First, let’s note what you don’t see in these photos: No grotesque over branding. No Day Glo colors. No logos the size of your thigh. No unnecessary speed hump. No tacky metal stick ons. No functionless air scoops. Instead, there’s just supple, strong, perforated kangaroo hide thats been stitched together by hand in Italy. This is my new custom one-piece from Icon. I love it.
“We call it an Overlord Prime suit,” says Icon design director Kurt Walter. “We built the initial Overlord suits about six years ago in order to test some new materials and construction techniques. Though our product line is firmly based in street specific applications, we recognize the the value of the track for testing design & development theories. Lessons learned with the initial Overlord suit would eventually lead to the Overlord Prime suit. Upgrades included exterior plastic armor, improved ergonomics, and better (more pricey) materials.”
But what is Icon doing sending me a one-piece when they don’t actually sell one? According to Kurt it’s, “a 'concept car' type of product – unobtainable and cool.” And he says it does relate to products they do make. “Though we do not intend to sell the one piece Overlord Prime suits we do sell a very similar version in the Overlord Prime Jacket & Pants - a zip together two-piece capable of both street and track day applications. We use an over the cuff fit on the Overlord pants to help differentiate it from a 'race' product - and over the boot looks so much better on the street.”
The suit itself is made by a man named Tomo. You’ve never heard of him, but he makes custom race suits for riders like Ruben Xaus and Loris Capirossi that are then rebranded to placate sponsors. Zipping open the lining reveals that every stitch has been made by hand.
The single most impressive thing about this suit isn’t its quality, subtlety or the bragging right that come with it, but instead the weight. It’s just 11 pounds, my old cowhide one-piece is 17.
That’s my friend Sean (not Smith) wearing it in these. I can’t try it on for about six weeks, it won’t fit over my cast. Sean’s girlish figure makes the suit look baggy, but I have 30lbs on him and he's not wearing a back or chest protector, so it should fit perfect. I had a tattoo model do the measurements.
The subtle design was done by Icon’s Justin Knauer, who listened to me bitch about over use of logos and garish colors before making it all black, completely plain and spec’ing a small, laser etched HFL logo on the left arm. You can actually get a similar look with most Icon products, just without the skull. Check out their “stealth” color option.
Right now, the suit’s hanging in my closet, sort of serving as a goal for this whole arm thing. Six weeks and I can wear it. Can’t wait.