INDUCTED INTO THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART ONE OF THE FIRST OPEN FACED HELMETS BELL 500-TX:
HISTORY AND FACTS
BELL was founded in 1954 in California by Roy Richter, a passionate of auto racing. Roy perceived the need for safety in the auto racing field and moved to put products in place to serve that need. The name BELL simply comes for the fact that Roy's activities were housed in a small, garage-like facility in Bell, California. The following year, BELL moved to a larger facility and a full time staff was employed. BELL started by manufacturing protective headgear for auto racing. BELL moved to the leading edge of helmetry in 1957, introducing the use of a non-resilient polystyrene liner. That same year, BELL also began to supply helmets to law enforcement agencies. One of the first open face BELL helmet, the 500-TX is selected by the Museum of Modern Art in New York for Excellence of Design. Four Bell helmet models are on continuous display at MoMA. Consumers began recognizing the need for safety and the business grew rapidly. By 1964 BELL had to triple its capacity and moved to a new facility in Long Beach, California. In 1968 BELL introduced the first full-face helmet, the Star. It was worn by Dan Gurney at the 500 Miles of Indianapolis. These products innovations, like expanded polystyrene liners (EPS) or full face helmets, generated a reputation throughout the world for providing state of the art quality helmets. In 1971 BELL diversified into the motorcycle helmet market and developed the first full-face motorcycle helmet and the first full-face off-road motorcycle helmet. During the next ten years, BELL continued its efforts in automotive and motorcycle field but also entered the bicycle industry with the first hard shell helmet, the Biker in 1975. In addition, it began providing helmets for marine racing, parachute jumping, and many other high risk activities where head protection was needed. The explosive growth of motorcycle use in the 70's required tripling capacity once again. Bell, in 1976 moved into a 180.000 square feet facility in Norwalk, California. This factory was, at the time, the world's largest helmet factory with the most up-to-date equipment, including one of the most sophisticated test labs. By 1985, the BELL family of companies included BELL RACESTAR (manufacturing auto racing suits and drivers equipment as distributing the auto racing helmets), Vetter Products (manufacturers of fairings, helmets, leather clothing...), Marsee Products (fine leather motorcycling apparel and accessories) and Bagman (luggage for motorcycling). It was at this time that BELL entered into its first licensing and distribution agreement with a French company for the manufacturing, sales and marketing of BELL motorcycle products in France. The ultimate goal was to expand throughout Europe. In 1986 BELL relocated its manufacturing facility to Rantoul, Illinois and closed down its manufacturing operation in California completely. A small office was maintained in the old Norwalk, California facility which housed BELL's Research & Development, and Corporate Affairs departments as well as part of the Sales and Marketing staffs. Since 1986, car racing helmets as well as bicycle helmets have been made in centrally located Rantoul, Illinois, USA. Some bicycle helmets are also manufactured in Euro-Bell's plant in France and in China. Over 20.000 car racing helmets and more than 4 million bicycle helmets are manufactured each year, making BELL the largest manufacturer in the world for both car racing helmets and bicycle helmets. BELL's auto racing unique helmets line includes many different models, specifically designed for each type of car racing and being at the edge of technology. Since the 1980's, BELL has pioneered an outstanding number of innovations in all areas of modern helmetry: ligthweight composite materials shells, ventilation systems, advanced aerodynamic designs, fog free shields, and the list is very long ... In November 2001, Bell Sports sold the rights to use the Bell name for automobile helmets to two new entities: BELL Racing USA (for North and South America + New Zealand) and BELL Racing Europe (for Europe, Asia and Africa) located near Brussels, Belgium. Both BELL Racing US and BELL Racing Europe operate as two totally independent companies under license from Bell Sports Inc; each having their own Research and Development programs and product line adapted to their individual markets. In june 2010 Bell Racing Europe acquired Bell Racing USA, reuniting the Auto Racing activity again under common ownership. BELL now produces automobile racing helmets using the latest, state of the art, equipment and technologies which are available worldwide. BELL Racing engineers operate a Racing Service and a Research & Development program with the best drivers in Formula One and other top professional drivers, thus ensuring that BELL remains the undisputed world leader in automobile racing helmets.
