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Open Letter from an Unhappy MX Fan

by JustEnduro on 06/26/2009

This berating may be viewed as some random individual who is voicing his singular and own misguided opinion. However, it is a letter from a MX fan that did get around the circuits, and did talk and listen to a lot of parents. These are the very parents that the next generations of MX fans and riders are built on. The people who are the reason MX have the support of sponsors like Redbull, Monster Energy just to mention a few.  These are the same parents who are purchasing the bikes, gear and are paying the bills to keep those very same bikes and events running.

I am NOT a lone voice or a SINGLE opinion. There are many parents and 25 year old pilots, who no longer want to spend the vast amounts of dollars required to simply race and maintain a modern 4 stroke motor.

There are currently websites and clubs that run their own rules and their own race events. WOW

Why bother writing this letter then? – Simply put. I would really like to know why the body that is meant to be representing riders and upholding the rules is unfortunately off on its own mission with blinders on.

ama_logo_150x150It is ironic to me and others that the one who is meant to enforce the rules has BENT / CHANGED them!

I am a parent, and I am the one buying the bikes and the parts, with a higher than average income. No different to a lot of the parents who have supported MX in the past or have abandoned MX due to the cost.

This is not a single voice, opinion or question from the grass roots of this sport.

I have kids, which I would have liked to have introduced to motocross. This unfortunately will not happen, as I refuse to purchase what has been dictated to me by the AMA. If I don’t purchase what is dictated to me by the AMA, then my options are simple.  Don’t participate.

The logical choice of bike for my son would be severely disadvantage in every way! Disadvantaged in capacity and a lack of technology being transferred in favor of greater profits for Japan.

A choice forced on me based on the fact that I REFUSE to buy an UNRELIABLE, overpriced bike, and that the AMA have modified the rules to favor this expensive option.

There are many parents like me, who won’t be dictated too either, and simply don’t buy the bikes and don’t bother going to MX anymore. Why would they, no interest in watching somebody else’s son? These are the parents of marginalized riders. (A growing crowd)

Judging by the amount of people, websites and web pages in support of 2 strokes, it amazes me that the AMA simply continues from one year to the next, watching the sport erode away and the fans decline.  It is clear as day light that there are fewer supporters and less bikes being sold. This being clear to a layman.

What's the real difference between these two motors?

You have created a Polo event (Exclusive club) out of MX. The only people that now race have a 100% sponsorship from a factory ride. (Even these sponsors are drying up) THERE ARE NO PRIVATEERS as they can’t compete due to the costs, even at a local level, and that’s a globally trend.

The sport is dying. Local clubs and even the local shops are closing and this due to a lack of support. The local MX tracks are closing due to noise levels as well as a lack of riders at the venues.

The MX fan base is aging. The worst is that the aging fan base has not passed it onto the next generation. This same aging fan base is the one who pays for the bikes and the bills for the current riders. The few new riders that have been attracted to the sport are not lifers, but a flash in the pan, one off. or maybe two bike purchases because it’s cool. They don’t and won’t race anyway. Even they recognize the severe costs involved with bent or worn valves.

You surly do know that you are killing the sport by pushing expensive bikes with expensive rebuilds on the grass roots..

Not many, if any fathers would bother to take their sons and daughters to watch a MX event, why would they?…The kids will simply want what the fathers are no longer willing to put up with!

Do you have money to burn?

MX is no longer a sport of skill, but a sport for who has the biggest wallet.  This was not as evident with 2 strokes. A wallet could only take you so far, but in the end skill always triumphed.

The decline in fans from the current aging generation (The ones who pay the bills) will result in the next generation being smaller and so on. The AMA is a bit like any product or company, which has to evolve and move with the times or succumb. Not being a dooms dayer, but eventually at some stage without modification to the rules, it will simply result in the demise of the sport.

It is already a very expensive sport. Why would you make it even more expensive? How many million dollar fathers do you think the AMA is appealing too?

As the governing body, the results of your rules and regulations are completely and totally out of touch with the sport you are meant to uphold.

When are you going to allow the 2 strokes motor back into the races, and return the sport to an affordable level, that people will and want to participate in? A sport that people will want to watch on television. A sport that so many in the past have appreciated, that they are now abandoning.  They are the people you supposedly represent in some way or the other?  “The regulatory body” which is no longer regulating but dictating what bikes the minions must purchase.

