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Fox Racing Friday | Ricky Carmichael’s 2002 RC Replica Helmet

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Fox Racing Friday | Ricky Carmichael’s 2002 RC Replica Helmet

Back in 2002, Ricky Carmichael turned in a perfect sweep of the 450 Nationals aboard his factory Honda CRF450R, winning each and every moto. That year, Fox Racing introduced the RC Replica helmet, complete with a graphic scheme that perfectly complemented Carmichael’s style and personality. 

“I remember being really pumped about the design of that helmet,” remembers Carmichael. “I didn’t really design it per se, but I was given several design options to choose from. I liked the lightning bolts and I believe that the final product was one that was a combination of the design elements of a few different designs.

“Looking back now, I really appreciate things like this more,” he added. “When you’re in the moment it’s hard to pay attention to all of the things that don’t directly involve racing, but to think that I had several signature-edition products like this helmet is pretty dang cool. To be honest, I wish I had kept more souvenirs from my racing career.”  

The RC Replica helmet was a top seller, as the GOAT enjoyed massive popularity throughout his career. The production version of the helmet featured graphics laid over a white base coat, although there was a handful of them laid out just for RC’s use on a chrome base. “What was cool about the helmet is that it came with the RC stickers for the chin bar and number fours for the sides of the helmet,” says RC. “I’m not sure how many people actually put them on, but it was kinda neat. I always liked the production version better than the special chrome ones, because the colors popped better and showed up nicely on the white. Like it is now, the Fox helmet then was way ahead of its time and had better venting than anything else on the market. This particular model fit really great and I always felt safe racing in it.”

“Looking back at these pictures, I can remember that raised sticker on the back,” he says. “It was part of the design, but I used to use it to make sure my goggle strap was on straight, too. (Laughs)” 

Editorial Fox Spotlight of the Week

Fox Racing V1, V2, and V3 Helmets: A Helmet For Everyone

Through the years, Fox Racing has developed and refined its motocross helmet offerings greatly and today, the three offerings – V1, V2, and V3 – are among the best-looking helmets available at any price. All three are characterized by the same basic shell shape that is more aggressive-looking than anything ever offered by Fox before, as well as the unique MVRS magnetic visor retention system. Furthermore, each helmet in the Fox lineup is made in four different shell sizes, which ensures the best and safest fit. We’ve ridden and/or raced in all three offerings from Fox, and thought we could offer some insight as to the features, fit, and comfort of each of them. Read on!

Fox Racing V3

Price: Starting at $499.99

The flagship helmet, the V3 is the most technologically advanced helmet ever offered by Fox Racing. Jam-packed with safety features, the V3 is characterized by a lightweight carbon-composite shell, a dual-density Varizorb liner that is designed to better disperse impact energy, and the Fluid Inside rotational impact protection system, which utilizes seven fluid-filled pads between the EPS and comfort liner to provide rotational impact dampening. Perhaps the most unique construction feature of the V3 is the patent-pending chin bar/eye port CAGE. Look closely, and you’ll see that the V3 shell is actually made up of two pieces; the carbon composite main helmet and a composite eye-port and chin bar piece is securely mounted to the helmet’s main shell and is designed to offer better impact dispersion than a one-piece shell.

As we’ve said multiple times previously, we’ve tested the new V3 extensively. A big crash that sent us headfirst into the ground resulted in severe damage to our V3 in the forehead area of the helmet, but we emerged largely unscathed from the impact. The MVRS visor detached in the impact and dirt was wedged in between the main shell and CAGE, and the inner EPS liner was compressed. The helmet did its job. 

The fit of the new V3 helmet is deeper than it was in the previous V3, meaning that the chin bar is positioned further away from your face. Still, peripheral vision is excellent thanks to the generous eye-port, and this also allows every goggle we’ve tested to fit nicely inside. Venting is plentiful on the V3, and a ton of air finds its way through the mesh-covered openings and to your head. In fact, on cold days it can seem like too much! 

The V3 is worn by the entire GEICO Honda team, Adam Cianciarulo, Josh Hansen, and many more.

