFL veterans. The NFL wants them in college to toughen them up and get them ready for larger/faster NFL players.

Home schooling a 12 year old so they can moto all week is ridiculous. There are basically 3-4 kids per season that graduate from Loretta’s that will make a living racing at this sport for 8-10 years. That’s not worth lacking an education.

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2/22/2018 10:04 PM

The AMA can't even competently enforce a rule regarding track cutting. Just think about that.

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2/22/2018 10:16 PM

kkawboy14 wrote:

I like everything they are doing! Now if they could get 30 man gates in the mains.....

Daytona 500 was sold out for the first time in years a couple weeks ago!

KirkChandler wrote:

Daytona did get rid of over 65,000 seats though. So it’s a whole lot easier to sell out now.

But they added 40,000

Photo

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2/22/2018 10:24 PM

TripleFive wrote:

The AMA can't even competently enforce a rule regarding track cutting. Just think about that.

Ah well, bringing your account back was a worthwhile experiment.

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2/22/2018 10:33 PM

When you have a select few places to test at high-end motorsports facilities, it’s easy to limit testing. For SX or MX? I’m not sure how you’d control that. It’s not like the old days when private tracks were in short supply.

Going up a couple years in age sounds okay in theory, but how do you handle a couple year gap until the next batch are ready?

As far as the education element, not all of them are as articulate as, say, an Adam Cianciarulo. Also, I bet if you went back and looked at early interviews from many of the top 450 guys, you’d notice quite a difference.

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2/22/2018 11:00 PM

Sorry but limiting testing is friggin silly. Sending the best in the world out on machines theyre not comfortable with to battle for 40 minute motos where conditions can change drastically would be a safety disaster.


Not sure about the "kids sounding dumb" thing. Are they sounding like kids when you expect them to sound like young adults?

OP doesn't seem to be very well explained, do you have any examples of practice crashes that wouldn't have happened if they were only limited to what, and hour a day? What's to say that won't cause urgency in testing sessions leading to more crashes?

Thinking of changes for issues that don't exist...


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2/23/2018 2:44 AM

That rule would never work .All of those other disciplines don,t train on what they operate .Vale can't just go and pound out laps on his Motogp bike in his back yard like the MX boys

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2/23/2018 3:47 AM

I dont see how limiting testing and training will benefit anything. Like why wouldnt you prepare as much as possible for a pro sport? How are you supposed to monitor this in mx? All those sports you listed require a full blown facility to test in. People have mx tracks in their back yards.

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2/23/2018 4:24 AM

Restrictions are in place in F1 and MotoGP to keep costs down, and reduce the work load of the team, we used to have a dedicated test team pretty much as big as the race team , out there on the road, it eats up a huge amount of funding, and only separates the haves from the have not's even more.

Same limited mileage stuff also exists in WRC.

You can run a factory MX team for what F1 teams spend on sandwiches.

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2/23/2018 4:48 AM

Home schooling sure gets a bad rap around this place. If the parents don't care I guess they can let their kid skate through with an unacceptable education. Some states have requirements that home schooling curriculum's have to meet and some don't. I live in IL and they don't have any requirments as we're home schooling are youngest daughter. I know of a kid from a family of ten and he and his siblings were all home schooled here. He got accepted into the University of Illinois engineering curriculum which is quite an achievement itself (high entrance standards) but he just graduated from there with a degree in mechanical engineering and was recently hired by Penske racing to be part rt of their Nascar engine development team. As an ME graduate myself I'd say he obviuosly did very, very well with his schooling.

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2/23/2018 5:29 AM

Isn't the MotoGP testing restrictions only for team riders? I thought KTM has been developing their bike at the Austria track with Mika Kalio(?) as a test rider without restriction.

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2/23/2018 6:20 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/23/2018 6:20 AM

Didn't AMA have age rule around the time AC was turning 16 and he just threatened to go to the GPs so they got rid of it? In hindsight it probably would've helped his career if he waited to put on some muscle, but that's another discussion.

