Icon Outsider Motorcycle Jacket Review

After years of producing great gear for racing and sport riding, Icon recently made a splash in the cruiser world with a line of top-quality riding gear designed for the distinguished motorcyclist. Icon 1000 gear is aimed at the high-end cruiser rider, the motorcyclist who appreciates value and isn’t afraid to pay a premium for a premium product.

At the forefront of the line is the Outsider convertible jacket. Constructed of a resin-infused denim chassis combined with high-grade, drum-dyed Brazilian cowhide, the three-season Outsider is convertible thanks to removable sleeves and liner. The jacket’s torso is the denim half of the combination; the leather comes via the sleeves, neck and perforated horizontal chest band.

There’s also a padded and perforated leather tail, which hangs low. But the bulk of the supple, 1.1-1.3mm leather hangs from the shoulders down, giving the Outsider a quasi-lettermen’s jacket appearance. Heck, if those sleeves were of a contrasting color, Icon might be onto a new trend here.

Icon Outsider Motorcycle Jacket
Icon Outsider Motorcycle Jacket

But the Outsider isn’t just about looks; it’s about performance, and the jacket delivers. Like any fine product, the jacket first gets a mock-up—that’s right, it’s completely assembled to verify fit, then carefully disassembled. Its sturdy 14-ounce denim panels then receive a thick, durable resin coating, giving them their tough yet distinctive finish. The Outsider is then reassembled, stitch-by-stitch, to form the finished product.

If desired, the sleeves and their elbow armor zip-off at mid-bicep, leaving the shoulder armor intact. The collar features dual snap closures for fit, and its tongue snaps handily back out of the way. YKK zippers throughout ensure there’s little chance of tweaked teeth.

With removable D30 armor in the elbows, back and chest, the rider is well protected on the bike, and doesn’t feel or look like he’s wearing a suit of armor off it. The remarkably low-profile D30 armor is said to have nearly as much impact protection as hard-shell armor. This stuff feels like it’s barely there, and if it works as advertised I’d venture a guess that the days of hard-shell casual riding armor are most certainly numbered.

The soft zip-out liner is made of a deep red satiny finish that feels cozy, and the inside boasts multiple pockets, including a water-resistant, zippered lapel pocket. Removing the liner reveals durable but breezy large mesh inner pockets in the shell.

Finally, like all Icon 1000 products, there’s a metal tab on the inside with a serial number that owners can use to log in and register for warranty info and more. The jacket also comes with a nifty branded key ring as an inside zipper pull and a leather Icon wallet.

In true cruiser fashion, the Outsider only comes in black. At $529 (S-2XL) to $579 (3XL-4XL), the Outsider is not cheap, but it stands apart by virtue of its quality materials, construction and fit.

For more information: See your dealer or visit rideicon.com.

This Gearlab review was published in the April 2014 issue of Rider magazine.)


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