Fox Racing V2

Price: Starting at $249.95

The Fox Racing V2 is branded as its mid-level helmet, but it is regarded by many as a premium piece. The features it shares with the high-end V3 are greater than the differences between the two: the V2 boasts a Varizorb dual-density EPS liner, seven Fluid Inside rotational impact dispersion pods, generous venting, and the proprietary MVRS visor system. Differences? The V2 has a one-piece polycarbonate shell and a slightly different venting configuration.

Eagle-eyed race fans may have noticed that Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen chooses to wear the V2 helmet. Like the rest of the Fox Racing team, Roczen competed in the new V3 when it was first introduced, but during a visit to Fox’s Irvine, California, headquarters, he tried on a V2 out of curiosity and was taken aback by its comfort level. Every rider has a unique head shape and every helmet will fit each individual well…differently. Roczen soon thereafter switched to the Fox Racing V2 helmet, citing that the fit and feel of it was perfect for his liking.

Having ridden in the V2, we can attest to the different feel that the helmet has from its more-expensive counterpart. In fact, during our recent 2020 250 Shootout our Senior Test Rider Pat Foster wore a new Fox Racing kit – including a V2 Vlar helmet – and didn’t notice until the end of the day that he was wearing Fox’s mid-level offering. “This thing is comfortable!” he said. “I would have never guessed from the fit, feel, and quality that it was not the V3.”

In our 2020 450 Shootout, tester Kyle Puerner had similar feedback about the V2 Kresa helmet he was given to complement his Flexair kit. “This thing is super comfortable and light,” he said. “I can’t believe how good helmets are these days.”

Fox Racing V1

Price: Starting at $179.95

The entry level V1 helmet is packed with great features. Featuring a one-piece polycarbonate shell, the MVRS visor system, 11 intake, and four exhaust vents, and a removable and washable liner. In reality, the V1 is considered an entry level helmet today, it is actually a more-advanced helmet than the old RC Replica helmet showcased above!

The Swapmoto Live staff – and TransWorld Motocross before that – take a pretty aggressive stance on helmets and always advise our readers to invest in the highest-quality helmet possible. Motocross is a dangerous sport, and investing over $1000 in a high-performance exhaust system and then opting for a $100 helmet with sweet graphics is ludicrous. 

In the instance of the Fox V1, however, the technology and quality of construction are not lacking, per se…it is only the most modern safety features that address rotational impacts that are not included. Basically – as we said before – the current V1 is equivalent to a premium helmet from not-so long ago.

During a recent visit ride with one of our contacts at Fox Racing, we were surprised to see that he chooses to ride in the new V1, rather than the V2 or V3 helmets, even though he could obviously obtain one with ease. “I just like the fit best,” he said. “I’ve seen the testing data, and the V1 is plenty safe. I’m not racing and going all out.”

CLICK HERE to learn more about the wide selection of off-road helmets from Fox Racing!

 

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Donn Maeda

Donn Maeda is a 30-year veteran in moto-journalism, having worked at Cycle News and Dirt Rider before launching MXracer Magazine and TransWorld Motocross Magazine. Maeda is the Editor-In-Chief at Swapmoto Live and you can catch him on a dirt bike or in the saddle of a mountain bike on most days.

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4 Comments

  1. Don Wilson October 11, 2019

    Sweet! ! ! !

    Reply
  2. Ken October 11, 2019

    Donn, hope one day you will be able to provide all the racing’s news here because I don’t want to visit the “MX establishment” websites anymore (racer x, vital, addicts etc) you really have respect for the racers and you are a true fan of the sport. I like MXA also (interesting interviews & opinions) but they are slow about daily news

    Reply
  3. SofakingRAD October 12, 2019

    Sweet! Wasn’t he on a Honda CR250R for his 2002 perfect sweep though?!?

    Reply
  4. Clinton Fowler October 16, 2019

    Those new V1-3’a are looking like full face MTB helmets these days. And is that V2 paint job a throwback to a Stewart paint job?!

    Reply

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