Motorcycling is risky business

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What happens when the guys at Icon get their hands on a Porsche 928, a couple of Harley stunt bikes, a pair of short shorts and a budget to make a safety PSA? Fireballs, that’s what happens. Fireballs that took the fire department 45 minutes to extinguish using two firehoses.

This is motorcycle safety Portland-style and you’re seeing it exclusively here first.

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“In most motorcycle vs. car incidents, the motorcyclist does not come out on top,” explains Icon video director Matt Sanders. “We wanted to make a video where the bikers get a chance to do what many of us have dreamed about after that car cuts you off in traffic.”

“We recently added Rob Carpenter and Chris Rayburn of 1-Wheel Revolution to our team of riders. We really wanted to take advantage of their V-Twin stunt bikes and put them into a situation that would be impossible with traditional sportbikes. The biggest difference we noticed between their Sportsters and a typical sportbike is the side-mounted exhaust vs. a sportbike’s under-engine exhaust. This means the bottom of the Sportsters are very rugged and could take (or deliver) some abuse. Plus the bikes weigh in pretty hefty if you want to use them for breaking stuff.”

“We were originally planning on using a Prius, but the market for salvage-titled hybrids is booming and you just can’t pick one up for cheap. So our design director, Kurt Walter went searching on Craigslist and came across a screaming deal on a champagne 1980 Porshe 928. It looked perfect but had 190k on the ODO, a bent front end, and smelled like must. At first we felt bad knowing it’s fate but after a couple of drives we knew it’s time had come and passed. Plus, wouldn’t it be more green of us to take a dirty old V8 off the road than a hybrid? So, our hypermile-ing technophile just turned into an ‘80s driver’s ed spoof.”

“We shot the video around the Portland area while the stunt riding was filmed at the Lee Broadbent fire training facility in St. Helens Oregon. We couldn’t have asked for a better location. Several of the fire fighters were avid motorcyclists and they treated us very well. They were extremely excited to get the chance to “train” on our vehicle. The biggest surprise came when we torched the car at 4:30am with ½ a tank of fuel left in it. Apparently, we should have emptied the tank before ignition. It took them almost 45 minutes to extinguish the fire at point blank with 2 fire hoses!”

“The whole thing was pretty low budget overall. The asshole driver is one of our product developers who just so happens to be an asshole, the band members are mechanics from our local Ducati shop and we used our favorite B-movie effects coordinator for the fireballs. Also, the character names in the video are fictitious and are not meant to implicitly mock editors of any specific blogs, digital magazines, etc. Any resemblance is purely coincidental. And hilarious.”

We’ve reviewed the Icon Airframe Construct helmet seen in this video.

  • NickP

    pure awesome

  • Heather (aka Sportbikechic)

    Totally obscene.
    That anyone has so much fun at work, I mean.
    I hate you guys!


  • JonB

    Rad ending.

  • John

    So judging from the gear and bikes, I take it the two stunt riders are from the future?….aside from that unexplainable plot hole, I like!….this makes my 80′s movie VHS collection feel justified…

    • Sean Smith

      Actually, the unexplainable plot hole is what makes it realistic. Ever seen Time Cop with JCVD?

      • Kirill

        Time Cop rules

      • John

        In that case Sean, we need a few more sequels, I’ll digest stunt riding when it’s executed in such a cool way,,,just throw “the wraith” in there with the asshole driver next time…also throw in some KiCKING,,,JCVD knows what people like!…

        PS ,,timecop, more entertaining than minority report

        • Zach

          as a former turbo dodge owner, I cannot express how much I love seeing references to The Wraith

          • cadillacjack

            I grew up with a girl who ended up marrying Skank from the film. What a great flick.

      • Mike Brooklyn

        I <3 JCVD, i am going to re-watch timecop.

  • Ray

    Awesome video!

  • ike6116

    Had my first crash (high side) this weekend. Got away with only a broken pinky toe (don’t really know how was wearing A* Harlem Boots) but yeah gear saved my life and at the very least a lot of pain.

    Also – This video is fucking inspired… do I want a Harley now?

    • Sean Smith

      I’m pretty happy to see them used as stunt bikes. The weight would likely help to slow things down and make the bike easier to ride, the skinny motors don’t hang out much, the lack of hp isn’t an issue and well, it’s one less pirate on a harley.

      • raphmay

        check out Mat Mingay, an Aussie, has been stunting a 1200 sportster for a while now. Some of the stuff this guys manages is epic.

  • Sean Smith

    I don’t care that Icon put 7 logos on the jacket they sent me or that it didn’t fit so hot. This video is fucking awesome. I really want to see these guys do well.

    • Kirill

      Any idea what jacket they’re wearing?

      • Wes Siler

        Brawnson Sidewinder Jacket

  • Erok

    Poor “Wes” lost a tattoo model, bummer.

  • Dan

    Sean- When journalists like a piece of test gear, do they generally have the option of keeping it? I can’t imagine the manufacturer would mind (far from it), but do the news outlets themselves (magazines, blogs, etc.) enforce a policy against that?

    • Wes Siler

      Typically we hang on to it. Once it’s gotten all sweaty, worn in and, since it’s us, probably crashed in, there’s no real point in sending it back and there’s long-tail value in having it continue to appear in photos and whatnot.

