Carlin grew up in a motorcycle racing family. His father was a racer and part-owner at Ducati Santa Barbara — which meant he was constantly surrounded by motorcycles. His passion for motorcycles was evident at an early age, and he had the talent to go along with it. He went the traditional road-racing path and then transitioned to bicycles. In his early 20s, Carlin was at the forefront of the freestyle mountain bike movement, found success as a pro level racer, and was part of the Kona Clump crew.
Later in life, Dunne spent time in Baja, riding motorcycles in the desert with friends and racing in the prestigious San Felipe 250, Baja 500, Baja 1000 and Baja 2000. But Pikes Peak was where Dunne really shined on a motorcycle. He was the first rider under the 10-minute mark on the mountain and won his motorcycle class a total of four times.
In 2018, Dunne again was crowned the King of the Mountain for the fourth time, and wore a custom painted Race Star helmet. As a Santa Barbara local, he struck up a relationship with well-known painter Chris Wood of AirTrix. All of Carlin’s Pikes Peak helmets were designed in partnership with AirTrix. Dunne went to the mountain in 2018 and set a record for the fastest time up Pikes Peak on a motorcycle. He wore the AirTrix painted Pro Star, Bell’s ultra-light FIM-certified helmet, in his 2019 campaign.
Carlin would come to me with a vision, and he trusted me to make it happen. And somehow, it always seemed to work.Chris Wood, AirTrix
TO HONOR CARLIN AS A RACER, BELL HAS PARTNERED WITH AIRTRIX, THE CARLIN DUNNE FOUNDATION, AND THE DUNNE FAMILY TO RE-CREATE A REPLICA OF CARLIN'S RACE GRAPHIC IN THE 3K CARBON RACE STAR DLX FLEX.
The original graphic that Dunne wore featured beautiful gold leaf and blue feathers across the top of the helmet, which AirTrix painstakingly painted onto the helmet. The result was a stunning custom creation. Bell has taken inspiration from that design to create one of the most beautiful Race Star graphics to date. The production Dunne Race Star carries similar colors and design cues from Carlin’s original helmet. Dunne’s name is written across the back of the helmet, along with Carlin’s race number 5 along the chin bar.
To commemorate this helmet, Bell enlisted the help of renowned automotive photographer Larry Chen to photograph the helmet at Pikes Peak and Willow Springs Raceway in California. Chen is the official photographer for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and photographed Dunne throughout his racing career. The helmet was photographed at some of the iconic corners of Pikes Peak, where Dunne pushed the limits of what was possible on a motorcycle.
Finally, to showcase the track-ready DNA of the Race Star, Codie Vasholtz, Carlin’s teammate at Pikes Peak, piloted a Ducati around Willow Springs, a place where he and Carlin ran hundreds of laps in the lead-up to the annual Pikes Peak Hill Climb. Dunne helped Vasholtz transition from the Supermoto class at Pikes Peak to the heavyweight class aboard a Ducati — it only seemed fitting that Codie would be the rider to give Carlin’s replica helmet a proper shakedown.
Carlin’s sister created the Carlin Dunne Foundation to continue his legacy. The Carlin Dunne Foundation serves to develop preventive resources and rehab programs for extreme sport athletes diagnosed with or at risk for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, concussion syndrome, and traumatic brain injury. It also provides mentorship programs for up-and-coming riders and is developing a network focused on providing the tools necessary to succeed. Bell will provide resources and help to the foundation in addition to releasing the graphic in Carlin’s honor. The foundation created the phrase #LiveLikeCarlin as a reminder to be humble and passionate and live every moment to the max.
This special Race Star will be limited in availability, so don’t miss your chance to honor one of the best to ride up the mountain.