The death of our sport

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3/13/2018 2:22 AM

So I'm looking up Loretta area results. And I'm seeing 5 rider classes for novice............what happened to the days of 60+ entries?
I think once the turnouts start to decline like this. It makes people even less likely to show up if your only going to be racing a handful of guys

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3/13/2018 2:23 AM

I say everyone that rides should start racing and we all stop being practice day primadonnas. Including myself

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3/13/2018 2:32 AM

rongi#401 wrote:

I say everyone that rides should start racing and we all stop being practice day primadonnas. Including myself

.....Its not everyone who can afford to race, sir.

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2020.5 KTM Cairoli Factory Edition 5.7hrs
2019 Alta Redshift MXR - 0.9hrs!.
2020 KTM 250 SX 5hrs.

imoto34 wrote:
Look at all that torque. The kid on the lawnmower may have laughed so hard he shat his pants.

3/13/2018 2:44 AM

rongi#401 wrote:

I say everyone that rides should start racing and we all stop being practice day primadonnas. Including myself

#76 wrote:

.....Its not everyone who can afford to race, sir.

Surely its already cost a penny to load up the bike and gas then pay your "practice day" entry fee. unsure

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I blame Honda.

3/13/2018 2:44 AM

rongi#401 wrote:

I say everyone that rides should start racing and we all stop being practice day primadonnas. Including myself

#76 wrote:

.....Its not everyone who can afford to race, sir.

Bingo. Even riding a practice track every weekend gets expensive

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2011 Yamaha YZ 250 -MX
1996 Yamaha Banshee 350 -Trails
1982 Chevy S10
2005 Pontiac GTO -451rwhp

3/13/2018 2:49 AM

To race, be safe, and be competitive, it takes money. More money than just riding the track for fun.
Its not really track owners or the industries fault for costs either. So I'm not bagging on the cost to ride a track or to buy tires, filters, and chain / sprocket prices.
But I feel the real reality that affects young riders getting in and staying in is relative to the inherent danger and injuries of our sport, and I feel the biggest issue is Money, or should I say excess play money.
People today, just don't have extra money to be involved in racing like 20-30 years ago. Plain and simple.
You can blame it on geo-political policy. You can blame it on workforce realities, i.e.: paying huge amounts of our paychecks for medical insurance and deductibles. You can blame it on raises that don't keep up. You can blame it on us having to fund our own retirement, instead of having company pensions. But either way, the lack of expendable money is killing a lot of motorsports.
It's very grim to see turnouts like that at Loretta's, but that is what's been occurring at the local level for a very long time now.

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3/13/2018 2:52 AM

kawasa84 wrote:

To race, be safe, and be competitive, it takes money. More money than just riding the track for fun.
Its not really track owners or the industries fault for costs either. So I'm not bagging on the cost to ride a track or to buy tires, filters, and chain / sprocket prices.
But I feel the real reality that affects young riders getting in and staying in is relative to the inherent danger and injuries of our sport, and I feel the biggest issue is Money, or should I say excess play money.
People today, just don't have extra money to be involved in racing like 20-30 years ago. Plain and simple.
You can blame it on geo-political policy. You can blame it on workforce realities, i.e.: paying huge amounts of our paychecks for medical insurance and deductibles. You can blame it on raises that don't keep up. You can blame it on us having to fund our own retirement, instead of having company pensions. But either way, the lack of expendable money is killing a lot of motorsports.
It's very grim to see turnouts like that at Loretta's, but that is what's been occurring at the local level for a very long time now.

I could afford to race. I couldn't afford to be injured...

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3/13/2018 2:57 AM

kawasa84 wrote:

To race, be safe, and be competitive, it takes money. More money than just riding the track for fun.
Its not really track owners or the industries fault for costs either. So I'm not bagging on the cost to ride a track or to buy tires, filters, and chain / sprocket prices.
But I feel the real reality that affects young riders getting in and staying in is relative to the inherent danger and injuries of our sport, and I feel the biggest issue is Money, or should I say excess play money.
People today, just don't have extra money to be involved in racing like 20-30 years ago. Plain and simple.
You can blame it on geo-political policy. You can blame it on workforce realities, i.e.: paying huge amounts of our paychecks for medical insurance and deductibles. You can blame it on raises that don't keep up. You can blame it on us having to fund our own retirement, instead of having company pensions. But either way, the lack of expendable money is killing a lot of motorsports.
It's very grim to see turnouts like that at Loretta's, but that is what's been occurring at the local level for a very long time now.

Fresh wrote:

I could afford to race. I couldn't afford to be injured...