"You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist."
MAXIMA RACING OILS was created for world-class racers, men and women who challenge the limits of possibility. Their demands on equipment drive us to look beyond conventional ideas and to exceed industry standards. It's in our DNA to identify problems, formulate solutions and execute at the highest levels of competition. A simple goal to make things better than ever thought possible.
Maxima believed it could change lubrication and along our 30 year journey – many others believed in us too. Superior technology transcends sport to enhance the experience of consumers and racers alike. Our market leading products are used in over 50 countries around the globe and include engine oils, suspension fluids, coolants, care products and accessories. These products represent our commitment to excellence and a passion for redefining what is possible.
Maxima is a race-inspired, product driven company. We formulate, develop, manufacture and distribute high performance oils, lubes and ancillary products. The essence of our brand is communicated through hundreds of championships with world class racers, tuners and teams who rely on Maxima for unsurpassed performance in high-stress conditions without fail.
Founded in 1979 and headquartered in Southern California, Maxima is recognized as one of the most coveted brands in the racing industry. Decades of active involvement in professional racing has led to powerful technology and a full array of market leading products. The company continues its heritage by playing an active role in the sport and racing communities. We strive to deliver superior quality for the recreational athlete or World Champion.
Renthal is a manufacturer and designer of motorcycle accessories, including handlebars, chainwheels, grips and other items for the off-road, street, and ATV markets. Currently, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, and Suzuki all specify Renthal handlebars as standard for their performance off-road motorcycles. Renthal's manufacturing and engineering facility is located in Bredbury, near Manchester in England.
Renthal was formed in 1969 by friends and motorcycle enthusiasts Andrew Renshaw and Henry Rosenthal, who are today, still the company's Technical and Commercial Directors respectively. The company name is a portmanteau of the founders' names Renshaw and Rosenthal. The first handlebars were based upon a prototype that Rosenthal made for his trials bike from H14 aircraft aluminium that was World War II surplus material. These handlebars performed quite well when compared to the steel bars they replaced. In fact, when building the first set, they broke the tube bending machine while being formed. With a great deal of effort, the two founders made their own specialised tube bending machine to handle the aluminium and started small-scale production.
Making motorcycle handlebars was initially a part-time job while Andrew studied for a degree in mechanical engineering and Henry finished his business studies at a local university. Initially Renthal only produced handlebars for the trials market, but the two soon realized there was much more demand for this type of product in the ever emerging motocross market. With increasing sales and demand, full-time production began in 1975 in Stockport England, the very same place where the company resides today in Northern England.
Growth was steady through the 1970s and 1980s and in 1990, Renthal opened its first US office and warehouse for sales / marketing with the help of a young American entrepreneur by the name of Jim Hale. Armed with a new US office and a factory working at full tilt, the Renthal brand gained popularity through the 1990s along with the popularity of motocross.
In October 2000, the Renthal factory in Stockport England was destroyed in a fire caused by a faulty aluminium particle extractor, which removes particles from the air during the machining process. A spark within this machine had caused it to catch fire and act as giant blowtorch straight through the roof of the factory. Before the machine could be shut down, the factory was destroyed. Some parts of the fire were so hot that it melted stacks of handlebars and sprockets. Nobody was hurt during this incident and plans were made to immediately start rebuilding the facility in the same location. With support from employees, the goodwill of the suppliers, and even support from some of its competitors, the company was still able to meet its responsibilities to clients and race teams that year. What replaced the original factory was a completely new, state of the art manufacturing and design facility. Renthal's 41,000 square feet (3,800 m2) factory now houses machinery available for manufacturing, quality control, R&D, and storage. This includes five Yamazaki two- and three-axis CNC turning centres, seven Kitamura machining centres, one Kardex Shuttle 500NT automated vertical storage system, and a number of other custom specification machines. These custom specification machines include bar bending machines, a fatigue tester and drop test rig created to fatigue aluminium handlebars.
In 2004, Renthal began supplying the first aluminium 7/8" handlebars to be fitted as OEM equipment on a Japanese manufactured off-road motorcycle. For the 2004 model year, every Honda CR and CRF motocross bike came with the Renthal 971 "RC" bend handlebar. Soon after this, many of the other manufactures followed suit and began fitting Renthal handlebars as stock on their off-road models.
