Justin Bogle is an OG friend of the vurbmoto family. We came along just as his amateur career was truly taking off. On supermini’s, Bogle signed on to race with the Xtreme Team Green team that Bobby Hewitt started (and eventually grew it into the Rockstar Husqvarna Factory Racing Team). However, in XTG’s infancy the team was a top notch amateur program that Bogle helped take to the top. When Bogle moved to A class he signed with the Amsoil/Factory Connection Honda amateur team that would take him into the pro ranks on a GEICO Honda.
Now, Bogle is a veteran in this sport. He’s won a 250SX Regional title, has been a contender for wins and podiums, and has won in both classes. This coming week he’s heading over to the United Kingdom to take on the SX2 class for the MDK Motorsports team in the World Supercross Championship. We caught up with Bogle to discuss WSX, life, dirtbikes, music, and old times. As you’ll see, he’s still one of the most honest interviews that you’ll read in this sport.
vurbmoto: Hey, Justin, so I want to start right where you decided to take the summer off from racing. You’ve had other interviews where you talked about your personal life off of the track and how difficult this year has been on you. Let’s just start where you took your leave of absence with HEP Suzuki and what went into that decision for you.
Bogle; I was really uncomfortable and I felt like I wasn’t doing the team any justice by being out there. I felt like I was doing a disservice to them. I expected a lot out of myself and I was doing really poorly. I just got really frustrated. I didn’t know how to improve. I was driving myself crazy trying to figure out the bike and myself, so I was just really uncomfortable. It wasn’t very fun racing for no chance at a top ten, so I took some time off, just to figure out what I’m going to do and what my life looked like. I’ve just been on a full blown gypsy program. I’ve been riding bikes that people at the compound have let me ride and wearing mismatched gear. I’m just doing my thing. I’ve recently started riding quite a bit and having a lot of fun. I’m feeling good. I’ve been working with my brother in law Ethan Lane, and helping him out with riding and getting ready for Loretta’s. I really enjoyed the riding coach side of things and I didn’t think that I would. I did that and went to Loretta’s and around that time I started getting offers for World Supercross from different teams. I wasn’t really sure I wanted to do it yet. Obviously, I have a great relationship with the HEP boys and I hung out a lot with them, even at Loretta’s. I really love those guys.
If I was going to race I wanted to do something different. I wanted something that would be exciting I guess. I got an offer for the 250 class for MDK and it kind of peaked my interest. I haven’t ridden a 250 in about 6-7 years, so it’s a fun, new challenge. It’s something to bring some variety back into my life. I started to feel pretty stale, really frustrated, and honestly kind of bored. It’s really boring and difficult to do the work that is required for this sport, without having any chance at results. I was just getting over it, just in that aspect of it, because when you’ve been competitive your whole life and you get to a point where you’re not even close anymore, it’s pretty tough. Being realistic, I told the HEP guys that they needed to give the bike an opportunity to somebody that could do better with it. I needed to figure out what I was going to do. I didn’t know if I was going to retire or transition into something else, I just wasn’t sure. It had been a wild year for me. I took some time to figure myself out a bit. I was okay with being done, like I’m not in a bitter, jaded, or weird place right now. I’m grateful for the career I’ve had, the time I’ve had, all the people I’ve worked with and been around, so it’s nothing weird like that. This WSX thing was super exciting, fun, and a couple of my friends are doing it. I get to travel and see the world. My wife is from the United Kingdom, so getting to go there is exciting. Long story, this summer was just me riding a lot, hanging out at the 83 Compound helping some kids there, and just trying to figure out the next step for me.
It sounds like a busy summer, but a productive one as you had a chance to think about your life. So, it sounds like it worked out well. Now, with your WSX ride, you said you had a couple offers from teams, why did you end up choosing MDK? Was it just because it was the SX2 ride? What went into that decision for you?
