The Fox Shock Is Born

Head or Tales?

What has the tail to do with a fox shock and the head with clothing? Those logos have caused a degree of confusion out in the market and among customers. Is it the same company? Why do they use sometimes the head and sometimes the tail? Was it the same fox modeling for both logos?

What we do know is that Fox Racing first opened for business in February 1974, when Geoff Fox, a Ph.D. who taught physics at the Santa Clara University, launched Moto-X Fox, a distribution business for motocross parts and accessories.

Geoff Fox also infected his little brother Bob successfully with the dirt bike bug so that he began to race amateur motocross in the early ‘70s.

The first fox shock design and race success

In 1973 the Long-Travel Suspension Revolution for MX bikes began. It was soon obvious to all what the advantages of longer travel were. But the best design was still to be found. Different ideas were tried over the next several years combined with a steep learning curve.

In 1974 Bob, who had studied engineering and physics, got the basic air-spring idea from seeing prototype air-pressurized shocks on a few Honda factory bikes as well as on the CZ brand motorcycles. He machined his first design manually in a friend’s garage and went into production only 1 year later by joining his brother’s company.

In 1976 Ken Howerton won the AMA 500cc National Champs using the Fox Air-shox and Marty Smith did the same in 1977. After this sales exploded and Bob launched his own company separate from his brothers “Fox Factory” (head) and called it “Fox Racing Shox” (Tail)

Conquering all areas of motorsport

Within five years, Bob found himself 'forced' to diversify into other markets in order to survive. Fox Racing Shox got into off-road trucks, road-racing cars and motorcycles, then into the snowmobile and mountain bike markets, among others.

In an interview he announced once: “The cool thing is: although the weights and dimensions of the vehicles in the markets we serve vary greatly, the same laws of physics apply to all. For example: the classic F = ma (force equals mass times acceleration) is always valid. And good suspension is mostly about properly controlling motion. I suppose that’s a bit of an over-simplification, but there’s also a lot of truth there.”

The new aftermarket Fox shock

Three decades later there are few people in motorsport who haven’t heard of, ridden or raced with Fox Racing Shox. They continue to build innovative suspension products, create multidimensional racing success and do effective brand marketing. They have some very promising aftermarket solution for the off-road motorcycle, quad and side by side market in their product range.

The Podium RC3 Shock has benchmark features like Anti-Wallow-Control or Bottom-Out-Control that shows the high-tech research that Fox put into their products. They also cater for the mini market with the Podium RC2 for kid’s bikes. Like its big brother it has technological advanced features that enhance performance drastically. For more info check out the Fox Racing Shox homepage:

Whereas Fox head and Fox tails were operating out the same building in the beginning and even used the same distribution channels nowadays they are totally separate. All in all: a beautiful tale of a great inventor who had a good head for suspension. And what happened to the fox’s body? We will never know.

Read more on aftermarket suspension in my WP Cone Vavle and Trax Shock article.

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