Dubbed the “Golden Boy” by the motorcycling press of the day, Broc Glover was one of the leading racers in the history of AMA Motocross. In all, Glover earned six AMA National Motocross Championships, a record which stood for nearly 20 years until 2003, when Ricky Carmichael finally eclipsed the mark. Glover won all of his titles riding for Yamaha.
In addition, Glover won the 1981 Trans USA Series (previously called Trans-AMA) held in the fall after the nationals. When he retired after the 1988 season, Glover held the AMA all-time wins record in both AMA 125cc motocross and 500cc motocross. He was also in the top 10 in career wins in AMA Supercross. He tallied an amazing 45 career AMA national wins in both motocross and Supercross and registered five wins in Trans USA competition. He was also a member of the winning 1983 USA Motocross and Trophy des Nations squad and again part of the Trophy des Nations team as a last-minute fill-in for an injured David Bailey in 1984. He also won the 1978 125cc United States Grand Prix in Lexington, Ohio.
Glover was born in San Diego on May 16, 1960. His family rode motorcycles recreationally and young Broc was on a little Honda Z50 by the time he was nine. Young Glover was busy with Little League baseball and junior football, so racing wasn’t a priority for him. That changed after his older brother began competing in local motocross races. Broc competed in his first race when he was 13, but when his mom found out he’d raced without permission, he was grounded from riding for a while.
Unfortunately for Glover, just about the time he was beginning to race his parents divorced and Glover lived with his mom. In a single-parent family, the money to support racing was no longer available.
Glover’s break came a year or so later when his older brother began racing with support from local enthusiast Jack Lutz.
"I convinced Jack that after my brother was finished with his race that his bike would be sitting there with nothing to do during the novice races," Glover said. "My brother crashed and bent the handlebar on the bike and I thought my chance to race was over. Fortunately, we found someone to loan us a handlebar and I ran second in my race. Jack was enthused seeing his bike running near the front and he let me ride his bikes and became sort of my first sponsor."
Glover’s dad, who after the divorce initially had little contact with his son, was told that Broc was becoming a pretty good racer. He surprised Broc by buying him a new Honda Elsinore and promised to support his racing as long as Broc was willing to learn to work on the bike and put in the hours to keep it in top shape.
"My dad taught me the right way to maintain a motocross bike and it became something I really enjoyed," Glover remembers. "With my dad’s help, my racing career really got going."
Glover quickly rose through the ranks of the CMC races in California, and by the time he was 15 he often led many of the established AMA stars early in motos in Southern California Pro-Am events.
Glover turned pro and headed to the AMA Nationals the week after he turned 16. In his very first race, Glover served notice that he would be a factor when he ran second at the 125cc national at Red Bud, Michigan, before the chain fell off his bike. Glover would go on to win a moto in his rookie season (at Houston) and finish fifth in the 125 series. He was recognized as one of the leading up-and-coming riders in AMA Motocross.
Glover signed with Yamaha in 1977 for what he thought was the princely sum of $14,400 plus bonuses. He would remain loyal to Yamaha throughout the rest of his career racing in America.
In his first full season of pro racing, the 17-year-old Glover won the AMA 125cc Motocross National Championship. He and Danny LaPorte tied in the final standings, but Glover earned the title by virtue of having won more races.
The championship was not without controversy. In the final round in San Antonio, Texas, Yamaha stacked the field with its factory riders from other classes in an effort to help Glover. Teammate Bob Hannah led the final moto and on the last lap was given the infamous (and incorrectly spelled) pit board signal "Let Brock Bye" to allow Glover to win the title. It wasn’t the first and certainly not the last time team tactics would be used in motocross racing, but the photo of the infamous pit board signal made the final race of the 1977 a permanent part of motocross folklore.
Glover came back and proved that his 1977 title was no fluke. He went on to win the championship again in 1978 and 1979 to become the first three-time winner of the 125 series. Along the way, he won the 1978 125cc USGP.
Glover lost the 125 title to Suzuki’s Mark Barnett in 1980 after being plagued with a slew of mechanical problems with his bike.
He moved on to the 500cc class in 1981 and dominated, winning six of the eight nationals and clinching the championship early. In the fall of that year, Glover earned a one of the titles he’s most proud of – the 1981 Trans-USA Championship.
"That series had all the big hitters like Hannah, Barnett, Bell, myself and everyone else," he said. Glover won four of the five Trans-USA races, dominating the series en route to the title.
The 1983 season is another that stands out for Glover. He won his second AMA 500cc motocross title and wrapped up the season by being named to Team USA’s motocross and Trophee des Nations squad. It was the first team that was assembled from the best riders from various manufacturers and Glover, along with teammates David Bailey, Mark Barnett and Jeff Ward, completely dominated the international competition and sealed America’s reputation around the globe as the best in motocross.
In 1984, Glover was a last-minute replacement for David Bailey on the winning Trophee des Nations squad. Glover’s taste of international competition made a lasting impression on him and would play a major factor at the end of his career.
Glover won his final championship in the 1985 AMA 500cc Motocross National Series, once again being the leading race winner in the championship. That title was Glover’s sixth AMA Motocross National title. That was a new record then and a mark that would stand for nearly two decades until Ricky Carmichael set a new standard by winning his seventh AMA Motocross title in 2003.
Glover won his 1985 championship despite riding with an injured wrist towards the end of the campaign. The injury was worse than originally thought and Glover spent nearly a year trying to get the wrist back in shape after surgery. Just as the wrist was coming around and Glover was starting to find his speed again, he broke his leg and went through another long period of rehabilitation.
By 1988, with the injuries mounting and top results getting harder and harder to come by, Glover decided to retire from racing.
Though primarily known throughout his 13-year career as a motocross specialist, Glover was a leading contender in AMA Supercross through the early 1980s as well. He won 10 AMA Supercross races during his career, which placed him at the time in the top 10 on the all-time wins list. In fact, Glover won the final AMA Supercross race he ever competed in – the season finale at the Los Angles Coliseum on June 18, 1988. It was a fitting postscript to his racing career in America.
Glover was coaxed out of retirement briefly in 1989 to race in World Championship Motocross. With his Motocross des Nations experience and his love for the tradition of Motocross Grand Prix, Glover had always wanted to race a full season in Europe. The factory KTM squad he rode for was plagued with constant mechanical problems, however, and Glover was not a major factor in the championship, although he did win the final moto of the season.
After retirement, Glover got married and started a family. He remained very active in the sport working for No Fear, PJ1 and Dunlop Tire in his post-racing career.
Glover expressed an appreciation for the pioneers of motorcycle racing during his AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame acceptance speech in 2000.
"An old proverb says that one generation plants the trees and the next generation gets to enjoy the shade," he said. "Many of these Hall of Fame inductees paved the way for me to be able to make a good living doing what I loved -- racing motorcycles. I hope I’ve done a small part in making it better for the current generation of riders."