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Garage Finds | Tagger Designs 2007 Helmet


Garage Finds | Tagger Designs 2007 Helmet

Presented by Backyard Design

A dozen years ago, I got the ridiculous idea to try and qualify for the AMA Amateur National MX Championships at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch. While that is a story for another day (crashed nine times during the first practice session in the ruts, drew gate pick 38, went 26-12-6 for 15th in the 30+ class), this Shoei VFX-R helmet painted by my friend Tag Gasparian at Tagger Designs is my favorite souvenir from that particular summer.

When I handed the helmet over to Tag, I also gave him photos of several Japanese design elements that I wanted him to work in: The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai, Japanese cherry blossoms, the Japanese Rising Sun Flag, and the plum blossom family crest that is used by the Maeda family. To be honest, I had no idea how he would blend all of the elements together, but I was more than thrilled with what he came up with. (If you look closely, you’ll notice a metal bolt holding the visor on. During one of my rut-induced crashes at Loretta’s, I snapped the clear plastic screw off and didn’t have a spare.)

One of my favorite parts of the helmet is the name lettering Tag came up with for the back of my helmet, These days, Tagger Designs is known for their trademark graffiti name lettering, but I still think this is the coolest font I’ve ever seen used on one of my helmets. 

Last week I swung by the Tagger Designs shop in Lake Elsinore, California, to pick up a helmet that 6D Helmets had painted up for the November 7-10 Seven MX Mini Major. It’s been over a decade since I’ve seen Tag, and it was cool to see his son Bronson working alongside him in the shop.

Production helmets these days are cooler than ever, but there’s something about a custom-painted helmet that can’t be beat. This 6D Helmets ATR-2 Youth helmet will be awarded to one lucky 50cc racer at the Mini Major. 

Backyard Design Graphic Kit of the Week

Backyard Design was founded in 2010 by two privateer Supercross racers: Jared Hicks from Alabama and Philipp Klakow from Germany. What started off as a project to fund their Supercross racing efforts has now grown into a worldwide graphics manufacturer, with dual headquarters in the United States and Germany. Backyard Design is known for being one of the first custom graphics makers to have a completely interactive website, where customers can design their own kits with a few clicks on a computer mouse.

The guys at Backyard Design USA are up for any challenge when it comes to making your bike or helmet look cool, as they can help you create the graphic kit or helmet wrap of your dreams in only a few easy steps. We have been blown away by the ease in which BYD kits apply, and especially so on the Husqvarna, which can be a challenge when it comes to the split side panels. Backyard Designs’ patterns and material set them apart from the rest!

Want something a little more wild? Backyard Design USA’s web site has a wide selection of baseline designs to start with for all brands, which can be customized with your sponsor logos, etc.


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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  1. Ethan Michael September 26, 2019

    Been digging these garage finds. Especially the helmets from the ’90s – early ’00s. They don’t design ’em like they used to, and its cool to look back and remember how cool/creative they used to be.

  2. Clinton Fowler September 27, 2019

    Looking forward to these garage finds! Brings back memories of the 80’s and 90’s. But more important, 26-12-6… dude, that’s some variation. And 6th place in a LL moto is impressive!