Regardless of power source, regardless of series, regardless of country, regardless of speed, the Team Icon Brammo Empulse RR sports the finest sponsor livery we’ve seen on a motorcycle in decades. To learn more, we spoke to Icon Design Director Kurt Walter, who penned it.
Why do all other sponsor liveries suck so bad?
Designing graphics for race bikes is a difficult challenge. There are usually way too many cooks in the kitchen when it comes to livery design. A lot of those 'cooks' are of the corporate variety with non-moto friendly brand standards. They usually make it such a pain in the ass that the designer will just give up and accept a poor design solution. Since we are the title sponsor for the Brammo team, as well as the helmet and suit sponsor, we had almost complete control over the entire livery package. It's an ideal solution for a designer.
Why is Icon sponsoring lame electric motorcycle racing?
We've been involved with Brammo for a number of years. It's been a good relationship for both of us from a marketing standpoint. When the initial discussions of sponsoring the Brammo race endeavors came up we thought it was a good opportunity. They were very open to letting us throw a ton of 'ICON' at the project - which took some real courage on their part. Conversely we are willing to take a bit of a chance with a fledging race series. ICON firmly believes in the future of electric motorcycles, for both racing and street use. Supporting this belief through a partnership with Brammo, a like minded Oregon company, just seems to make sense.
What's that helmet Steve is wearing?
The helmet is called the Icon Airmada. It's a new platform that will be releasing in the upcoming months. Light, low profile, awesome fit, ECE/DOT/SG/SAI standards. There are a couple of Japanese companies that are not going to like this lid. More details to follow.
How'd the livery idea come about? Were there other options?
The Livery used on the bike is pattern that we've had in the pipeline for a year or so. The pattern worked well with the Brammo application, more so than our usual garish skulls and flames. Oddly enough the Brammo guys originally requested a wizard theme. Unfortunately we didn't have any wizards up our sleeves.
What's the livery say about the bike?
It's got lightning bolts so it's fast, it's got #1's so it's the best.
Did you guys just copy my Dazzle helmet?
The secret to any great designer is their ability to hide their sources. But no, your Dazzle helmet wasn't one of them.
How many HP does the paint add?
By HP I assume you mean Hit Points, and based on the crash damage from Infineon...clearly not enough.
Is this Icon's first foray into road racing sponsorship? Will there be more in the future?
As a company we've always focused on the street scene, though we personally enjoy our share of track time. ICON will sponsor roadracing when it makes sense from a marketing standpoint. For instance, we are currently the title sponsors for the StreetMonsters fighter race series in France. We also sponsor the JDster drag racing series in Japan. Supporting unique moto-oriented competitions, such as TTXGP, XDL, or even Sideburn's Dirtquake, is valuable use of our marketing resources.
What's the reaction to Icon like from the rest of the racing circus? You guys hated as much there as you are on forums?
It's really quite amusing how much one clique of motorcyclists can despise the other. Generally we're fine with the animosity levied against us by certain riding communities, it shows people are paying attention. As for the more vitriolic internet hate - we are going to make a donation to ARRRF (Amateur Roadracer Rage & Resentment Fund) to try and win over the forum trolls. Fingers crossed.