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2/23/2018 6:32 AM

yak651 wrote:

Didn't AMA have age rule around the time AC was turning 16 and he just threatened to go to the GPs so they got rid of it? In hindsight it probably would've helped his career if he waited to put on some muscle, but that's another discussion.

No

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2/23/2018 6:48 AM

yak651 wrote:

Didn't AMA have age rule around the time AC was turning 16 and he just threatened to go to the GPs so they got rid of it? In hindsight it probably would've helped his career if he waited to put on some muscle, but that's another discussion.

kkawboy14 wrote:

No

Actually yes, the rule was a rider had to be 18 years old to race. When adam was coming up, the rule was changed.

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2/23/2018 7:00 AM

Two things.. Bring back the claiming rule, make it about $20-25k or so to eliminate frivolous claims. And limit the number of engines a rider can use in a season to something like one engine has to last two races. Both would encourage conservative and economical engineering, incentivizing durability and bang for the buck, hopefully making for more durable and cheaper production bikes. And yes, same engine rule for the 250s. Not to go too off topic, but The biggest problem I see with current 250s is the lack of durability for a young kid starting out. Make the race teams help develop longer lasting bikes..

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2/23/2018 7:14 AM

Gravel wrote:

Two things.. Bring back the claiming rule, make it about $20-25k or so to eliminate frivolous claims. And limit the number of engines a rider can use in a season to something like one engine has to last two races. Both would encourage conservative and economical engineering, incentivizing durability and bang for the buck, hopefully making for more durable and cheaper production bikes. And yes, same engine rule for the 250s. Not to go too off topic, but The biggest problem I see with current 250s is the lack of durability for a young kid starting out. Make the race teams help develop longer lasting bikes..

The current factory-level race team 250Fs can make two races without any change to their build. In fact, the majority can run near 15 hours before rebuild. Right now, they're pulled more often purely to inspect for safety. Some times the "rebuild" is as simple as a new clutch, rings for the piston, and gaskets.

Enforcing that rule amongst privateers is near impossible and race teams won't be effected on power.

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2/23/2018 7:26 AM

A little follow up here.

I don't know how they would control limiting testing and training. I'm not taking about cutting them down to 1 hour per week or something drastic. Pro athletes in all forms of sports don't stop training in the off season, they may cut back some, but they don't stop. Same would apply here. This sport is too demanding to expect them to make drastic cuts in training and testing.
My thought process is along the line of limiting the testing time done as a team. They have scheduled days and times they are allowed to bring the team out and test. This isn't going to get anyone killed come race time. These guys are the best in the world at what they do. It's going to make them be more efficient during their time, the bikes and riders will still be ready come A1.
As stated, it very well could have the opposite effect and hurt the racing. We truly don't know and there's no real way to quantify it.

Homeschooling does catch a bad rap around here, and it's for good reason. The kids that are doing it in the moto world aren't getting a solid education in a lot of circumstances. I've met some of these kids parents that are teaching them and I don't believe the parents could read either. They have it in their head though that their kid is going to be the next RC and it's simply not true. They are doing the bare minimum so that they can spend more time on the track.

To whomever it was that asked for examples of riders getting hurt while testing/training, Alex Ray was injured this week and will be out. Davi Millsaps, career ending injury during testing. Do I need to keep going? Obviously there would still be injuries, it's the nature of the sport.

I guess my main point with all of this is that they are making format changes, which I'm not opposed to, while ignoring some glaringly obvious issues. If they want racing to be exciting and draw people in, they need to minimize attrition and extend the career span of the top racers.
We all know how exciting it was when RC, Bubba, and CR battled it out every weekend. Right now, the biggest battle we have is between Tomac and himself.
It's the superstars of the sport that fill the seats, especially for the fans that show up who don't ride/race themselves.

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2/23/2018 7:33 AM

Braaaphole wrote:

A little follow up here.

I don't know how they would control limiting testing and training. I'm not taking about cutting them down to 1 hour per week or something drastic. Pro athletes in all forms of sports don't stop training in the off season, they may cut back some, but they don't stop. Same would apply here. This sport is too demanding to expect them to make drastic cuts in training and testing.
My thought process is along the line of limiting the testing time done as a team. They have scheduled days and times they are allowed to bring the team out and test. This isn't going to get anyone killed come race time. These guys are the best in the world at what they do. It's going to make them be more efficient during their time, the bikes and riders will still be ready come A1.
As stated, it very well could have the opposite effect and hurt the racing. We truly don't know and there's no real way to quantify it.