Going to the MDK team for me… it was for the fact that I could race the 250, just to do something different. I felt like if I were to do the same old thing that my heart wouldn’t be as in it. I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time or my own time. I want to put my best foot forward. Honestly, I just really liked the plan for the team. I mean, obviously everything looks really cool, and they were going to let me do what I needed to do in the interim between seasons. I could still have a lot of freedom and I was able to just be myself. I could just go race and have a good time with those guys. I just really liked the environment and vibe with those guys. If it’s exciting I’m willing to do it at this point, you know?
Now you’re at the 83 Compound with all the young guys, like you said. Is the MDK team there with you? Where do they set up their base?
No, I went out to California for a week. I’ve really only got two days on supercross in the past seven months. So, I’m not super prepared, but I don’t think many of us are. This is pretty last minute for a lot of us. When I was in California, I worked with Jaime at Twisted Development, who I worked with this year on the HEP team. He’s been really awesome and a big help. I worked with him quite a bit. Then Dan Truman is going to be my mechanic for these races! He’s been around quite a bit for the Compound and I’m close with Michael Byrne and they’re close, so I’ve just been around a lot of these guys and it’s a lot of fun. When I was in California, Colt [Nichols] was working with Jaime as well, so getting to ride with him was really enjoyable. The MDK team is out of California and I live out of Florida. I’m actually heading to Jack Chambers track today to ride. Luckily there are a lot of good people down here that I have good relationships with that make it easier, and honestly more fun.
That’s what it really boils down to at this stage in life. I feel like what you’re telling me, and correct me if I’m wrong, but if something is not fun then you’re going to move on from it. Is that right?
Yeah, I mean, I’m a grown man. I’m not naive enough to think that it’s always going to be fun. That’s not how it works. I really love the challenge of this stuff and I’m obsessed with the riding technique. I just love this stuff so much. I think that is why I enjoy the coaching aspect of it so much. I’ve had people tell me, “Oh you’re not prepared, you haven’t gotten to ride much, test at all, or do anything. That’s alright, just go have fun, enjoy this, go make some money, and get that competitive fire back in.” I’m like, I get it and you’re right, but it’s not fun getting smoked. You know what I mean? I have fun being competitive and fighting for it. I’ve lived my whole life with a goal and something to chase. It’s hard to transition to anything else after that. It’s fun to be on a training program again and it’s been kicking my butt! I took the summer off to worry about other people and not my own fitness.
You did make a joke on Instagram that you have a “retirement bod”, so…
Hey man, that’s what happens. When you get married you get a dog and then you start to put on some lbs. It’s time to get back to work though!
It sounds like you have some furniture in your house and not just a bean bag, so that’s good!
Well that’s what happens when you involve a woman in your life. You can’t just throw a mattress on the floor and just have an Xbox. You have to put yourself together a little bit.
It’s a part of growing up, you’re 29 now?
It’s kind of creepy that I know that off the top of my head, huh?
I have the gray hairs to prove it! I’m getting up there.
Well, Google does say that you’re in your 40s. You have to get that fixed.
I do have a gripe with Google on that because…
You’re a Michelin chef.
Right, I feel like the chef deserves a little more respect than a photo of me with a huge beard. He’s Michelin starred, you know, he’s legit.
You also have a wine brand out there too.
Honestly, no relation, but I would love to get in there because I see it in every grocery store all over the country. Hey Bogle Wine, hit me up, let’s do this!
With the 250, are you bringing back the ‘leg swag’?
Well, I’m not as flexible as I once was, but I feel like we can make something happen. We’re bringing back the #891. That was another part of it to make it fun. I signed up too late, so I didn’t get my number, which I was a little bit bummed on at first because I’ve had it for a really long time, it’s my career number. Then I thought about it for a minute. I thought that this was a cool opportunity to make things different and fun. The number 891 was meaningful to me growing up and it adds another element to it that makes it enjoyable.
I don’t really think anyone has ever asked this. Does the number 891 have a significance behind it, or was it just your AMA number?
Yeah, so when I was really young my number was #168.There was one other kid in my town that raced and we were pretty much best friends. We went to school together and all of that. He passed away when we were in middle school and his number was #891, which is #168 upside down. I took #891 from there and it’s been my number ever since. It has a lot of significance to me.
