TEN THINGS ABOUT MXA’S MOST COMMON QUESTIONS
(1) Photogenic. “Can I be the guy who gets to ride the bike for the action photos in the magazine?” This is a hard question to answer. We haven’t seen you ride, but we can tell you that looking good in photos has nothing to do with freestyle tricks or being the fastest guy in Wichita. The great photo riders, like Pete Maly, Lance Moorewood, Larry Brooks, Dennis Stapleton and Daryl Ecklund, are few and far between. We don’t want to break your heart, but more times than not, the talent doesn’t find us; we find the talent.
(2) Finders keepers. “Can I buy one of the numerous bikes that you guys have in the MXA arsenal for a killer deal?” MXA does have one of every motocross bike sold in our workshop, but we don’t own them. They belong to the manufacturers, and we will exchange them for next year’s models models when they come out. Plus, you don’t want our test bikes after they have been put through the wringer.
(3) Sponsor me. “You guys get unlimited free stuff. Could you sponsor me?” It may seem like the MXA crew has a factory ride with every manufacturer, gear company, helmet designer, goggle brand, boot supplier and aftermarket company, but unlike factory riders who get paid beaucoup bucks to use products, we get zilch—unless you consider getting nasty phone calls after writing a bad review a perk. The truth is, we sponsor 7 riders of different abilities to serve as endurance test riders, and that is the most we can handle. Plus, we are the wrong people to ask. If you have the work ethic and speed, all of those bike, gear and aftermarket companies will be willing to sponsor you. Call them directly.
(4) Pumpkin head. “I want an orange MXA helmet. What does it take to get one?” The answer is simple—you have to become one of us. If you think that sounds easy, think again. There are very few openings in the motocross world for test riders. Everyone who graduates to the MXA orange lid has dedicated his life to the sport. The orange helmet is our “Red Badge of Courage.” Of course, you could join the large number of racers who take the easy way out and have their helmets painted orange.
(5) MXA is rich. “It is hard to believe how much money you guys dump into your project bikes. MXA must think its readers are made of money.” We do go over the top with our project bikes. They are always way over their projected budgets. But, we don’t want to leave anything off a project bike that someone might want to know about. You don’t have to buy every part we use, but we think you should know your options. Our project bikes may be opulent, but our trucks are beaters.
(6) Typing. “You guys are so lucky. You get to ride for a living.” Just like Superman’s secret alter ego Clark Kent, the MXA wrecking crew spends more time on a computer typing than riding. If we had to choose between doing a perfect scrub or typing 80 words a minute, we’d take typing speed every time. Our job is awesome, but magazines and websites don’t write themselves.
(7) Best bike. “I am looking to buy a new bike. What is the best bike for me?” The real question is, would you really want to hear the answer? Maybe you have a deep love for Yamaha, or your favorite color is Honda red. For many, the best bike isn’t the fastest one; it’s the yellow one. It isn’t the best-suspended one; it’s a green one. It isn’t the best-handling one; it’s the cheapest one. If you ask us what the best bike is, we will tell you. That is why we do shootouts. But, we don’t expect you to agree with us.
(8) Ride this. “Can you ride my bike and tell me what I should do to make it better?” We would love to personally fine-tune each and every one of our readers’ bikes for them, but, unfortunately, we can’t ride your bike. Lucky for us, we are getting paid while at the racetrack. That means that we are on MXA time. If something went wrong while we were riding your bike, not only would we feel bad, but we’d be in trouble back at the head office for goofing off instead of riding the bikes we were supposed to be testing. Ask us questions. Tell us your bike’s symptoms. Go on our website or read the mag, but don’t ask us to ride your bike.
(9) Bleed orange. “Why do you guys always have KTMs on the cover of MXA?” We don’t. Of the last 10 MXA covers of 2019, Husqvarna had three covers where they were the primary image, Honda had 2, and KTM, TM, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki had 1 each. If you add in inset photos (smaller images on the cover) Yamahas had four secondary photos, KTM 4, Husky 4, Kawasaki 3, Honda 2 and Suzuki 1. If you think about it, KTMs should be on the cover more often than Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki or Kawasaki because they offer more models for sale. There are 6 different full-size KTM motocross bikes that MXA tests on a regular basis (not counting XC and TPI models)—while there are only 4 Yamahas, 2 Kawasakis, 2 Hondas and 2 Suzukis to test. Over our lifespan we have been called Honda Action, Yamaha Action and Kawasaki Action (based on when each of those brands were winning shootouts), so we are not surprised to be called KTM Action now.
(10) Perfecto mundo. “In a perfect world, what would be the best bike?” Let’s see. If we could combine the Suzuki’s turning ability, the Yamaha’s suspension, the Honda’s agility and the KTM’s electric start, powerband, clutch, handling, weight and brakes, we’d have the perfect bike.