Put Some Thought Into It! - Letter Rip - Dirt Rider Magazine

Welcome to Letter Rip, where you tell us what you think and, in return, we tell you what we think about what you think. Most of the time, this little exchange ends there, but sometimes readers will write back and tell us that what we think about what they think is stupid, and that they think we should think a certain way. This usually prompts us to tell them that we think what they think we should think is ridiculous as well, and a thoughtless thinking match ensues until our inboxes fill up. But enough of that. You want to know what we really think? Letter Rip!LETTER OF THE MONTH
Beacon Of Hope For The Two-Stroke

As a dedicated two-stroke rider, I mourn their inevitable passage in much the same way that I am saddened when a favorite riding area gets plowed over for another new housing plan. I still remember putting around on my XL80 as a kid when I saw my first two-stroke: a friend's 1983 YZ125. I was hooked on the angry bumblebee's exhaust note and the smell of pre-mix right then and there. Now, that childhood riding area is long gone and soon so will be the Japanese manufacturers' desire to produce any two-strokes.I know that four-strokes are the only way to be competitive in the current national motocross climate. I know that young kids want to ride what Ricky and James ride, not some outdated dinosaur of a bike. I know that the manufacturers are in business to make a profit, not keep a poor-selling model around for sentimental reasons. I know that publications like Dirt Rider need to mirror the current dirt bike environment to keep readers' interest and remain solvent. With that in mind, I can't tell you how happy I am with the two-stroke-specific articles that Dirt Rider still manages to find space for in its pages. From the now legendary "Buck 25" article to November 2007's "Hero for a Day," articles like these are what keep me stoked when the new issue shows up in my mailbox each month. Please continue to fight the good fight-there are still a lot of die-hard two-stroke fans out there.
Joe Ruggery
Greensburg, PA_You know, they say there are seven stages of grief: the first is shock/disbelief, which describes the way everyone in the industry felt when two-strokes started disappearing. Next, comes denial or "two-strokes can't be disappearing!" Bargaining follows ("Take my four-stroke instead") and shortly thereafter a sense of guilt sets in ("If only I'd bought that new bike..."). After the guilt phase comes anger-along with plenty of hotheaded letters to manufacturers and magazines-which eventually turns into depression. Finally, depression is replaced with a state of acceptance and hope. You, my friend, are the very first person we have heard from who has achieved all seven stages of grief in regards to the death of the two-stroke, and for this we have chosen your words as the Letter of the Month. For those of us still wallowing in stage six, your letter is a bright beacon of hope. Please take Kyle Lewis's signed boot as our token of thanks! -Chris Denison_Mini Riders
Hi, I currently subscribe to Dirt Rider magazine and was wondering if you had a magazine for my son who is turning 9 years old? Thank you!
Scappoose, ORI'm 14 years old and looking into buying a Honda size 80-125cc. I noticed your magazine tests bikes a lot, but I've never read anything about smaller bikes. I'm a new subscriber so maybe I missed something, but I really need some good tips and opinions.
Alexis Clark
Canton, OH_Alexis and Deanna, ever heard of Mini Rider Magazine (www.myspace.com/miniridermagazine)? We'll send you one to try out, and when you get too big for it, you can hang out with Dirt Rider, too! You can also switch your subscription to our little brother by contacting our subscription department at dirtrider@palmcoastd.com, or do what I'd do and double up. -Jimmy Lewis_Personal Issues
I'm looking for a new product that you featured a couple of issues ago in the Gear Bag section. It's an aluminum guard for a front sprocket. I cannot find my old issues...can you help?
Joel Schmit_Can I help you find your old issue? If you don't know where it is, how can you expect me to find it? First I'd say call your riding buddies to see if you loaned it out. Our subscription department puts your name on your issue for just these situations. If none of them have it, or if you have no friends, check under the couch pillows. If it's not there (and I hate to say this), check in the bathroom. Wait, this is ridiculous. Why didn't you just ask us for info on the chain guard instead? You're probably thinking of the Five-10 chain guard. You can find them at www.five-10.com. Man, some people make things so complicated! -Pete Peterson_

Keep Your Feet Up! I would like to personally thank Dirt Rider for the article on the Montesa Cota 4RT in the October 2007 issue. I've been riding trials since 1976, and since then I've always been looking for coverage of the sport that I love so much. If you look in the Dirt Rider letters archives , you'll see a letter under the title "Pathetic" from me asking Dirt Rider for more trials coverage. Well, it took 17 years but you guys did it! I feel trials is a leader in innovation and your article proves this. And in today's world of extreme sports, I believe trials fits right in. We all saw what a trials bike and rider can do at last year's EnduroCross. Imagine how you could make jaws drop if you showed what a trials bike could do in a world-class trials competition! So is it time for some more trials articles?
Mike McCabe
Gilroy, CA_You're welcome, Mike! As a washed-up freestyler looking for a new hobby, I too, have been badly bitten by the trials bug. The sport is absolutely insane, and there's no arguing that bikes like the Montesa Cota will make anyone a better rider. I just got home from the first two EnduroCross rounds (check out the full story next month), and the number of trials riders in attendance certainly would've made you proud. Yours isn't the only letter we've received asking for more trials coverage, so expect to see some more of it in DR in the future (and by future, I don't mean 2024). -Chris_Help Me Race!
I need your help. I really want to race but my parents are kinda edgy about the whole racing thing because of the danger and money. They know I'm good enough but still haven't budged. What are some things I can say to persuade them to let me race, and also what are some of your suggestions on what not-so-expensive protective gear I could buy? Please help me so I can race!
Jordan Pope_Look at it from their side. What do they stand to gain by letting you race? What would they like to get out of it? Ask them. There are many things more important to them than not having you race. Maybe they want to see your grades improve. If you're going out, maybe they want your word you'll never get in a car with a driver who's been drinking (that's way more dangerous than racing). I can't read their minds and neither can you. Show them you're mature enough to race by being mature enough to have an open, honest conversation with them and make a deal and stick to your word. As for cheap, protective gear, one great way to save money is to buy closeouts from the previous year. Check the pages of this magazine and you'll see some surprising deals in some of the ads. As for boots, I'd suggest you don't go too low end. The more expensive boots are much better than the cheapie offerings. -Pete_