Thursday, 4 September 2014

Icon Cloverleaf

Icon Motorsports, based in Portland, Oregon (USA), have always accustomed us to expect slightly left-field clothing and equipment. Helmets, jackets, trousers, gloves or boots: if you’re wearing Icon gear it’s that you want to turn some heads. But don’t let the flashy exteriors mislead you – beneath the in-your-face designs lies pukka protective gear.
Darth Vader wears them...

Icon’s latest offering, the Cloverleaf knee protectors, are no exception to the above. These consist of kneepads with sliders that fit over jeans or over riding trousers that don’t have kneesliders, held in place by a system of straps and Velcro, somewhat like skateboarding kneepads.[...]

At first glance it might seem like rather a pointless gimmick – after all, why not just wear a pair of riding trousers or jeans equipped with body armour? Oh and who needs kneesliders on the open road? In both cases, that’s a valid point. But bear in mind that (particularly in the US) a lot of guys who ride sportsbikes/sports roadsters don’t always wear full leathers. And let’s face it, do you always wear your full kit when you’re on your bike (you know, when you’re going down the pub/shops/curry house or popping round to the in-laws’ place for Sunday lunch)? Ah, I thought not. And of course, there’s always the odd occasion on which the ride will suddenly become a bit lively; before you know it you’ll be getting your knee out, sliding half a bum cheek out of the seat to set up for the apex and – oh shit, I’m in my civvies, aren’t I!
...and so do Imperial Stormtroopers.
And beneath all the brash bravado about high-speed “canyon riding” (that’s “scratching through the twisties” for us lot on this side of the pond) done by young blokes in baggy jeans, irksome hairdos and white-framed sunglasses, what you have is a perfectly valid idea: strap-on knee armour for those moments when you’re not wearing all the gear – whether due to circumstance or just because you can’t be arsed is irrelevant.
How it works

Of course, here at Thruxton Towers we’re a bit sceptical about how well these kneepads actually perform; on paper they look good enough, with solid-looking construction, clever D3o body armour and funky kneesliders, so we would really like to get our grubby hands on a pair and put ‘em to the test. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be any Icon distributors in our part of the world. I wonder if those good people at Icon might be able to sort us out… watch this space.

All photographs: © Icon Motorsports

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