Time for another exciting mailbag. You know you just couldn’t wait you cheeky monkeys.
Time for another exciting mailbag. You know you just couldn’t wait you cheeky monkeys.
I’m from central NY and I got a 4-year mechanical engineering degree from the university at buffalo almost a year ago. I’m a huge motocross fan and it would be my dream to be a mech engineer for a racing team. I was wondering if you have any tips on how I could go about doing that. I have a good resume and took applicable classes, but when I e-mail teams I feel like they don’t bother to even look at my resume or just don’t take me seriously. Do you have to be “bro’s” with someone in the industry to get a job like that? Or do you have to just be a Japanese genius? I would appreciate the insight. (P.S. I’ve always ridden Yamaha’s; talk to LB or Mr. Albrecht and hook me up! I know that’s not realistic, but you could put in a good word for me right?…)
love the podcasts and observations column.
Hey Patrick, thanks for writing in and you sound like you’re super smart. Y’see, in the motorcycle industry it is a huge help to be “bros” with someone, there is no doubt about that. I got my job at factory Yamaha because Ferry insisted on me, in fact about a month into my job there I was told by the team manager that he didn’t want to hire me. He wanted someone else but Ferry insisted on me because we were “bros”. Trust me when I say that there’s probably as big of a gap of knowledge from me to you as there is from me to an ant. You can get a job in the industry I have no doubt, you just need to network some at Unadilla.
My real question to you would be why would you want to work long hours, travel 35 weekends of the year and not get compensated nearly enough as you should when you could go and get some nice cush job doing whatever the hell a mechanical engineer does close to home? Trust me when I say that right now, sitting on your couch, you’re smarter than 84% of the people at the races. Just keep trying and keep meeting people and try to get in with a smaller team maybe not doing exactly what you want to do but get your foot in the door and become someone’s “bro”. If it happened to me, some kid from Winnipeg with high school education, it can happen to you, Mr. Fancy degree from New York.
How much does Dirt Wurx alter their track designs based on the type of dirt they will have to work with in each city? I would think that for rounds like last week’s Seattle they mightstray from the“traditional” layout and create a track design that doesn’t suffer so much if things fall apart. If theystuck to some of the regular sections but then made a fewof the other sections flow more maybe thedeteriorating conditions wouldn’t necessarily result in a crappy track.Rather than sticking with the standard“straight-180 deg corner-straight…” diagram maybe theycould make 1/3 of the track more“outdoorsy” with some larger radius turns with big berms and rough straights. Sorta like the early 80’s tracks. Itjust seemslogical that if you’re building material changes, maybe your layout should as well tosomeextent. Of courseI understand the need for consistency in design for ease of building on atight schedule blah blah blah… But using that sort of realistic thought when trying to talk about bitchin’ track designs ideas takes the fun out of it.…and of course an over-under bridge would solve LOTS of issues.
-Buddy“obviously not a champion nor a winner”
Dear Buddy, you’re correct that you’re not a champion nor a winner like me because you didn’t beat Blair Morgan at the Saskatoon mini-stade like me. Thanks for another letter where hopefully you won’t get confused like last time.
I’m with you on the track building thing, I’m not sure what it is-could be the security of knowing they have the track building contract, could be that they are told by the promoters that fans expect triple jumps etc etc- I’m not sure. I do know that when you watch old supercrosses you see tracks that were more like moto tracks with some jumps thrown in here and there. All the tracks (except Daytona) are basically the same and most dudes have them wired pretty quickly. My idea would be to change it up once in a while, maybe like you said we could have one track that is like a moto course or something.
The problem I see in that is that over the years, you can really notice the lack of dirt being brought into the stadiums. The tracks are shrinking so I’m not sure you would have enough dirt to replicate an outdoor track. I’m all about change and trying new things to see if it works out, look at the McGrath race that introduced us to run-offs, steel ramps and some other cool things.
As your friend Das Weege may tell you, yesterday’s Loretta Lynn’s GNCC was a muddy affair. I’d liken it to a Daytona ’07 in relative quantity and definite quality, it was mostly either water or mud stew. My trusty(ish) steed sucked water and died on three different occasions.
That’s the set-up, now here’s the question…
What’s the best way to tape up an airbox on a YZ250? I call upon your mechanic experience and vast knowledge of glorious Yamaha two-stroke machinery to advise me on how to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
Kevin, there really isn’t enough duct tape in Home Depot to tape up your bike for the real bad conditions because a motorcycle has to breathe in air to work. So you have to have some sort of air going into the machine to fire. Therefore, when you have a place for air to get into, water can go there also. I’m no scientist but that’s my prediction. On the YZ250, we would cover up the side vents, make a little “dam” on the back of the rear fender to direct water out and tape over the top one or two strips. But again, it’s not that easy to prevent water from getting in AND make a bike run right.
Nothing much to say – just checking out your site and all the work you do for
other publications and think it’s rad. Love your insight – don’t let the man get you down.
Rock on SteveM!
I put this letter in because that’s the guys email address beginning. How rad is that? Wayne’s World was just on TV the other day and they were eating at Stan Makita’s Donut shop plus playing road hockey and yelling “car” when one came. Then pulling the net from the road and that’s exactly what we used to do. Anyways, check out more about Stan Makita HERE.
This time I have two questions.
As I read through the articles and interviews with riders I noticed that many of the riders that had some time away from racing, always say that someone got them a bike to ride on(an example would be current #132 on the green bike, and Sean Hamblin after he got back from Europe). Why can’t they buy their own bike to ride on? Are the riders really bad at dealing with money, what’s up with that?
