Icon Variant 3 Year Ride Report - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 4 Old 10-18-2013, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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Icon Variant 3 Year Ride Report

The first week of November will be the third anniversary with my Icon Variant, and I thought I would share my experience with this helmet with those of you who are considering buying or have bought one more recently. Let me start by saying, I am humbled by writing this review. I really touted my Variant when I first purchased it.
When I bought this helmet, I was so amazed by the fit and function. It has been one of the most comfortable and quiet lids of the 20 or so I have owned over the years. However, there have been issues, and the most recent has been a deal breaker for any further Icon helmet purchases. First, the spoiler came loose near the back of the helmet within 7 months of ownership. I returned it to my dealership of purchase asking for assistance in getting warranty help, and they gladly returned it to Dennis Kirk. Shortly, I received a brand new one, which included instructions from Icon that any future failures of the adhesive would not be covered under warranty since they deemed it happened only because I picked the helmet up by grasping the spoiler. That was not true in my part, but I didn't raise issue and was just glad they replaced it.
For the next 2 years I have used this helmet extensively. My other 3 helmets are an Arai Corsair, Shoei TZ, and a Icon Carbon Airframe . The Variant got the nod nearly every time when I wasn't on the Connie or TLS, (these 2 bikes are rarely ever ridden since I bought the Strom). This week I decided to give the helmet a good cleaning and waxing in prep for the fall/winter riding. I noticed the adhesive holding the rubber molding around the bottom of the helmet around the front vent had failed and allowed the molding to droop, and the molding around the eye port was pulling away as well. I gave Icon a call and explained the situation and asked if this was common and how I should best approach repairs. I was told that the rubber seals around the bottom and eye ports would shrink when exposed to high heat such as would be experienced if the helmet was left in a car or such. I explained that it did appear the molding had indeed shrunk since I was having a difficult time trying to line everything back up, but the helmet had never been left in a car. The highest heat it had ever been exposed to was on my head in the Texas summer heat. His response was, "That would be enough to do it". Knowing it would be fruitless to ask for any kind of warranty assistance, (Icon only has a 1 year warranty), I asked if there was any kind of prorated assistance, to which he replied "No". Okay, how about a recommendation on what type of adhesive would he recommend I use to do the repairs myself? He wouldn't make any kind of recommendations. I apologized for taking up his time, and politely hung up. I have since done the repairs with contact cement, but I doubt they are permanent,
The purpose of this thread is not bash a helmet manufacturer. It is simply to pass on my experiences and let you be the judge. My Arai broke a side shield cover after a couple of years use. Arai replaced it, no questions asked. My Shoei shield ratcheting system failed on one side after about a year and a half, and once again it was replaced with no ado. My Arai is just now 5 years old and fits/looks good; the Shoei is 2 years beyond when it should have been replaced and is just now starting to show it's years. The Icon is only 3 years old and falling apart. The Dallas motorcycle show is only a few of weeks away, and I will be in the market for 2 new helmets. Icon won't be a consideration. I will be looking for a top line lid that has real customer support behind it. Probably an XD4 or a Hornet.

79 GS1000S
97 TL1000S
2005 DRZ400
2005 KDX220R
2007 DLK
2009 KLR650
2007 FJR1300
2007 Honda XR650L
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post #2 of 4 Old 10-20-2013, 02:27 PM
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Thanks for posting the review! I'll keep your experience in mind when shopping for a new helmet, which is a bummer, because the Variants were on my short list

DL650 K9:[LIST][*]SW-Motech crash bars, skidplate, side carriers, 12V power outlet,[*]Pelican 1430 cases,[*]Tech-Mount PDA holder,[*]Oxfords Sport heated grips,[*]Axio tail bag[*]Shinko 705 front and rear (Conti Trail Attacks currently fitted for a long road trip)[*]Richland Rick fork brace[*]Loobman chain oiler[*]Aftermarket DRZ400 footpegs[/LIST]
[URL="http://ak-vstrom.blogspot.com/search/label/XS750%20project"]1977 Yamaha XS750 -- project bike[/URL]
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post #3 of 4 Old 10-21-2013, 04:51 PM
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That is a shame but thanks for letting me know so Icon will be "flagged" when I begin looking at my next helmet.
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post #4 of 4 Old 10-21-2013, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamsmiling View Post
That is a shame
It is. It truly has been one of the most comfortable and quietest I have owned in recent memory.

I guess if you break it down and do a comparison, $350 for a lid that will last 3 years and maybe beyond, (mine might be an anomaly), vs a lid that costs $550 and will most likely last 5+ years, the Variant looks a little better.

I guess my biggest issue is the lack of interest the customer service rep showed on the phone. I interpreted his response as, "Tough luck! Buy another".

79 GS1000S
97 TL1000S
2005 DRZ400
2005 KDX220R
2007 DLK
2009 KLR650
2007 FJR1300
2007 Honda XR650L
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