Not just for squids anymore

Dailies, Galleries -


With this Fall, 2012 collection, Icon continues to expand its calling to design safety gear for people who otherwise wouldn’t wear it, away from the squid and into the young, urban, cool kid market. Items like these red, white and blue 1000 Elsinore Glory boots and 1000 Turnbuckle gloves look great in a way no other motorcycle gear does, but offer totally serious safety and functionality too.

You can see the full collection on Icon’s website, of course, but let’s highlight a few of the really special items.

Icon Airmada “Stack” Helmet

This is one you saw me wearing in the Brammo Empulse review, albeit in hi-viz green there. Icon shipped a pre-production unit down just in time for the test, and I spent three days wearing it. The comfort, ventilation, weight and quality had me thinking it was a $600+ lid, so when they told me afterwards it starts at just $180 for plain colors, I was completely taken aback. The Team Icon Brammo replica Stack schemes cost $260.

I’m waiting until I ride in a production helmet before doing a full review, there were a couple little issues with the one I wore that have hopefully been resolved.

Icon 1000 Associate Vest

Incorporating a D3O back protector, this is sorta a take on a club’s colors vest, just with some actual protection built in. We’ll stick to full jackets, but this thing is seriously nice, being made from the same thin, supple leather as the 1000 Chapter jacket and incorporating both perforated and stitched panels. Looks like a Dethkillers vest but doesn’t cost like one; it’s just $450.

Icon 1000 Outsider Convertible Jacket

Made from a denim body and leather sleeves, this is a nicely understated jacket that incorporates D3O armor in the back, shoulders and elbows.

Icon Device Leather/Textile Jacket

Another understated, handsome design, this time in the form of an articulated sport jacket that’s available in either leather or textile. You’ll need to install a separate back protector, but it does incorporate CE armor in the shoulders and elbows. With simple, functional designs like these, Icon is really making more established brands in the sports space look cheesy and outdated.

Icon 1000 Turnbuckle Gloves

A sportier take on those Rimfires we liked so much, these also incorporate D3O knuckle protection for a slim design, but serious safety. We dig the retro red, white and blue color scheme too.

Here’s that gallery link in case you can’t click into it like normal:

  • KW

    Does anyone remember the Fox Pawtectors in the same colorway? I constantly stole my brother’s pair.

    • Frosty_spl

      Yes. I can’t wait for the AXO style neon spiderweb colorway.

      • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1200]


    • Chris Davis

      Nailed it. Big time Ricky Johnson vibe.

  • Frosty_spl

    How does the airmada feel compared with the more expensive brands, sans little issues with yours?

    • Wes Siler

      It feels like an $800 Arai when it’s on your head. The vents and visor mechanism are a little plasticky is all. Mine had a couple faults that can hopefully be chalked up to pre production. We’ll see.

      • smoke4ndmears

        What about the ventilation situation? The hi-vis alliance 2 I have is all sorts of drafty in the face, despite being fairly comfortable over all and one of the few helmets that is long in the face enough to reach under my jaw.

        • jp182

          long in the face you say??? how much was it?

  • JTB

    Ah the Honda Cub so many died in pursuit of much fun.

    • El_Jefe

      The EZ90 was the first “motorcycle” I ever rode. Still want one.

  • Glenngineer

    I really fucking hate Icon, even if they’re starting to make some decent shit for adults now. They misspelled ‘tactical’ in the description of the Chapter jacket. Fuck me, they used the word tactical, and fucked it up. Douche. bags.

    • SamuraiMark


      My Icon Overlord gloves (long gauntlet) are peeling apart at the seams and the fabric eyelets in my Patrol boots are tearing open from the friction of lacing the boots up. I contacted Icon and got nothing from them. I wasn’t expecting a refund or anything. But I got no response at all. Other people have had the same problems I have. The stitching on the gloves is imprecise leading to weak spots. And really, did they expect the fabric of the boot eyelets to stand up to repeated lacings? Gloves and boots only 1 yr old.

