Bruce Ogilvie LEGEND website

May 18th, 2009

A new web site dedicated to Bruce Ogilvie is now live at


At the site, friends and admirers of Bruce can post stories and photographs to be shared with others.

Additionally, there will be a open ride day in Bruce's honor on Saturday, June 20th in the Bell Mountain area of the Mojave Desert, very close to where Bruce spent many years testing and developing motorcycles for American Honda. More information is available on the site.

Bruce Ogilvie passed away on April 13, 2009 after a two-year battle with cancer. He was a multi-time Baja champion who loved Off-Road riding and racing with his friends and family.

Bruce Ogilvie, 1953 to 2009

The greatest man we have known; Bruce Ogilvie. The man, the racer, the husband, the father, the evaluator, the mentor, a friend and we all know him as a “LEGEND.”

Bruce was Born April 4, 1953 in Riverside, California, to Donald and Charlene Ogilvie.

He was raised in Riverside, on Mountain View Ave. in a block house that his Dad built. He was raised with 3 sisters, Cyndi, Deena and Laura.

He attended Mountain View Elementary, Sierra Junior High, and Ramona High school, graduating in the class of ’71.

The young Ogilvie family enjoyed hiking, fishing and camping in the early 1960s with trips to places like Yosemite. Even at a young age, Bruce was courageous, using his pop gun to scare away some bears that had ventured into their campsite.

The Ogilvie house was the place to play. Bruce and the neighborhood boys built a three-story tree house in the yard, carpeted, with a trapdoor and a fireman’s pole to slide down—or shimmy up if you were an Ogilvie! He made membership cards for treehouse access and mom made him give his little sisters membership cards too. There was always something going on at the O’s house: tetherball, bazooka guns, barrel races, softball games and always turtle dodging!

He was a leader even at a young age. Deena told me Bruce would organize BMX races with the neighbor kids in an empty field. Gave out trophies they had built out of scrap wood, filters, containers or anything that would work. Bruce always included his sisters with a powder puff class too! Racing was always part of Bruce’s life, from backyard games, racing home-built go-karts, skateboards, and bicycles.

Bruce was a good brother to his sisters. Always there to help them. He was also very tactful as you can imagine, and had a knack of getting rid of them while making them feel good at the same time. Deena and Laura told me a story of Bruce working in the garage and Laura making all sorts of noise with her metal skates. Bruce says, “Hey, why don’t you quit skating around the driveway and ride your bike around the block? I will time you.” The next lap she comes around, Bruce says, “Wow! You better go again, you can do better than that!”

Bruce was a natural at organization and work ethic. He had various jobs throughout his younger life, from paperboy to journeyman plumber until, of course, he obtained his dream of being a sponsored racer.

Bruce didn’t race motorcycles until his teen years. As a child he would go with his Dad to TT scrambles in Perris and Elsinore. Around 15-years-old Bruce told his Dad he would like to start racing. His first race would be on a Tu-hot-su 50 at Elsinore Raceway.

Bruce moved away from home in his mid-twenties, but not too far! He and his Dad built a house across the street from his parents. Bruce and his Dad had a great father/son relationship, spending hours together in the garage, sharing their passion for motorcycles. During his early years of desert racing, Deena and Laura would pit for Bruce and Don and to the amazement of onlookers, they would be in and out of the pits in no time at all. Bruce always prepped them and had them practice at home.

Bruce’s passion, self will and determination helped him become one of the fiercest desert racers to ever come through the ranks of District 37 desert racing. Claiming many victories and championships all which helped lead him to a desire and a much more difficult task of taking on the Baja Peninsula.

We all have many Bruce O’ Baja stories. One of my favorites is from the early 1970s when he and his Dad left the house in Riverside on bikes, rode the entire Baja 1000 race course to La Paz with just what they had carried on the bikes and rode the race course back. During this trip they would stop and sleep on the ground whenever they got tired. One evening they went through a little town and up a hill and thought, “this looks like a good place to camp.” When they woke up they realized that they had slept in the dump just outside of San Ignacio.

From there the passion for Baja grew as did the successful racing career on and off the bike. In 1982, Bruce started a 27-year journey with American Honda. First as a racer, than as a racer and race team coordinator and eventually a racer/race team coordinator and senior product evaluator! His knack for testing and development of off-road motorcycles and ATVs was unprecedented. With Honda’s passion for winning, performance, durability, dependability and the challenge of Baja, it made a perfect workplace for Bruce to continue to develop and feed his passions.

Bruce’s racing legacy is gi-normous and has unparalleled stories of speed, risk, injury, overcoming the seemly impossible and of course, victories. But even with an incredible legacy, it is dwarfed in comparison to his character…

Words like honesty, integrity, trustworthy, intelligence, organized, self-driven, humble, focused, diligent, thorough, detailed, loyal, intimidating, strategist, tactician, strong, committed, prepared, leadership, heritage, mentor, a loving husband to Marcia and father to Nick and Isabella—these words describe Bruce’s character.

He taught some of us about racing but taught all of us about life. I’ve had the pleasure to work side-by-side with Bruce and study his philosophies and work ethic. Bruce’s way of thinking and processing was very unique; he was never quick to speak without thoroughly thinking about his response and I’m sure at one time or another each of us has experienced that Bruce O’ intimidating stare.

One of Bruce’s life principles that was very notable was his belief in heritage, in which he learned from the generation before him…passing on the knowledge and values from one generation to the next. He encouraged and set examples for the younger generation and those who were looking for it, challenging us to make decisions, plan and follow through with it. He taught the power of investing your time into the next generation. He grasped the value of bringing up leaders for the future.

Amongst the racing, evaluating and busyness of work, Bruce’s true love was his family and friends. It was evident in the relationships he mended throughout his life. Bruce lived his life to the fullest, taking advantage of every ounce of time. We have all been extremely blessed to have the time we have had with this truly great man. His legacy will live on in all of us forever and ever. —Johnny Campbell

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