Ask Ping!Friday, September 28, 2012 | 9:35 AM
Hello, all knowing Ping!
I really enjoy the Motocross of Nations. I was wondering though, who funds our team for being there? This has to cost a bit of money and perhaps we owe some sponsors a big old berm full of thank you. Have a great weekend!
Tim Von Sanden
I know that in the past the AMA held fund-raisers to try and support the effort every year, but much of the cost was placed on the teams sending riders. But after the change from AMA to DMG to MX Sports I wasn’t sure how it went down so I went straight to DC to find out:
“The AMA pays what they can and each team is given 2,000 euro from the organizer and the rest comes from the companies like Pro Circuit, KTM, Honda, Dunlop, etc. The damn shame is that the team from, say, next-door in Holland (Team USA is staying in Holland) gets the same amount of travel money as the Americans, and the Australians, and the Chinese and whoever else has to cross oceans and continents to get there.”
There you have it. It seems like there should be some consideration for the distance you must travel in order to attend, but it is what it is. Be sure to say thanks to the all the teams (KTM, GEICO Honda and Pro Circuit) who dig into their wallets to make sure there is enough support for the team. Have you seen how many people they have up on the podium after one of our wins? It’s like they are trying to break a world record for most college kids in a phone booth at once. You just know the bill for airfare, hotel and meals for that crew is significant. And that doesn’t include the bar tab after the race. Yikes.
Really enjoy reading your weekly articles. It always makes for good entertainment. Hopefully you can shine some light on a bench racing session that I took part in the other day. This time every year, the manufactures release their new bikes. Guys grab them as soon as they hit the floor and then claim how much better it is than the previous years. As a former race winner, Factory rider and now test rider, are the new bikes that much better every year. For example, can going from a 11/12 to a '13 that has been "refined" with small changes such as lighter piston, new forks, increase rigidity in the frame cradle and other small changes and marketing hype make an individual 2-4 seconds faster or even 7 seconds a lap faster in one guys case? I personally can't see but wanted to call upon your vast experience and wisdom and hear your honest take on it. Gaining seconds in speed is tough but should I believe the hype and run out and get a '13? heck 2-4 seconds makes me a front running Vet EX. If I can gain 7 seconds I will see you at LL in the 40+ class next year and watch out Dubach.....
RD92 @ bottom of gravity cavity...
Let me answer your question with a little story. Let’s say you have a set of golf clubs that are getting a little old. Maybe the grip is a little worn and, according to the folks at Taylor Made, there have been some “incredible advancements” in club design over the years. Right now you shoot an honest 100. Sure, the occasional Nike wedge and mulligan bring you down to the low 90’s on a good day but in reality you are just like every other schmuck out there… you shoot an even one hundred. Now let’s say you go over to your local golf emporium and lay down the card on a brand new set of Ping’s. Yes, I used that brand intentionally in this story. The Ping’s are sweet. They are so friggin’ awesome you are tempted to tell your wife to hit the couch so you can spoon your new clubs in their personalized golf bag that night. You aren’t a complete idiot so you don’t actually act on that temptation but it runs through your mind. You hit the links the next day after a nutritious breakfast and a cup of coffee expecting to knock ten strokes off your game, easy. And then, for some damn reason, you shoot a 105. And no matter how many times you go back out you find that your golf game sucks as bad as it ever did and you are forced to accept the fact that you are a hacker and there was nothing wrong with your clubs all along and you should have just saved your money and bought a two-stroke. The end.
A couple weeks ago you ran a letter from a promising talent who was hoping to secure a job in the motocross industry. Then he dropped the quad bomb on you--he comes from an ATV racing background. I understand the Nuke the Quads movement and how life riding a four-wheeler makes it really hard to recover cool guy status within the dirt bike field. But there's a sub group that rarely enters into this conversation. Three wheelers! Where do trikes fit into the lexicon? Are they 50 percent cooler than four-wheelers? Is ATCing a good feeling like the Honda ads said in 1983? If a guy were a die-hard three-wheel rider, would he be considered dork or dude?
The date of your Honda ad sums this up, really. Saying that you ride a three-wheeler is the equivalent of saying that you are going to make a call on your rotary phone. It’s like saying your favorite toys are a Slinkey and a Rubik’s Cube. It’s like heading down to the roller rink for couple’s skate then getting an Orange Julius and buying a new Swatch at the mall while you talk to your friends about how radical your new break dancing moves are. So unless Hall and Oates are somehow making a comeback and becoming cool again I don’t think I can get onboard with the ATC thing. Sorry, but they are the older, nerdy, three-legged brother of quads and that gets them zero street cred in my book. Nuke ‘em.
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Check out THE MOTOCROSS OF 40 NATIONSin our Latest issue of Racer X available now.
The 2013 FIM Motocross of Nations at Teutschenthal, Germany, hosted teams from a record forty countries. Here’s how it played out for each of them. Page 90.