      • Tim N.

        I had an issue with my Rimfire gloves. It may have been that Wes reached out for me, but they were reasonably responsive and seem to be taking care of me.

    • Troy R

      I have long said that Icon is the fast-food of the motorcycle gear market. There are exceptions, but most of it is total french fry garbage, not for serious riders. I can appreciate some of the progressive aesthetic design.

      • Tim N.

        If by “serious rider” you mean “can afford a Vanson jacket,” you might be right. I find my Icon products to be just as ideal for riding as anything I’ve ever had the pleasure of trying. I’m glad I opted for the Alliance instead of dropping another $300 for the Shoei I was considering.

  • Ceolwulf

    I’m going to need to purchase those gloves and a CBR1000 Hurricane to go with them.

    • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1200]

      A+ in Algebra!

  • Cockroach

    Something has been bothering me about Icon’s ad campaign of late. It isn’t specifically the end of days theme or the sexy young men and women posing with firearms that disturbs me, but I guess the combination of the two. It’s just so hipster nihilist, phoney western male bravada. Is Icon running the same ad in Syria or Iceland, where that Anders guy was just sentenced for gunning down 77 people? I’m not trying to be, “Guns are bad, m’kay” but there seems to be little thought behind this ad other than Gun+bikes= awesome. And maybe I’m taking this ad way too seriously, but I don’t like the dark theme. Times is dark enough. Cool helmet though.

    • Aaron

      Pretty sure that guy kill those people in Norway.

      • Daan

        Indeed, but to Cockroach it probably happened in the united countries of not america, where every country shares a border and/or is interchangeable.

        • Cockroach

          Mah baad, Daan.

    • Tim N.

      The guns ARE really lame, along with some of the gear. (Shorty jacket?) I can appreciate the general direction they are moving in, however.

  • iconmotosports

    Samurai Mark, we assure you the issue you have is not the norm. We also pride ourselves on our customer service apologies if you were unable to get ahold of us.

    Please message us on our Facebook page for direct contact with the Icon office.

    Cockroach, yes we run these ads globally. Yes, you are reading into a little too much. Go fire up Mad Max and enjoy.

    Glenngineer, we <3 u 2 Thanks for pointing out the typo

    • Aaron

      I wouldn’t have looked twice at your stuff 2+ years ago, Now wondering how I can convince the wife I need another helmet and jacket (and a badass looking Tiger 800xc). Keep up the good and original work.

      • mike

        I always find it refreshing that you guys seem to just make a plan for marketing and then go get it done. And apparently whatever the heck you want to do – I respect that. Keep it fun -

    • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1200]

      What demograph recognizes the Mad Max theme, and is that truly your consumer target?

      But then again, the late ’70s, early ’80s Long Island high-school aesthetic that I see here does represent the same generation of people that could have seen Mad Max in theaters.

    • austin_2ride

      So anyone with a warranty issue will need to start a Facebook account? That right there is enough reason to not take the PU house brand seriously!

    • Dylan

      Hey Icon any chance we could get a weight on the Airmada? If your new lid is as nice as Wes is saying it is all that is preventing me from dropping the hammer is the weight.

    • SamuraiMark

      Icon, thanks for the response. I’ll msg you on FB. I like my Icon gear, and I’m looking at other Icon gear as well. The gloves may just be lemons. The boots, I’m not the first person to mention the fabric eyelets failing. Check the reviews on At least one other person has reported the same problem. Otherwise, these gloves and boots have been great.

  • Eduard

    Am I the only one who finds the concept of using killing tools to advertise safety gear a bit… strange?!

    I guess if the target group is “people who otherwise would not wear safety gear”, it might do the job. I liked the older campaigns better though.

    • Ryan

      Actually, guns ARE safety equipment. Also, are a hell of a lot of fun to shoot recreationally or competitively, just like motorcycles! The pairing makes a lot of sense to me from both aspects.

