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. A 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 Air Shox-equipped Husqvarna. In 1977, Marty Smith won the championship on his FOX Air Shox-equipped Factory Honda.
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 44mm FOX Factory Forx, the largest diameter forks available at the time.
Other new products included FOX Twin-Clicker shocks, the first motocross shocks with dual external damping adjusters. Custom FOX Twin-Clickers were used by Tom Sneva to win the 1983 Indianapolis 500, setting the stage for FOX to branch out its motorsports reach and 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 biking, FOX-equipped bicycles have become the gold standard for competition and recreational riders.
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In fact, FOX-equipped riders have claimed championships in several 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. He still pops into our Scotts Valley facility now and then to show young engineers how sharp his skills still are.
Bob Fox starts prototype work on the first “FOX AirShox” on a Maico dirt bike. All drawings are done by hand and Bob works in a friend’s garage with a mill and a lathe.
First production of the FOX AirShox is complete.
Kent Howerton wins the 500cc National Championship with a FOX AirShox on a factory Husqvarna.
The 125 and 250 National Championship series start at Hangtown. In the 125cc class Pat Richter takes second place using a 17-1/2″ FOX AirShox on his Suzuki 125B from Moto-X FOX. In the 250cc class Jim Pomeroy takes second place using a 17-1/2″ FOX AirShox on his Honda.
Brad Lackey finishes second in the second round of the 500cc world championship. Lackey switches to the 17-1/2″ shocks for this race after a problem in the initial round on another brand of shock.
May 15, 1977 — Lackey wins first Moto in the 500cc World Championship race on his Honda with a 17-1/2″ FOX shock.
May 22, 1977 — Lackey again finishes second to Heikki Mikkola in the 500cc World Championship race. Lackey’s Honda is equipped with 17″ FOX AirShox.
June 19, 1977 — Pomeroy wins the U.S.G.P. first Moto wire-to-wire on his 17-1/2″ FOX AirShox-equipped Honda.
July 2, 1977 — Lackey becomes 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 becomes the first rider to win a national championship in more than one class. The 17-1/2″ FOX AirShox helps Smith throughout his championship season.
FOX succeeds outside of the MX Arena. In the late Seventies, FOX are being used on off-road racing cars with success. Roger Mears began using FOX on his factory Nissan truck, winning his class in numerous major off-road races.
Bob starts his own company, “FOX Factory, Inc.” and all FOX AirShox are distributed through “Moto X FOX”.
FOX Factory goes to Indy. The FOX-equipped Texaco/Havoline car driven by Tom Sneva wins the 1983 Indy 500 race. In 1983, 14 out of 33 cars running at Indy were equipped with FOX. Additionally, Sneva wins the `83 Cart Indy Car Championship using FOX.
FOX Factory starts to promote the use of the company’s shocks on road-racing motorcycles. The company adapts state-of-the-art Twin-Clicker MX shocks for road racing with Eddie Lawson winning the 1982 AMA Superbike Championship. Every team active in Superbike that year also uses FOX.
FOX enters the snowmobile aftermarket with a coil-over shock distributed by Jack Struthers at Carl’s Cycles of Boise, ID.
Arctic Cat specs FOX on 1990 models.
FOX is spec’d by Cannondale Bicycles on their first line of dual suspension mountain bikes.
FOX enters the mountain bike front suspension market with FOX FORX.
Brian Lopes becomes UCI Mountain Cross World Champion on FOX FORX FLOAT 100 RLC.
FOX FLOAT X EVOL becomes first air shock to win in the ATV division.
FOX FLOAT X EVOL becomes first air shock to win in the snowmobile division.
First-ever dual World Championship on FOX 40 RC2 and DHX RC4. FOX enters the UTV and utility quad markets.
FOX proprietary Internal Bypass 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 the PODIUM RC3 using FOX proprietary technology.
Vildosola Racing takes overall victory at 2010 Baja 1000, besting the motorcycle class in a point-to-point race for the first time since 1973.
World Champion MTB stripes earned by FOX’s Tracy Moseley and Mathias Flueckiger.
Aaron Gwin becomes the first American man ever to win the World Cup MTB Downhill title, and the first to win five races in the series.
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