World champion rider Justin Bogle will have another go at competing at the top level of professional motocross racing when he climbs aboard his GEICO Honda 450 CRF450R this Saturday for the Zions Bank Utah National at Miller Motorsports Park.Recovering from a shoulder issue that put him out of contention for any sort of 250 outdoor title campaign, Bogle and team management made the decision to put the young Oklahoman on a 450 bike for the final three races of the motocross season to give him some experience on the bigger bike he likely will ride next year.
“You never really know exactly what to expect going in, but overall I had an OK first race,” Bogle said of his 10-36 finish in Unadilla that placed him 18th overall. “First moto I was battling for a good while up front with Trey Canard, but we got into each other and I went down near the end. I got up and finished 10th, but at least I was able to ride the pace of all the established guys.“Moto 2 I crashed hard in the first lap and never really had a chance. Right now, I’m just so happy just to be riding. I’m still not 100 percent, but we felt like it was important to get out there and run a few rounds. The off-season won’t be such an unknown for me now because of this experience.”Utah MX 2015 at Miller Motorsports Park is the next stop for Bogle, and considering his past success at the facility on the outskirts of Salt Lake City – fourth overall in 2014 and fifth overall in 2013 – he’s amped up for another big weekend in the desert.“Tooele is a different kind of outdoor track, not like the more traditional ones that have been there forever, but I really like it,” Bogle said. “I’ve had some good success there since we started racing it in 2013, and I’m looking forward to riding well there again.“I’m about as prepared as I can be at this point. This is definitely the ‘Big Boy’ class and you’ve got the best riders in the world going at it every lap, but when you think about it we’re all still riding dirt bikes.”Bogle won the 250SX East title in 2014 and was runner-up this year. With so much experience at running up front, his transition to the larger bike has been fairly seamless.“Doing these last three races gives me the opportunity to get my head around what it will take to make this move to the top level of our sport,” he said. “I’m glad for the chance and I want to make the most of these last two races.”
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.