My new favorite thing

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First, let’s note what you don’t see in these photos: No grotesque over branding. No Day Glo colors. No logos the size of your thigh. No unnecessary speed hump. No tacky metal stick ons. No functionless air scoops. Instead, there’s just supple, strong, perforated kangaroo hide thats been stitched together by hand in Italy. This is my new custom one-piece from Icon. I love it.

“We call it an Overlord Prime suit,” says Icon design director Kurt Walter. “We built the initial Overlord suits about six years ago in order to test some new materials and construction techniques. Though our product line is firmly based in street specific applications, we recognize the the value of the track for testing design & development theories. Lessons learned with the initial Overlord suit would eventually lead to the Overlord Prime suit. Upgrades included exterior plastic armor, improved ergonomics, and better (more pricey) materials.”

But what is Icon doing sending me a one-piece when they don’t actually sell one? According to Kurt it’s, “a ‘concept car’ type of product – unobtainable and cool.” And he says it does relate to products they do make. “Though we do not intend to sell the one piece Overlord Prime suits we do sell a very similar version in the Overlord Prime Jacket & Pants – a zip together two-piece capable of both street and track day applications. We use an over the cuff fit on the Overlord pants to help differentiate it from a ‘race’ product – and over the boot looks so much better on the street.”

The suit itself is made by a man named Tomo. You’ve never heard of him, but he makes custom race suits for riders like Ruben Xaus and Loris Capirossi that are then rebranded to placate sponsors. Zipping open the lining reveals that every stitch has been made by hand.

The single most impressive thing about this suit isn’t its quality, subtlety or the bragging right that come with it, but instead the weight. It’s just 11 pounds, my old cowhide one-piece is 17.

That’s my friend Sean (not Smith) wearing it in these. I can’t try it on for about six weeks, it won’t fit over my cast. Sean’s girlish figure makes the suit look baggy, but I have 30lbs on him and he’s not wearing a back or chest protector, so it should fit perfect. I had a tattoo model do the measurements.

The subtle design was done by Icon’s Justin Knauer, who listened to me bitch about over use of logos and garish colors before making it all black, completely plain and spec’ing a small, laser etched HFL logo on the left arm. You can actually get a similar look with most Icon products, just without the skull. Check out their “stealth” color option.

Right now, the suit’s hanging in my closet, sort of serving as a goal for this whole arm thing. Six weeks and I can wear it. Can’t wait.

Icon

  • Erok

    It must be nice always having tattoo models hanging around.

    • Kirill

      Why do you think he broke his arm? Do you have any idea how much pity attention he’s going to get with that cast on?

      • aristurtle

        With that broken arm, he’s going to need it!

      • http://www.twitter.com/wessilerfanclub sean (the roommate)

        @erok unfortunately the only one of those he has around is neither a girl or sympathetic to his whining.

        @kirill – I do. If only girls in real life loved him as much as commenters on this site.

        • http://www.anotherdamndj.com evilbahumut

          So the chick on the bike ISN’T his girlfriend?

          • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

            Not yet. That chick is part of a three-way competition for the affections of BrokenWes.

          • kidchampion

            Even worse, the chick on the bike is a skinny dude, named Sean.

            • http://www.twitter.com/wessilerfanclub sean (the roommate)

              …i think that was the joke dude.

  • ktaisa

    doesn’t Icon also do mohawk helmets?

  • Zach

    more faceless modeling for sean

    • http://www.twitter.com/wessilerfanclub sean (the roommate)

      My favorite kind. He couldn’t afford me otherwise.

  • Kirill

    It kinda looks like a leather onesie. I would have put in some reflective piping or something to break it up a bit, but I like the overall idea.

  • Richard

    I really like the stuff I’ve seen come out of Icon in the last year or two. Granted some of the stuff is a little out there but I would say there are a number of items that I would plunk down my cheddar for. Namely the Patrol Jacket and Pants. Any chance we could get a review of those Wes?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      I no longer live somewhere that it rains, so I’m not qualified to review it I’m afraid.

      • http://www.ninja250blog.com R.Sallee

        I live in San Francisco and get by on Aerostich Roadcrafter. Let me know if you need someone to review gear in soggy weather. I live it.