Homeschooling does catch a bad rap around here, and it's for good reason. The kids that are doing it in the moto world aren't getting a solid education in a lot of circumstances. I've met some of these kids parents that are teaching them and I don't believe the parents could read either. They have it in their head though that their kid is going to be the next RC and it's simply not true. They are doing the bare minimum so that they can spend more time on the track.

To whomever it was that asked for examples of riders getting hurt while testing/training, Alex Ray was injured this week and will be out. Davi Millsaps, career ending injury during testing. Do I need to keep going? Obviously there would still be injuries, it's the nature of the sport.

I guess my main point with all of this is that they are making format changes, which I'm not opposed to, while ignoring some glaringly obvious issues. If they want racing to be exciting and draw people in, they need to minimize attrition and extend the career span of the top racers.
We all know how exciting it was when RC, Bubba, and CR battled it out every weekend. Right now, the biggest battle we have is between Tomac and himself.
It's the superstars of the sport that fill the seats, especially for the fans that show up who don't ride/race themselves.

"Testing" is the same as just practicing Supercross during the week...it's no more dangerous or safer. You're not going to be able to restrict practice time and even a rider, if he wanted to be mechanical, can change his own parts and test without the team.

Regulating practice time, if possible, could make it more dangerous for these guys on the weekend if they haven't been able to ride Supercross...

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2/23/2018 7:35 AM

Gravel wrote:

Two things.. Bring back the claiming rule, make it about $20-25k or so to eliminate frivolous claims. And limit the number of engines a rider can use in a season to something like one engine has to last two races. Both would encourage conservative and economical engineering, incentivizing durability and bang for the buck, hopefully making for more durable and cheaper production bikes. And yes, same engine rule for the 250s. Not to go too off topic, but The biggest problem I see with current 250s is the lack of durability for a young kid starting out. Make the race teams help develop longer lasting bikes..

ML512 wrote:

The current factory-level race team 250Fs can make two races without any change to their build. In fact, the majority can run near 15 hours before rebuild. Right now, they're pulled more often purely to inspect for safety. Some times the "rebuild" is as simple as a new clutch, rings for the piston, and gaskets.

Enforcing that rule amongst privateers is near impossible and race teams won't be effected on power.

That’s impressive durability for a 250 that’s putting out competitive power. Better than I remember built 125s doing for sure.. but the idea remains, make rules that encourage economical durability and longevity improvements at the factory level, hoping for improvements at the production level.

Any thoughts on a claiming rule?



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2/23/2018 8:08 AM

Gravel wrote:

Two things.. Bring back the claiming rule, make it about $20-25k or so to eliminate frivolous claims. And limit the number of engines a rider can use in a season to something like one engine has to last two races. Both would encourage conservative and economical engineering, incentivizing durability and bang for the buck, hopefully making for more durable and cheaper production bikes. And yes, same engine rule for the 250s. Not to go too off topic, but The biggest problem I see with current 250s is the lack of durability for a young kid starting out. Make the race teams help develop longer lasting bikes..

ML512 wrote:

The current factory-level race team 250Fs can make two races without any change to their build. In fact, the majority can run near 15 hours before rebuild. Right now, they're pulled more often purely to inspect for safety. Some times the "rebuild" is as simple as a new clutch, rings for the piston, and gaskets.

Enforcing that rule amongst privateers is near impossible and race teams won't be effected on power.

Gravel wrote:

That’s impressive durability for a 250 that’s putting out competitive power. Better than I remember built 125s doing for sure.. but the idea remains, make rules that encourage economical durability and longevity improvements at the factory level, hoping for improvements at the production level.

Any thoughts on a claiming rule?



