Broc Glover was the quintessential Californian. His nickname, "Golden Boy," applied to his curly blonde hair as much as it did his remarkably impressive results. Raised on the tough CMC circuit of Southern California of the late 70s, which included the legendary venues of Carlsbad Raceway and Saddleback Park, the teenage Glover quickly established himself as a gifted local motocross pro.
One element that differentiated Glover from his foes was his incredibly smooth riding style. He was an all-business rider, refraining from flashy displays, always exhibiting absolute control in picture perfect form. The man was never out of shape on a bike, seemed to never put a foot wrong.
In 1977, Glover, a 17-year old rookie, won the AMA 125cc Motocross Championship for Yamaha. The victory was somewhat marred by the famous incident at the final round when teammate Bob Hannah was ordered to move over and allow Broc by to secure the title.
To quiet any skeptics about his right to the 125cc throne, Glover proceeded to win the title again in 1978, and again in 1979, becoming the series’ first three-time champion. In 1978, in addition to nabbing the 125cc championship, Glover won the prestigious 125cc USGP motocross race.
In 1981, still aboard a Yamaha, Broc Glover move to the 500cc class, proving his versatility by winning six of the eight rounds to garner the championship. That same year he won the Trans-USA (formerly the Trans-AMA), once again dominating by winning four of the five rounds.
Glover took home a second 500cc Championship in 1983 and followed that up by being named to Team USA to compete in the Trophee des Nations. The team, comprised of David Bailey, Mark Barnett, Jeff Ward, and Broc Glover, went on to dominate the event. Glover returned on the 1984 team to once again help secure America’s dominance.
1985 gave Glover his third 500cc Motocross Championship, bringing his total championships to six (a record that stood until Ricky Carmichael broke it in 2003). Although all six of his titles were for outdoor series, Glover was an exceptional Supercross rider, tallying 10 wins over his career.
A wrist injury and later a broken leg took its toll on Glover and the Golden Boy decided to retire in 1988. After an entire career riding for Yamaha, Glover-whose appetite for true European motocross had been whetted by his two outings in the Trophee des Nations-accepted an offer to ride for KTM on the GPs.
This was not anything like the present incarnation of the Austrian brand, and Glover suffered a number of mechanicals that prevented him from shining. He did manage one moto win in the championship.
Two distinct memories I have of Broc were two appearances he made at the Carlsbad USGP. I’m not talking about his results; a win in 1984 and a tie that demoted him to second, based on aggregate time in 1983.
I’m talking about the brash statement he made in riding gear. I can’t recall which year was which, but Glover went out on track in all-white JT gear. It was to reflect the hot California sun and keep him cool. This was an industry first and spawned a rash of sales.
The next gear choice (again, I forget what year) was pink. Those of us that were there couldn’t believe it at first. Glover had donned the aesthetic antithesis of motocross and pulled it off beautifully. Again, the move spawned a rash of pink riding gear at local MX tracks everywhere.
All in all, Broc Glover, the stalwart Yamaha factory rider, earned an amazing 45 career AMA national motocross wins, as well as 5 victories in the Trans-AMA. Today Glover works for Dunlop and is a regular sight in the pits of both motocross and supercross races.