    • Sean

      I picked up a set of the Patrol Jacket and Pants a few months ago and love them to death. Though I haven’t had as much chance to use them as I’d like as my mp3 is being a pain and I haven’t had time to sort out the carbs on my m750. My only gripe is the pants are a little long and wish I could have bought them in a “short”. Really besides that I would say easily the best gear purchase I’ve made in a long time.

      • Richard

        Thanks for the info. I’ve got a roadcrafter two piece that has seen better days. And I dont ride a GS so its time for it to go. Now I just need to find a shop that actually stocks the stuff. Thanks Sean!

  • Steven

    I would pay such a premium to not have a giant logo on everything I buy. The plainest thing I could find was a Corazzo leather 5.0, and that one little shoulder patch still has old goobers asking me whether my other bike is Italian.

    Do the people of the world really prefer to be covered in giant DIANESEs and A*s?

    • Barry

      Some people really do. Have you not noticed how many people put stickers for stuff all over their cars/bikes? I personally strip almost every logo off I can, and every paint job I have done either removes all logos or ghosts them in to be waaay more subtle.

      I remember that Vanson, at one point at least, had an upgrade on their custom stuff to delete the shoulder patches. I think it was like $15 or something nominal. And their custom pants never had anything on them(at least not the ones I’ve seen).

      • Steve

        The Vanson logo delete used to be free. Now they charge for it. Porsche also will let you delete the model designation from your car for no extra charge. Interesting how class only shows up at the higher price points.

        • Gene

          +1000. I hate spending hour with the ripper taking logos off my jackets & gloves.

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

      Until I find a logo-free jacket and pants (Dainese) or a suit (Astars) that protects me as well as those do, at a similar fitment and price point: yes.

      • Steven

        I didn’t ask whether you prefer to be covered in Dainese or Alpinestars logos over Bilt and Harley logos; I asked whether you prefered to be covered in logos at all.

        CONTEXT CLUES!

        • adrenalnjunky

          maybe re-read his response. He’s saying until he can find a competent non logo jacket with the built in features and protection of the logo-ed up equipment, at the price point of the A* level gear ($350-500), then he’d rather deal with some logos on gear for the price difference.

          I’m the same way – I don’t like the big showy graphics, something subtle is fine with me, but I’m not going to sacrifice a couple hundred dollars just to be logo free.

      • coredump

        Ever looked at Helimot’s stuff?

    • aristurtle

      In the meantime, I can handle it when the logos are on a patch that you can remove with a seam ripper easily. My last A* outfit was like this: I could take off all but one logo.

      • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

        I have no concept of how to tell what can be removed in such a way or not. Ignorance is me.

        • aristurtle

          When the logo is a sewn-on patch that doesn’t share a seam with anything else, you can usually take it off reasonably gracefully. On leather you might still see the small holes where it was sewn onto the leather; on textile you won’t even remember where it was after wearing the jacket for a day or two.

          • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

            Thanks for the heads up. The big Dainese logo on the chest of my Laguna Seca jacket shares a seam with the zipper. Bastards!

            • aristurtle

              Yeah, I’ve got a Joe Rocket jacket that has that. At least I could remove the logos on the shoulders and back.

              (it’s an ugly jacket even with the logos removed, but it’s thick and sturdy and was on sale for very cheap, which was what I needed at the time.)

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

    This ‘concept-car’ bespoke one piece suit is to the Icon 2 piece as the Mona Lisa is to a photocopy of my naked ass.

    The ‘very similar’ overlord prime jacket and pants is NOT hand stitched by an Italian custom suit maker per your measurements, nor is it kangaroo. Nor is it one piece. Nor do the pants have velcro for knee pucks. (They are ‘street specific’ so you don’t look like a ‘racetrack refugee’.) So: not similar at all.

    Nice suit though. It would be cool if Icon made and sold one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

    Makes me want to take some black paint to my RS Taichi “Zero” suit. It’s about as simple as an off-the-shelf suit gets, but could use a little black out.

  • oldblue

    So let me get this straight … Icon make a whole range of squid-wear … and one really decent one-piece suit that you can’t actually buy?

    Okay, okay … their Automag leather pants are pretty good. But otherwise it’s brand I avoid, based on loud, trashy designs and reports of below-par quality from the people I’ve known who have owned Icon stuff.

    O.B

    • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

      Just because you don’t notice the more subtle gear on the street doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

      My local gear shop recommends Icon and, considering the shop’s history and range of inventory, I trust their opinion.

      (Caveat – I’m skeptical of all textile gear that isn’t using name-brand materials. That concern applies to almost all manufacturers.)