      • Tom Viscelli

        Motorcycles are fun to shoot recreationally and competitively?

  • Liquidogged

    I recall many a Harley rider encountered in the wide world ridiculed as a squid by HFL editorial staff, partially because of their impractical choice of protective gear. Chaps and vests are usually singled out for mockery, and rightly so, because chaps and vests are bullshit fashion items that do not belong on a rider that takes safety seriously.

    In this piece: “We’ll stick to full jackets, but this thing is seriously nice, being made from the same thin, supple leather as the 1000 Chapter jacket and incorporating both perforated and stitched panels.”

    Translation: “We would not ride in this because we realize it will not actually protect us any more than a piece of newsprint stapled to our spine, but despite that fact we are not going to talk shit about it, and in fact we’re going to give it a free pass and talk about how nice and thin and non-protective it is, as if that were somehow a good thing.”

    You know what this whole piece sounds like? You guys saying nice shit about a company that sends you nice thingies to wear. And you know what that sounds like? All the print mags that I thought HFL was supposed to move beyond.

    As for Icon: enough with the hipster/guns/tits bullshit. Nothing makes safety gear seem less like it’s going to protect me than when it’s sold to me on the basis of ANYthing but safety. You make good gear for the most part, and have a very admirable mission statement on your website. This ad campaign doesn’t seem to fit.

    • Wes Siler

      Enough with the conspiracy theories. Are you really that jealous that we’re successful?

      No, I wouldn’t wear this vest. I value my life more than that. But, there’s a lot of people out there that won’t wear anything, so adding even the faintest level of protection to their lives is a good cause. The kind of cause we can get behind.

      Within those constraints, this is a really nice product. It’s cut and styled extremely well and incorporates armor in a seamless manner.

      Every gear/helmet/whatever maker in the world gives us free shit and, you know what, if they didn’t I could buy it myself. Freebies don’t sway my opinion, they facilitate coverage.

      I wear what I feel is the best out there. That’s a mix of freebies and stuff I’ve bought. I wear Icon because it’s great stuff that looks good. I’d be very happy paying for any of the above.

      • Scott-jay

        “… jealous that we’re successful?”
        Shit, Wes. Barely clued-in on motorcycling and think you know about success!

        On the other hand, I praise diversity here. And, expect you to present diversity in motorcycling while making a living at it.
        And, I like soft supple leather. : )

        • Kerry

          I made one negative comment about the stupid bikes Icon were making on Bike Exif and my account was banned from making comments.

      • Liquidogged

        Kind of a weird post. No, I’m not jealous. I’m not a writer or a journalist, and I don’t run a website or a web series or do anything remotely like what you do for HFL. I’m no more jealous of you than I am of a guy who owns a Ducati dealership and gets to ride cool bikes all the time. I might want to ride all those bikes, but I don’t begrudge him, or you, your success. Carry on.

        I never used the word conspiracy and I’m not implying that there is one. I’m stating that fluffy nice words about gear that won’t protect you, coming from guys who have (thankfully) been total nerds about how gear can protect you, is bullshit. And bullshit like that is how the print rags make nice with the folks who buy advertising in their pages. I never said you and Icon sat down in a shady office somewhere and cackled gleefully as you came up with this dastardly plan to fool us all, which somehow resulted in nothing but a little advertisement pretending to be an article. Or whatever else a conspiracy entails.

        Wes, your previous denigration of the inappropriately geared squidly populace, along with your generally prickish and dismissive attitude about things you don’t like, make it pretty hard to swallow the idea that you give a damn about them adding any level of protection to their lives. And in any case, this seems a very odd time and place to express your empathy. Again, I’m not suggesting a conspiracy. I’m just suggesting you’re doing what’s convenient, and it is working out very well. Bully for you, but don’t piss in my drink and tell me it’s raining, and don’t tell me that a vest is worth a damn compared to a real jacket.