Could you afford enough spare parts, practice, qualifiers, etc. to go after a Lorreta's championship?? even in your class?
A lot of us could maybe spring for some local racing, most, couldn't afford what it would take to be competitive to race out of state qualifiers and everything else, to chase a shot at Lorreta's

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3/13/2018 2:58 AM

I prefer to just go to practice days. Racing should cost $10 a class since youre actually getting less bike time than a $20/$25 practice day. $25 class fee plus $10 gate fee for less than an hour of riding is stupid.

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3/13/2018 3:03 AM

I went to a practice day the day before a race and paid $25 to ride for the day. On race day I paid $60 for about half hour of riding. Didn't make any sense to me, haven't raced since.

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3/13/2018 3:08 AM

jorgechavez wrote:

I went to a practice day the day before a race and paid $25 to ride for the day. On race day I paid $60 for about half hour of riding. Didn't make any sense to me, haven't raced since.

But the adrenaline rush on race day is priceless. wink

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I blame Honda.

3/13/2018 3:24 AM

kawasa84 wrote:

To race, be safe, and be competitive, it takes money. More money than just riding the track for fun.
Its not really track owners or the industries fault for costs either. So I'm not bagging on the cost to ride a track or to buy tires, filters, and chain / sprocket prices.
But I feel the real reality that affects young riders getting in and staying in is relative to the inherent danger and injuries of our sport, and I feel the biggest issue is Money, or should I say excess play money.
People today, just don't have extra money to be involved in racing like 20-30 years ago. Plain and simple.
You can blame it on geo-political policy. You can blame it on workforce realities, i.e.: paying huge amounts of our paychecks for medical insurance and deductibles. You can blame it on raises that don't keep up. You can blame it on us having to fund our own retirement, instead of having company pensions. But either way, the lack of expendable money is killing a lot of motorsports.
It's very grim to see turnouts like that at Loretta's, but that is what's been occurring at the local level for a very long time now.

More like 1000 channels on our 70 inch tv's with unlimited data plans on our phones, new cars every couple years, new phones. We just have more stuff and more distractions.

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3/13/2018 3:42 AM

Practice day riding is a much better deal for me. I have a family so I’d rather not sit at the track from 7 in the morning until 5 st night because there are 20 classes racing and then drive 2 hours each way home. Not to mention there are 3-4 series up here that all have their own membership fees or one day fees. So $15 gate fee, $40 per class, $20 translonder fee with $200 cash deposit, $20 day membership. No thanks I’d rather spend $30, get to the track at 10am and ride until 1 and then take my kid to the beach or do something else with my time and my money.

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3/13/2018 3:51 AM

Photo

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3/13/2018 3:56 AM

Pirate421 wrote:

Practice day riding is a much better deal for me. I have a family so I’d rather not sit at the track from 7 in the morning until 5 st night because there are 20 classes racing and then drive 2 hours each way home. Not to mention there are 3-4 series up here that all have their own membership fees or one day fees. So $15 gate fee, $40 per class, $20 translonder fee with $200 cash deposit, $20 day membership. No thanks I’d rather spend $30, get to the track at 10am and ride until 1 and then take my kid to the beach or do something else with my time and my money.

True statement right there, I am with you. Last race I spent $30 per class to get two 4 lap motos, about 6 or so minutes of track time. Rather spend the $20 for practice and ride for numerous hours.

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3/13/2018 3:57 AM

I kind of quit racing in the early 90’s when the 250 A class had 5 bikes in it. A couple years later the Plus 25 helped bring me back to a point, but then work overpowered my ability to ride/race. Plus, race day isn’t much fun anymore when you get three laps, and spend 14 hours at the track waiting through umpteen classes to run. When I first started there was A and B in each bike size, two 80 classes, 65, pee wee, schoolboy and senior. That’s it till the damn three and four wheelers showed up and started screwing up the track. Oh well.

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3/13/2018 4:06 AM

I hate to say it, but money is an issue, plus race day schedules.

I looked at getting in to racing here in Atlantic Canada (grew up trail riding, never raced), but once I look at everything, it didn't make sense. Schedules were a big part of it. For a beginner like me, I have an 8 minute practice early morning, 8min+1 lap race at like 1pm, then another 8min+1 lap race around like 4 or 5pm. So I basically get 30 mins of racing. Most races are many hours drive away, so I basically have to set aside a weekend to go race 30 mins ? Count all the fuel/travel costs, on top of getting a bike to race, it just seems stupid. I have a KDX for trail riding, which I am keeping regardless, so I'd have to spend probably 3-4k for another decent bike, plus getting it ready, plus parts (let's face it, I will crash and break something at some point), plus travel for let's say 4-5 races a year (if I could make that many), that's a lot of money for 1 hobby. I have many other hobbies, and when I looked at it, trying to race would basically have to be my only hobby, and as much as I love it, it's not worth it.

