Cycle News

Cycle News 2021 Issue 24 June 15

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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Page 136 of 139

P136 CN III LOWSIDE BY RENNIE SCAYSBROOK W hen I was a kid growing up in Australia, Sunday nights were usually filled with watching that day's 500cc or Formula One grand prix, the two and four-wheeled heroes and their screaming machines filling every available audible space in the living room and down the halls. I loved those days, but one thing stands out above all else— the yellow and green helmet of three-time Formula One World Champion Ayrton Senna. That lid was as good a trade- mark as the red on a can of Coke or the black and orange of Harley-Davidson. It was not just a symbol of the man, it was something to be feared. If your wing mirrors were filled with that ominous helmet, you knew you were in for some trouble. Then there were the various designs adorning the cranium of one Jeremy McGrath throughout the 1990s. Painted by the legend- ary Troy Lee, you could always tell it was made for McGrath despite changing constantly over the years. In direct contrast to Senna's helmet, McGrath's were an evolv- ing statement of who he was and where he was at a particular point in his life and career, interpreted by a true genius of the game and put on show for us all to see. There are a few other designs that come to mind—pretty much every one of Valentino Rossi's helmets, Anthony Gobert's green and black grim reaper from WorldSBK, Troy Corser's croco- dile, or the Pascal Picotte Shoei Joker helmet. I always wanted a custom- painted lid but never thought I would be in a position to wear one. In truth, I didn't fully under- stand the effort and the process a painter goes through to make a piece of art for just one person. Over the last six years, I've had two custom helmets, both for my various attempts at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Each was created by another legend in the Southern California motorsports industry, Tag Gasperian who, in collaboration with his son, Bron- son, pumps out an incredible number of personal and intimate designs for some of the fastest riders and drivers on the planet. My first helmet was a bit of a tribute to another lost Formula One star in German Stefan Bellof, Tag and his son Bronson Gasperian (right) with their finished handywork. You'd be pleased too if you'd just spent over 20 hours painting one helmet! BE YOURSELF

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