Is this what's it's come down to?

When is 1cc = 1cc (125 vs. 125 or 250 vs. 250). If a particular motor can’t cope in a sporting event, then why allow bending the rules and doubling the motor capacity of an inferior and more expensive motor. It’s a bit bizarre, and not to mention a strange tactic. A bit like saying let’s bend the rules a bit and allow Anabolic Steroids into the sport to accommodate the steroid manufacturer for a fee.

In the end you will have managed to eradicate the original successful and well supported format all together?  This was all done to accommodate a more expensive, inferior, and unreliable motor!  What, if anything was the logic? – A group of manufacturers from Japan?

I along with many do NOT believe that this was done in the name of the environment. There would be more merit and value in shutting down the V8’s in Daytona, Drag events or F1 over a handful of small bore motors supported by a handful of people.  One in how many thousands of people in the general public actually race and actively participate or support these small bore events? The environmentalists have far bigger and better fish to fry than a few tiny motors run on “Any Sunday”. I DO NOT believe they had anything to do with the rule changes!

On a side note – Scientifically how would a 14,500 rpm 150cc motor, be better than a 11,000 rpm 85cc motor on the environment?  A modern 4 strokes pollutes as much as a regular 2 stroke on 60:1 mix Yes, the new improved 4 stroke blows burnt smoke from NEW!

A)        There are less MX fans buying tickets than ever before!
B)        Less people buying bikes!
C)        Less people have an interest in watching it on television!

There are fewer fathers who would bother to buy the overpriced bikes currently available. And these new, supposedly improved motors that require multiple $1000 rebuilds, several times per season! And here is another question – What happens if you have more than ONE son?

Is the 85 class going the same way as the 125 class, being slowly killed and eroded by bigger wallets? (Double the displacement to accommodate an inferior and very much more expensive motor from Japan)

Why would anybody bother with the 85 class if the next class he will have to ride in, is going to be an unreliable expensive 4 stroke 250? (Not multiple choice, and not an even playing field, if you happen to opt for half the cc’s that is reliable and financially smarter)

Would you tell a talented kid in the 85 class  “That’s  it son, done with the 85’s, now go play some ball, as I’m not willing to buy and support the new and improved unreliable 250cc device” I would say it’s better to simply not start MX at all! This way I won’t disappoint anybody. I will also change the channel when it’s on the television.

What’s going on with the 85cc class – About to be silently demolished and will soon be known as the 150cc class. Will it go to where the “open” class has gone?

What happened to the 125 class? – This is now the new and improved 250 class.

Where is the old 250 class? – This now a 450cc class.

Where is the open class (Unlimited?) – GONE.

Hey we have bent the rules a bit and allowed double the engine capacity to appease the Japanese manufacturers – Lets also allow the Steroids in as they may pay a fee as well to bend some of the rules, the riders themselves will have just a bit more capacity as well?

A)          So, what have we gained out of all of the above rule and capacity changes? – Nothing but a very expensive and very exclusive sport.

B)          Who stood to gain anything from these rule changes? – Well simply in the short term the bike manufacturers increased profits, and in the long term probably NOBODY AT ALL!

C)          Where will we be in the next ten years time? – It has taken ten years to get where we are now, its anybody guess I suppose, but it does look a bit bleak from here.

The FIM have at least recognized a problem and have made some slight adjustment. Maybe the AMA will one day react as well, with a slightly more bold approach and simply call a 250cc a 250cc, as that is what it is. Why bend the rules for one and not the other?

follow-the-moneyJust a thought….was the AMA for sale and bought by the Japanese, just to push the 4 stroke, and increase their profit margins?

The rules that you have created flow all the way down the food chain globally across the planet.  What a purchase that would have been for the manufacturers. I don’t think that even the Japanese could have anticipated the initial sales boom globally for the inferior, unreliable 4 stroke motor. The one that needed the rules to be BENT to accommodate its lack of performance.  (Just in case you did not get it – Double the motor capacity – and that was rule #1 to uphold – Capacity being the PRIMARY rule broken for cheating throughout history!)

Did anybody see the long term fall out of a dying sport due to ridiculously expensive running costs?

