Icon Variant Helmet

Love the look of the DS helmets do not love the drag many report at highways speeds.  This Icon looks and sounds like a decent DS alternative to its more expensive cousins like BMW, Arai and Shoei.


Mar 20, 2013 by

Icon Variant Helmet

Icon’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

Author: advgrrl

Avid ADV rider! This Blog is all about the adventure in adventure riding. Researching new bikes, routes, accessories, learning about other riders and hopefully a great place for others to comment and explore with me. PLUS, up and down's, wildlife, my dogs, my life!

5 thoughts on “Icon Variant Helmet”

  1. You can’t wear goggles when off road with the Icon but you can on the Shoei and Arai…. The sun visors can also be removed from Shoei and Arai decreasing the drag.

  2. I have the Variant Construct, a Christmas gift to myself at the end of last year. It replaced my old Arai. There is *slightly* more drag at high speed but not enough to be concerned… and it’s quite a quiet helmet (quieter than the more aerodynamic Arai). All in all I absolutely love it, and it is one of the best looking helmets I’ve seen. The peak is useful as it directs the air in such a way that it keeps the visor fairly free of rain, and also works well to block the sun by tilting my head. I believe Fox goggles work with it if the visor is removed. I wrote a fairly detailed report here (if you don’t mind the link, Leslie!) – https://gelandestrasse.jux.com/gelandestrasse/784672

  3. It was down to this Icon DS Helmet and the Arai XD4 for me. I loved the Icon but went with the XD because the Icon is based on long oval head form so much so that it was narrow enough around sides of my head I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to slide sun glasses in or the speakers on my helmet blue-tooth headset (Senna Smh something like that 10). It’s easy to remove the peak off the XD which I do for highway commuting.

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