Ask Ping!Friday, August 17, 2012 | 9:30 AM
Just wanted to say I love the work you do for the sport with Racer X. When I was at the Washougal Nationals my buddy and I were walking through the pits and stopped to watch the Dunlop guys at work. This thought had never crossed my mind until my buddy asked me this question: Are the tire compounds that the pros use the same as the average Joes like us could buy? I assumed all these years that tires were tires until the Pulpmx pod cast made a comment about a controversy with Cooper Webb changing his tire for Lorretta's. I know Lorretta's has rules and regulations per class but it made me wonder again if the tires the pro riders use are the same ones we can by minus perhaps some custom tread patterns. Keep up the good work!
The short answer to your question is no. And sometimes yes. Right now there is one specific rear tire that every top-tier rider is using, especially in supercross. It is lighter than a production tire and it hooks up like The Situation at a shady nightclub in New Jersey. Unfortunately for “Joes” like you it isn’t available to the public. The rubber compound is so soft that knobbies start flying off and it literally disintegrates after one moto. That’s no good for anybody who has to pay for tires. Some riders like the way other tires feel though and some of those, like the MX51, are available to the public. Some of the selection just comes down to rider preference. There will always be tires in professional racing that aren’t offered to the public because they don’t make sense to sell. Personally, I’m more impressed with how quickly and easily those guys change tires than the treads or compounds themselves. It takes me at least 30 minutes for one tire and my knuckles looked like I just went four rounds with a brick wall.
Why is Suzuki not as accepted in the motocross industry as other brands? Now I am bias because that is all I own, but I bought them with a mechanical background not because I love the color yellow. The motors are sound, valves don't need adjusted frequently (Hondas), they don't grenade during racing (kawis) and they turn on a dime. The new Rmz's only weakness is it's clutch (98 kx 250), same parts, but aftermarket companies make few products for the Rmz.
Your insight is greatly appreciated,
Each manufacturer goes through their ups and downs in professional racing. I don’t have stats in front of me but I would guess that Suzuki has won as many or more SX/MX races in the past five years than any other brand. Between RC and Dungey and now Stewart that is one successful motorcycle. And yet before RC came along they couldn’t buy a win. Honda has always been known as a powerhouse but how many titles have they won lately? And Yamaha is certainly in the thick of a PR nightmare right now in terms of their professional racing organization. And poor KTM doesn’t have one single championship here in US racing… yet. But their first one is coming (maybe this weekend) and it looks like they are going to get in the game, big time.
It’s funny to me how a die-hard of any brand remains loyal through good times and bad. You are a Suzuki fan, obviously, and you are buying yellow whether they are winning races or not. And a Yamaha fan hasn’t been swayed by any of the talk that has gone around about their current model. There is no shortage of good bikes right now and in that sense the consumer is winning. Will James Stewart bring back Yellow Magic in 2013 and shoot Suzuki back onto the championship platform? Time will tell. Will it effect what you buy? Probably not.
Obama or Romney? And why. I'm more of a liberal, I think, and being from Massachusetts I feel Romney doesn't have the best reputation around here. Obama doesn't impress me though and I feel like they all say things that contradict themselves.
I'm also a small business owner who has seen how bad the economy really is, working a lot more for a lot less. I was just wonder if you would share your two cents with me on this. I didn't vote last year and want to this year.
This is a critical vote coming in November and I hope that intelligent Americans take some time to understand the candidates’ policies and positions and make an informed vote. No, our political system isn’t perfect but sitting back and doing nothing only makes it worse. My suggestion would be to have a look at a letter I came across recently. Mr. Crowley expresses a sentiment felt by many small business owners in this country lately. He sums it up better than I could…
To All My Valued Employees,
There have been some rumblings around the office about the future of this company, and more specifically, your job. As you know, the economy has changed for the worse and presents many challenges. However, the good news is this: The economy doesn't pose a threat to your job.
What does threaten your job however, is the changing political landscape in this country. Of course, as your employer, I am forbidden to tell you whom to vote for - it is against the law to discriminate based on political affiliation, race, creed, religion, etc.
Please vote for who you think will serve your interests the best. However, let me tell you some little tidbits of fact, which might help you decide what is in your best interest. First, while it is easy to spew rhetoric that casts employers against employees, you have to understand that for every business owner there is a back-story.
This back-story is often neglected and overshadowed by what you see and hear. Sure, you see me park my Mercedes outside. You saw my big home at last year’s Christmas party. I'm sure all these flashy icons of luxury conjure up some idealized thoughts about my life. However, what you don't see is the back-story.
I started this company 12 years ago. At that time, I lived in a 300 square foot studio apartment for 3 years. My entire living space was converted into an office so I could put forth 100% effort into building a company, which by the way, would eventually employ you.
