Posts Tagged ‘green’
The two-stroke motocross bike is all but dead. The epic staple of the motocross industry from decades ago is now an aging relic. The trademark br-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-p of a properly tuned 125cc two-stroke motocross bike is now a rarity, and the four-strokes have already begun their assault on the mini bike classes.
-Photo by Paul Buckley.
The fact that two-strokes are quickly becoming an antique in the motocross world is undeniable. But what exactly killed this ingenious technology? Two-strokes are lighter, faster (at the same displacement), cheaper to buy and maintain, and easier to work on. On paper they are a clear victor over the louder, heavier, more expensive and more complicated four-strokes. So, what exactly is responsible for the demise of the two-stroke?
Racing Organizations (AMA/FIM)
When the four-stroke was first introduced, it was a joke. Heavy, expensive, loud and slow. Riding one was more of a way to make a statement about your personality than to actually ride the best bike available. So, racing organizations such as the AMA and FIM felt it necessary to give them a (huge) handicap. Almost double displacement for Motocross/Supercross class and exactly twice the displacement for the Lites classes. At the time this felt like a sensible move. The newer technology needed the extra motor size in order to even be remotely competitive.
The problem with the assumption by the AMA and FIM that the four-strokes are slower by nature is that it is wrong. Sure, you can make an argument that the piston travels four time as far for one revolution, but in practice, four-strokes can produce almost the same amount of power as an equally displaced two-stroke. As technology has evolved, the twice as large four-stroke engines have rocketed ahead of two-strokes, making two-strokes too slow for serious competition in the pro or national amateur levels.
Note: i received a review sample of Action Wipes after being contacted by their founder @MarthaVan on Twitter, however after testing them I would not hesitate to purchase them for myself, or recommend them to others.
There is no way around it, motocross is a dirty sport. Whether the track is muddy or dry, coming off the track with a dirty, grimy face is commonplace for serious motocross racers. While most riders choose to clean up with water after a moto, the truth is that there are better options available. One of these options is Action Wipes, a fairly new product From Life Elements, Inc. Action Wipes are a revolutionary new wet wipe designed specifically for high intensity athletes made from natural ingredients. I recently tried action wipes after my daily road bike roller rides, and I have loved them so far. Unfortunately, because it is not motocross season, I was unable to test them for motocross use, but I am convinced that they would perform just as well in a motocross setting.
Although it may seem like a relatively materialistic concern, the packing of a product not only affects users preconceived notions of the product, but also shows the companies attention to detail when designing their products. I used the 5 pack, and the packing was phenomenal. The plastic was very thick and durable, the logos bright and well designed. The best part was that the bag was re-closable which makes it very convenient to store Action Wipes wherever you may need them. The Zip-lock style bag holds in the moisture of the wipes well and keeps the slightly strong scent contained.
There is no denying that America is currently in a time of economic downturn. The stock market continues to fall, people are loosing their jobs left and right, and major companies are crumbling. As motocross racers, we rely on an elaborate system of organizations, tracks, and companies to keep our sport going. However, as the economy continues to crumble, an increasingly prominent question in the minds of motocross racers and industry members will be “Is the motocross economy recession proof”
Motocross is a Luxury
-Photo by Paul Buckley.
The first step in analyzing whether or not the motocross economy is recession proof is the realization that motocross is a luxury. The people who truly pump money into the motocross economy, the hard core amateur racers, race because they enjoy it. They are not getting paid, and the truth is that motocross costs these riders a lot of money each year. A lot of serious amateurs may think that motocross is a crucial part of their life, but the truth is, when the going gets tough economically, expensive luxuries such as motocross are the first to get cut out of family's budgets. There is no denying that motocross is a very expensive sport. From the bikes, to maintenance and safety gear, to entry fees, racing motocross can cost a family thousands of dollars a year. As a result, as more and more americans loose their jobs or get their paycheck cuts, they will look to cut the fat out of their budget, and motocross is basically a slab of bacon.
If the american economy continues to worsen, many riders will look to cut racing out of their motocross activities. This transition from racing to practicing is one we have already begun to see throughout New England. The past few years, attendances at races have dropped significantly, however, many shops are still reporting good business, and practice tracks are generally pretty busy. Practicing provides riders with the adrenaline rush of racing, but without the travel, entry fees, and other expenses of racing. In the past few years average attendances of races has dropped from the mid 3 and 400s to right around 200. This incredible drop is due to the added expense of racing, people's desire to save money while still enjoying motocross. The decrease in racing will, and already has, hurt many racing clubs/organizations. They main source of income, race entry fees, has been nearly cut in half, while their expenses have stayed constant.
However, if something is not done in our country to reverse the economic downturn, many riders will be forced to cut racing out of their lives totally. While this is surely not something that most riders would enjoy doing, when motocross comes between putting food on your families table, the choice is clear. The problem that the motocross economy will have if the American recession worsens is that motocross is a luxury in most peoples lives, and something that they would be willing to give up in order to better provide for their family.