I realize not everyone is in this boat, but for someone looking to get into it, who doesn't live close to many tracks, it almost has to be all or nothing. If they had it scheduled to where I could show up, practice, race and be done by like 1pm, I probably would of gone for it, but having so many classes, so spread out, that was the nail in the coffin for me.

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3/13/2018 4:13 AM

kawasa84 wrote:

To race, be safe, and be competitive, it takes money. More money than just riding the track for fun.
Its not really track owners or the industries fault for costs either. So I'm not bagging on the cost to ride a track or to buy tires, filters, and chain / sprocket prices.
But I feel the real reality that affects young riders getting in and staying in is relative to the inherent danger and injuries of our sport, and I feel the biggest issue is Money, or should I say excess play money.
People today, just don't have extra money to be involved in racing like 20-30 years ago. Plain and simple.
You can blame it on geo-political policy. You can blame it on workforce realities, i.e.: paying huge amounts of our paychecks for medical insurance and deductibles. You can blame it on raises that don't keep up. You can blame it on us having to fund our own retirement, instead of having company pensions. But either way, the lack of expendable money is killing a lot of motorsports.
It's very grim to see turnouts like that at Loretta's, but that is what's been occurring at the local level for a very long time now.

coastlinecascot wrote:

More like 1000 channels on our 70 inch tv's with unlimited data plans on our phones, new cars every couple years, new phones. We just have more stuff and more distractions.

This is it right here. For me at least. I rather spend money on new iPhones, ipads, new cars and other activities that also cost money like snowboarding, mountain biking, surfing, which all cost money as well.

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3/13/2018 4:24 AM

Well shit... 450s all cost over 10 grand till you get them out the door now days. Back in the 2000s you could get a 250 2 stroke for under 6k out the door. Factor in the price of maintenance on the 4 strokes (if you're even able to do it yourself.) 2 strokes could be rebuilt by most people for a few hundred. Any aftermarket exhaust for a 4 stroke is over a grand, where a 2 stroke system would be less than half that. This is just scratching the surface here.

Tracks charge a hell of a lot more and nobody wants to spend a couple hundred to spend all day at the tracks to do a few 4 lap motos.

On top of all that, factor in the fact that a lot less guys make a living in the sport anymore when you hit the pro level. Tell me how that makes sense that top guys are paid less but everything else became more expensive.

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3/13/2018 4:43 AM

You all make great points. And I agree with many of them. I too don't race much, but ride practice days.

But let me offer another perspective

We promote MX races here in Indiana, and have for many years. Trust me, you don't do it to get rich unless you have a National.

Before we let a bike hit the track on race day, we have over $3000 dollars invested.
That includes insurance, trophies, ambulance, labor, and fuel. That's not including A rider payback, equipment maintenance and breakdowns, trash removal, mowing, and utilities.

It all adds up.

Plus there's a lot of work that goes into just getting ready for the weekend.
Now add to that how hard it is to find good help, scorers, flaggers, gate workers, etc.

As far as too many classes go, that's an age old debate and a catch 22.
We stagger start as much as we can and still end up with about 14 motos. 28 total for the day

Everybody wants less until you ask them which ones to cut. It's never the class they race.
Plus, most riders want to ride at least 2 classes, some ride 3. The only way that's possible is to have all the classes we have now. I only race a few times a year, but when I do race I ride +50 and +60.

In the last few years we've had to add a 125 class, which I actually think is good but we didn't cut any classes. So there's another one. There's no easy answer.
As a promoter and a rider, I get both sides. It's a unique perspective with no easy answers.

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3/13/2018 4:45 AM

greenmx5 wrote:

Well shit... 450s all cost over 10 grand till you get them out the door now days. Back in the 2000s you could get a 250 2 stroke for under 6k out the door. Factor in the price of maintenance on the 4 strokes (if you're even able to do it yourself.) 2 strokes could be rebuilt by most people for a few hundred. Any aftermarket exhaust for a 4 stroke is over a grand, where a 2 stroke system would be less than half that. This is just scratching the surface here.

Tracks charge a hell of a lot more and nobody wants to spend a couple hundred to spend all day at the tracks to do a few 4 lap motos.

On top of all that, factor in the fact that a lot less guys make a living in the sport anymore when you hit the pro level. Tell me how that makes sense that top guys are paid less but everything else became more expensive.

