Jump to section
- 1 Looking to buy an Icon?
- 2 Safety
- 3 Helmet Noise
- 4 Ventilation
- 5 Face Shield
- 6 Sun Visor
- 7 Comfort and Sizing
- 8 Looks & Graphics
- 9 Best places to buy an Icon crash helmet?
- 10 Icon Alliance Video
- 11 Other stuff – audio, weight, aero, build quality, warranty
- 12 Overall/Summary
- 13 Good Alternatives to the Icon Alliance?
- 14 Looking to buy an Icon?
- 15 Other full face helmets
- 16 Crash Helmet Buying Guides
- 17 Star Ratings
Icon Alliance and Alliance GT full face motorcycle helmet review.
Along with the Icon Airmada, the Icon Alliance is Icon’s entry-level full face motorcycle helmet. It comes in two flavors: the standard Alliance is exactly the same as the Alliance GT except the GT has a drop down sun visor. Other than that, they’re the same helmet.
The Alliance is designed as an all rounder helmet – so you can commute in it during the week, then take it out for a carve with your buddies at the weekend. It should work on most types of motorcycles too, but if you spend most of your time in a tuck position, then you might want to invest in a more focused sportsbike helmet as the shield on the Alliance might not be quite deep enough.
It’s also been designed for folks with longer heads too – which isn’t the typical type of helmet fitment (that’s more medium oval) but will be a welcome discovery for those of us who need more options when they’re looking for a long-oval helmet.
OK, the Icon alliance is a more entry-level lid so it’s not going to be too pricey. But what exactly do you get for your money?
- Polycarbonate full face helmet
- Drop down sun visor (Alliance GT only)
- DOT & ECE certified
- SHARP 3 star safety tested
- Long-oval head shape
- Double D-ring strap
- Great for comfort, venting & noise
- Weighs 3.6lbs (1.64kg) – heavier than avg
- Sizes XS-XXXL
- Expect to pay $170-$250
Looking to buy an Icon?
We've got three recommended stores you can try (all highly rated by buyers - see here for more info). Revzilla (PA) give ledgendary service and free delivery, and the same goes for Rocky Mountain ATV/MC (UT & KY) who offer free delivery and free returns*. Finally, try J&P Cycles (TX) who offer 120 day returns and free shipping on all helmets.
Both the Icon Alliance and Alliance GT are made from polycarbonate, that’s the material of choice for making lower-priced helmets. It’s cheap to form into a helmet shape and makes for tough lids that absorb impacts well and that can offer great protection.
How good? Well, the Alliance is both DOT certified in the US and ECE certified for sale in Europe, which means it’ll offer at least a decent minimum level of protection and is the same standard that all helmets have to pass to hit the shelves, whatever their price.
That includes another polycarbonate shelled Icon, the Icon Airmada which scored two stars (out of five).
The Icon Alliance has been tested too and scored a respectable three stars for safety. As you can see from the SHARP test results above, the Alliance performed well on top, front and rear impacts but pretty poorly on side impacts.
It’s a reasonable score overall, but not as good as some of the safest motorcycle crash helmets we’ve reviewed.
Should you be unfortunate enough to hit the deck, you’ll find your Alliance is held in place using a double-d ring fastener (they’re great) and your shield’s kept closed, preventing gravel getting in because it’s got a locking pin (see shield section for more info).
Of course the best helmets are carefully designed to help keep you out of trouble in the first place.
The Alliance GT has a drop down sun visor – they’re mega useful and we’d highly recommend you go for a helmet with one of these.
That main shield is also anti-fog treated. Icon helmets have one of the better anti fog treatments we’ve come across out of the box, and that’s really necessary to keep things mist free and give you the best view of the road ahead.
And finally, you need your lid to be comfortable so you don’t get distracted by your helmet while riding.
The Alliance has great ventilation and a comfortable interior so all’s good there – see sections below for more info on these.
There’s no word from Icon about any particular features they’ve designed to keep the Alliance and Alliance GT quiet.
But there is word from owners out there. And overall, they broadly reckon it’s a quiet helmet. OK, there’s one or two who think it’s like wearing a boom box on your head, but that’s always the case, mainly because helmet noise is so subjective.
However overall, owners of the Icon Alliance say it’s great to keeping things quiet; though you should still always wear some quality ear plugs.
Ventilation is also one of the Icon Alliance’s strong points.
It looks like a fairly standard sort of layout; a single central chin vent and a couple of separate forehead vents up top. But that’s not the whole story.
In the chin guard, there is that central large vent with a toggle panel covering it to open/close the vent. But if you look closely, you’ll notice a couple of other smaller vents to the sides, and these can be opened/closed too from inside the helmet.
OK you might need to stop and take off your helmet before you can open them, but together with the main chin vent, they all vent a lot of air to the rear of the shield and onto your face.
The top vents have to be open and closed separately using the small slider on each vent, which can be a bit of a pain, but owners say they do pull in stacks of air. That air is circulated around the head using a network of channels in the lining and there’s a massive six separate exhaust vents on the back of the helmet to help that warm, moist air escape.
All in all, pretty well everyone we came across said ventilation on the Alliance and Alliance GT is fantastic. So if you live somewhere really hot – or just love a cold head! – then ventilation is definitely one of the Alliance’s strong points.
The shield is a mixture of the great and the not so great.
Positive points are that it comes with Icon’s Fog Free shield which most owners agree is excellent in keeping the shield mist free in all but the most extreme circumstances.
And overall, the shield works fairly well. But there are niggles.
It works on a ratchet, though a couple of owners said the ratchet is a bit soft. Nothing major, just feels like it might slam shut above 80 – though I guess most of us will have their shields firmly closed at that speed?