        And honestly, I wouldn’t give half a rat’s ass about it at all, except that I really loved this site in the early days, and you have taken pains to talk about how dead and dying the print mags were, and how shoddy their coverage has gotten, how owned they are by their advertisers, and how HFL is going to focus on the real shit – taking a hard look at everything in the industry with clear eyes. You don’t like me posting this, well too bad. You’re not delivering what you promised and personally, you’ve got a shitty attitude about it. So I’m out. Clearly this isn’t the place for me. Not that anyone cares, I’m just trying to pre-empt the “so don’t read HFL” responses.

        Enjoy your success. I wish HFL the best.

        • Patrick Carroll

          I hate to say it, but I’m leaning towards agreeing with Liquidogged. HFL has been an awesome source for finding enticing information on what products work well, and what just plain sucks as far as protection goes. The crash test reviews alone that are written on this site are pretty outstanding (Although I feel bad saying this cause you guys due push these products to their limits, endangering yourself in the process).

          Despite this though, there does seem to be a lack of objectivism in the journalism when it comes to several manufacturers that are providing you guys with gear to review. I originally stuck on with this site because I enjoyed seeing someone totally ignore conventional practice in babying the manufacturer’s product in order to keep the companies on your good side. It seems that recently though, you guys are supporting companies that I don’t feel are in line with you’re original objectives. For example I thought the articles where you and Grant set out to create normal looking jackets were awesome ( Finding gear that lets me get away from the “Power Ranger” image, but stay protected at the same time has left me scouring the internet for reviews on different products. You guys seem to really like this Icon stuff, but frankly that picture at the top of this article looks like it’s straight from the set of a fucking Power Rangers shoot.

          I know Icon has other stuff that is actually decent, like the Chapter 1000 jacket. But c’mon, do you really feel some of this gear is worth what you have written about it? Red, white, and blue boots? Sounds like something you guys would not even touch before. I can’t say I know how you really feel about this stuff personally, but man if you think this Power Ranger stuff from Icon is bullshit, say so! That’s what I come to this site for.

          • Wes Siler

            I think what you guys are missing is that we’re wearing the stuff because it’s the stuff we want to wear.

            Sean’s riding to Portland right now in aerostich suit and boots, then Icon helmet and gloves. Dude has a Nexx and an Arai and a bunch of others, but chose the gear that would work best on what I’m guessing is a 4000 mile round trip.

            I wore that helmet to ride the Brammo when I’ve literally got over a dozen helmets to chose from. I’ll be wearing it soon with an Aerostich too, do you think Andy’s paying us? I’ll wear that with Alpinestars boots and gloves, are they paying us too?

            You know what? It won’t matter when all the above are advertising. If I’m in charge, there will always be a wall between money and message. That’s the beauty about running your own company, you call the shots.

            We have always and will always cover exciting new gear from all manufacturers. If one gets more coverage than another, it’s simply because they’re more exciting.

        • Wes Siler

          Dude. The Icon gear is NICE. I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t say so.

        • M M

          “along with your generally prickish and dismissive attitude about things you don’t like”

          Funny, but I’ve really noticed this lately as well…

          • Donovan

            Reminds me of the crowd of my high school daughter’s age.
            Oh well. I enjoy the various sides to media. Some with more facts, some with more opinion.

        • JeffD

          Spot-fucking-on. This is why I subscribed for one month and then let it go. I like about 10% of the articles now. This love-of-Icon has gone way too far and Liquidogged has absolutely nailed the vibe I get from HFL. Icon is complete shit with a semi-decent piece here and there, and I wouldn’t be caught dead in their schlock. Somebody nailed it above saying it simply is the house brand of gigantic distributor Parts Unlimited who has enough muscle to flex and get this shit out everywhere. To me it’s like Cycle Gear that has dumbed-down their stores with the house brands Bilt and Sedici that are also the lowest-bidder Pakistani-made shit. However, Cycle Gear and Icon are laughing all the way to the bank with their huge margins on this crap and the idiot squid drones who respond to their low-brow marketing. Sad but true reflection of some key things wrong with this country.

