Icon Variant helmet brings adventure to commuting

Dailies -


Icon_Variant_Helmet.jpgCombining the looks of adventure touring helmets like the Arai XD3 and Shoei Hornet DS and the light weight carbon shell of high-end road racing helmets, the Icon Variant should be just the thing for riding a supermoto or rattle-canned streetfighter around town. Not due to be released until February, there’s not many details beyond its carbon shell, wide visor aperture (to increase peripheral vision) and the looks.

Both the XD3 and Hornet DS do a good job of combining the stuff you
need for dirt – deflecting roost, providing lots of ventilation, moving
the chin bar way forwards – with the stuff you need for the road
– vents that close, a peak that doesn’t shift around, a relative lack
of wind noise. The Variant can ditch the dirt pretensions — which hopefully means it’ll be lighter — but still needs to manage decent aerodynamics in a package that’s larger and covered in more pokey-out things than traditional street helmets. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for plain colors too.


Icon helmets are available on Amazon
  • Isaac

    I like it!

  • Tommy

    Thats sick. I agree on the plain colors, and hopefully a slightly smaller price tag than the arai and shoei and this would make a great second helmet for me.

  • Mitch

    I know 0 about dirt riding, so could someone explain to me how this helmet would be better than a traditional street helmet for the street (as I assume it’s being targeted at?) For that matter, could someone point out the differences in a dirt helmet and how they help when riding dirt?

    • Brian

      Mitch, I can see how you’de ask that question, and that depends on the street riding you do. For me, when commuting, my Shoei Hornet DS is great for when it is raining as it provides a bit of an awning as it were for my sheild, to allow me to vent without it dripping right down the inside of the visor. Also, it allows me a greater range of visibility of surrounding things with less of a need to turn my head as much. In the summer when the sun is right overhead, it also allows me a bit of a shaded awning like a baseball cap would for when you are walking down the street. Is it my only helmet I ride with? No, I have a few helmets, so that I can wear one that coincides with what kind of riding I am going to do, but each has their own benefits and drawbacks.

  • KRT

    Oh man a motocross style helmet with bubble shield? Too bad the top vents look integrated with the visor because that’s all coming off.

  • John

    Looks like a helmet out of a video game. Halo jumps to mind. Nice. Now they just have to get the price right.

  • Shinigami

    Oooh, more craptastic Icon crap for 2010! How exciting.

    Honestly, putting horns, flaming demon heads, fins, faux Mohawks, and other assorted hideous protuberances and paraphenalia on an $80.00 Chinese made POS helmet isn’t doing much for the image of the sport. But I suppose it does help convert a few squids to at least wearing some gear.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      We were pretty impressed with the quality of the Icon Airframe helmet. No quite up there with the big guys, but neither is the price.

  • Brian

    Motostrano got a couple of actual scoop photo’s on this -> http://www.motostrano.com/iconvariant.html

    and there is a reasonably good looking all white one -> http://www.motostrano.com/enlarge.html?http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/motostrano_2086_57014198

    sorry to the admins for crossposting links if I am commiting a faux pas, but I thought these were appropriate to share.

  • http://www.seandaw.com mr man

    wait a second, was that a Droid I saw in the background?

  • jblaze

    Looks pretty cool. Here are a few more pics i found.


  • the other larry

    Mitch, the advantage is the larger “eye-port”. Along with the wider range of vision, for someone like me the larger (top to bottom and side to side)opening is less claustrophobic. I can use the regular street helmet on a race track where you’re only looking straight ahead and concentrating on the track, but on the street I’m much more comfortable all around with the larger moto-cross type opening.

    • Mitch

      Thanks guys, that definitely makes sense. Unfortunately, I have read that the ‘peak’ gets caught too easily in wind at highway speeds which you will encounter in many if not all US cities.

      • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

        Yeah, the peak on traditional dirt helmets is going to catch wind like crazy at non-dirt speeds, but the ones on the Arai and Shoei helmets and probably this Icon are specifically designed to work at normal highway speeds, so they’re good up to like 90 or 100mph depending on stuff like the presence of a fairing and your height etc.

  • Denzel

    A crow’s eating my head!

  • cycledude

    i’ve been wearing an Arai XD for about 180,000 miles, the linner has wornout so i recently bought a new Arai XD3
    for me the 2 biggest advantages of the XD are the bigger faceshield and the sunvisor, i have other helmets but since experiencing the XD style helmet vary rarely choose to wear anything else

    i’m glad to see icon is coming out with something to compete and eagerly look forward to checking them out

  • cycledude

    just watched the video, wow i sure hope they didn’t spend much money to put that out

    icon has an ad in Motorcyclist, looks like the Variant will come in about 8 different colors

    as far as colors it seems like they pretty much copied Arai XD and SHoei Hornet, mostly just basic colors like black, white, grey, i guess most of the helmet manufacturers have not noticed lots of motorcycle riding folks these days are interested in bright easy to see colors

    actualy wanted Yellow for my new XD3 and maybe would have even switched to Shoei Hornet if they had it but so far no bright colors for this style helmet