At the 2020 season opener I was fortunate enough to catch up with a childhood hero, “The Original Bad Boy Rick Johnson.” Every year someone inevitably brings up the 1986 Anaheim opener where RJ and David Bailey had a race that all others are compared too, this year it was me. Unfortunately RJ lost to Baily that evening, but he did end up as the season champion. When we discuss all-time greats RJ often gets overlooked because his career was cut short. At the age of 24 his wrist was so badly broken it forced and end to his career just two years after the accident. In such a short career RJ still has some impressive career totals and retired as the current all-time win leader in supercross with 28, which is one more than Eli Tomac. The season RJ was injured he had won five of the first six races and looked like a lock for his third championship, but it wasn’t meant to be.
(My gear in 1988 matched this kit)
RJ was ahead of his time as an entertainer and athlete, he wasn’t scared to speak his mind or wear wild clothes. He played a crucial role in launching both lifestyle brands, Lifes a Beach and No Fear with his bold style choices. Rick was a factory racer and pushed the limits by wearing Bermuda shorts over his riding gear, which launched a generation of kids doing the same. When he wore the half red and half blue gear in 1986 I begged my parents to get me the entire RJ kit and they did. Here is what he had to say and as always RJ is unfiltered!