MXA’s orange helmet collection
numbers in the hundreds.
MXA’S ORANGE HELMETS
When did MXA start wearing noth-
ing but orange helmets? Who came
up with the idea? How was orange
selected? Who designed the graphics
on the helmets? Can I buy an orange
The concept of wearing orange
helmets developed organically start-
ing back in 1994. Prior to the advent
of the orange-helmet era, Troy Lee
painted custom helmets for every
MXA bike test. They were amazing
works of art, but in June of 1994,
MXA editor Jody Weisel asked Troy
to paint helmets that, while still
custom designs, would be painted
over an orange base. Jody wanted
a single-branded MXA paint scheme
for every bike test. Troy drew up the
paint scheme that MXA still uses
It should be noted that orange was
not a popular color in 1994, which
was perfect, because MXA was look-
ing for a way to brand every MXA
bike test so that it would never be
confused with any other magazine.
Troy Lee painted over 300 orange
MXA helmets over the years. Then,
the helmet manufacturers stepped
in to have MXA’s helmets painted
at their factories. Today, the only
orange MXA helmets that Troy Lee
Designs paints are his own TLD SE
MXA retires every one of its old,
crashed or faded orange helmets and
stores them in the rafters of Jody’s
barn. Every now and then, we authorize helmet painters to get creative
with the orange design, thinking that
maybe we will change our look; however, after 23 years in orange, we are
happy with Troy Lee’s design.
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