Needless to say, I have not had my bikes out on the road as often as I would have hoped for this winter. I do not mind the cold, but other than a few select jaunts in the snow with my Bonnie to test out her knobbies, I am not talented enough for ice racing through the streets of Philadelphia. However, I have no problem with being a spectator of the sport in a closed course setting. I find ice racing to be incredibly captivating and enjoy watching the riders with their studded tires as they slip and slide past one another fighting for traction. I am excited by Harley Davidson’s recent efforts to bring the sport to the Winter X-Games next year.
In conjunction with the release of their new Street 500 and Street 750 lineup, Harley is campaigning to have Motorcycle Ice Racing added to the popular ESPN event. With the help of an online video campaign, the American motorcycle manufacturer is calling on their customers and fans to use Social Media to let ESPN know that there is a built-in fanbase waiting to watch. Harley Davidson is not the only one utilizing off-beat, V-Twin racing flash in their marketing campaigns lately. For 2014 Icon has embraced the imagery and imagination of vintage 60’s and 70’s racing with the release of their Harley powered “Iron Lung 1000” and new additions to their premium One Thousand apparel lineup.
I have to admit, I really like Icon’s new One Thousand line of jackets almost as much as I like their new “Iron Lung 1000” bike and the videos which have accompanied it. New for the 2014 Spring season are the Icon 1000 Oildale and the Icon 1000 Vigilante. Both of these jackets are inspired by vintage styles and designs while incorporating modern day safety technologies.
The new Icon Oildale jacket is a sweet new addition to the Icon 1000 collection, made up of a wax coated canvas shell with stretch ballistic nylon for added comfort. Waxed canvas was a common solution for waterproofing garments from the mid-1800’s up until the 1960’s. Popularized in the maritime industry of Scotland and England, it became a natural choice for designers looking to offer motorcyclists greater protection from the elements. We have recently seen a resurgence in the popularity of waxed canvas as the vintage motorcycle movement has created a demand for classic designs. Unlike the longer body length of the traditionally styled waxed canvas Clarion Jacket we saw released from Roland Sands a few weeks ago, the Oildale Jacket from Icon features a sleek sport cut.
Icon 1000 Oildale Jacket Review:
Modern impact protection is provided by CE rated D3O armor in the elbows, shoulders, and back. There is also a removable insulated vest liner which helps with the versatility of using this jacket in multiple riding seasons. Available in either Black or Brown, the Oildale looks at home on both Vintage Steel as well as American Iron.
While the Icon Vigilante shares the same fit as the Icon 1000 Oildale, it utilizes a Herringbone nylon for the chassis, a premium drum-dyed cowhide in the sleeves, and a snap back collar gives it a distinct 50’s look. Like the Oildale it comes standard with the D3O armor as well as the insulated vest for cooler weather. The regular version of the Vigilante is available in Black or Dark Earth or you can opt for the patch laiden version called the Icon Vigilante Dropout Jacket.
Icon 1000 Vigilante Jacket Review:
The Dropout sets itself apart from the standard Vigilante with a series of embroidered patches. Normally I am not a fan of the pre-patched jackets which we have seen from some other brands recently, but Icon keeps it retro and clean in it’s design. I could picture a character in an early Bruce Springsteen song wearing this jacket as he spends his nights working late in the garage, covered in grease, and riding through the streets of Jersey in search of another stoplight drag race.
Icon 1000 Vigilante Dropout Jacket Review:
Icon has really done a great job modernizing the styles of the 60’s and 70’s with both the designs of their gear as well as their bikes. The Iron Lung 1000 is a bike that I wish Harley Davidson would build. As it is too much of a sportbike for the Harley crowd and it is too impractical to ever win over anyone in sportbike crowd, I understand that this will never happen. It would have a very niche market and lack mass appeal. That is where their new Street 500 and 750 Series comes into play.
It is too early to tell whether X-Games Motorcycle Ice Racing will materialize yet or not. Perhaps it is just a well crafted social media campaign to showcase the prowess of their new entry level lineup. However one thing is certain, it looks like a ridiculous amount of fun.
As I sit here typing away the snow continues to howl outside. My thoughts drift silently to the four bikes I currently have sitting dormant in the garage. I am not currently in the market for a new bike, but even if I was, it would not make any sense to have a dedicated ice racing machine. However, I cannot help but think that the beat up ‘76 Honda CB550 I have been working on could be a lot of fun in the snow with the addition of some studs in the tires. I mean, what could possible go wrong?
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