Nicky Hayden was born in Owensboro, Kentucky. He started road racing with the CMRA, often against racers many times older. Hayden would often start races from the back of the grid because a family or crew member would have to hold his bike upright as his feet would not yet touch the ground. Later, at age 17, he was racing factory Honda RC45 superbikes while still in high school.
In 1999, he won the AMA Supersport championship on board a privateer Honda. In 2001, he came within 40 points of winning the championship, finishing behind only champion Mat Mladin and runner-up Eric Bostrom. In the 2002 season, he won the Daytona 200 on a Honda Superbike en route to becoming the youngest ever AMA Superbike Champion, defeating reigning triple champion Mat Mladin, among others. He also entered the World Superbike round at Laguna Seca, making a solid fourth in the first race before colliding with Noriyuki Haga in the second which ended in a 13th place finish.
Hayden was one of a long line of American road racers to come from the American dirt-track scene. In 1999, Hayden won his first Grand National Championship race (Hagerstown Half Mile) and took Rookie of the Year honors. He was also declared the AMA’s athlete of the Year. In 2000, Hayden won the Springfield Short Track. In 2002, despite racing in just a handful of dirt-track events, Hayden won four races: Springfield Short Track (twice), Springfield TT, and Peoria TT. At the Springfield TT race, the three Hayden brothers took the first three places (Nicky first, Tommy second, and Roger Lee third).
The win at the 2002 Peoria TT came after beating 13-time Peoria winner, Chris Carr, despite starting from the penalty line. Hayden only lacked a win at a mile track to join Dick Mann, Kenny Roberts, Bubba Shobert, and Doug Chandler in the prestigious “Grand Slam Club.”
This ARAI helmet was worn by Nicky during the 2001 AMA Superbike season. It has been signed on the visor and has remained in the same personal collection since Nicky gifted it back at the end of the 2001 season.
The visor includes the official NH69 hologram and this helmet backed by our 100% Guarantee of Authenticity and detailed letter.