Claiming rule would be weird to enforce as well, teams would hand shake agree to not do it to one another (like they do at LL's) and if a privateer dared do it, the bike would be useless after a few races as they wouldn't be able to get the parts to rebuild it and basically be black-balled from teams after that.

As for the sealed engine rule, I dislike it because it's a safety hazard for Supercross. While the engines are designed to go longer, something can still happen and die say after four races. In Supercross, it's likely this will happen in the whoops or a rhythm lane and injure the rider...in car racing sports, the car just glides to a halt. It's adding an unnecessary risk to riders.

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2/23/2018 8:20 AM

All of motorsports has jumped the shark in that the equipment and technology has advanced beyond reasonable levels for the humans piloting them on the courses they run on. MX/SX has a little advantage because the rider/machine factor is heavily weighted toward the rider vs most motorsports. Back when the AMA put in the production rule it somewhat thwarted this problem for a while. But then the manufacturers started upgrading the production machines to the point that they have become incredible in stock form. So now even MX/SX suffers from the fact that the machines are just too damn good. Every other motorsport has become so laden with rules that they are basically spec series and the margin for advantage is miniscule and we could be headed in that same direction. The only answer is to force these guys to use training methods and bikes from the 70's tongue

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2/23/2018 8:21 AM

Gravel wrote:

That’s impressive durability for a 250 that’s putting out competitive power. Better than I remember built 125s doing for sure.. but the idea remains, make rules that encourage economical durability and longevity improvements at the factory level, hoping for improvements at the production level.

Any thoughts on a claiming rule?



I've thought about dropping the price/adding competitiveness in the 250 class for a bit and here's the couple I've come up with...

1. Production tire rules: Right now, the top 250 teams have access to proto tires. I'd like to see the 250 teams only be allowed off-the-shelf tire patterns and compounds. To eliminate a "race replica" tire with a high price tag, put a cap on the front and rear tire price.

2. Fuel rules: I feel like a spec fuel could control its own costs and motor building costs in one shot. I'd purpose a spec fuel that is just slightly higher octane than pump (maybe 95-ish) with no oxygen or power additives and no additives to eliminate detention/knock factor. Keep the price between $5-6 a gallon. This would lower the price of a 5 gallon pale of race fuel from something like $150 to around $30.

That alone would a big savings, but there's an added aspect as well. If you eliminate the additives that aid in scathing away detention and the octane level isn't too high, it could help lower the compression levels of these race engines and keep them closer to stock levels. Beyond that, a key place that the factory level 250 teams find power is the endless time they can spend mapping a bike to best utilize the high-end fuels and make the bikes run perfectly crisp. Taking away a lot of those additives I feel like would lessen their advantage with so much time to invest in mapping. Don't get me wrong, they'd still spend a lot of time mapping the bikes and making them crisp as can be, but I don't think the advantage would be as wide against a privateer who would try to utilize the same fuel but doesn't have the resources to adjust the mapping so precisely to maximize those additives.

Lastly, a privateer could take a practice bike with good fuel (that's not race legal) to run during the week to make closer power to their "fuel restricted" race engines without all the needed mods. It could make their practice bikes cheaper and more reliable, while still making power levels comparable to their race bikes.

3. Tighter suspension rules: There's a price cap on suspension in the 250 class right now but it's poorly enforced and worded. I'd like to see a rule that require the fork legs, cartridges, and damping rods to be homologated from a production level bike...along with the shock bodies, compression adjusters, and shock shafts. Then, place a lower price cap on all these parts so someone like KTM doesn't release a special edition bike with Cone Valves and a Traxx shock to get around this rule.

The goal would be for everyone to be on components that are near stock levels with maybe some coatings, valving changes, pistons, and spring rates. Additional parts like fork spring seats or spring tubes could be added. Ultimately I'd like to see this rule work to the point a spare set of race-level suspension (without coatings) was closer to $2500-3000 for a complete set of forks and shock.

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2/23/2018 8:26 AM

I would like to see the 250sx class become the 40hp class. Relax the homologation rules and let any engine (or motor) configuration run. Feld can buy a mobile Dyno, and run the bikes at tech then impound the top 10 after the race to Dyno after the race too. Retests can be done up until the night show starts if a team is over or under the limit they can tune the ignition to bring it in line. 450 becomes open class, run anything. This would add a bit of complexity but reduce the cost.

