Nick “Apex” Brocha
Chances are the average person walking down the street wouldn’t recognize Nick “Apex” Brocha. Funny thing is there’s a good possibility they have seen or at least heard of one of the many viral videos featuring him. His collaboration videos with sponsor Icon and the “Motorcycle vs. Car” drift series, have surpassed 60 million views combined. A feat normally reserved for popular musicians and multimillion dollar corporate advertising. But this gentleman is neither of those; he is just a man who has turned a passion for motorcycles and a will to succeed into a career most dream of.
Nick “Apex” Brocha
17, yes that's right, 17 (we have a feeling its closer to those two added together)
Las Vegas, Nevada
Current motorcycles you own and ride:
- (2) 2012 Triumph Street Triples
- (2) 2013 Triumph Street Triples
- 2012 Triumph Daytona 675R Turbo
- 2013 Triumph Daytona 675 Turbo
- 2011 Triumph Speed Triple
- 2011 Triumph Bonneville
- 05 Kawasaki ZX10R
- 05 Yamaha R6
- 04 Kawasaki ZX6R
- 04 Kawasaki 636
- 80 Honda CB750 Bosozoku
- 08 Honda 150, (2) 05 XR50s
I like bikes what can I say?
Instagram - nickapex7
Facebook – NickApex7
Icon, Triumph Motorcycles, Monster Energy, Castrol, Avon Tyres, HT Moto seats, Galfer Brakes, Dynojet, Fuel Forged, Garrett Turbochargers
I’d like to start off with a quick history lesson for the readers.
How long have you been riding motorcycles and what was the first bike you ever owned?
My first turd was a 1989 CBR F1. I worked as a commercial fisherman as a kid, when I came back from Alaska with a pocket full of cash at 17 I bought it. The next day my parents kicked me out of the house for owning a bike and I subsequently sold it. Being homeless with a motorcycle is a bad ass American dream, but I like to shower in the same home I sleep in. So I gave it up and didn't get another bike until I was 23, that was a ZX7R, 91 I think, snorkels for the intake and all, I was Vanilla Ice.
When we first met you, you were known for the videos you were making “Reasonable Doubt” being one of the first. When did you first get involved in the stunt industry and when did you switch from being mainly behind the camera to being in front of it?
I was always into action sports and constantly trying to have fun for a living. I gave up playing athlete at one point and decided to start a production company, moving to Las Vegas to do so. Always being a gearhead and into cheap speed, I followed motorcycle subculture and stunt riding. There was a very active DVD market back in the day; so I went out on a limb and made a stunt video that was later distributed nationally in a lot of big retailers. I made enough money to pay bills and buy a 50 to learn how to wheelie. I traded it for a 929 and a spare motor, and then traded that for another F2. So an F1 was my first bike, and an F2 was my first real stunt bike.
In the early days of your career what was your preferred bike and set-up?
Ratty as f*ck and comprised with as many cheap or free parts as I could muster. I made my cage from bicycle front wheel pegs and the whole bike was held together with JB weld. That's how you do things when you care more about having fun than spending money. I'm a cheap bastard.
Who were the riders that influenced you and your style in the early days?
Team Outermost was my jam. I was into all the riders, Manny, Ernie, Little Dave, the whole team.
Are there any riders you follow now-a-days that motivate you to ride and push harder?
So many good riders out there I don't have favorites. I really like Romain Jeandrot, Javi Lopez, Bill D, Ernie Vigil, Calicoat, Rafal, Shin, Lin.
It's a huge list. Do you enjoy any other kinds of motorcycle riding beyond stunting and drifting?
I'm a bike whore, you can tell by my long list of diverse bikes. I love dirt, it's pure and where I feel motorcycling finds its core. I road race whenever I can, track battles are amazing. I can't get enough. I’m also really get into scooters, there's not enough scooters being ridden in the world. All this clean energy talk, buy a $40,000 car to get 100mpg. You can get 125mpg on a $2,500 scooter. Shit, I don't own one, time to buy a scooter.
You and your teammate Ernie Vigil are two of the fortunate few that have a factory bike sponsor. How did the sponsorship with Triumph come about?
Hard work and being a persistent son of a bitch. We've won a lot of contests, hustled our asses off to keep relevant, created media, and took/still take a lot of risky chances. And I'm a dog with a bone; I'll fight till the end.
One of your other sponsors Icon has featured you in some memorable viral videos,
how has that experience been and are you guys collaborating on any new ones in the near future?
Icon and Empire are bonded in blood. Collectively it's an amazing group of people. We're always thinking of dumb ideas and building death traps to jump onto. The short answer is there are at least 5 projects in the works.
During the filming of “Portland to Dakar”, you had a crash that led to a serious injury, I believe it is one of the worse in your career.
Can you share what happened and how the healing process went?
Breaking my leg was miserable, spiral fracture of the tibia and fibula at the plafond (the bottom of the lower 3 bones top of the ankle) that vertically split the fibula 10 inches while separating sections. It’s a mouth full to simplify, really bad vertical split (like cutting word with an axe) from the ankle up. 6 months without walking and 8 months before I could ride again. I'm still catching back up to being myself. Viewers may not see a difference, but I feel it. I should say something about being 100% and ready for anything, because I am; but in the same breath I lost 8 months of progress and 3 months of taking it somewhat easy as there were some complications with my healing. In reality I lost over a year of riding. But, I do feel great, and less the strange feeling in my leg, I don't think of it until someone asks in an interview like this.
