Nuts and Bolts | HEP Motorsports' Travis Soules, Alex Faith, and Sebastian Palmese 2

HEP Motorsports mechanics Travis Soules, Sebastian Palmese, and Alex Faith answer questions about working together on the road.

In this installment of Nuts and Bolts, I talked to a few of the HEP Motorsports mechanics. Travis Soules (Ken Roczen), Alex Faith (Marshall Weltin), and Sebastian Palmese (Dilan Schwartz) have not worked together very long but they have a great rapport and seem to always be smiling. Soules has been around the industry for a long time and enjoys teaching and busting balls with the younger guys. 

1. How annoying are all the kickstart jokes?

Travis Soules: Not annoying. Just makes me smile when Ken kicks once and it starts.  All these E-start bikes crank and crank and crank until they start and they still talk shit.

Sebastian Palmese: I’m so used to the jokes now I just go along with it, LOL. 

Alex Faith: The kickstart jokes aren’t bad. You don’t hear them as much as you’d think. 

2. Who has the most detailed bike of the three of you?

Soules: Me. But I have 10 years of experience on these 2 kids, lol.

Sebastian: I strive to have my bike as detailed as close to Soules, but Travis for sure has the most detailed bike.

Alex: Travis. Definitely Travis.

3. Who is the slowest at framing a bike? Why does it take so long?

Soules: I always say the race is on Saturdays. So I don’t care how long it takes to frame or build. As long as it’s done right. 

Sebastian: The slowest would be Alex, and I’m a close second. Soules has over 100 Suzuki builds. He has it down like the back of his hand.

Alex: Probably me. I take my time when doing a full build. 

Michael Lindsay

4. Who talks the most trash? Give examples of some ball busting under the HEP tent.

Soules: We honestly have a solid crew and don’t talk much crap about each other. We just try to help each other to make everyone better. 

Sebastian: We all have fun with each other, keeping it loose around the shop, calling each other out when our work isn’t done. Alex is new so we pick on Alex the most.

Alex: Travis! He’s always giving us shit about something. 

5. Who’s the most likely to end up in jail and what for?

Soules: That’s a tough one. I don’t know much about Sebastian or Alex.

Sebastian: I would say I’m most likely to end up in jail with Travis 'cause we both like to have some fun once all our work is done.

Alex: Sebastian is definitely most likely to end up in jail. What for? I don’t know. But I wouldn’t be surprised to get a call to go bail him out. 

6. Who’s got the most game with the ladies? Who needs help?

Soules: Well, I’m married with kids. So, I’d say me, lol.  Plus I’ve never seen either of them talk to a chick, so I think I've got them covered, lol. 

Sebastian: Definitely Alex or I on the ladies. Travis is married now. But he needs some help with that shiny head.

Alex: That’s a toss-up. Travis is married so I guess you could say him. But Sebastian and I work pretty well as wingmen. 

7. What’s your favorite tool? 

Soules: Torque wrench. I torque everything. For peace of mind. Or my trick head nut spanner wrench. 

Sebastian: My favorite tool would be my torque wrench.

Alex: My favorite tool is easily my Snap On screwdrivers. They work wonders. 

8. What tool are the other two always reaching for?

Soules: My tools. Lol. I’d say torque wrench. I tell them to torque everything. 

Sebastian: Travis is always reaching for a flat head so he can bleed Kenny’s forks and Alex will always have a T-handle in his hand.

Alex: Travis doesn’t really reach for my tools, but Sebastian likes my inch-pound torque wrench. 

Jamie Guida

9. Who has to change the most clutches?

Soules: All of our guys are pretty light on the clutch.  

Sebastian: Probably me with Dilan. Kenny on the 450 isn’t as hard on clutches depending on track conditions and how he’s riding. But Dilan and I go through a lot of clutches.

Alex: None of us have to change clutches too often surprisingly. 

10. What is the best quality of each of the other two?

Soules: Willingness to learn and they're not afraid to ask questions. I like that. 

Sebastian: Travis is always down to help with his knowledge. Sometimes we aren’t sure and Travis is always down to help with whatever. Same with Alex. We all just help each other when needed so our riders can make it out on the track.

Alex: Travis' best qualities are being a good teacher and he’s hardworking. He’s been awesome to have around as he has already taught me so much in such a short period of time. Sebastian’s best qualities are he is driven and devoted to this job.

11. What’s the best part of your job?

Soules: Building badass bikes.  

Sebastian: The best part of my job is the people I get to work with and all the experiences I get to do while working on dirt bikes.

Alex: The best part of my job is the racing. Nothing beats going racing every Saturday. 

Jamie Guida

12. The worst?

Soules: I hate rebuilding linkages. Not hard. Just tedious.  

Sebastian: The worst is washing bikes. I love working on bikes, building, assembling, everything. But washing a freshly built bike after it’s been built I hate. But other than that I love everything!

Alex: I have nothing bad to say about my job. 

13. Give us a funny story about the other two. Preferably something embarrassing.

Soules: Bro, I can’t blow my dudes out like that. (Editor's Note: I gave him a second chance to respond after reading Sebastian's answer)

Sebastian: Travis. One time in World Supercross, he had to go #2 so badly on a long drive and couldn’t make it. They pulled over on the side of the road and pooped right on the side of the road! In England!

Alex: I don’t know Travis well enough yet to have any funny stories, but Sebastian I’ve known for a while. My best Sebastian story is probably the time I watched him loop out a 110 going down an asphalt road. 

14. What do you guys like to do when out of town to blow off steam?

Soules: Relax at the hotel talking to my wife and kids. Eating good local food. And a whiskey Coke 

Sebastian: Go to any sporting events in that city that weekend or concerts. Or sometimes just chillin in the hotel room is the best. 

Alex: Blowing off steam when out of town typically consists of just checking out the city we’re in. Go and see some sights and eat some good food.



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