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2/23/2018 8:33 AM

TripleFive wrote:

The AMA can't even competently enforce a rule regarding track cutting. Just think about that.

GuyB wrote:

Ah well, bringing your account back was a worthwhile experiment.

Funny how some think. Here in two sentences it is.

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2/23/2018 8:43 AM

ML512 wrote:

The current factory-level race team 250Fs can make two races without any change to their build. In fact, the majority can run near 15 hours before rebuild. Right now, they're pulled more often purely to inspect for safety. Some times the "rebuild" is as simple as a new clutch, rings for the piston, and gaskets.

Enforcing that rule amongst privateers is near impossible and race teams won't be effected on power.

Gravel wrote:

That’s impressive durability for a 250 that’s putting out competitive power. Better than I remember built 125s doing for sure.. but the idea remains, make rules that encourage economical durability and longevity improvements at the factory level, hoping for improvements at the production level.

Any thoughts on a claiming rule?



ML512 wrote:

Claiming rule would be weird to enforce as well, teams would hand shake agree to not do it to one another (like they do at LL's) and if a privateer dared do it, the bike would be useless after a few races as they wouldn't be able to get the parts to rebuild it and basically be black-balled from teams after that.

As for the sealed engine rule, I dislike it because it's a safety hazard for Supercross. While the engines are designed to go longer, something can still happen and die say after four races. In Supercross, it's likely this will happen in the whoops or a rhythm lane and injure the rider...in car racing sports, the car just glides to a halt. It's adding an unnecessary risk to riders.

You just confirmed that the “industry” would collude to cheat the rules and then when the rules are used, would discriminate against people who played by the rules!

It’s easy to see why many people hate the industry part of moto.

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2/23/2018 8:44 AM

age rules were put in place and the powers to be shot it down before it got traction. no clue why or how.

16-18 is a big growth time. mentally and physically.

but then these same folks thought a 125 or cost didn't matter in this sport either.

limiting practice, demanding specific education, all under the guise of wanting a better and safer product allowing lessor experienced riders to compete won't work specifically because how can it be enforced. You think with today's tracks and layouts that this is a better scenario?

Great ideas don't logistically make good rules.


triple 5 has a point, maybe it's a little rough for the people handle.

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2/23/2018 9:31 AM

ML512 wrote:

The current factory-level race team 250Fs can make two races without any change to their build. In fact, the majority can run near 15 hours before rebuild. Right now, they're pulled more often purely to inspect for safety. Some times the "rebuild" is as simple as a new clutch, rings for the piston, and gaskets.

Enforcing that rule amongst privateers is near impossible and race teams won't be effected on power.

Gravel wrote:

That’s impressive durability for a 250 that’s putting out competitive power. Better than I remember built 125s doing for sure.. but the idea remains, make rules that encourage economical durability and longevity improvements at the factory level, hoping for improvements at the production level.

Any thoughts on a claiming rule?



ML512 wrote:

Claiming rule would be weird to enforce as well, teams would hand shake agree to not do it to one another (like they do at LL's) and if a privateer dared do it, the bike would be useless after a few races as they wouldn't be able to get the parts to rebuild it and basically be black-balled from teams after that.

As for the sealed engine rule, I dislike it because it's a safety hazard for Supercross. While the engines are designed to go longer, something can still happen and die say after four races. In Supercross, it's likely this will happen in the whoops or a rhythm lane and injure the rider...in car racing sports, the car just glides to a halt. It's adding an unnecessary risk to riders.

Claiming rule just for suspension? And make it sorta easy? No idea how to get away from blackballing though..

Spec fuel sounds like a good path, assuming real testing and consistent enforcement takes place.

As for claiming a bike, it’d be awesome to see a guy like Chad Reed grab one.. I get what you’re saying about factory level collusion, and that’s what it is, with the candy coating stripped away, but I think SOMEONE would have the right position to get a factory bike once in a while. Late career pros, Reed and the 800 come to mind..

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