Oh wow, yes definitely bring that number back.
Yeah, my dad was really pumped about that too. We’re just waiting on my orange helmet to be delivered.
Which, your agent Jimmy [Button] said is coming.
I’ve heard word of it, so if I get the orange helmet I’ll be pretty excited. Obviously my dad will be more excited than me. I think unknowingly that he was just a marketing genius when I was a kid. Even when I wasn’t winning people knew who I was. Shoutout to pops on that one.
The story is that he did that so he could find you easier on the track, right?
Yeah, I guess going to my first race I guess he couldn’t see me. It was hard to find me, so he went home, and he used a paint gun. My dad is like a MacGuyver man, he can fix anything. He painted my helmet. I ran the painted helmet until I got my Team Green ride and had to run a Monster Energy paint job back then.
Yes, it was definitely memorable! Hey, so I had the chance to speak with Adam Bailey of SX Global a couple weeks ago. He had some amazing insight to the series. What are you most looking forward to in this WSX Championship? Besides getting to leave the country, that might be an easy answer.
Honestly, I bleed red, white, and blue so traveling outside of the country kind of sucks. It’s never that easy, it’s complicated, especially these days. I’m not super pumped about that. For me it’s getting the chance to go race in a different environment, a chance to be competitive, and just racing again. I’m hoping this all works out because it’s perfect for someone like myself. I think if it goes smoothly then next year there will be more races. That’s what is exciting for me. It’s a World Championship too. If you go back and look at the history in our sport the 250 class is a stepping stone, right? There have been legends in this sport like Grant Langston that went to the 450 class, had some injuries, and struggled. He went back to the 250 class and won, then got on a good ride with good money, then won a 450 championship. The 250 class helped him revitalize his career, where someone like myself who won a championship in his second season, then I had injuries the rest of the time. I wasn’t ready necessarily for the 450 class as I would have liked to be. Then with the way my career went it was a lot of unpaid rides and injuries pretty consistently. I can never go back to the 250 class again in America. Even if I’m in the twilight of my career, this is more for personal enjoyment and personal fulfillment, rather than being young and having the pressure of needing to win.
You released an album this summer, so let’s promote it!
Yes sir. It’s called ‘Trust Me Everything is Fine’ by Justin Lucas. It’s available everywhere that you get your music. I had a lot of gnarly stuff going on at the beginning of the year and I needed to get a lot of things out. It’s really personal and a lot of emotion is involved in it. I’m really proud of it. I think I did a good job. I make the music at my house, by myself. I engineer everything myself. I’m not a marketing or promotion type of guy, so not a lot of people even know about it. Go get those streams up for your boy! I got some more stuff on my hard drive I might put out for you guys. AND I got a song with the 7deucedeuce. You have to give the people what they want.
Right, that’s in my notes here. So my question is, when can Troy Dog get on a song with you?
Here is the thing though dude, the Deuce, well he’s really good.
Oh? So I’m not good?
I don’t know, I have no proof. The Deuce pulled his weight and the thing with that was that he was so natural. We were teammates. I had never really been around him before that. Then I met him and we clicked. I really like him, he’s funny, and he’s awesome. I’d sent him some songs from the album before I put it out. He really liked the one he ended up being on. He said he listened to that one every day. He ended up saying, ‘Can you send me that one with an open spot? If you don’t use it that’s fine, I love this song and just really want to do this for myself.’ I said alright, so I sent it to him and he sent it back. I was like bro, c’mon this is awesome. I’m putting this on the album and it’s going to be the first song. He was pumped. I was excited to get that done and get a song with the Deuce! People have been asking for it and I made it happen.
Yeah, from afar it looks like you two would be like peanut butter and jelly. You’re both great with music, talking to people, as well as dirt bikes, but man I NEED to get on a song with you! I’m like Drake, I sing and I rap.
Okay, just let me know man. Send me some stuff.
I don’t have anything.
That will be a hold up.
Just take my word on it. I don’t know why you’re being weird about this.
Source: Just trust me, bro.
Main image: MDK Motorsports