      • Steve

        Maybe you don’t notice the subtle gear because it is subtle?

        • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

          @Steve – I hoped that message didn’t need to be pointed out. Much like the subtle gear itself, though, it may have gone unnoticed.

          • Devin

            @Ben – Did that show where you were going to get a look at that Teiz commute suit happen yet man?

            • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D

              This question is also relevant to my interests.

            • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

              @Devin – Not yet. The guy said he’d be in Dallas “in a few weeks” just before a trip to Mexico. He’s back in the States, but no word on when he will be here yet. He might be busy working on the new Power Shell model.

              Knowing my luck, he will visit this coming week when I go on vacation. I really want to see what he’s offering.

  • http://www.rideicon.com iconmotosports

    Ah there it is. Thank you for stepping in with that comment oldblue. We were getting worried for a second.

    Heal up soon Wes.

    • Eric

      Let me weigh in on the other side. The only piece of gear I’ve ever gotten an unsolicited compliment on was my daytona jacket. And it held up great when a car fell off the 605 overpass on the 210 in front of me and I went skipping down the road. I was almost uninjured because I had the good fortune of sliding on my face, shoulder, and right arm. (I also had on an Aliance SS.) Some rash on the knees and a skinned knuckle where my A* gloves wore through. I was very pleased with the gear and still wear the jacket around town. I think it’s pretty good looking, and have only heard negative comments from other motorcyclists.

      I also feel that the gear was a fantastic value, as it had outlasted every other brand of gear I have owned (~6 years of riding every day rain or shine at time of accident.)

      Keep up the good work.

      • noone1569

        +1 on the Icon Helmets. A good buddy of mine just crash tested his Alliance by slinding along his face shield for about 15-25 feet. Dumb ass didn’t have his jacket on so his arm looks like hamburger meat, but his face, untouched. No concussion, nothing from the three bounces he too. Replaced it with a construct.

        -Variant user, generally a fan of the non-supersquid Icon gear.

    • HammSammich

      I am not a fan of goofy helmet mohawks or loud graphics on helmets and gear, but I’ve been wearing Icon helmets for four years. In solid colors with the brand stickers peeled off, their helmets look fine and work very well. I’ve mentioned this before on HFL, but I high-sided in an Alliance SS (landed hard on the chin-bar) and walked away with nothing more than a pair of sprained wrists. I wrote a thank you to Icon, and they graciously gave me a small discount that I applied toward the purchase of a replacement Alliance SSR.

      Since I know that Icon is reading HFL, I will say that I’ve had some issues with their glove quality…two successive pairs of the non-perforated “Pursuit” stealth gloves fell apart in less than a season. But my wife/kids got me a new pair of Overlord Long gloves for Father’s Day and the quality seems impressive so far (you get’s what you pay’s for, I suppose).

      In my opinion, Icon should be proud of what they are doing. They are making safe gear desirable among a set of newer riders who could generally care less about safety. And for guys like myself who’ve been riding for a while, and don’t give a squirt of p!ss about looking cool to squidly 20-somethings, Icon makes safe gear at an affordable price point.

      (Sorry for the dissertation…)

      • Eric

        Speaking of gloves not lasting so long I had a pair of Cortech Scarabs whose life span was measured in days. Soured me on their whole line up.

  • http://www.cdavisdesigns.com Chris Davis

    You got your wish Wes – a leather Hefty bag. We did one of these years ago against my advice. It looked bad and sold even worse. And it ain’t coming close to my portfolio.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      I’m a big fan of your work Chris and I certainly understand why stuff like this suit isn’t commercially viable if you’re chasing flat billers. But, I’m pretty different from the motorcycling mainstream and this suit looks damn fine to my eyes.

      • http://www.cdavisdesigns.com Chris Davis

        Haha, “chasing flat billers.” Yeah, I’m not a huge fan of all the stuff we did, and I did what I could to compensate for some of that garish stuff, but could only get so far. If you like it though, that’s what matters. Somebody’s gotta give you a hard time.

    • Gene

      FWIW, 3 of my racing friends all wear custom Syed leathers, and 2 of them are black, and one is black and light grey.

    • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

      Leather Hefty bags are wonderful things.

    • Erok

      Guy martin looked awesome in last years TT wearing all black. Just like the fucking Wraith, if anyone remembers that movie.