Renthal also produces chains, sprockets and grips. The Intellilever unbreakable clutch and brake levers for current motocross bikes along with brake pads are just a few new items added in 2008. Also new is a hybrid bi-metal rear sprocket called the Twinring Rear Chainwheel which utilizes an aluminium centre section mated with a steel outer ring. By combining these two materials, you get a chainwheel which is lighter than an all-steel construction but is more durable than the traditional all aluminium rear sprocket.
In 2009, Renthal introduced new products for the road racing market such as adjustable clip on handlebars and Kevlar-infused dual compound road race grips. The road race Kevlar grips utilize a unique mold from the MX grips in that they have open ends for bar end weights and a smaller inner flange
Renthal has always had ties with the manufacturers of motocross motorcycles and ATV's such as Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki, and KTM. In 2004, Honda became the first manufacturer to fit Renthal 7/8" aluminium handlebars to their motocross bikes. This was also the first time that aluminium 7/8" handlebars had been fitted to a motocross bike which typically came with very cheap to produce steel handlebars. The benefits of using aluminium over steel were numerous for motocross use. The two most important benefits were greater strength and greater flexibility which helped reduce vibration and fatigue.
In 2005, Yamaha followed suit and decided to also fit Renthal 7/8" handlebars to their motocross model range of YZ's, YZ-F's and WR off-road models for only that year. By 2006, every manufacturer had chosen Renthal handlebars (except yamaha which switched to protaper) over the steel handlebar which they replaced. Kawasaki's line up of motocross bikes from 2006 include a Renthal 7/8" handlebar. Since 2006 Suzuki have been fitting their motocross models with a Renthal 1 1/8" Fatbar which is an oversized tapered handlebar. The Austrian manufacturer KTM has been using the oversized Renthal Fatbar on their motocross bikes since 2002. For 2008, Kawasaki has chosen to fit the Renthal Fatbar on every one of its new KFX450R all-terrain vehicles.
In addition to supplying the OEM's with alloy handlebars for many years, Renthal also supplies a few select manufacturers with its grips and chainwheels for various applications and uses.
Renthal has had ties to professional and amateur racing since the early days of the company. It is a company philosophy that believes through racing involvement at the highest level, product R&D and evolution will continually move forward and reach the consumer product range.
Alpinestars is a manufacturer of technical, high performance protective gear for motorcycle and auto racing (MotoGP, Motocross, Formula One and NASCAR), as well as action sports such as Mountain Biking and Surfing.
Alpinestars has also established a fashion division with design centers in California and Italy, which draws upon Alpinestars' heritage in motorsports.
The company takes its name from the English translation of the Italian mountain flower "Stella Alpina" which grows high in the mountains around the area where the company was founded.
Founded in 1963 by Sante Mazzarolo in Asolo, Italy, the company started out making hiking and ski boots, but quickly shifted its focus to making boots for motocross racing as well as road racing boots shortly thereafter. Having enjoyed great success with many world champions such as Roger DeCoster, Kenny Roberts and Mick Doohan, the 1990s saw the company branch out into manufacturing all types of technical protective gear for motorcycling ranging from gloves and jackets to full leather suits.
Today the company is headed by Sante's son, Gabriele Mazzarolo and has offices in Los Angeles and Tokyo while the original headquarters and main research & development facility remain in Northern Italy.
Alpinestars leather suits and protective gear now adorn MotoGP World Champions Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo, as well as World Superbike Champions Ben Spies (now in MotoGP) and Troy Corser. Alpinestars’ Motocross gear is used by numerous AMA and World Motocross champions such as Marvin Musquin, Tyla Rattray, David Philippaerts, Christophe Pourcel, and Ryan Villopoto.
Alpinestars has recently developed the Tech Air Race System - a highly advanced, electronic airbag safety system that utilizes an advanced data logging unit and dual charge inflation module. This system is currently being used in the MotoGP and World Superbike championships and ultimately will contribute to motorcycle rider safety on the street.
