Stunt rider Eric Hoenshell demonstrates how to do a sick stoppie at a recent Icon photo shoot just before NYC PD showed up to find out what all the hooliganism was about.
Jason Britton doing what he does best at 5pointz in Long Island.
There’s a reason Icon
has developed a devout following of loyal subjects who faithfully don the company’s motorcycle gear. The crew from Slabtown has a knack for making stylish goods that don’t break the bank, from their affordable motorcycle helmets to industrial strength riding gear. There aren’t too many other companies offering DOT-approved lids with custom-quality paint like the Alliance Harbinger
for only $200. As for quality, the Icon Accelerant Jacket I have from 2008 is still my “Go To” jacket if I know I’m going to be riding on the edge because it’s made of the thickest, most durable leather around and has plenty of heavy-duty armor. The Icon crew rides and scratches out a living in the thriving riding community of Portland. They wrench on bikes in the Icon garage during lunch breaks and piss off the neighbors with burnout parties on weekends. Living the lifestyle fosters a close relationship with what’s cool and current and inspires the creativity behind the insane graphics and designs which have become Icon’s signature.
Key to Icon’s success is its ability to keep current. They produce catalogs that read like graphic novels, witty script and storylines with striking photos, the product snuck cleverly in between. Their latest effort, Limiter3, features stunter Eric Hoenshell catching the wrath of NYPD during a photo shoot right after ripping off a nasty burnout in a rough city burrough. They shoot at hip urban locations like 5pointz in Long Island City, Queens, and encourage respected riders like Jason Britton to pen moving memoirs, in this case a tribute to Britton’s dad. Icon also keeps in touch with its fans through its interactive social site, Limiter.
My favorite part is “Busted & Broken” where readers submit stories and pictures from wrecks they’ve had wearing Icon gear. Apparently, a lot of people are crashing out there. Fortunately, Icon gear has helped many of them stay alive.
Now that we’ve established the “who” of this story, let’s take a look at the “what,” as in what has Icon been up to lately? Creating the Icon 2011 Fall Line, that’s what, including more Mil-Spec and Hi-Viz gear, stylish stuff like the Hella Heartbreaker Jacket for the ladies, and some of the best foul-weather riding gear around. Seeing how the rainy season is right around the corner, there’s plenty of riders out there who should be thinking about buying themselves some new rain gear. We can vouch for Icon’s Patrol Waterproof Jacket
($370) and Overpants ($250), which did a stellar job of
Feel lucky, punk? I couldn't help but channel a little 'Dirty Harry' while checking out Icon's top-shelf Victory Hard Luck jacket.
Many of the characters and graphics on the Icon Alliance Shaki Helmet were ripped straight out of Japanese mythology.
The Icon Airframe Street Angel helmet meets the World Standard for safety and its shape and rear spoiler have been wind tunnel tested against head buffeting.
The Brawnson Sidewinder Jacket promises to be tough like the 'Death Wish' actor.
staving off cold Oregon rain and even a few light snowstorms last spring. A removable hydration pack, built-in hoody, a collar that zips up high, numerous storage pockets and a magnetically sealed storm flap ensure water is kept at bay. Icon is aware that riding with wet feet sucks, so they’ve extended their YKK zippers and waterproof technology to its Reign Waterproof Boots
($160) for women. The black boots, a combination of leather and nylon, are lightweight slip-ons with injection molded shin and ankle plates for an added touch of protection. Though made for women, the Reigns don’t look girly. In fact, I’m guilty of scoping them out myself and luckily they're available in men's sizes, too.
Who knew a helmet could tell a story? Apparently, Icon did, as the graphics on the Alliance Shaki Helmet
($200) represent different Japanese characters or traits. There’s the Monk Mongaku who represents endurance and Kintaro the Golden Boy who is renowned for his strength and mastery of the wild. The story depicted on the lid also features the tempestuous demon Raijin, creator of storms, and the god of wind, Fujin. All that’s missing is Godzilla and Mothra and we’d call it a Saturday matinee. Besides bold, colorful graphics, the Alliance Shaki meets the World Standard for safety, has a polycarbonate shell that’s been wind tunnel tested, and plenty of intake and exhaust vents to keep the good air circulating while channeling the foul air out. Not bad for a lid that retails for only $200.