While we are on the subject of videos, you are also in the very successful Motorcycle vs Car drift series.
How did those videos come about and are there any plans for more?
I went with Ernie to Aruba a good while back and saw how the islanders were riding super stretched 1000cc bikes. They could break the tire free at any moment from the setup. There were a lot of them who were really good at it, to the point of holding a contest where we were performing. This was at the height of stretched big tired bikes here in the US and I thought immediately, I'm going to do this. I went home, bought a ZX10, contacted Roaring Toyz for a swingarm and huge 240 rear wheel, and I told the guys over at Icon we're all going to make a Drift video. Ernie has huge connections with people, cars, and tracks in Albuquerque. We geared up at his place and along with Matt Sanders (Director of the Drift videos) and the Icon team, we created what’s turned into a big hook to introduce motorcyclist and non riders to what we do, that's having fun on bikes and not giving a shit. Yes we are planning on filming more.
Can you tell us more about your drift bikes from your last video? Who built them and what kinds of modifications were done to them?
I built the turbo bikes here in Las Vegas utilizing two of my sponsors Fuel Forged, where Chris Hukill fabricated my hard parts, and Dynojet who tuned our mess. I really like the building process and doing things outside of the norm. The bike’s motor is stock; we used a Myrtle West swingarm for the stretch, and a Garrett turbo. Chris built a header from the stock piping and fabricated an airbox from scratch. From there we kicked the ever loving piss out of the bikes. The Triumphs are happy to take a serious beating, tossing 5-10psi at them and leaving it on the limiter proves that. My motto is leave everything factory that won’t break; when a part does give up improve it.
Do you do the work to set up and maintain your stunt bikes also or are there some people that help with those?
I wish, I'd kill for a mechanic! Sadly, and to all my bikes dislike, I do all my own labor and upkeep.
For those not familiar, what is Empire Freestyle and who is involved with it?
Empire is a freestyle team, action sports brand, IRS tax write-off, and good times building something from nothing. Ernie and I spend a lot of time together sitting in cars, 600 hours driving from event to event, brainstorming and bouncing ideas off each other. Both of us are hyper productive and we've decided to build on an idea, even if we're not 100% sure what the idea is. You should spray-paint that logo everywhere now while it's still fresh; it's never fun to be a follower haha!
With all your travels and experiences you have had riding what has been your most memorable one to date?
There's not a most memorable, but there is however a lot of best times in specific countries.
Zurich, watching Mokus dance is F*CKING AMAZING, Mokus is my best friend that I can't communicate with. We don't have a common language, but I love that man!
France, getting a once in a life time education on how our sport came to be by my favorite rider or all time AC Farias. The story was amazing as the man!
El Salvador, street riding on unproven bikes on live TV surrounded by the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. I almost lopped a 900RR, so, much, fun.
Japan, wayyyyyy toooo many good times, I love Japan. I find a strange peace there. But I've also accumulated a lot of stories that can't go to print. Ever!
Panama, judged a bikini contest, fell in love with 7 out of the 10 contestants. The most amazing looking ladies live there!
Canada, driving 150mph in a Skyline with one of my good buddies from the Canadian Chaos team at the wheel. It was -4 Celsius with ice on the road.
Thailand, ran into this chick at a bar who....... I mean I bombed a scooter through Bangkok rush hour on the way to the stunt spot. There are more stories to the countries list; but I almost told a ladyboy Thailand story, so I'll quit there.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not riding or working on motorcycles? Rumor has it you picked up a new hobby?
I've been getting behind the wheel of drift cars recently. It's a good way to get my motorsports fix without the stress of doing it for a living. It's also teaching me a LOT about how the cars need us to ride the motorcycles for the next drift video. I think we'll really be able to make some magic now.
Have you always been a car person or is this something new?
Motorsports are in my blood. My first love was cars, and that was within reason, it's the one that got away. Or in other words no, it’s not new.
The stunt scene seems to be ever evolving, if you were to look into a crystal ball what do you think the future holds for stunt riding?
I've been asked this question every time since my first interview back in 2007, almost 7 years later my answer is the same. Riders will always be pushing the limits of bike control, and every time you think you have this sport figured out something new comes to help mold the old tricks into its image. It'll get faster, bigger, and better. I plan to keep my influence until I can't toss a throttle open.
For you personally what does the future hold, any trips or cool things coming up soon?
It's a bigger list than my travel experiences, but I have a full calendar for at least two more years. Lots of good things, lots of big surprises, it'll be a good ride to be on.
Are there any sponsors/people you would like to shout out or anything else you would like to add?
That's like saying ‘who's going to be your best man at the wedding’? If I could, I would include all of them. I have a huge love for the industry. That includes all the riders, photographers, fans, and supporters. All the companies involved in it. From the guy with a fully stunt-ready bike who's never done a wheelie, to my bothers in arms, and all the seasoned vets at Empire. I'm having fun for a living and you're all part of it, THANK YOU!