My diet consisted of Ramen Pride noodles because every dollar I spent went back into this company. I drove a rusty Toyota Corolla with a defective transmission. I didn't have time to date. Often times, I stayed home on weekends, while my friends went out drinking and partying. In fact, I was married to my business -- hard work, discipline, and sacrifice.
Meanwhile, my friends got jobs. They worked 40 hours a week and made a modest $50K a year and spent every dime they earned. They drove flashy cars and lived in expensive homes and wore fancy designer clothes. Instead of hitting Nordstrom's for the latest hot fashion item, I was trolling through the Goodwill store extracting any clothing item that didn't look like it was birthed in the 70's.
My friends refinanced their mortgages and lived a life of luxury. I, however, did not. I put my time, my money, and my life into a business --- with a vision that eventually, some day, I too, will be able to afford these luxuries my friends supposedly had.
So, while you physically arrive at the office at 9 am, mentally check in at about noon, and then leave at 5 pm, I don't. There is no "off" button for me. When you leave the office, you are done and you have a weekend all to yourself. I unfortunately do not have the freedom. I eat, ****, and breathe this company every minute of the day. There is no rest. There is no weekend. There is no happy hour. Every day this business is attached to me like a 1 day-old baby.
You, of course, only see the fruits of that garden -- the nice house, the Mercedes, the vacations... You never realize the back-story and the sacrifices I've made. Now, the economy is falling apart and I, the guy that made all the right decisions and saved his money, have to bail out all the people who didn't.
The people that overspent their paychecks suddenly feel entitled to the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed a decade of my life for. Yes, business ownership has its benefits but the price I've paid is steep and not without wounds. Unfortunately, the cost of running this business, and employing you, is starting to eclipse the threshold of marginal benefit and let me tell you why:
I am being taxed to death and the government thinks I don't pay enough. I have state taxes. Federal taxes. Property taxes. Sales and use taxes. Payroll taxes. Workers compensation taxes. Unemployment taxes. Taxes on taxes. I have to hire a taxman to manage all these taxes and then guess what? I have to pay taxes for employing him. Government mandates and regulations and all the accounting that goes with it, now occupy most of my time. On Oct 15th, I wrote a check to the US Treasury for $288,000 for quarterly taxes. You know what my "stimulus" check was? Zero. Nada. Zilch.
The question I have is this: Who is stimulating the economy? Me, the guy who has provided 14 people good paying jobs and serves over 2,200,000 people per year with a flourishing business? Or, the single mother sitting at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for her next welfare check?
Obviously, government feels the latter is the economic stimulus of this country. The fact is, if I deducted (Read: Stole) 50% of your paycheck you'd quit and you wouldn't work here. I mean, why should you? That's nuts. Who wants to get rewarded only 50% of their hard work? Well, I agree which is why your job is in jeopardy. Here is what many of you don't understand... to stimulate the economy you need to stimulate what runs the economy. Had suddenly government mandated to me that I didn't need to pay taxes, guess what? Instead of depositing that $288,000 into the Washington black hole, I would have spent it, hired more employees, and generated substantial economic growth. My employees would have enjoyed the wealth of that tax cut in the form of promotions and better salaries. But you can forget it now.
When you have a comatose man on the verge of death you don't defibrillate and shock his thumb thinking that will bring him back to life, do you? Or, do you defibrillate his heart? Business is at the heart of America and always has been. To restart it, you must stimulate it, not kill it. Suddenly, the power brokers in Washington believe the mud of America are the essential drivers of the American economic engine.
Nothing could be further from the truth and this is the type of change you can keep. So where am I going with all this? It's quite simple. If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, my reaction will be swift and simple. I fire you. I fire your co-workers. You can then plead with the government to pay for your mortgage, your SUV, and your child's future. Frankly, it isn't my problem anymore. Then, I will close this company down, move to another country, and retire.
You see, I'm done. I'm done with a country that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, will be my citizenship.
While tax cuts to 95% of America sounds great on paper, don't forget the back-story: If there is no job, there is no income to tax. A tax cut on zero dollars is zero. So, when you make decision to vote, ask yourself, who understands the economics of business ownership and who doesn't? Whose policies will endanger your job? Answer those questions and you should know who might be the one capable of saving your job. While the media wants to tell you "It's the economy, Stupid" I'm telling you it isn't.
If you lose your job, it won't be at the hands of the economy; it will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this country, steamrolled the Constitution, and will have changed its landscape forever. If that happens, you can find me in the South Caribbean sitting on a beach, retired, and with no employees to worry about.
Signed, Your boss,
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Australian Dean Ferris hopes to follow in the footsteps of some of his legendary countrymen. Now contesting the FIM Grand Prix series, he made a huge impression at the Motocross of Nations. Page 138.