What on earth was the logic of eradicating and destroying a great sport for all globally, and then not to have the courage to return it to its former successful formula? This is the same formula that put the AMA on the map in the first place. It was fathers with their formula who put you there to uphold it, NOT the manufacturers.

I honestly believe that there will be very little for the AMA to manage in the future of MX in the next decade. Even Honda has publically declared a cut back in rider sponsorship for 2010.

Here is a personal funny – I live in a large city (4.5 million) where one of the largest dealers has just folded. The funny bit is that it was a HONDA dealer – The irony of it all.

1cc = 1cc – No ifs and no buts and no bending the rules even for Japan or the Steroid manufacturers. (The AMA was meant to check the rules were adhered to, NOT REINVENT the rules in favor of a group of manufacturer’s profits.)

This is all we are asking....

I’m sure the local milk company would love to have your formula – “Sir, your 500cc’s of milk is actually the same as 1000cc – Now let me explain………………………” Could the milk corporate bodies actually collude with one another, and get the public to except the 500cc carton? You did, but will you succeeded in the long term?

I will NOT say that I’m a great fan of the AMA or its PR or its ability to recognize that the rule keeper has clearly bent the rules.

Here is a simple analogy for you – Would you buy a computer that could not maintain its performance for more than a month or so, where the performance degraded almost on a per use basis? It totally self destruct if not rebuilt several times per year for a heavy user, at a cost of almost 20% of its total purchase price per rebuild. To top it off, it has the resale value of a brick? – I would not purchase this computer ever!

Your amendment of the rules has in fact forced the above analogy on all the grassroots riders clear across the planet. You have forced the riders to purchase this device. Those that are ignorant and new to the sport and don’t know of the original options, simple walk in and straight back out of the sport. (They don’t tune in via the television either)

I will NOT be forced to purchase an inferior product and I will NOT support MX in its current form.

There is only one logical thought from all of this. You have abandoned the people you are meant to support. The same people who entrusted you with the responsibilities of upholding the sport. It appears as though you have colluded with Japan for a fee. It also appears as though you are trying to create an exclusive F1 style event with all its grandeur, where only the manufacturers participate. This is NOT what we wanted or entrusted to you.

The Japanese manufacturers are there for profit only. When their sales drop, which they are, are you then via their instructions going to amend the rules again. And then attempt to recover a lost generation of riders and supporters?

This is a sport meant to be a governed and managed for all via the AMA. Not just for the manufacturers. Riders put you there, NOT the manufacturers from Japan. The AMA is clearly not representing the people who put it there. The AMA appears to have a clear vision of MX that is in the likes and category of exclusive F1 events. This is totally disjointed from what your mission was. Those were to simply uphold the rules.

Is this the kind of competition you desire?

Rule #1 was displacement.

I don’t want an F1 style of exclusive event, and don’t think anybody else does either.
Maybe the decline of supporters and riders in the generations to come will diminish, to the point that the little television air time you currently have, will also shrink. I won’t tune in. and neither will my children.

To be clear – Riders want a simple format.
65cc
85cc
125cc
250cc
And opens

If any 250cc motor cannot cope in a 250cc event, then leave it to the developers to make it cope at their cost, not mine.

I DO NOT WANT TO BE FORCED TO BUY AN UNRELIABLE EXPENSIVE MOTOR THAT CLEARLY CANNOT COPE WITHOUT THE #1 RULE BEING ADJUSTED TO SUITE ITS LACK OF PERFORMANCE OR RELIABILITY!

It’s now almost 10 years later and we have an inferior, more expensive motor. The question is, have we gone forward to a new and improved place? Can we see a new and improved place we will be in, in the near future? The answer is a CLEAR NO!

Where are we going?

And this concludes what is I believe to be a real representation of many privateer riders and parents opinions. ITS TOO EXPENSIVE – Bring it back to the original format.

Stumped and disappointed grass root MX fan that will NOT be encouraging his son to race anything other than Enduro and Trials! – Fortunately you have not destroyed either of these. (Not in your portfolio thank god)

I will ensure my son remains focused on Enduro, and will not have an interest in MX in its current format. We will not tune our televisions in either!

Looking forward to the showing on television of the next trials and Enduro events.

JustEnduro
An MX fan that has enjoyed the sport all his life, from the age of about 8 and now approaching 50 and still riding. (Trails NOT MX.)

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