But don’t think you’re going to get every Icon helmet for bargain basement prices. The Airframe Carbon Lifeform
($515) is their top-end helmet which weighs in at a claimed 1450 grams, has a fog-free Proshield, hydradry lining and a rear spoiler. True to its name, it has a carbon fiber shell and its namesake “Airframe” oversized vents. As far as the “Lifeform,” you’ll have to provide the carbon-based carcass that squeezes its mullet inside the shell.
Similar to its helmets, Icon jackets run the gamut, from high-end, hardcore leather riding jackets to versatile, more affordable textile ones. Slick styling is a constant. The Victory Hard Luck Jacket
($777) is Icon’s top-of-the-line offering. With its combination of patches, zippers, buckles and blend of leather with hound’s tooth, the Victory Hard Luck Jacket has the same vibe as a homemade “rockers” jacket I saw an editor from a Finland moto mag wearing recently. Premium leather with that worn-in look, removable elbow and shoulder field armor, an insulated liner and plenty of zippered vents complement the design. In typical Icon fashion, the jacket thumbs its nose at fate by stitching number “13” patches all over it. The Victory Hard Luck Jacket is a limited edition offering, with only 100 being made, guaranteeing owners not every other Joe out there will be sporting the same jacket as you.
Granted, most riders don’t have eight bills to drop on a jacket about now, but Icon’s got some slick offerings on the textile side, too. The Brawnson Sidewinder Jacket
($230) offers many of the same features as the Hard Luck – removable field armor in the elbows and shoulders, a removable insulated liner, zippered cooling vents and custom Icon graphics. It’s light enough to wear on hot days yet thick enough to sport on cold days too, thanks to its padded liner and a collar which zips up high. Textile is some durable stuff and the weave on the Brawnson Sidewinder is tight, giving it resiliency to both wind and rain. K&N, Barnett, Wiseco and Champion badges contribute to its racy look. Icon liked the Brawnson tag line so much, they made a pair of Brawnson Textile Overpants
($95) to go along with it. If you’re naming a line of clothing after the mustachioed man from “Death Wish,” you’re gear better be tough. The Brawnson Textile Overpants should pass the test thanks to its nylon 900 denier construction and knee armor.
While Icon puts a heavy emphasis on styling, the company also likes to push the technological envelope at times as well. The d3o intelligent foam used in its Field Armor Stryker Vest is a prime example. For fall, Icon is the first to market with a glove that allows riders to use a touchscreen device. Icon claims the Justice Touchscreen Glove
($100) is “equipped with a revolutionary nanotech leather” which “allows complete command over any and all touch-sensitive screens.” Sweet. Taking your gloves on and off to make a call or look up GPS directions on your smart phone gets old quick. Kudos to Icon for its forward-thinking.
Icon makes gear suitable for angels and demons alike. Speed demons, that is.
Icon’s Fall Line 2011 features some great gear for women riders, too. With its two-tone sleeves, bold graphic package, assorted buckles, zippers, and the use of lucky “13” again, the Hella Heartbreaker Jacket
($235) strikes me as a ladies version of the Hard Luck, sans the heavy-duty leather. Removable CE field armor in the shoulders and elbows and a removable foam backpad are tucked inside a durable textile shell. Cut and tailored to compliment the female form, there’s no pink here ladies as the Hella Heartbreaker is offered in black and red only. Now if only they could get Joan Jett to do a photo shoot sporting the Heartbreaker. Icon offers a great pair of riding jeans to complete the ensemble. The Hella Heartbreaker Pant
($85) is cut to wrap a woman’s curves in form-fitting denim. The knees have hidden aramid panels for an extra layer of protection from road rash.
Icon has a solid selection of women’s riding boots, too. Riders will dig the Sacred Tall Boot
($150), not only for its attractive styling but for its functionality. Cut mid-calf, the Sacred Talls wrap a woman’s feet in plenty of protective leather. The soles are flat to provide good grip with the ground when idling at stoplights while alloy heel plates and molded rubber shifter nubs will help out when rolling. Top grain leather and buckles at the ankles are sure to catch the eye of lady riders looking for a solid riding boot.
Icon continues to blaze the trail in making Hi-Viz and Military Spec equipment. It also attempts to even the odds for riders with its Stryker collection of field armor. And anything that can tip the scales in our favor helps. It’s war on the streets people. Fortunately, Icon is ready to outfit the armies of two-wheeled marauders out there with the heavy-duty gear needed for survival in the 21st century.
If any items in the 2011 Icon Fall Collection catch your eye, be sure to check out the Motorcycle Superstore
for the best prices around on Icon gear. Speedy shipping, too, so you can't go wrong.