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MX des-Tination: Fox Racing Shox Museum

Okay, please excuse our liberal abuse of the French language, but we think you'll find that the Fox Racing Shox Museum in Scotts Valley, CA, is a very worthwhile MX Destination.

Over the years we've visited Fox Racing Shox back when it was housed in a small shop in South San Jose. We'd also watches as they grew into a much larger facility in Watsonville, CA. Now the bulk of the manufacturing is done in Watsonville, but their R&D facility is just east of Santa Cruz in Scotts Valley, CA. Earlier this year they had an open house and intro to their new museum, which highly suggest as a destination for any moto fan's must-see list...particularly if you're into old school moto.

One of Bob Fox's early bikes. Bob has quite a story of his own. We don't want to spill all the beans, but the displays in the museum do a great job of covering his days as a hot-rodder, and on through when he was playing cards for a living. There are even some of his old notebooks from when he was suspension testing, and creating the Fox Shox. During the early days of long-travel suspension, the shocks weren't able to keep up with the demands that the new leverage ratios and faster piston speeds were putting on the shocks. Bob was in the right place and time in history to work on something better.

At the time? The idea of air shocks on a motocross bike was...well, shocking. The time and effort put into creating the early Fox Racing Shox was pretty amazing.

Kent Howerton won the first championship for Fox Racing Shox aboard his Husqvarna. It was cool to see the authentic bike in the museum. Joe Newmann (Newmann in the Vital MX Forums) had quite a bit to do with dialing in the bikes for the museum.

Marty Smith and Brad Lackey check out an RC500 built up for the display, while discussing its origin. It sounded like this one started out as a GP bike that made its way to Australia, before coming back to the US to be made over into a replica of Marty's Championship-winning bike.

Marty Smith (left), and Bob Fox looking over some prints of Marty's days at Factory Honda. Bob also had quite a few snapshots from back in the day that his guests were poring over.

While we were there, one of the more interesting parts was a serious bench racing session that featured (from left to right) Charles Halcomb (one of the original Team Husqvarna riders), Brad Lackey, Marty Smith, Eric Crippa, Kent Howerton, and Geoff Fox from Fox Racing. These guys are responsible for a bunch early MX history. One of Brad's tales here was about how much the swingarm on his bike flexed, and how he could derail the chain just about any time he wanted by laying the bike into a berm just right.

What's interesting is that the groundwork laid down by Bob Fox's work in MX shocks migrated over the years to vehicles as diverse as Indycars, trophy trucks, snowmobiles, of course mountain bikes...and even in prosthetic limbs. Needless to say, if you're in the Scotts Valley, CA, area, this is a must-see spot for any moto fan.

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