Your bike cost and maintenance scenario is off. Sure, you could get a new bike for $6000 in 2000, but what is the present value of that $6000 in 2000? Probaly about the same as what a new bike cost today. On reliability, 4 strokes today are pretty damn reliable. Lastly, racing has always been an all day experience since I’ve started in 1995, not much different 23 years later for me, few laps and there all day...

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3/13/2018 5:18 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/13/2018 5:25 AM

I’m gonna start racing again some time soon now that I can race the 30+ class.

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3/13/2018 5:34 AM

rongi#401 wrote:

I say everyone that rides should start racing and we all stop being practice day primadonnas. Including myself

Fuck that. I'll race again when manufacturers quit pushing 10k 4 stroke spaceships. Until then everyone should quit racing and only ride for fun.

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3/13/2018 5:48 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/13/2018 5:52 AM

My 54 year old stepdad paid his way through Georgia Tech working at Burger King. A job like that won't get you a semester at community college these days. I don't feel like finding the specific number, but real housing costs have increased something like 40% or more since the 60s or 70s IIRC. Something like that. I can't speak for anyone else, but in college I couldn't afford a baloney sandwich, much less even a roached 125 to play on or the gas to get to any tracks. I worked 30-40 hours a week, had no auto loans, roommates, nothing nice, and still there was just no way. Not on min wage, and that is about what most people in the target group (ie, young guys) are making. Even after graduating and getting a semi decent white collar job, splitting rent, and living as cheap as possible, it still would have been next to impossible without going into credit card debt for gear and gas. It is EXPENSIVE to be alive today folks. Most other young guys/young people have huge student loans AND fat car payments every month. There's just not much month at the end of the money. The banks are certainly happy. I don't know what to do about it.

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3/13/2018 6:01 AM

I hate the 7 am-6pm day for 2 Motos. As soon as my kid gets old enuf I will spend my days with him at the track. But if he decides to do other sports my feelings won’t be hurt. Again long days in the sun waiting suck.

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3/13/2018 6:09 AM

Moto is awesome, love watching top pros on a track air it out. It’s truly an art form that most casual observers do not appreciate. As for me, 47 years old, 6’2” and 230 lbs with two artificial knees and a rotator cuff repair from moto, I’ll keep my riding for pleasure and support the local track with ride days for myself and my boys, buy a couple concessions there or a shirt. Support local motorcycle shops with my business. Looking into scenic trail riding, too. I’m excited about the high end dual sport market from ktm and husky (and TM), completely ignored by the Japanese.
Looking at the carnage from this season’s SX, no thank you to racing. Riding even close to the edge with other riders who are doing the same? And no significant winnings to offset the cost of that $80,000 knee replacement and 6 month rehab time and cost in addition to significant time out of work? Crazy.
Wish the local tracks would focus on training days for kids with local pros. I’d gladly pay a couple hundred for that. Rope off an area to practice certain things like jumps or turns. Between my two boys and myself, I’ve got over $20,000 invested in bikes, trailers, straps, supplies, tires, you name it, and None of those were purchased new. It’s not a poor man’s sport.

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3/13/2018 6:11 AM

The long day of waiting is what drove me away. I can pay less to ride a practice day and ride way more. I can also race a harescramble and ride for 1.5 hrs load up and head home. Both more bang for the buck than MX.

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2018 CRF250R

3/13/2018 6:24 AM

Yes you get less track time on a race day unless you’re racing multiple classes but racing is fun. Riding is great, don’t get me wrong, but racing against other people is much more exciting and fun than just logging laps.

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3/13/2018 6:29 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/13/2018 6:31 AM

I race when:
1) my class is expected to be reasonably full, so 15 or more in MX2 B
2) i get at least 1 practice session of 10 minutes and 2 motos (15+1)
3) The schedule is for half a day at the track
4) it is on a track within an hour tot 75 minute drive (which would be +- 15 tracks for me)

If not then i will simply go for a practice day. I did 1 race allreayd this year where the schedule was for a full day (leave at 7 in the morning and back at 18), and i hated it, especially since the GF joins me on race days and i don't want her to spend the whole day at the track waiting (or getting up at 7 in the morning). And tbh i don't like it for myself as well, very long day.

I expect to do roughly 10 races this year, and 20 practice days.

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3/13/2018 6:38 AM

I quit racing a long time ago mostly because of kids and women lol

Mainly through kids and a wife I have a lot going on. Can’t ride enough to stay in race shape. Go out there and get all pumped up in one lap and crash my brains out. No thanks. Like others have mentioned seat time to cost ratio is trash. Money is also an issue, but it’s not the cost of the sport that’s kicking my ass. It’s everything else....

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