In auto racing, flame and heat retardant Nomex suits, footwear, gloves and underwear have been developed in Formula One and NASCAR with recent champions Michael Schumacher, Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso and Jimmie Johnson using the gear with great success. Also, Top Gear’s the Stig wears a white Alpinestars race suit, shoes and gloves.
Alpinestars was also a renowned manufacturer of mountain bikes up until production ceased in 1996 and has now focused on producing a specialist line of clothing and rider protection for mountain bike athletes
Nolan Helmets SpA is an Italian motorcycle helmet firm founded in 1973 by Lander Nocchi, an entrepreneur in the motorcycle and car accessory sectors.
Nolan manufactures all components to their helmets in-house. Nolan also manufactures the X-Lite helmet brand, used by motorcycle road racer Jorge Lorenzo, as well as the Grex value line of helmets for new riders.
Motorcycle racers Casey Stoner and Marco Melandri have used Nolan helmets over their careers. In the past, other important motorcycle racers like Ricardo Tormo used Nolan helmets too.
Beginning production of Motorcycle helmets in Bergamo, Italy since the early 1970's, Nolan began using sophisticated materials to bring optimum performance to motorcycle riders at a competitive price. Throughout the 30 years since Nolan's first production helmet, Nolan hasn't ceased to use innovative technology to broaden its range of products. Today, Nolan Helmets hold more than 50% of the European market and manufactures all components to their helmets in house.
Dainese (pronounced die-neh-zeh) is an Italian company founded in 1972 by its current President Lino Dainese. It specializes in protective wear for sports such as motorcycling, mountain biking and downhill skiing.
It is known well in motorcycling circles, sponsoring current riders such as Valentino Rossi and Max Biaggi. Other users of Dainese wear are Giacomo Agostini, Barry Sheene and Kevin Schwantz, as well as Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond and the stunt-coordinator Claudio Pacifico.
Dainese offers both an 'off-the-shelf' and a 'made to measure' service, therefore opening the brand to variety of types and price levels; many of its 'leathers' are handmade and employ exotic materials, such as carbon fibre and titanium.
Dainese uses its racing sponsorship program to research and develop new innovations. Through 2008 and 2009, Dainese has debuted, through its sponsored riders in MotoGP, an airbag suit. Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo have all used this suit in races. The suit has an airbag integrated into the leather one-piece suit, which inflates when the suit's internal microprocessor detects a crash.
Magneti Marelli S.p.A. is an Italian company which deals with development and manufacturing of systems, modules and high-technology components for the automotive industry. A subsidiary of Fiat Group, it has 32,000 employees and a turnover of 5.4 billion euro in 2008.
Headquartered in Corbetta (province of Milan), the company includes 77 manufacturing plants, 11 R&D centres and 26 application centers in Italy, India, France, Germany, Spain, Poland, Czech Republic, Russia, Turkey, United States, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, China, Malaysia, and South Africa.
Magneti Marelli was founded in 1919 as a joint-venture between Fiat and Ercole Marelli, and was named as F.I.M.M. - Fabbrica Italiana Magneti Marelli; the first plant was established in Sesto San Giovanni near Milan, Italy. The company started as a magneto and electrical equipment manufacturer.
Magneti Marelli currently deals with intelligent systems for active and passive safety of vehicles, as well as in the powertrain area.
The business lines include automotive lighting systems, body control systems, powertrain control systems, electronic instrument clusters, telematics systems, and computers, suspension systems and components, exhaust systems, and motorsport, wherein Magneti Marelli develops specific electronic systems for Formula One, Motorcycle Grand Prix and the World Rally Championship.[dated info]
Sub-brands of the company include Carello, AL-Automotive Lighting, Siem SpA, Cofap, Jaeger, Veglia Borletti, Vitaloni and Weber.
Magneti Marelli worked with Ford Motor Company and Microsoft Auto to develop an in-dash computer (carputer) for Ford's work truck division introduced in 2008 — with a built-in 6.5-inch, high-resolution touch screen and Bluetooth, USB connectivity, GPS Navigation, voice recognition, as well as general office applications, e.g., word processing, contact, and calendar
Founded in 1969 by Mr. Luigi Termignoni, TERMIGNONI S.p.A. is a Company that designs and creates motorbike exhaust systems for race and road use at the highest levels.The experience gained in these years on the race tracks has been transferred also to the aftermarket products giving a high level perfomances. The company's object is to develop exhaust systems that offer always an increase of performances in terms of power and/or weight. The R&D department that create the racing exhaust systems for MotoGP, Moto2 and SBK, is the same department that create for the aftermarket.
