Icon Variant Helmet

Mar 20, 2013 View Comments by

Icon Variant HelmetIcon’s daring design of the Variant helmet is a hybrid dual sport inspired helmet that typically finds its home on a rider with a motard, urban, or adventure type bike or on someone wanting to make a dramatic statement with this aggressive and sharp looking lid. The helmet is available in 16 vastly different graphic designs ranging from conservative to “loud” and can be matched with one of five interchangeable face-shields. The Variant sports a fiberglass Dyneema shell, a non-removable anti-lift visor, seven controllable air input ports, and a removable hydra-dry moisture wicking liner.

When I got the notice about my next tour including two dual sport bikes, I opted for the Icon Variant Construct. The night before the first day trip—last minute as always—I effortlessly installed a communication system and familiarized myself with the ventilation setup. The four air intake ports above the shield can easily be opened even with gloves, and the visor-integrated air channels very noticeably force air through the vents and into the helmet for cooling. Two multi-position adjustable ports are on the lower, front, inside of the helmet, which are best set up before putting it on, especially with the chin curtain installed. The opening for the small vent near the chin can be controlled via a switch on the front of the helmet—though it is not very intuitive to know which way is open or closed, and it took me some time to remember.

The visor came in handy when the sun came down in the late afternoon. It’s one of those features that you learn to miss when switching to a standard helmet. As can be expected, at speeds of 70 mph the helmet does get pulled to the side, due to the crosswind, when performing shoulder checks or looking to the side.

Overall, this helmet is very functional, has a soft, comfortable, and secure fit, and therefore is currently the one I first reach for when going for a ride.

Size: XS to 3XL

Colors: 16 variations (white/gray/black/multiple unique designs)

Price: $350-$550

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About the author

I've been riding street bikes since my early teens, and I've been addicted ever since. I can currently be found in Northern New Jersey on my quest to discover all the great backroads.