      • rndholesqpeg

        I’d be very happy paying for any of the above.

        Except the vest which makes it still seem like a paid advertisement.

        • Wes Siler

          If we only covered the stuff we wear, then this website would be very monochromatic.

          • rndholesqpeg

            So who besides squids where vests?

    • stempere

      I think you missed the part about a CE certified back protector being included with the vest.

      • TilJ

        Yeah, that’s the critical bit. I have a couple of cruiser-riding friends that I might be able to talk into wearing that, but anything that looks “sport bikey” would be rejected out of hand. It’s a step, at least.

        • jp182

          I think what they are all missing is that part and the fact the vest was only mentioned BECAUSE it had a back protector added.

          Now Patrick seems to take more issue with the color scheme which is where, as Wes mentioned, if they only covered the stuff they liked the site would be filled with grey and black gear.

  • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1200]

    “Icon is really making more established brands in the sports space look cheesy and outdated.”

    Skateboarding fashion is about 5 years behind Tokyo steet fashion. Snowboarding is 5 years behind that. Off-road motorcycling is another 5 years behind. Sport motorcycling and downhill skiing are another 5. X-country skiing and motorcycle touring are another 5. And Canadians are from a whole nuther century.

    • Glenngineer

      Help me with the math and tell me when I can get that top in a CE certified XXL.

      I’m glad I don’t have to pay for this anymore.

      • Scott-jay

        I’m glad you haven’t booked, Glen.

      • Archer

        Oooh scary. One of my closest friends in Japan has a /fiancée who dresses in that exact style. But about half the weight of the specimen in the photo link.

        Absolutely freakish sitting across a dinner table from a woman like that. Scary.

    • Mark D [EX500]

      Wait, there was a time when x-country skiing gear was stylish? 25 yrs is just about long ago enough for it to be back in style. Everybody break out their Norweigan sweaters and Klister!

  • noblsht

    ‘….. highlight a few of the really special items’. Note: the really special item is holding a gun.

  • frick

    Now they just need full leathers to match those gloves!

  • Gene

    Apparently gets pissed off that I don’t accept its cookies, so NO PAGE 4 J00!

  • Coreyvwc

    I’m actually pretty stoked on the low top version (el bajo) of the Elsinore boots. If they aren’t too bulky (will fit under Levi’s 511′s) I might just give them a go.

    • contender

      I hadn’t even seen those. Not bad.

      Wes – any way you guys could review the riding sneakers Dainese is putting out? I’d like to show up to dates in something more fashionable than my Sidi Canyons.

      • Wes Siler

        A few friends have those and don’t really end up wearing them for riding.

        For casual/around town, we use these:

        • contender

          Thanks. Those aren’t bad either. Wouldn’t mind something with a bit more ventilation. It gets hot in Denver relative to L.A…

        • Sean Smith

          Lol @ your hollywood bad-ass squid boots. If you’d worn those to the NC700X launch last week, you’d have a broken foot and ankle right now. Shame on you for recomending those to someone looking for actual motorcycle gear.

          Grant and I both wear Aerostich Combat Touring boots (I opt for the light version). They offer actual protection (from weather and crashing; I checked) go on and off fast, wear like iron, and fit under even the skinniest of jeans.

          • contender

            Well…That was what I was asking for. My Canyons fit under everything save for docker’s Alpha Khakis. And if I am riding in khakis safety has already taken a back seat. I plan on a ‘stich or a teiz this year, but don’t have it yet.

            I went with these:
            At least they have a steel shank, and they’re cheap enough that I won’t be upset when my hard-shifting Buell mars up the left toe.