Second question is more about the bikes. As you were the mechanic you probably have an excellent answer to this one. Why are some of the nuts and bolts on the bike wired? Like the steering head nut is wired to the triple clamp.
Best wishes, Tomek
Tomek, most of these riders haven’t paid for a bike in their whole lives because they were such good racers, people gave them bikes. Look at it this way, if you worked at 7-11 your whole life and drank free Slurpees everyday and then you got fired. Would you really want to pay for a Slurpee or would you show up at your old store and reminisce with your ex-co-worker about the time you busted those kids for trying to steal jerky and then right in the middle of the conversation, ask him if it’s ok if you get a Slurpee “for old times sakes”. It’s the same with bikes, why would they go by one when someone will give them one after their inevitable Racer X interview saying they don’t have a bike. Or the other thing is that none of these racers will ever be considered for any type of money management job so maybe when they come back from Europe or retirement or whenever, they simply don’t have the money? Did’ja ever think about that one?
On another note, typing that Slurpee story just reminded me what I used to do when I was a stupid kid and it worked 100% of the time, no questions ever asked. You get a Slurpee and then go down the chocolate bar aisle, selecting the favorite one (Mars Almonds was mine back in the day) and you simply slip it into your Slurpee. I mean you just bury that bastard down deep, so nothing is showing and then you pay for your Slurpee and walk out. I feel bad just typing it, but it was money for sure when I was 14.
As for the wiring question, it’s to make sure nothing comes loose and they are wired once they are tightned.
Steve, I have two questions for you.
1. Why no live blogging at the last two races? I miss your insights during the races.
2. What kind of a person is Ryan Dungey? The reason why I ask is because I have been a big fan of his since he turned pro. I was at the SLC supercross and got to witness him win his first championship. After the race was over I was able to back into the pits and walk around. I am not usually the guy that goes around asking for autographs, pictures, or free stuff. I decided to make the exception because one of my favorite riders (next to Timmy Ferry) just won a championship and I wanted something to remember that night by. I found Dungey walking back to his trailer and I politely asked him for a picture. I was a little saddened that his response was something to the effect of "Uh, yeah. Make it quick." There was a definite look in his face that said "What is this guys deal?"I am aware that it was his night and he just won the championship. Did I just catch this guy at the wrong time or should I have not asked him
for a photo? I guess that I asked more than a couple questions but I am sure you don’t really care.
Thanks for your insights and I really enjoy listening to your podcasts
and reading your stuff.
Pete, the no live blogging thing kinda went away because let’s face it, Pulpmx.com just isn’t that big of a site and I wasn’t really getting the numbers of people reading it to make it worth my time. It’s not easy making note, typing super fast and I also found myself “saving” things for my Observations columns on Weds over on RXI. I guess I didn’t want to just recap the race because chances are everyone who’s reading the blog is listening to the race and I didn’t want to give anything away that I would be writing about on Weds. There has to be a balance somewhere in there but thanks for missing it. Now I feel guilty.
As far as the Dungey thing that is really out of character for him. He’s honestly a pretty good kid and one of the better riders out there. Trust me on this, I’d tell you if he wasn’t. Maybe he had to go poo?
I’m not sure if this is a question or an observation… It seems like there are a good number of riders that still talk about being uncomfortable on their bike. Here we are with only two rounds left in the series and when guys are asked about their results it’s always…”I’ve been struggling with the bike…or, the team has been working really hard to work out these issues so I can go faster.” Maybe this is being fueled by the Millsaps interview I just read but I’ve heard several other riders make similar statements. In my opinion, something is wrong if a guy/team can get the bike where they need to be after an entire series! In this sport it seems riders are always looking to the next series because that is going to be the magical series where all the kinks are worked out and they are going to fly…but it rarely happens. “Oh, I’m just looking forward to outdoors…” Oh really? I’m sure when you get a 9th overall it’s because your bike isn’t tweaked the way you like it. If I was on a team and felt like I couldn’t ride to my full potential I would go to the team and be like “look, we have a major problem here!” Somewhere natural talent and confidence has to override machinery. I guess my question is…am I just being cranky or do you have an opinion about this? Sorry, we’re trying to get this coffee dialed in otherwise my question would have been better.
MainJ, you hit the nail on the head but it’s an easy out for a rider to say that. They can justify it to the media (and themselves) that the machine is the reason why they didn’t do better. The only thing with that is that mx is 90% rider and RC could’ve won on a Vespa most of the time. It doesn’t hold a lot of water with the teams when a rider says that because they are there to do NOTHING but help a rider out when he has an issue. It’s just something that people say for some reason and usually the media and fans just accept it and move on. I’m probably guilty sometime or another as accepting it/writing it as the next guy. The bottom line is the results speak for themselves and sooner or later, “the bikes not working” isn’t going to fly.
How long before Eric Kehoe gets fired? I’m sure he’s a stand up guy and a great team manager but when Honda riders can’t get a whiff of any championships since Ricky left the question has to be asked. I realize team red is going up against the best riders this sport has ever seen excluding Donnie Schmidt (leave me alone I’m from Minnesota), but I’m still curious what you think since every other Factory team has captured a major title in recent years.
Luke, thanks for the letter and you know our sport doesn’t work like that. Besides the managers at those levels are more babysitters than anything. The riders have trainers, coaches and manfriends to help them try to win. They have a solid team, get on the podium here and there and represent Honda well. Besides, winning is very expensive as well and maybe their racing budget just didn’t allow them to go out and sign one of the big two. I heard that all of RC’s winning really dented Honda’s racing budgets and actually hurt them because they didn’t sell any more bikes. I like Kehoe and would think he’s in absolutely zero danger of getting fired. The BT101 thing hasn’t worked out but that’s no fault of Eric’s.