Icon Variant: a dirt bike helmet for the street

Galleries -


Icon’s satisfying a lot of rider’s wishes by creating the Icon Variant, a helmet that combines off-road looks, ventilation and peripheral vision with street refinement. We’ve been impressed with the progress Icon has shown in quality; this helmet moves them one step closer to competing with established helmet makers with the use of a carbon/dynema/fiberglass composite shell and a moisture wicking liner. Full details covered in the video below. And don’t worry, it comes in classy plain colors in addition to the godawful skulls and other macho ephemera.  >


  • http://www.wilkinsonbrothers.com Corey

    Can’t wait to get my hands on one of these; got one on the way. Major props to Icon for developing this helmet.

  • Felix

    Halo, much?

    • Russ


      That’s hilarious.

  • s0crates82

    wonder how the aero’s are at 100+mph.

    • TeeJay

      You damn right. I have tested the helmet which was used by the two touring docs, Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman. Above 120 kmph it was unbearable (I have a naked bike with semi fairing, I’m 6’7″ tall).

      Anyhow, this was design for city ride not 3 digit sightseeing…

  • Rob

    Isn’t it pretty much just a copy of an Arai XD?

  • Dale

    do they make a BFG9000?

  • Isaac

    I like it, looks like a fighter pilot helmet with a hat bill.

  • alex

    actually pretty cool…. halo style!
    too bad they fucked up the mouth piece.
    by the way, I have a Shoey HornetDS, and you’ll be surprised, but till 200-230km\h on my GSXR you dont feel any aero issue. obviously on a naked may be a different story.

  • Denzel

    Help… a crow’s eatin my head!!

    (…but I’ll probably be wearing one of these….)

  • vic

    the sun visor is stupid and pointless and ruins an otherwise cool helmet.riding this with a sportsbike like seen in the vid doesn’t sound like fun to me
    .i like the face shield

  • emess

    It looks promising. I am VERY curious to see if the Variant solves the problems I have with the XD. I’ve been wearing one on the street for the last few years. The optics on the eye shield are absolutely horrible. (how did they get that past DOT?) If I have it cracked open just a little, the lower portion is so distorted it gives me a headache. The visor is flimsy and doesn’t have any way for the air to get through so it catches a ton of wind and vibrates like crazy. The last long ride I did wearing it (80mph sustained) left me with a sore neck for a week! I can’t even believe I paid as much as I did for it. It will be replaced soon.

  • Martin

    Even without the stupid macho skulls, you get a video with things like “Urban Assualt Helmet” and “New Paradigm”. Bleh.

    I don’t care how great these helmets might be, I have a hard time supporting a company that’s just so condescending and lame in their marketing message. We’re not all 14, you know.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Believe me, I understand where you’re coming from, but Icon’s goal is to sell safety gear to that young, American sportsbike rider that traditionally doesn’t even wear a helmet.

  • http://greatjoballweek.blogspot.com/ Case

    Felix got it in one.
    This has Master Chief written all over it. If I were Bungie then Icon would be hearing from my attorney.

    As for function: What’s up with the visor? Good luck doing head checks at freeway speeds with that thing.

  • Jon

    The only thing I havn’t seen talked about is; Does the visor open????

  • Steve

    My buddy received a test mule Variant in flat black in an XL. Being a die hard Arai guy, I was skeptical of the Variant. But here’s what I can say about it so far. It seems to be a quality built helmet. My friend reports good stability at various speeds, minimal fogging issues, a longer more comfortable oval shape than the XD3 (which seems to be a problem for a lot of us with the XD). The visor works well and is no more noisy than the XD. The finish on it is good. Holds up better than the flat finishes on the XD. For the price, this looks to be an excellent helmet. My friend claims he likes it much better than his XD3. I, personally, can’t wait to try one out in a XXL.

  • CafeRacer1200

    Thank God Icon has a version with skulls. I was afraid they might have grown a head of hair. Yes, I said it, the shaved head is the mullet of the millenium.

  • BL

    bring on the ephemera!

    skulls are not ephemera…they are probably the most lasting, least transitory, moto-related graphic ever!

    unfortunately, manufacturers manufacture what the proletariat consumes.

    bring on something different and new, skulls and flat black are boring@!

  • http://setthemfree.tumblr.com Sasha Pave

    I’m glad to see more options, after switching to the Arai XD for commuting I’ll never go back to a non-visored helmet. Riding into the sun is suddenly safe and comfortable again. Yea you can’t break 75mph with the visor on, but my commute in San Francisco / Oakland would never allow those speeds anyhow. For longer rides I just take it off and it turns into a regular helmet.

    But I can’t find anywhere if this Icon has an adjustable visor. It doesn’t seem to adjust up and down. This would be critical to having an effective visor.


  • Steve

    So I go mine today and have been testing it all day as it’s a rare dry sunny day here in Portland. Here’s what I can tell you. The shape is more oval than the XD3 but there’s still a pressure point on my forehead and that may be just me having to go up a size. Other than that, incredibly more comfortable. Couldn’t get it to fog the shield and it’s been anywhere from 36-54 degrees today. The shield is good and optically clear. One problem I had was that the non-adjustable visor is shorter than the XD and provides less glare protection. Combine this with the convex shield in the midday sun and I was watching the reflection of my nose and eyebrows a great deal of the time. The visor being shorter, is rock solid and the helmet as a whole is more aerodynamically sound than the XD with little of the buffeting I suffer in the Arai. I had it at highway speeds and above, around town, shield up and down. Noise and weight wise it’s comparable to the XD. I’m happy with it. I think if I go a size up and a smoked shield and I’ll be very happy.