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Garage Finds | Ricky Johnson’s 1982 Lucky Bandana


Garage Finds | Ricky Johnson’s 1982 Lucky Bandana

Presented by Throttle Syndicate

It’s amazing what will amass in your garage when you’ve been covering the sport for nearly three decades, and especially so when you’re forced to pack up your office into a dozen little boxes and relocate all of the treasures that have gathered on your walls. While trying to reorganize my garage last weekend, I realized that much of the memorabilia I’ve gathered has a cool back story that is well worth sharing. Thus was born our new weekly feature, Garage Finds…

This week’s Garage Find isn’t actually something I found in the aforementioned storage boxes…it’s a new addition that I will never, ever, part with! A few weeks ago, seven-time Motocross and Supercross Champion Ricky Johnson came on to the Swapmoto Live Show, presented by Ogio and FMF Racing. For me, it was a big thrill to have one of my childhood racing heroes on the show, as I never got the chance to work with RJ even in my early journalism career at Cycle News. Though I’ve become friends with Ricky through the years when we’ve run into each other or worked together – most notably when we presented him with the Rockstar Energy/TransWorld Motocross Lifetime Achievement Award years ago, and later co-hosted the Toyota of Escondido Action Sports Show together – it is still exciting for me to share a conversation with the original Bad Boy of Motocross.

During the Swapmoto Live Show, we reminisced about the many style trends he started in motocross and Supercross, and I admitted a fun fact about the impact he had on me. See the clip below…


I can remember vividly thumbing through the pages of either a Motocross Action or Moto Cross magazine in the back corner of Mat’s Pharmacy in my childhood hometown of Altadena, California, and seeing a feature about RJ winning the 1982 Tokyo Supercross. There was a photo of a Japanese newspaper clipping, in which RJ was smiling at the camera with his arms raised in the air. And he was wearing a yellow bandana around his neck. Young and impressionable, I thought that was THE COOLEST thing ever, so the next time I was at the mall with my mom I bought a yellow bandana at Miller’s Outpost for 99 cents. Though I was still on a three-wheeler at the time, I felt super cool wearing that bandana around my neck, just like RJ…

A few days ago, after the show had aired, RJ texted me and asked for my address. I responded without really thinking about it…I figured that I might be getting added to the Christmas card list, to be honest. Last week, an envelope showed up at my house, but I didn’t put two and two together and assume it was from Ricky, mostly due to the butchering of my names. Haha!

It still didn’t click when I first opened the envelope and saw the old-school photo of a kid on an old minibike, but when I flipped the card over and read the note, my heart rate began to spike! “Don, Thank you for having me on the swap show. Wish you all the best on your future shows. Here is your lucky yellow bandana. ’82 Tokyo… Kick Ass! Ricky Johnson 2019”

Holy shit, right? A. I cannot believe that RJ would still have that bandana he wore in Tokyo, and B. I cannot believe that he gave it to me! My wife and daughters teased me for days about the excited look I had on my face and the high-pitched noises that came out of my mouth. Haha! Thank you, RJ, you are amazing. I will find a way to display this in the new Swapmoto Live offices. 

Later that day, I DMed Tony Blazier on Instagram to see if he had that old magazine spread scanned in that massive database of his, but alas, all he had of RJ in a bandana was this old JT Racing ad. This bandana is red, but you get the idea. BADASS!


Throttle Syndicate Graphic of the Week

Nihilo Formula Graphic Kit

Price: $199

Nihilo is a company best known for super-cool aluminum products, but this new collaboration with Throttle Syndicate really breaks the mold in a great way. Available for all manufacturers, the Nihilo kits are available in two different design styles and both look awesome. We particularly like this Nihilo Formula kit, which is clean, yet stylish. We’ll be ordering one up for our YZ250F, thank you!

Throttle Syndicate is a new name in the motocross graphics business, but the company has been around since the start of the graphics revolution. These days, every kid with wealthy parents seems to be starting a graphics company in their garage, but it’s the big players who have been around since the beginning that deliver the best-fitting and longest-lasting products. Proud sponsors of the Monster Every/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki and Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM teams, Throttle Syndicate produces the best stuff in the game. Check them out at throttlesyndicate.com

Donn Maeda

Donn Maeda is a 30-year veteran in moto-journalism, having worked at Cycle News and Dirt Rider before launching MXracer Magazine and TransWorld Motocross Magazine. Maeda is the Editor-In-Chief at Swapmoto Live and you can catch him on a dirt bike or in the saddle of a mountain bike on most days.

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  1. Jordan June 8, 2019

    So cool to find stuff like this from the original heroes !

  2. Sam Melton June 12, 2019

    That is really cool of him to do that! LEGEND