Un­der­cover kit that cov­ers the bases

Motorcyclist - - Garage - —Zach Bow­man ride­icon.com

WE THREW ICON’S Var­ial Col­lec­tion at the Utah and Ari­zona deserts dur­ing our su­per­charged Kawasaki throw­down. With tem­per­a­tures swing­ing from the mid-40s to the up­per 80s, the kit had its work cut out for it.

Our feet got a pair of Tru­ant 2s, a sort of un­clas­si­fi­able moto shoe. With a high­top up­per and a moc­casin lower, they don’t fit into any easy cat­e­gory. They are com­fort­able, though, and of­fer a D3O an­kle plate. We had our doubts about those laces, but the thick cordage stays tied even af­ter a long day of rid­ing. If there’s a draw­back, it’s in the stiff up­per, which can dig into your lower shin at a full tuck.

The Var­ial pants with their Cor­dura denim and stout leather knees wear well, though we wouldn’t mind a closer, more Euro­pean cut. There’s not a pre­pon­der­ance of ven­ti­la­tion or ad­just­ment, but large pock­ets and a dis­creet de­sign make the slacks a win­ner.

Like­wise, the Var­ial jacket looks more like a ca­sual bit of ev­ery­day wear than a piece of bike gear. Icon calls it a “mod­ern jog­ger sil­hou­ette.” That’s nice when you’re off the ma­chine, but the de­sign comes with some com­pro­mises. At a good clip, the hood flaps and whips around your neck. It’s eas­ily solved by tuck­ing the thing in, but we’d pre­fer the hood to be re­mov­able al­to­gether. It does look like a mil­lion bucks, and ven­ti­lates fairly well with chest in­takes and a large back vent.

The stars of the class are the Axys gloves. The two-tone leather is gor­geous, with soft French cowskin out­ers and tough goatskin palms. D3O knuckle pro­tec­tors help keep your bones in one piece, and the ac­cor­dion panels al­low for a snug fit that doesn’t limit cir­cu­la­tion.

The Air­flite hel­met with Fliteshield vi­sor fin­ishes off the col­lec­tion. With a mir­ror fin­ish, the thing can’t help but make you look like a hench­man sent from the fu­ture to suf­fer through traf­fic, but there’s some logic to the de­sign. It’s sur­pris­ingly quiet, thanks in part to the fact that there’s nowhere for air to get around the vi­sor. A sec­ond, hid­den drop­shield does away with the need for sun­glasses, and the Hy­dradry in­te­rior liner han­dled our sweaty scalp without turn­ing into a swamp.

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