      Transparently, this is part of our motivation for wanting to review nice gear, but not even close to the main reason. We believe in good gear, even if we couldn’t occasionally get it for free, we’d be saving up to buy nice stuff. All the Astars leathers, Gaerne boots and Kushitani gloves that Sean rides in, for instance, he bought at retail.

      All our friends love us too, the hand-me-down perks of hanging out with us are pretty sweet.

      • nick2ny

        I always come away better dressed when I hang out with you. Partly it’s the gear, partly it’s just osmosis.

  • Denzel

    I can’t believe how blasted my satisfaction level is right now…

  • Dan

    But doesn’t that set up a conflict of interest for the reviewer? The conflict isnt that the manufacturer misses out by not getting the smelly gloves back, it’s that the reviewer is conflicted by getting something he didnt pay for. I understand that you believe in having the best protection possible and would have paid for it if you didnt get it for free, but thats exactly the problem: getting to keep the precise gear you would have otherwise purchased is as good as cash in your wallet.

    • Wes Siler

      Probably, but we live in the real world, if there’s a nice pair of gloves sitting around, we’re not going to not wear them. Our policy is to serve you guys. We’re small enough that that can be managed without issue.

      In my decade of experience doing this, policies of the manner you suggest are only put in place to mask other problems. I think you have a chance here to get to know us well enough that dishonesty isn’t an issue.

      • crawl

        Just curious, what’s the decade of experience? I didn’t realize you worked motorcycle related jobs before starting HFL.

        • Sean Smith

          There’s plenty of guys that have a million years of experience in the bike industry and know all about bikes, but it takes Wes’s decade of journalism experience to make HFL what it is.

    • Toby

      Sounds like this would only be a conflict if keeping the gear was tied to the quality of the review… if you can say “this sucks ass” and still keep it, why not be honest?

      • Wereweazle

        And if the gear really did “suck ass” then why would you even feel pressured to write a good review to keep it? No point in worrying about trying to keep bad gear.

    • Dumptruckfoxtrot

      I talk alot of shit about HFL’s particular form of creative non-fiction sometimes but HFL gives very fair reviews to products.

  • Anders

    Oh how I’ve dreamt of doing the same to one of the A4/A6/Q5′s that’s always causing trouble. Audi drivers are the worst.

  • pinkyracer

    that was awesome!!! So glad Kevin’s band was in it too. I hope that boy never cuts his hair.

  • Nicholas Cherrone

    THIS is how HD should market the Sporty. What better way to hit the exact demographic they need. They should be paying Icon for doing the work for them.

    • robotribe

      EXACTLY, but as already stated many times over: they just don’t get it.

  • hooligan317

    Loved this! I think they just sold another helmet… I’m really liking that matte black Variant.

    • Devin

      I know two guys my age that just bought Harleys and I see a few more on the road. It could just be a fad for my city, but I am seeing a lot of young faces on Harleys.

      • 80-wattHamster

        What’s your city? Plenty of younger (20s to 30s) guys on H-Ds here in the Upper Midwest. I guess it’s not surprising. There’s still enough “USA! USA!” sentiment that domestic cars still outsell imports outside of the larger metro areas. I think.

        • Devin

          Sudbury Ontario, about 250 miles North of Toronto. Lots of Domestic > foreign sentiment here too in regards to cars.

          It wasn’t always like this though, all the young guys used to buy a crotch rocket or a dual sport, the Harley trend is new.

          (I meant to reply to Nicholas in my original comment).

          • pplassm

            I guess Harley’s marketing is succeeding, again.

      • aristurtle

        Around ol’ Bodymore I’m starting to see a lot of new-looking non-HD cruisers: Star, Victory, etc. I think it might just be that the nearest Harley dealership is way out of the way or something, though. Or maybe I’m just not at the “right” bars.

  • Chris

    Best video I’ve seen in a long time. Icon just got extra cool points for that one

  • R.Sallee (Ninja 250)

    I really wish they would’ve just caved in the guy’s skull and left the car alone.

    • nick2ny

      Or just let it go. You can’t win if you’re on a motorcycle.

      • the (unfortunate) roomate

        sure you can. realize you’re on a motorcycle and they’re stuck in a cage and move on and be glad you aren’t them.

  • Chris Davis

    Aww, brought a little Frezno Smooth tear to my eye.

  • HolyHandGrenade!

    Am I alone in being a huge fan of the 928? I know it’s something of a pariah in the Porsche world but I can’t help but still want one. Maybe it’s the memories I burned as a child of the 80’s or — since I also have an affinity for early 80′s 944s (pre ‘85) — I just have bad taste.

    • Jesse

      I’ll bring the 914 (if we can get it running), and we’ll have a Porsche Pariah meetup.

    • Mike

      No, you’re not alone. My ’85 even came with an 80s-fab car phone.

  • Jimmy

    Great video, I was shocked to see Brad and Dave of the band From Ashes Rise playing in the video, and acting as tow truck drivers. I played a bunch of shows with them around the country over 10 years ago, and I am stoked they are into motorcycles now. Just thought I’d add this info if anyone wanted to check out their band, which is not the band playing in the video.

  • Batiste

    so stupid. senseless destroying of a vintage car. idiots!!!