SIDI is an Italian company founded in 1960 by its current founder and president Dino Signori, the company takes its name from his initials. It specializes in protective wear for sports such as motorcycling and cycling.
SIDI is one of the most well known brands of cycling shoes, its non-MTB shoes have been used by many famous professional cyclists to win many important races, including world championships. Originally shoes were made with leather uppers and wooden soles, but since the 1980s plastics and other man-made materials including carbon fibre have been used (in models such as Sidi Ergo 1 and Sidi Ergo 2). Traditionally the shape of the shoes suited feet with a less broad toe area although there is now a "mega" size which is wider.
SIDI also produces some other cycling clothing, such as socks.
SIDI sponsors many well known MotoGP riders such as Alex Barros, Anthony West, Chris Vermeulen, Colin Edwards, Loris Capirossi and Lukas Pesek.
SIDI riding gear is generally less expensive than its Italian competitors, such as Dainese but above Alpinestars.
Obviously the list of sponsored riders needs updating, since Crutchlow and Dovizioso are also sponsored and are more high profile currently than some of the aformentioned riders.
Repsol S.A. (Spanish pronunciation: [repˈsol]; originally an initialism for Refinería de Petróleos de Escombreras adding the word Sol (Sun)) is an integrated Spanish oil and gas company with operations in 28 countries. The bulk of its assets are located in Spain. It is now the 15th largest petroleum refining company according to the Fortune Global 500 list, employing over 40,000 people worldwide.
In May 2006 Repsol announced it was planning to float between 15% and 20% of YPF's shares on the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange.
Repsol also partners with Honda Racing Corporation to compete in MotoGP under Repsol Honda Team.
Arrow Special Parts unites a 30-years tradition of hand-craft workmanship with hi-technology. Numerous C.N.C. machines guarantee the highest quality standards of Arrow products. Each and every Arrow exhaust part is handled individually to give it those exclusive Arrow Special Parts-features of reliability, good looks and top performance. For welding - one of the most delicate stages in the production process - only the most advanced systems are used. The methods employed by Arrow range from traditional M.I.G., T.I.G. and acetylene-torch processes for stainless steel welding to controlled-atmosphere welding when working with titanium. The Arrow Research & Development dept. is were it all happens. Motorcycles are constantly growling on two dynamic and one static benches. Hi-tech equipment guarantees most accurate test results. The climate inside the Arrow exhaust testing room is constantly monitored: temperature, air pressure and humidity are measured and, if necessary, modified in order to obtain perfect testing conditions. Weights and noise levels are measured and compared and exhausts are tested over and over again until they perform like Arrow wants them to.
In the Superbike as well as in the Supersport championships Arrow exhausts have been leaders with several outsiders, such as Fred Merkel, Aaron Slight, Colin Edwards, Pierfrancesco Chili, Stephane Chambon. Looking at the list of the World titles obtained over the last few years, highlighted by names such as Eddie Lawson, Max Biaggi, Kevin Schwantz, Mick Doohan e Alex Criville, is clearly visible the high level of performance and quality reached by our products. A mix of advanced technology, absolute reliable materials, experience and qualified resources made Arrow Exhausts reach the highest quality levels in the market.
Nowadays Arrow has the widest range of high-performance special exhausts for every bike, from scooters to street bikes, and a full range of EU Road Approved models. To reach these results Arrow focuses on an intense technological research program supported by a precious collaboration with international teams and riders which brought excellent sport results and a unique experience.
The Arrow Race Lab is the natural evolution of what Arrow is about: a Dyno-testing room on wheels, created to provide race track support and assistance to teams relying on the Arrow Special Parts exhaust technology. Arrow Exhausts System's Race Lab has set new standards in the fast and ever changing world of motorcycle racing and it has become the number one technical reference for a number of racing teams in MotoGP, World Superbike, World Supersport and Motocross. The Arrow Exhaust Race Lab is equipped with a sound proof, climate controlled testing room and the latest version of the Dynojet Static Test Bench. A computer controlled data collecting system guarantees precise evaluation of all gathered information, allowing a perfect engine set-up and fast and precise last-minute changes.
