In our Icon Variant Helmet Review we will explain why this helmet that looks like a motorcross helmet is actually a great touring motorcycle helmet. Since this helmet is a touring helmet not a motorcross helmet, it’s designed for long motorcycle rides and optimal comfort. The Variant definitely brings these elements to the table and more. We will cover each detail to show you just what makes this helmet so great.
The Touring Motorcycle Helmet
Touring motorcycle helmets have become something of a sensation as of late and Icon has done a great job when creating a top choice in this category. Icon’s Variant take the shape of a half dirt/half street style design and has the features to back both styles up.
Design, Features, and Benefits
Dyneema is said to be one of the world’s strongest materials and can be found in today’s Army combat helmets. Icon has used this material mixed with a carbon fiber addition to create the incredible protection element every motorcycle rider looks for. By using these materials Icon has made their shells much lighter while still keeping the strength and protection solid.
Sometimes you will find, in this style of helmet, the ventilation is not very good. The Icon Variant is the solution to that issue because its design creates incredible airflow and its undergone wind tunnel testing to ensure this top notch ventilation. The vents on the Variant are located in multiple places. For instance the top visor directs airflow into the scoops on the shell which then pushes air down into the interior of the helmet to keep you cool.
On the top of the viewing visor there are two eyebrow vents and two chin vents below that for facial ventilation. With two more exhaust vents on the back of the shell the Variant has exceptional airflow, incoming and exhaust. Icon has also included open and close toggle buttons to restrict or open the flow of air through the interior depending on how much air you’d like coming in.
In the removable padding you will find even more airflow channels that direct air while the helmet is on to keep your head cool. For such great ventilation the Variant is surprisingly quiet while riding in the wind and can keep you warm on cold days by closing the vents but cool on hot days by leaving them open.
The padding itself is made out of Icon’s Hydra Dry material that keeps the rider cool and dry on those longer touring rides. Not only does the removable padding keep your cool and dry, but it’s also very comfortable, again for the longer rides, where you are much more likely to get uncomfortable. It’s also fully machine washable that way you can make sure your padding is clean and smelling fresh while your ride.
Face Shield and Interior Features
As for the face shield on the Variant it’s made with a Precision Optics distortion free shield. Distortion free shields are designed to allow you to see free and clear of any obstructions and will protect you face from any dirt, debris, or wind on the road.
With Icon’s anti fog protection added into the mix the shield is optimized for the clearest sight possible while your riding. Face shields are also made to protect you from the wind as well so that any ventilation keeping you cool or warm is not blown out while keeping your eyes free and clear of any high speed breeze or dirt.
Another nice feature is a removable chin curtain that can be attached or removed to further keep air and debris out of the helmet and your face while you ride. If you prefer more airflow and ventilation you can remove the chin curtain to open that portion of the helmet up.
The DOT rating system and ECE have given this design their rating for its safety performance and it’s considered an all world standard as other have given this helmet their safety rating as well. With Dyneema and Carbon Fiber in the mix we can see this was not a tough decision giving this helmet a safe rating because of their strength. Not only are its materials safe but the helmet design itself is meant to keep the rider safe at all times and has been tested for durability during high speed impacts.
Fit and Sizes
The Icon Variant is made with a long oval head shape to give you room in the face and mouth area of the helmet. This is meant to increase the space in the helmet while allowing the air to flow freely once it enters the helmet and exit through the exhaust vents.
When it comes to sizes the variant has just about every size available to ensure the correct fit for every riders head. The Variant comes in a variety of sizes from small all the way up through to 3X large. Again this is another helmet that has every size available so it may be harder to find one that won’t fit than to find one that does.
This helmet has an overall weight of 3.6 pounds. Since this is a touring motorcycle helmet the weight of it is very important. Not only will you be wearing the helmet for long periods of time but you will be wearing a helmet that won’t tire out your neck and shoulders while you ride.
Graphics and Logos
If you’re looking for a specific graphic the Variant comes with various graphics and designs. One example is shown below but you can find many others available that will fit your style and if you don’t there are custom designers that will create a custom graphic for your helmet.
When looking for an all around street or touring helmet the Variant is a choice you will not regret. Our Icon Variant helmet review brings to light exactly why that is and we can assure you, you won’t be disappointed.