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Who Is Bob Fox?

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A physicist by training, Bob Fox was an avid inventor and motocross rider in his spare time. He started racing using his own motocross suspension designs in 1974, and just one year later he and brother Geoff marketed an air shock absorber designed specifically for professional motocross racing. In 1976, Kent Howerton won the AMA 500cc MX championship on a dual-chamber FOX AirShox-equipped Husqvarna. The next year, the non-factory Team Moto-X FOX upset the motocross world with top results in the AMA National Motocross Championship with riders Pat Richter, Steve Wise and Mark Barnett.

With his success, Fox started Fox Factory, Inc. in 1978 to focus on the production of FOX Air Shox and suspension-related products. The company continued to bring innovative products to market, including the first air-fork kit designed by Steve Simons, called FOX Factory Forx. FOX and Simons soon became giants in the suspension business, with FOX’s AirShox dominating professional racing, and Simon’s upside-down fork and cartridge rod design changing the suspension landscape forever.

In the 1980s, FOX expanded into the Indy car, off-road truck, quad, dune buggy and snowmobile markets, building an enviable reputation as a producer of high-quality, high-performance suspension components. Most notably, in the sport of mountain bike riding, FOX Racing Shox-equipped bicycles have become the gold standard for competition and recreational riders. In fact, FOX Racing Shox-equipped vehicles and riders have claimed championships in every one of these disciplines, and the company continues today as an industry leader in suspension development.

Bob Fox was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2009, and retired from the FOX Factory board of directors in August 2018.

FOX Timeline

1974

Bob Fox starts prototype work on the first “FOX AirShox” on a Maico dirt bike. All drawings were done by hand and Bob worked in a friend’s garage who had a mill and a lathe.

1975

First production of the FOX AirShox is completed.

1976

Kent Howerton won the 500cc National Championship on FOX AirShox on a factory Husqvarna.

1977

The 125 and 250 National Championship series started at Hangtown. In the 125cc class Pat Richter took second place using 171/2″ FOX AirShox on his Suzuki 125B from Moto-X FOX. In the 250cc class Jim Pomeroy took second place using 171/2″ FOX AirShox on his Honda.

Brad Lackey finishes second in the second round of the 500cc world championship. Brad switched to the 17-1/2″ shocks for this race after a problem in the initial round on another brand of shock.

May 15, 1977 — Brad Lackey wins first Moto in today’s 500cc World Championship race on his 17 1/2″ equipped Honda.

May 22, 1977 — Brad Lackey again finishes second to Heikki Mikkola in today’s 500cc World Championship race. Brad’s Honda was equipped with 17″ FOX AirShox.

June 19, 1977 — Jim Pomeroy wins the U.S.G.P. first Moto wire-to-wire on his 17 1/2″ FOX AirShox equipped Honda.

July 2, 1977 — Brad Lackey became the first American rider to ever win a 500cc Grand Prix overall. The 17- 1/2″ Air Shox was again part of the winning combination.

Marty Smith became the first rider to win a national championship in more than one class today. The 17-1/2″ FOX AirShox helped Marty throughout his championship season.

FOX succeeds outside of the MX Arena. In the late seventies, FOX were being used on offroad racing cars with success. Roger Mears began using FOX on his factory Nissan truck, winning his class in numerous major offroad races.

1978

Bob started his own company, “FOX Factory, Inc.” and all FOX AirShox were distributed through “Moto X FOX”.

1983

FOX Factory goes to Indy. The FOX equipped Texaco/Havoline car driven by Tom Sneva, won the 1983 Indy 500 race. In 1983, 14 out of 33 cars running at Indy were equipped with FOX. Additionally, Tom Sneva won the Cart Indy Car Championship in 1983 using FOX.

FOX Factory started to promote the use of the company’s shocks on road-racing motorcycles. The company adapted the state-of-the-art Twin-Clicker MX shocks for road racing and was soon successful. The Twin-Clicker shocks were so successful, Eddie Lawson won the 1982 AMA Superbike Championship using them. Every team active in Superbike that year was also using FOX.

1987

FOX enters the snowmobile aftermarket with a coil-over shock distributed by Jack Struthers/Carl’s Cycles of Boise, ID.

1989

Arctic Cat specs FOX on 1990 models.

1993

FOX is spec’d by Cannondale Bicycles on their first line of dual suspension mountain bikes.

2001

FOX enters the mountain bike front suspension market with FOX FORX.

2002

Brian Lopes becomes UCI Mountain Cross World Champion on FOX FORX FLOAT 100 RLC.

2005

FOX FLOAT X EVOL becomes first air shock to win in the ATV division.

2006

FOX FLOAT X EVOL becomes first air shock to win in the snowmobile division.

2008

First-ever dual World Championship on FOX 40 RC2 and DHX RC4. FOX enters the UTV and utility quad markets.

2009

FOX proprietary internal by-pass technology is spec’d on the 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor.

FOX produces first-ever suspension on a watercraft, and first snowmobile fully suspended by air.

Levi LaVallee executes first ever double backflip on a snowmobile and Paul Thacker breaks a world record with 300 foot jump.

Re-entry into the motocross market with PODIUM RC3 using FOX proprietary technology.

2010

Vildosola Racing takes overall victory at 2010 Baja 1000, besting the moto class in a point-to-point for the first time since 1973.

World Champion stripes earned by FOX’s Tracy Moseley and Mathias Flueckiger.

2011

Aaron Gwin becomes the first American man ever to win the World Cup Downhill title, and the first to win 5 races in the series.