Now retired, Shinya Nakano was a seasoned 250cc, 500cc, MotoGP, and World Superbike racer who clocked up 6 wins and 21 podiums in his career.
Nakano was also famous for his helmet design that consistently had two huge cartoon eyes (from his favourite childhood cartooon character) above the visor.
Nakano raced with Arai helmets, and replica designs have been made available over the years, but since his retirement they seem to be being produced much less frequently. Arai did release a beautiful Shinya Nakano helmet that featured the stunning ‘Sakura’ graphics in their premium RX-7 range, and also their Arai Quantum range, which you can still find if you know where to look, or are prepared to dig around, or maybe strike it lucky on ebay.
Browse the latest Shinya Nakano helmets available below:
Shinya Nakano helmets:
Shinya Nakano helmet guide:
Shinya Nakano raced with various helmets designs, but one common theme that all his helmets featured were the two giant cartoon eyes that peered over the top of his visor looking forwards. Many people ask what is the meaning or significance of the cartoon eyes on Nakano’s helmets – Nakano explains it himself:
“When I was 16 and I was part of a Japanese racing team whose distinctive symbol was the two big eyes. All the racers who were part of that team had the same helmet with the big eyes on it. I continue having the eyes on the helmet to say thank you to the team that taught me everything about racing and gave me the necessary help and support to enter the racing world for the first time. Without their help I do not know if I would have continued racing.”