And there’s a shield lock, but it’s very much an old school type of lock; with a metal pin locating into a hole in the shield to keep it shut.
It works well though; it just takes a bit of a firm push to open the shield and most folks seem to agree it could probably do with an update.
And the final niggle is that while it does have a quick change mechanism, it can take quite a bit of getting used to. You have to pull off the side pods before you get at the shield pivots – and most owners reckon it takes quite a bit of pressure to get them off – though after that, swapping the shield out is simple.
Having said that, there’s just as many owners out there wondering what all the fuss is about.
There’s a drop down sun visor – only on the Icon Alliance GT though. Just to avoid confusion, it’s what Icon calls a Drop Shield.
It’s operated by a slider right behind the shield pivot on the left hand side and it’s an up/down sort of sun visor: i.e. it’s either fully up or fully down, so you’ll struggle to set it to in between positions.
That’s not usually a problem for most of us – if you’ve got the sun in your eyes, you want the SV fully down, right?
No problems reported with how the sun visor works so it looks like all’s good there.
Comfort and Sizing
Inside the Icon Alliance, you’ll find a contoured foam liner covered by Icon’s Hydra Dry material. That’s a breathable and moisture wicking material that’s soft to the touch and makes for comfortable liners.
The liner is also removable and washable, which is always good.
Weirdly, the Icon US website says the Alliance is designed to be a medium oval fitment while Icon Europe reckon it’s more long oval.
Word out there is that it’s actually long oval fitment. And while you might find it’s really tight to get on (a few Icon’s are a bit like this) once on, owners say the Alliance is a really comfortable helmet.
Just in case you buy one online, make sure you buy from a store who’ll let you swap it for a different size (like all our recommended stores will), because one or two owners say they can size a bit small, meaning you might need to go a size up from your usual fitment.
Other than that, owners say it’s a really comfy helmet, so as long as you’ve got the right longer-oval shaped head, all should be well.
Looks & Graphics
If you know anything about Icon helmets, you’ll know that they like bonkers in-yer-face graphics on their helmets.
We’ve smattered a few of the most striking up and down the page – but for more options, click through to our recommended shops below – they’ll drop you straight on to their Icon helmets page. Thanks!
Best places to buy an Icon crash helmet?
We also recommend Rocky Mountain ATV/MC who score 4.9/5 at Google Customer Reviews, offer free shipping to 48 states on orders over $75, 45 day no quibble returns and will pay for shipping if it doesn't fit right.
They are our Recommended Retailers for quality of service and if you click one of our links and buy from them, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you - a massive THANKS! (it's how we finance the site).
Icon Alliance Video
Here’s a 2m look around the Rubatone matt black version of the Icon Alliance GT (GT stands for sun visor, obviously 🙂 )
Other stuff – audio, weight, aero, build quality, warranty
If you’re looking to use a bluetooth headset with your Alliance, there aren’t any speaker pockets built into the EPS liner. Which is not to say it can’t work with an intercom – it can. Several owners of Sena headsets have successfully installed them onto an Alliance. But just make sure you have a set with low profile speakers otherwise you might struggle.
The Alliance weighs around 3.6lbs (1.64Kg) which is a bit heavier than average for a polycarbonate helmet but shouldn’t cause a problem. In fact, of all the comments about weight we could find, we only found owners saying how light the helmet feels. Just goes to show, unless it’s massively overweight, helmet weight can be a perception thing.
As for aero, the Alliance is a pretty decent performer. It doesn’t have the winglets and spoilers of a race helmet, but it has been wind tunnel tested and owners seem to say it’s resulted in a pretty stable that doesn’t suffer from buffeting.
Finally, onto build quality. OK, it’s a relatively inexpensive helmet, so you’ve gotta take that into consideration, but owners say that the build quality is excellent for a helmet at this price point.
Paint and finish, construction and decent quality materials are all mentioned – so you can expect the Icon Alliance to last.
Which is undoubtedly a good job because Icon helmets only come with a stingy one year warranty.
If you’re after a good solid helmet for a decent price, then the Alliance and Alliance GT (sun visor) are definitely worth a look. And if you’re after standing out from the crowd with some crazy graphics, then they’ll probably come top of your list!
But graphics aside, the polycarb Alliance range are decent helmets. OK, it didn’t score top marks when SHARP tested it – although 3 stars is pretty good going – but for a daily helmet, they’re comfortable with superb ventilation, a decent visor and sun visor, and they’re relatively quiet too.
In fact, for the money, the Icon Alliance is right up there as one of the best all rounders we’ve come across. Well worth checking out.
Good Alternatives to the Icon Alliance?
Here’s a couple of great performing full face helmets to look at – all with great tested/proven safety.
First off, how about the LS2 Arrow. For the same price as one of the top end graphic Alliances, you can get a fiberglass SHARP 4 star rated sportsbike helmet with Pinlock and optically correct visor that weighs just under 3lbs. Wow.
Or there’s the AGV K5S – a great sports/touring full face helmet that’s highly rated for safety, looks cool and is great value for money.
Check below for some links to find other alternatives.
Looking to buy an Icon?We recommend either Revzilla (PA) or Bike Bandit (CA) for outstanding service. Please click either link to visit their Icon Helmets pages and see their full range and latest prices.
Other full face helmets
There are loads of alternative full face crash helmets. You can check out our Top 10 full-face crash helmets list to see our best rated helmets. But we also recommend you take a look at all our full face crash helmet previews and reviews as well as our safest motorcycle helmets page where you'll only find helmets that are SHARP four or five star rated - so you'll know you're wearing the best protection out there.
Crash Helmet Buying Guides
For (hopefully!) other useful information to help you when buying your next helmet, check our various guides - or have a look at our top helmet lists where we've got the top 10 rated helmets overall and best budget/safest/full face/flip-up helmets.