“Success only comes before work in the dictionary.
What drives Broc Hepler? A country kid at heart, but a determined racer to the soul; the Iceman from Kittanning, Pennsylvania gives us his thoughts on the Supercross season thus far, living part time in Southern California and what motivates him to be the best. Riding for most of his life, his passion exudes whenever he twists the throttle of his two-wheeled machine. And while he’s considered one of today’s top riders, Broc, with red hair, a contagious smile, his sincere personality will surprise come time to race.
How do you like living in California and where do you stay? A lot of non Ca. residents seem to become distracted from all the additional attention and faster way of life. How do you cope with that?
I do have a house in Menifee where I stay with my mom while visiting sponsors, testing and most important, racing. Personally I get more distracted while at home. Home is where my friends and family are. When I’m out here it’s all business, but I can’t stand the traffic and little amount of lush greenery. I love the fact that that back home I can walk outside my front door and not see 30 of my closest neighbors! My mom also helps me keep focused, doing all the dirty work behind the scenes. I can’t say enough about her!
How does it feel to be back racing at full speed after over a year recovery from your concussion? I understand you took the recommended time off from a concussion, which seems like a smart way, to a complete and rapid recovery.
Yeah, I did take the necessary time off. Every concussion is different in severity. Since this one was relatively bad, I did go through the test recommended by my doctors until everyone thought I was ready. I also train at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) so I have some great equipment to help. Lot’s of memory testing!
Do you wear a Leatt Brace?
I’ve tried them a few times. Some don’t feel them at all and some simply can’t ride with them. Personally I feel they are a little too restrictive in Supercross. Especially in bowl turns or areas where you really need to move your head around to see your surroundings.
What are your thoughts on Anaheim 1?
(Sigh) Ooohh A-1! What can I say other than I was disappointed in myself. I do pride myself in being a better than average mud racer, so to crash in heat 1 like I did, just made me more motivated for the next round. At least they got on TV (laughs).
How do you like this year’s Yamaha model? Are most of the power issues with the YZ250F worked out? Speaking of Yamahas I know you have been a big fan of Suzuki- What do you think is the biggest difference in brands other than the color?
Yeah I grew up riding Suzuki’s; but as we all know the bikes nowadays are race ready. Yamaha convinced me that I could take there stock bike and ride/race with a few minor adjustments. I didn’t believe them until I tried it on our Supercross Track and I was blown away! It’s all about getting the bike fine tuned to your personal preference. Yeah the ’08 is awesome!
I remember one of your sponsor’s (Shift) ran an ad campaign with you in a limo, quite a few hot models and a devious smile on your face. I have to say we were all pretty jealous. Has your bat phone been ringing off the hook draining each battery charge or do you have a girlfriend?
You know some people loved that ad and some people hated it. I think the newest ads better show what type of person I am and what the gear is all about. (laughs)
Any plans for the 450cc class? When can we expect to see you powering around in the Premier class?
Well at home I ride my 250F whether it is on a local trail or the nearest private track for training. I have ridden a 250 2-Stroke in the past, but feel it would be worse for my training to go back and forth from a 450F to 250F.
Yamaha hasn’t given me any pressure to move up and so far has left it up to me. I don’t want to move up and then be stuck in that class until I’m ready. Anyway Grant, Josh Hill and Reed have things covered in that department. I need to be focused on my job, winning the West Coast Lites!!
How did you like Transworld’s newest production WHY? How does it feel to have the opening part in a movie of that caliber?
I thought it was pretty cool to have that part. They wanted to shoot my part at some of the local tracks here in Ca. Everybody agreed it would better to capture me as a complete rider and WHY I ride if they were to visit my home terrain and see what surroundings made me the rider I am today.
Tell the readers a little about growing up in Kittanning, PA.
I love Pennsylvania and I’ve always enjoyed deer hunting. In fact I have a 10pt buck mounted in my room. I originally wanted it mounted in the living room but my mom wouldn’t go for it (laughs)
What do you want the world to know about Pennsylvania (fondest memory)?
That is where I grew up and that is where I plan to live forever. Friends and family are the most important to me.
“Home will always be home.