Arrow's technicians have a full series of Beta tools and a T.I.G.-machine for stainless steel-, aluminium- and titanium-welding at their disposal. The technical office right in front of the testing room is in non-stop telephone and modem contact with the Arrow Research & Development Department in the Arrow headquarters in Italy. The Lab is powered with a Mercedes Actros engine with diesel propulsion of 430 h/p. It has a Megaspace cabin and a double bedroom, a bathroom with shower, a kitchen, an air-conditioned meeting room with hi-fi stereo, digital satellite tv and video. Outdoors is the fully automatic 100 m2 hospitality tent.
Research and development - a fundamental process for success. The engineers at Arrow that work in our research and development department can count on a cutting-edge structure and instruments: in fact, Arrow's R&D has a semi-anechoic room for noise measurements in controlled environmental conditions, in addition to various types of engine test benches (an eddy current static bench, a roller bench, and two dynamic benches).
Arrow Special Parts, leader in the exhaust industry for two wheels vehicles, has always been concerned with the increasing request of motorcycle riders for equipping their vehicles with new safety devices capable to improve the driving conditions. For this reason, the Arrow R&D in collaboration with a technical organization working side by side with World Superbike and GP teams, have realized a new range of steering dampers as the result of an intense development and testing period on the race tracks all over the world.
The new steering dampers by Arrow Special Parts provide a damping action of the steering vibrations using the hydraulic braking managed by oil flowing through calibrated holes. The braking action of the Arrow damper can be adjusted using progressive settings. All the damping kits are manufactured using 2011 aluminium anodized components, while the inner rod is chromed steel. The Arrow Competition Titanium Damper model is made by two coaxial cylinders and it is equipped with knurled ring allowing 10 different settings. The outer cylinder is in titanium, while the inner cylinder is in aluminium.
The Arrow Racing Aluminium Damper is made by an aluminium cylinder with a knob at one end allowing 9 different settings. The range of steering dampers by Arrow Special Parts are available with a natural aluminium or anthracite grey finish, and are supplied with mounting brackets C.N.C. machined from solid billet aluminium ergal. All damping kits have measurements and mounting details specifically designed for each bike, and include a large number of applications for the most recent sport-bike models.
The Arrow Rearset
These kits are designed to improve riding position and make the shift lever action easy and fast when using the bike on the race track. This peculiar design is inspired to the Arrow official logo recalling the symbol of an arrow and it is based on Arrow R&D technicians long-term attendance to the major race track events throughout the world. Every Arrow rearset kit is C.N.C. machined from solid billet aluminium ergal and it is equipped with a carbon fiber laser-cut boot protection. The foot-rest edge profile is manufactured using an innovative design such to provide a better grip to the rider's boot in extreme riding situation, thus allowing a better control of the bike traction. The adjustable Arrow foot-rest kit allows the possibility to individualize the riding position using the wide range of forward, backwards, up and down options.
KR Tuned is the newest name for MotoGP performance for your sportbike. Road Racing legend Kenny Roberts has used experience and his world-renowned engineering facility to design MotoGP quality performance accessories for the everyday sportbike. In association with Hotbodies Racing, KR Tuned will provide cutting edge products based on MotoGP technology. 2007 is the launch of the full line of products and applications of this exciting new brand.
Products include Kenny Roberts’ new KR Tuned exhaust systems, which have pending patents and pavement-shredding performance. Developed and designed by Team KR’s MotoGP race engineers, each KR Tuned system is backed by 20 years of MotoGP technology. Also offered is KR Tuned Carbon Fiber Fairing Stays, made of the highest-grade carbon fiber for improved strength and efficient weight savings. This highly advanced performance addition is based on Team Roberts KR211V and retains the exact shape of your stock OEM fairing stay. And Kenny Roberts’ new KR Tuned Frame Sliders are designed to limit the damage caused in the event of a crash. These strategically placed crash protectors have proven to minimize damage to the frame, engine, and bodywork.