Dear Bike Week Radio Show Opinion Maker,
A hot button topic for frequent discussion and endless debate is how a "real" World Championship should be defined. Some of us think it has to include competitors from every country while others argue that a World Championship should only include the best athletes and equipment - the best of the best - regardless of nationality.
What's your opinion? How would you define "World Championship?"
To me a proper World championship is one that visits many different countries on as many different continents as possible and is open to riders from any country to enter as long as they have a proper pro racing licence or the equivalent from their country/federation.
I think that a true World Championship doesn't have to necessarily consist of riders from each and every nation. It doesn't matter where you're from, if you're good enough to compete with the world's best, you're good enough. A guy from the Phillippines might have as much talent as any rider from Spain or Italy or America. If you're truly great, you should be included in the World Championship. And if you're truly great, the world will know enough about you to include you in a World Championship. The championship should not limit itself on riders or number of riders from a particular nation or nations in its selection process. A group of knowledgeable people from all different kinds of racing backgrounds would assemble the group to race.
Something that I'm always wishing for would be a World Championship where every rider had the same equipment. It wouldn't be a part of any particular season or group of races, but it would show who truly is the greatest rider in the world. Can you imagine seeing Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez duke it out if both were on spec machines? Then and only then would one be able to surmise who is the true champion because in MotoGP right now it's clear that the Honda is better than everything. How much of the success of the Honda is Marquez and how much is the bike itself? What would Lorenzo do on the exact same bike? I loved the International Race of Champions (IROC) series that used to run. I believe they used Pontiac Firebirds when I watched and they brought in the best drivers from many different areas of car racing to race one another in essentially the same cars with different paint schemes.
It depends on the sport in question. Not to sound un-American, but the Super Bowl is not a "real" world championship in the same sense that soccer's World Cup of UEFA League title are "world" championships, since the NFL is based entirely in the U.S. Ditto for Baseball's World Series. Hockey is a little closer since the NHL is comprised of athletes from around the world and has Canadian and U.S. based teams. However other than the olympics, even hockey's Stanley Cup could be argued that it is not a true "World Championship" on the scale of soccer's World Cup.
For motorcycle roadracing, the Daytona 200 used to be a world class event and we had the best of the best competing on diverse brands of motorcycles from all over the globe! Although Ago had 15 World GP titles, the Daytona 200 put him on the American radar. When Ago finally managed to win in Daytona, it made cemented the credibility and importance of that race:
Giacomo Agostini is considered perhaps the greatest Grand Prix rider of all time. Over the course of a remarkable career of 17 years, the peerless Agostini won 15 world Grand Prix titles (8 in 500cc and 7 in 350cc), 12 Isle of Man TT crowns, an astonishing 122 Grands Prix, and he rarely ever fell off his machine during all those years. He became motorcycling's first genuine world superstar and, whether riding a 350cc or 500cc, he was nearly always the man to beat whenever he took up his position on the starting grid. In America, Agostini won the Daytona 200 in 1974, bringing unprecedented recognition to the race.
Unfortunately the Daytona 200 is a very poor imitation of itself, and the shift from GP spec machines to 600 SuperSport bikes makes it a laughing stock.
Despite the name, FIM World Championship, Supercross is not really a "World Championship" when guys like Heath Voss can become the "World Champion of Supercross" simply by racing at a couple Canadian rounds (no disrespect to Heath intended, he made his mark and he was skilled enough to race Supercoss at a level higher that 99% of the rest of the MX riders in the "world").
However, you know first hand from competing in it that we do have a true World Championship with the Motocross des Nations (oops sorry, MX of Nations), and ISDT… um ISDE for the off-road guys. You personally experienced the pressure, national pride and having to beat the best on a world stage back in 1983. Sure, we will probably never see Latvia or Estonia win MXoN (no matter how many Loek brothers there are out there), but the reign of the British and the threat of the communist Russians back in the day and the more modern day emergence of Belgium and Germany make for great story lines. It really was a huge deal when Motocross des Nations, Trophee des Nations and Coupe des Nations were held. For the Americans to finally become contenders and then win was a huge deal. Chuck Sun, Danny LaPorte, Johnny O'Mara and Donnie Hansen fired the shot heard round the world in 1981 and truly define what a "World Championship" should mean.
To me a World Championship is earning a title where the venues are in fact in different parts of the Globe with hopefully the top talent from around the world globe competing.
I feel they should be just like the Olympics or motocross de nations where they are from all around the world representing their respective countries
The latter. The logistics of including all countries would be… olympian. Pun intended. If the best rider from Madagascar hopes to compete in the world championship, he'll find a way to get on the team of France, Belgium, etc.
A "World Champion" is just that.....
One that has been to the fare corners of the world and has taken on many different people of his talent/profession and has proved his ability.
I always laugh when I see things like.... "San Antonio Spurs....World champions!
World Championship events always have a priority on my calendar.
In motorcycling we have MX des Nations and Trials des Nations, etc. We need
Dear Bike Week Radio Show Opinion Maker,
Our next hot topic is about Neck Braces: yes or no? Retail figures indicate about a 50/50 split among consumers, but please give us your opinion on this much debated form of rider protection.
Yes, an Atlas. I feel the extra security is worth the investment.
Don't use a neck brace but now I only ride on the street.
I don't wear a neck brace. Why I don't is due to price plus I am not sold on them. I am however an ardent supporter of upper body protection and feel strongly that chest protectors should be mandatory.
