Icon has long been a purveyor of motorcycle apparel that’s as flashy as it is protective. Within the company’s lineup you’ll find everything from mid-’80s rocker-styled jackets to attention-grabbing florescent lids. We’re more on the vanilla side here at Sport Rider, hence our choice to go with Icon’s more casual Overlord jacket for this month’s Triumph Speed Triple R test. What the jacket lacks in traditional Icon styling however, it makes up for in terms of comfort and versatility.
Icon describes the Overlord jacket as “a leather battle dress uniform for the modern tarmac conflict.” The description is excessive, we agree, but our time spent with the Overlord confirmed that it’s a strong performer for daily commuting and everything in between. The garment features a 1.2-1.4mm leather chassis that’s been reinforced using CE-approved impact protectors in both the elbows and shoulders. A dual-density foam back pad comes standard, adding some piece of mind to a jacket that’s otherwise built for comfortable cruising rather than spirited passes through the canyon.
The Brazilian cowhide panels that fortify the jacket double as a comfort element and feature a high level of perforation. Vented mesh inserts on the back and near the rider’s shoulders complement the perforated leather, while stretch panels alongside the rider’s arm provide unrestricted movement where it matters most. Other features like a snap-button waist adjuster and removable wind vest provide the finishing touches to a jacket that’s definitely well-thought-out and well-built.
The Overlord fits exceptionally well thanks in part to its pre-curved arms and tailored torso (part of Icon’s attack fit), and the jacket feels comfortable when hunkered over a sportbike. The fit of our size XL jacket was true to size, with the sleeve cuffs terminating at a proper point on our wrists and the CE-approved armor setting right where we’d expect it. One thing to mention, however, is that the XL fit us a bit loose around the forearm, a big contrast from the tight fit of the more sport-oriented leather jackets we’ve worn in the pasy.
Leather jackets are typically assumed to be heavy and/or bulky, but the Overlord feels surprisingly light when worn for any length of time. Another feature that had us zipping up the Overlord more often than not come ride time was its high level of perforation. For a leather jacket, this thing breathes like you wouldn’t believe; so much so that we were often regretting the decision to immediately remove the wind vest. It’s not that the jacket blasts you with cold air in an isolated region either, rather it spreads the breeze across your whole upper body, with exceptional flow to your arms, chest and lower abdomen. During our testing up in the canyons in warm temperatures, that ventilation was key to comfort, and we found the jacket to be very versatile in all conditions.
While we avoided doing any crash testing this time around, the Overlord looks like it should be able to withstand your average lowside, with well-placed and well-sewn seams. Other aspects that we appreciated include the comfortable liner and sure-feeling zippers that never once gave us a fit. There are very few things we’d change about the Overlord in fact, although we’d appreciate some more stow-away room; two pockets simply don’t cut it when looking to carry a phone, keys, wallet and the other necessities you can’t leave home without.
As mentioned earlier, we went with the Overlord because of its more vanilla look. If you can’t appreciate the simple graphics, Icon’s got an array of models that are more on the flashy side. They’ve also got the slightly more aggressive Overlord Prime, which separates itself from the Overlord by means of Icon-labeled plastic plates on the shoulders, elbows and back. As it sits however, the Overlord is a solid performer with a comfortable fit, lightweight construction and tons of versatility when it comes to adverse conditions.
Color options are anything but limited, and retail for the Overlord ranges between $380.00 to $430.00 depending on size, with the 3X and 4X models costing you a bit more money. SR
** **Icon Overlord Jacket
** **Retail: $380.00 to $430.00
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**WHAT WE'RE TESTING
**Joe Rocket Speedmaster 3.0 Boot
** Joe Rocket’s Speedmaster boot has been redesigned from the ground up with a repositioned ratchet strap up top for support and foam cushioning down low for comfort. Here’s another boot for the casual track day or day-to-day grind.
**Alpinestars Tech Air Suit
** Yes, we’re testing Alpinestars’ new airbag-equipped Tech Air suit. No, we can’t “loan” it to you. Equipped with five three-axis accelerometers, this is the most high-tech suit we’ve yet seen.