  • Ben W

    Nothin’ says classy and understated like a jacket with zip off sleeves. Oh wait. There’s always the vest.

    • Ben W

      That said, I wonder if the Airmada’s shield is free from the distortion I see in my fiancee’s Alliance. Thank god she doesn’t see it. When she caught me looking for it, she quickly shouted, “Don’t tell me!”

  • Tommy

    Dude, just checked out the new stuff, and it looks good. I would LOOOOVE to get my hands on a carbon variant. I loved mine, but gave it up for my agv due to weight. A lighter variant would be sick.

    Also, digging the patrol jacket and boots. Good looking stuff. Nice to see some movement in the right direction. Not all “adventure” riders wanna look like total goons.

    That said, they could still use some work in the pants department. Everything else is lookin good.

  • mchale2020

    I’ve never understood the relationship between fashion and motorcycles and Icon’s line up really doesn’t do much for me. If anything, when I see there advertisements and merch they make me embarassed to say that I ride a sport bike.

  • Zaron Gibson

    I love my TiMax 2 textile jacket. I’ve owned it since it came out (7 years?) and it’s held up great. I even crashed in it last year with a 15 foot slide and there was no damage.

  • Dani Peral

    Got a friend who is a cruiser rider…his gear is: Full face helmet, leather jacket with no protection, jeans and non-motorcycling boots.

    So, adding just a 3DO protector on his back is a huge improvement. I think icon’s gear is aiming on the right direction.

    Plus, for me their helmet designs are the most awesome out there. They wont appeal to everyone but for me they are the best out there.

  • aristurtle

    My knee-jerk response was going to be “for four hundred and fifty dollars, I want fucking sleeves.”

    But you know what, lots of companies make both “gear that sucks” and “gear that doesn’t suck” (for lack of better terms), so whatever. Still, I don’t know why you’d bother showing off that first category here; it’s going to go over about as well as Louis CK would at the Republican National Convention.

    • jp182

      well said and so very true hahaha

  • Peter

    Anyone have the Rimfire gloves? I’m considering a pair of them. My old Alpinestars SMX have worn through.

    • Wes Siler
      • Peter

        Yeah, that’s why I asked. I was just looking to see if anyone has ridden with them for a while and had more thought on their long-term use.

        • Sean Smith

          They’re my favorite non-kushitani gloves thus far. 10,000 miles in and a few of the stitches on the palm elastic are starting to loosen up, but with the way I abuse gear, that’s to be expected. I wear these gloves everyday, you’ll love them.

    • The Other Will

      I know I’m late to the game here, don’t know if you’ll read this. But we had a hurricane and lost power for about a week.

      I’ve had them for a little bit now. I’d like to say they’ve been great, but can really only say they’ve been good. They’re comfy enough, but they are not identical in size from right to left. Left is noticeably smaller. After breaking them in, the right glove is so big that I wouldn’t be able to use it on my left hand (would be too clumsy with turn signal, etc). Stitching all around is frayed with bits hanging off. If you take the time to cut it off they don’t look so ragged. 0verall, they’re really not bad: mostly comfortable and ventilation is better than I thought. I just wanted them to be perfect, and they’re not. I can say that I think they are worth the $90. Hope that helps.

  • Jon B.

    Man, all you guys that slam this stuff based on a photo, on the internet, need to get out of your chairs and go visit a shop that sells Icon.

    I wish you could all tour their office or meet the dudes who make this stuff. I got to spend a day with them recently, and I was blown away by the firsthand experience of the products, the mad insanity of the bikes, and their plans for 2013+. Their commitment and enthusiasm was incredibly real and genuine. I wouldn’t dare try to call any of these guys squids in real life, that just really, really short sighted. This is a US company employing dudes who are doing what they love.

    • contender

      I’ve never met them or been to their office, but their participation here and enthusiasm in general has made me a real believer in the company.

      If they made any race gear I’d look to them for my next SuMo suit.

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