Of course I ride with a neck brace. Alpinestar all the way. I'm 52 and have seen many of people hurt with neck injuries and even worse, died.
No experience thereof, so can't comment. However, it would be good to have a thorough study of injury statistics on riding with
and without. Taking into account demographics, age, nature of injuries, insurance costs, etc.
As a strictly cruiser/sport pavement rider ... no. That said, I'm a huge fan of recreational (and racing) garments with built-in body armor panels. For aggressive pavement riding, I'm also a big fan of slip-in back guard pads (one saved me from heavy injury in a turn 1 crash at Miller in Utah).
Neck braces are definitely an acquired taste. If you breakout those retail sales figures, I bet the majority of the neck braces being worn are sold to "kids" 25 and under rather than to riders 30+. It is a matter of what you are used to… since the Ducks and the Kings are battling in the playoffs, look at the NHL when they first made helmets mandatory back in 1979. The NHL veterans who had played their entire careers without a helmet were given an exemption… and it was a badge of honor (or misguided show of ignorance) for the old guard to play without a helmet to prove to the "kids" how tough they were. I still remember Blues player Craig MacTavish playing hockey without the mandated headwear as late as the 1996-97 season.
Even earlier than Hockey, Major League Baseball implemented batting helmets (National League in 1956 and the American League in 1958), however it was not until December of 1970 that MLB enforced mandatory use of a batting helmet. Again the old guard was grandfathered in (the last major league player not to wear a batting helmet was Bob Montgomery who played for the Boston Red Sox in 1979… coincidentally the year that the NHL made helmets mandatory.
Growing up, I never wore a chest protector and neck braces were never a consideration on a motorcycle back then. But every time I strapped into an off-road car, I wore a "horse collar" starting in the early 1980s. After breaking my back a couple of times, I finally started wearing a chest protector on a bike and even on ATVs… now I feel naked without my flak jacket when I ride off-road.
No offense to my friends at Leatt, I still don't wear a neck brace on a dirt bike (my own misguided show of ignorance?) because it doesn't feel right. But when my young nephew started riding, I bought him the most expensive neck brace I could find and wouldn't let him onto the bike until he put it on. Double standard? You bet!
Just like hockey and baseball used to be, it is stupid old guys stubbornly refusing to wear neck braces!
I don't like talking about this one but I don't wear a neck brace for the same reason that I never have worn knee braces. I worry that maybe a neck brace could possibly break your back lower down in the way that knee braces can break you tib/fib or femur by transfer the impact load further down or up. I'm no expert on either but that is just my opinion on them.
I have never ridden with a neck brace. I didn't even know that you could ride with one??Interesting.
Dear Bike Week Radio Show Opinion Maker,
Once just a novelty, we are now seeing more electric motorcycles. Did you know that Harley-Davidson and BMW are now in the game? How do you feel about electric bikes? Where do you feel they are more useful - on dirt or street? Would you consider buying an electric motorcycle?
The only way that I would even consider buying an electric motorcycle would be if it somehow burned premix and rumbled like a 500 2 stroke. Motorcycling is supposed to arouse the senses and I can think of 3 that they do not, sight, sound and smell although Mugen figured out the sight part with John McGuinnesses TT winning bike.
Being in the industry and working for a distributer .... I like anything that promotes the industry. Street would be the logical answer to this with the M/C’s working off batteries and the weight of the units. No, I would not buy one. I currently own 15 motorcycles and wouldn’t consider buying one unless gas prices were just way out of whack.
Did you know that Harley-Davidson and BMW are now in the game? It’s a no-brainer for manufacturers. Did you see BP estimated the world’s oil supply at about 50 years? http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/BPs-Latest-Estimate-Says-Worlds-Oil-Will-Last-53.3-Years.html How do you feel about electric bikes? Just another fuel source. It if powers a 2-wheel vehicle it’s ok by me. Cleaner is better. Where do you feel they are more useful - on dirt or street? Limited to around-town and commuting at present but I expect range will improve over time to make them more usable in a wider range of applications. A mail list I’m on has been discussing them for trials use. Would you consider buying an electric motorcycle? Why not? I live about twenty miles from the nearest town so one of today’s electric bikes could get me there and back, and would get me to the big city if there was a recharge station there to get me home.
I just did the MPN cover story on debunking the EV myths: LINK
Electric bikes are a double edged sword. Quiet but expensive. Equally good for dirt and street. I would not purchase one.
We have an electric kids dirt bike..we love it! Starts right up, no gas in the garage and no noise to bug the neighbors. I admit it is not a race bike..just something fun for the kids to enjoy. They love it.
Dear Bike Week Radio Show Opinion Maker,
With the holiday season fast approaching we want to know what you want from Santa. A new exhaust system? A case of oil? New riding gear? That new tool bench for your garage? Tell us your top three gifts that would make your holiday season.
#1 A modern fuel injected 500 2 stroke (too bad nobody makes one, maybe Yamaha or KTM will, they are good at making what people actually want to ride)
Atlas air light neck brace
wow, that's a toughie but I'll give it a shot,like most folks who ride I can always use some new gear,both street and dirt,yeah some oil would be nice both 4 and 2 stroke and most important TIME to ride
For starters a new bike would be sweet. You can't go wrong with new gear and for the stocking. Chain lube, tear offs, gloves and moto sox.
1-A NEW BIKE
Just received the best Christmas gift ever! My DVD of the John Penton Story and my autographed copy of Ed Youngblood's biography of John Penton just arrived in the mail! I already had the bike, now I have the movie: www.youtube.com/
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