To help promote the brand at live events this year, Icon wrapped this lengthened, lowered 2012 Kawasaki ZX-14R in colors meant to replicate the 1991 ZXR 750. As simple as a visual concept can get, it’s nonetheless totally transformative, shifting the big kwak from overly-aggressive squidmobile toward something actually attractive and credible.
As you can see, Icon didn’t just create a “tribute” wrap, but actually adapted the ZXR’s colors almost completely to the ZX-14. That includes the black numberplate front and rear and even the “Kawasaki” logo placement and font. The only nod the “quaint” helmet mohawk crowd is some sort of texturing around the ZX’s side vents.
“It may surprise people to hear this, but we don’t usually have the opportunity to work with brand new sportbikes in the Slabtown garage,” says Icon’s Justin Knauer. “When Kawasaki offered up one of their prime street machines we jumped at the chance.”
“Both Kawasaki and Icon have been supporting the ‘street scene’ for a long time and this opportunity worked out perfectly with our 15 stop LIMITER Live tour,” continues Justin. “Our partners Leo Vince, Dunlop, Öhlins, Roaring Toys, Galfer, K&N, PIAA, PSR, and Saddlemen all stepped up and offered premium accessories to outfit the bike so that left Kurt [Icon's design director] with a really nice blank canvas to work with. Kurt has serious issues when it comes to ’80s and ’90s sportbikes and what you’re seeing is what the bike would look like if it was his. I think the only thing missing is the ram air tubes…and maybe a Turbo. Maybe we will see those on next years ZX14RR?”
Last year, JT Nesbitt suggested that ’80s Japanese superbikes could/should be the next big thing. Is this Icon evidence that bike culture could now be moving in that direction?