  • Trevor

    Can you imagine a Harley rider NOT looking like a moving billboard?

    “Do you have any leathers without Harley Davidson written on them?”

    “get the fuck out of my shop you goddamn bastard!”

    Yeah, I can see it now.

    • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D

      My favorite game is pulling up next to guys on Harleys, decked head to toe in orange Harley logos, and ask straight faced, “Hey cool old bike, who makes it?”

      So the designer also makes suits for Xaus? How fitting…

      • Trevor

        Mark I have to remember to do that. Priceless!

      • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

        The old due who makes them. Justin at Icon designed it. But yeah, fitting.

    • Steven

      Just Leather in San Jose makes beautiful, totally black and plain, jackets for the SAE set. They have a perfect design for us young folks, too, but it doesn’t have any place to fit armor.

  • T Diver

    The leather in their jackets feels thicker than many other brands. Even the Kushatanis. Why is that? Perhaps this is due to it not being worn in but they seem pretty solid. Sure, they are an “urban” brand which I imagine gets alot of flack on this site but screw you. I’m not “urban” but many of my friends are and I’m just glad there is gear for them. I saw a crew of cafe/old brit bikes cruising down PCH last night. No Icon gear though. (my post makes no sense.)

    • Devin

      My girl loves Icon gear. That’s good because it’s really cheap for the quality and makes her feel like a super cool racer girl. I may have a late model sport touring bike and chicken strips a mile long, but it makes her feel good and want to ride more; which lets me get to ride more. So in the end everyone wins.

  • http://www.postpixel.com.au mugget

    I was gonna say… damn – is that a photo of a miniature Spaniard in that suit?

    That HFL logo is very cool, though.

  • Skank NYCF

    Anorexia. WTF, feed your friend, dude!!

    • aristurtle

      Don’t think of it as dieting, think of it as weight reduction for increased performance.

      • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

        Sean “No Ass” Smith. Because when you want to go fast, there’s no room for junk in the trunk.

    • cadillacjack

      For reals, get that dude a cheeseburger stat!!!

      • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D

        But then he wouldn’t be able to fit into these.

        • http://bloodfalcons.blogspot.com motoguru

          holy fuck, that is all that’s wrong with the world packed into a pair of jeans :/

          • Kirill

            +1, why do those exist? Back when I was a kid, you’d get your ass kicked for wearing something like that. Rightly so, too.

            • Greg

              I get why they’re called ex-girlfriend jeans though, judging from what she must have been shaped like… can’t say that was a bad decision

              • http://www.twitter.com/wessilerfanclub sean (the roommate)

                those fucking hipsters

  • th3w3s

    I don’t like 1 piece leathers. At all. But this is a kick-ass suit, nice one ;)

  • http://www.muthalovin.com the_doctor

    I like it. It makes sense, also, that Icon would have a lot of feedback from the squids crashing in their products to be able to build something like this.

  • http://bloodfalcons.blogspot.com motoguru

    Justin hooked me up with a 2 piece Overlord suit so I could be well protected at the Thunderdrome! races and I finally got a chance to wear it on a real track on Monday. While the jackets graphics are as loud as they come(and totally not my style), it fits incredibly well and the pants with the over boot action are the cats pajamas. The suit also took a 15 foot low side slide like a champ!

    Oh, and I love my Variant helmet too.

  • randry

    I’ve got 2 Icon helmets, love’m, fit great. Wind noise is tolerable.
    As far as the leathers go, I like the lack of “look at me”, nice looking, but black can get mighty hot in the sun. Hope the venting (is there ?) works well.
    Wes, hope you heal fast, but I will be amazed if you’re back in the saddle in 6 weeks with that fracture. I’ve got a bunch of steel in my arm from a racing incident. I’m worried about what looks like happened to you, breaking right at the end of the plate. Makes me wonder if it would have been better or worse without it in there.
    Put a cool HFL logo on the cast !

    Chow

  • http://www.firstgenerationmotors.blogspot.com Emmet

    so I won’t look like a power ranger? sign me up!

  • Dan

    Can someone explain what the HFL logo *is*? I swear I’ve stared at it and if someone told me it was an alien bunghole I’d believe them. What the hell is it for real???

  • Dean

    I was a big believer in Wes’ gear philosophy before I even knew about HFL (or Wes). He’s always got my +1 on advocating for gear that’s not too brandtastic or euro-tronic.