When it comes to motorcycle helmets, companies like Shoei and Arai have been dominating the industry for quite some time. However, some newer brands have also proven they have what it takes to challenge the "old guard" of helmet manufacturers. One such company is Icon, and their Airframe Full Face Helmet is a great choice for those riders who are looking for something a bit different from the established brands.
The truth is there are many motorcycle helmet manufacturers out there, but only a few make top-tier helmets that offer all the features. Riders may question the safety and build quality of helmets that aren't made by the major manufacturers, but Icon isn't that kind of company. The Airframe meets DOT, Snell and ECE 22.05 certification standards, so it's just about top-of-the-line when it comes to safety. The overall build quality of the helmet is also top-notch, with the shell of the helmet made from a composite of fiberglass, carbon fiber and Dyneema.
One aspect of the helmet riders may immediately notice is the styling. This is subjective - all riders have different preferences when it comes to the look of their helmets - but Icon has already garnered a reputation for offering paint and graphics that easily match or surpass the very best brands. The Airframe is definitely a good looking helmet, and riders have a wide range of options when it comes to customization.
Icon makes the Airframe in a broad range of sizes, ranging from XXS all the way to 3XL for a total of eight size options. The Airframe's shell comes in three different sizes, with varying thickness of interior padding to adjust the fit and feel of the helmet.
The fit and feel is likely to be quite comfortable for most riders, as the Airframe has already garnered a reputation as being one of the best-fitting helmets on the market. The interior lining is plush and very comfortable, allowing for long rides with no issues. What's more, Icon also sells a full range of thick and thin cheek pads for the various sizes, which can be easily swapped out or added to the existing material. This means that riders can customize the Airframe so it fits their head exactly, something many manufacturers don't offer.
Overall, the Airframe offers good venting compared to other helmets on the market. Both the top vents and the chin vents generate a good amount of air flow into the helmet, making riding in hotter temperatures a breeze. The opening between the helmet and neck area also lets in a good amount of air, further cooling the interior of the helmet.
That being said, there's always a trade-off with venting and noise. Riders may find the top vents on the helmet will generate a wind-rushing sound, so those who prefer a quieter ride may need to deal with some heat in the upper half of the helmet.
The face shield is another important aspect of any motorcycle helmet construction. The shield on the Icon Airframe is easy to see out of and offers very wide visibility. However, it can be difficult to get the face shield back on after removal. That's because the locking mechanism for the shield is hidden under a side plate. While this preserves the aesthetic of the helmet, it will mean that riders will have to practice in order to click the face shield into place without quite being able to see what they're doing.
Overall, the Icon Airframe is a fantastic helmet from an up-and-coming brand that easily matches or surpasses the major companies in just about all aspects.