Product aimed at young, performance-oriented motorcyclists
As the Spring 2014 line hits dealerships, Icon 1000 will be celebrating its second anniversary since becoming an off-shoot brand of Icon Motosports’ original sport bike-minded product.
Since launching its first series of product in Spring 2012, Icon 1000 has gained acceptance not only by the industry and dealers, but also by riders, especially those in the V-twin and Triumph crowd — a demographic of customers Icon wasn’t really reaching before the 1000 brand was launched.
“Icon 1000 has basically given us an opportunity to market product we were always doing more effectively toward the V-twin market,” explained Joe Gustafson, marketing and communications specialist for Icon Motosports.
The Icon 1000 line includes what Gustafson has dubbed “ultra-premium” helmets, jackets, pants, gloves, boots, casual clothing and fashion accessories for men and women. They’re constructed using high-quality materials, including leather, denim and nylon, and each protective piece features D30 armor.
Icon markets its 1000 line as an alternative to traditional Harley-Davidson badged gear. It pushes that point of view across through its range of marketing messages, including Mad Max-type campaigns set in nuclear facilities or small circle tracks, and through custom bike builds that are vastly different from their sport bike counterparts.
Icon 1000’s builds have included the Iron Lung, a 1991 Harley Sportster roadracer; the Icon Speedmaster, a 2013 Triumph Speedmaster; the Quartermaster, a 2012 Ural Solo ST; the Dromedarii, a 2011 Triumph Tiger 800XC; Thunder Chunky, a 1994 Kawasaki ZX-7; Low Down & Shifty, a 1974 Yamaha XS650; The Magnificent Bastard, a 1986 Honda VF1000R; The Operator, a 1999 Ducati SS900, and the Roach, a 1986 Harley-Davidson Sportster. The bikes, built within Icon’s Portland, Ore., headquarters, not only serve as props for photo shoots, videos and shows, but they’re also the inspiration for many products in the 1000 line.
“The bikes run in tandem with the gear and vice versa. A lot of the things we’re trying to communicate to customers, the bikes are slightly out of reach or slight different than you would build in your garage,” Gustafson said.
The bikes help Icon 1000 reach its primary demographic, which is riders 25-45 years old who own one or two bikes that they ride aggressively. Many times, that group includes adrenaline seekers who have previously gotten their kicks on something such as BMX bikes in the past, but now they’re moving to custom performance motorcycles.
“This line isn’t about targeting everyone; its more aggressive targets, the young, the fast, the bolder,” Gustafson said.
With prices ranging from $250-$650 for a men’s jacket, most pieces are something of an investment, but hardcore riders often find value in the fit and longevity of Icon 1000’s gear.
“We usually get [customers] after their cheap jacket breaks,” Gustafson said. “There’s a lot of terrible leather out there. They’ll buy a $300 leather jacket that will fit terribly because it’s not built.”
The prices, he says, compare to those of a nice leather jacket at Macy’s or Nordstrom, except the Icon 1000 line comes with the added benefit of being designed for riders and armed with D30 Impact Protection.
“For us the ultra premium price point jackets are more about bringing those customers into the door. Right now they’re not looking at a motorcycle dealer, they’re shopping at the mall for something that looks good that isn’t going to protect them,” Gustafson said.
One of the goals of the Icon 1000 line is to draw customers into dealerships for their gear. Gustafson said the Icon 1000 product won’t be attractive to every dealership’s customers, but it has done well at Harley-Davidson and Triumph stores and those dealerships that present themselves more as boutiques.
“It’s not a question of if it’s going to sell, but how much, and are you going to put it on the floor,” Gustafson said. He added, “I would say for dealers the big thing is who you want to bring to the store, if it’s the customer that’s heavily interested in the motorcycle industry and it just isn’t a fad, it’s a lifestyle, you need to have Icon 1000 on the floor.”
The Icon 1000 product is produced in limited quantities, and some pieces sell quickly. Whenever the Elsinore Boot, for example, is available, dealers jump at the opportunity to order it because it has been so popular. That’s one of the key indicators to Icon that the 1000 line has hit its mark.
That success has not only been positive for Icon 1000 but for Icon Motosports’ sport bike gear line as well. Having two separate brands allows both to flourish and lets Icon Motosports refine its technical sports bike gear, while Icon 1000 focuses on the V-twin and custom market. For example, Icon 1000 recently released a Vigilante jacket that Gustafson said would have competed with Icon’s Sanctuary jacket if the two brands weren’t independent. Instead, both are available in their respective markets.
“Both of those jackets would have had to compete for space with the Icon line, and one of them would’ve lost,” he said. “Now there are no losers, and they’ve only helped each other grow.”