ICYMI | Catching Up with Dillan Epstein

By Billy Rainford

Catching Up with California rider, Dillan Epstein. | Bigwave photo

Dillan Epstein was easily one of the most popular riders at the races, so it was sad for our series when he and his team parted ways.

We hadn’t spoken with him in a few months, so it was nice to touch base with him. In fact, he’s such a nice guy that he agreed to answer some questions while he’s down in Mexico for a wedding!

Here’s our conversation:

Dillan was a fan favourite everywhere he went. | Bigwave photo

Direct Motocross: Hello, Dillan. It’s been a while since we’ve spoken with you. To get the ball rolling, can you tell us how you got started riding and racing motocross?

Dillan Epstein: I used to see it on TV as a kid — Travis Pastrana on his Suzuki 125. I was 3-4 years old but never forgot the first time I saw that guy ride in person at a Supercross race. I thought it was the coolest thing. Mind you, I still didn’t have a bike and my dad thought I was too young still and wanted to see if it was a thing that stuck with me, so I didn’t receive my first bike until I was 6.

I had done a few races at a track in New Mexico called Moriarty. Racing never got my attention though until 2003’s (I was 8-9 years old) Day in the Dirt. I raced it and got a top 5. Didn’t even know I got a top 5, just loved how cool the scene felt and enjoyed every bit of racing and riding from that day and told my dad I wanted to keep racing.

What was your first number and how did you choose it?

My first number was 129. First born, everyone in my family is born on the 20th day (Trippy, I know), and I am born in September, creating 129.

What other sports or activities were you interested in when you were younger?

Before racing really took off I played soccer competitively and won a bunch of state and traveling championships. Now that you ask that question, I might’ve picked the wrong career choice….

Really though, I wouldn’t change my experiences I’ve had in my life with moto, for the world.

Dillan was a hot prospect back in his amateur days. Here he is in Las Vegas back in 2009. | Bigwave photo

Can you tell us what your best memory of Canada is?

Best experience in Canada. Meeting my pretty lady Melissa, meeting down-to-earth people who are real and genuine like Jay Moore, Pat O’Connor, Frenchie (Luc Caouette), Mike Smith, big, lovable Kevin (Tyler) at Mx101, his whole crew along with him, the entire Halstead family. Hayden is my Canadian brother I never had and his parents took care of me and helped me all last season. We were neighbors, too. You get the gist of it. The list goes on. Also ,getting to see just about every inch of Canada, getting to drive the entire country by myself in a sprinter van. Memories for a lifetime.

What was your favourite part of our country and why?

I did not have a favorite. I enjoyed it all. BUT if you insist: Timmy’s, Melissa, Poutine, Caesar’s. That order. Melissa knows it and accepts it.

Canada really seemed to take a liking to you and then you were gone. Can you tell us why you left, again?

To be honest, Billy, I left because I’m tired of chasing paychecks. I’m tired of dealing with people who tell you how to ride a motorcycle instead of building the motorcycle around the rider. People in the industry. I never asked much of anyone and always got shit on. I’ve had a decent career and, like I’ve said before, I accomplished a few things in racing I never thought I would. I love riding and I love racing but I also am not making a decent living and to be 30 years old one day and go, “Well, I’m done racing now I’ve made an OK living…what do I do now?” Not for me. I am content walking away from racing. Yeah, I have my days, but that’s the transition.

Dillan was a bit of a surprise when he showed up in Canada back in 2014, and maybe he’ll surprise us again some time in the future… | Bigwave photo

What have you been up to since you left?

I now work in Aerospace and soon taking some college courses for my Mechanical Engineering degree. I have 5 years of experience. That’s how I landed my current position, but if I ever want to go further I need at least my bachelors. The company pays for my tuition, so I’m taking the opportunity to do so.

Do you still have a bike, and do you do any racing?

I got rid of everything. Last season burnt me out, to say the least. I’ll get a bike at some point. Focusing on a house then the toys can come back again.

Where did we catch you right now?

I am currently in Cancun, Mexico, drinking and eating way too much.

What do you do for your 9-5? Is this where you see your future?

I work at a company called Meggitt. Yes, I do.

Good luck in the future, Dillan. | Bigwave photo

Are you still looking for a place to race a bike?

Nope.

You were always really good with the crowds. Do you ever see yourself behind a microphone or anything? Is that something you’d be interested in?

I don’t want to be involved with the industry anymore. So, no.

Well, I’m glad to hear you’re doing well. We’d like to wish you all the best in the future. Is there anyone you’d like to thank here while you’ve got the chance?

No one to thank other than you for wanting to interview me. All is well with me and I hope all is well with you, Billy.