While walking the SEMA floor, we came across a fellow Southern California based company, ICON Vehicle Dynamics, that has been providing the off road market with high quality shocks and suspension systems for nearly a decade. Upon entering the ICON booth, we caught up with their Sales and Marketing Manager Brad Myers to get the scoop on what’s new in their world.
New for SEMA was a brand new setup for the 2008+ Toyota Land Cruiser that continues to be a strong market for ICON. Myers explained by saying, “We brought the 2013 200-series Land Cruiser kit because it is so popular on the international platform as they get older and people start to customize them. Brand new for ICON is a new coil over with compression adjustment, a new billet upper arm available in January, an Omega 2.5-inch bypass shock in the rear, and new billet trailing arms.” With new rear springs currently in development, this system will be the perfect addition to anyone looking to increase the capabilities of their Land Cruiser.
ICON did not forget about the Jeep market either and as Myers alluded to, the Jeep market continues to be a strong segment for ICON. Myers explained, “The Jeep JK coilover conversion continues to be our top seller in the Jeep lineup because of its versatility. You have the adjustability to set the ride height using our system from 1.75-inches to four-inches while still having a good amount of articulation, droop, and bump for great ride quality.”
Finally, for those diehard Raptor owners out there, ICON brought with them their new rear suspension setup that they say will greatly increase the off road handling of the Raptor by reducing the tendency for the rear end to “buck” in harsh off road conditions by adding more up-travel. Myers addressed their new products by saying, “Our new Raptor RXT rear suspension system uses a mount that comes off the side of the shock allowing us to use a longer shock to gain 20-percent more up-travel than stock when used with an aftermarket set of springs and our bump stop system. This will allow the rear to keep up with the front end and have a really balanced truck. It releases next week.”
With so many great things coming from ICON, take a visit to their homepage and stay locked onto Offroad Xtreme for future releases!
ICON Vehicle Dynamics Kicks off Spring 2014 With Two Big Events
The arrival of Spring usually means chirping birds, blooming flowers, and more of that mushy stuff we all know so well. For the ICON Vehicle Dynamics team, Spring brings us two large events which we support – the 2014 Texas Raptor Run in Blackwell, TX and Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, UT. Rather than birds, flowers, and such, this means hours of driving cross-country, lots of junk food, and some good ol’ road trip karaoke. Don’t let the description fool you – this is the stuff we love! If it weren’t for opportunities to hit the road and get out in the dirt with the rest of the off-road nation then we would have some serious problems being a credible manufacturer of performance suspension systems. It is a combination of real-world testing and enthusiast feedback at these types of events that allows us to continue to design and develop top of the line suspension components. After arriving back at our Riverside, CA headquarters and reviewing everything we learned in Texas and Utah, it’s clear that ICON is making an undeniable presence in the off-road community.
Texas Raptor Run – Blackwell, TX
The first stop on ICON’s 2700 mile Spring road trip was the Texas Raptor Runs TRR 2014 event. TRR is a huge gathering of Ford Raptor enthusiast and vendors in one location to enjoy 44 miles of off-road terrain on the beautiful Texana Ranch in Blackwell, TX. Leaving Tuesday morning we hammered down and headed East in the ICON Raptor towing our ’26 enclosed. We pulled into the Ranch Wednesday night for set up and took the opportunity to catch up with event organizer Trey and some of the TRR staff. Thursday morning the gates were opened up and trucks began rolling in to camp. With an event start time of 3:00PM, a drivers meeting took place and it was on to the 10 mile parade lap where new and experienced drivers could get acquainted with the terrain before they were let loose.
Thursday and Friday consisted of open driving on the 44 mile course, and the good times were definitely rolling. During this time we were able to further test our ICON Raptor products while offering rides in the truck to help educate fellow Raptor owners why ICON suspension systems are a must-have to improve your on and off-road experience. Saturday was the group dinner and raffle where ICON donated a complete 3.0 Raptor shock system with proceeds being donated to charity. Following the raffle 150+ Ford Raptors were led on the ICON Exotics tour to see animals like long horn & buffalo to name a few. The Rogue Motorsports crew put on a show by airing out the Robby Woods Pro 2 for some event-closing entertainment.
Ford was out to support the event, and we want to thank them and their amazing support this year. As we look forward to the future of the Ford Raptor , we can’t wait to see what they will offer with the next-gen release around 2016. All-in-all Texas Raptor Run 2014 was a great event, allowing ICON to hang out with true enthusiasts, educate people about our Ford Raptor products, and support a community that looks to run strong for many years to come.
Easter Jeep Safari – Moab, UT
The 2014 Easter Jeep Safari was a great time, as always. It’s amazing to watch Moab, UT go from a relatively quiet town to a Jeeper’s paradise overnight thanks to the organization and planning of the Red Rock 4-Wheelers club. If you are into Jeeps and have not been to this event, you should definitely make plans to attend as soon as possible.
In 2013 we debuted our 1.75 – 4” Coilover Conversion System on our JK, thinking it’d be enough to draw some attention on its own – wrong! During this week-long event all “norms” are out the window, as 37-40” tires, 50” light bars, and $100K Jeep builds seem to dominate the landscape. With the notes we took from last year, we had to be sure to update the look of the ICON JK in time for EJS 2014. As a manufacturer of performance suspension systems, form always follows function – but this year we wanted to make sure our Jeep would turn heads based on both its ability AND its looks. To accomplish this task ICON hooked up with Riverside-based Monster Media to have an awesome new wrap installed on the ICON JK. KC HiLites helped to take our build to the next level with a ton of quality lighting components including LED Cyclone rock lights and a 50” C-Series light bar. We wrapped our custom powdercoated 17” ProAm Racing beadlock wheels in 40” Nitto Trail Grappler tires that could get our rig just about anywhere. After some other minor additions and a thorough detail job we loaded up and hit the road.
After a 17 hour drive ICON rolled into town under cover of the night. The following morning we were eager to grab a bite and hit the trail with our “new” Jeep. A quick morning stretch on Steel Benders trail took place, and we were happy to be back in Moab to say the least. The ICON JK was performing flawlessly and stood out like a sore thumb (in a good way). As the week progressed we continued to run the trails and cruise the town, catching up with any activities we could. One of these was an awesome night run hosted by the Axial Racing crew. The only catch – we were wheeling with vehicles 1/10th the size of your average Jeep. If you have yet to check out Axial’s SCX10 Jeep JK do yourself a solid and look into it (just try not to get hooked!). Other notable events included a Nitto-sponsored meet / BBQ at the Blu Pig and a trip up Potato Salad Hill for the ICON Raptor.
As Thursday rolled around it brought with it the Easter Jeep Safari vendor show, where the biggest companies in the industry gather to display their products and interact with enthusiasts. As always, the ICON booth was on point with product on display, information to be had, and the ICON JK twisted up on our wheel stand serving as a real-life display of our Coilover Conversion System. We were extremely pleased with the amount of Jeepers that stopped by our booth showing interest in our suspension systems and our company as a whole. Following some of the conversations we had with show attendees, we are looking forward to making some JK owners very happy in the near future.
When our week in Moab came to a close, we felt very good about ICON’s future with the Jeep crowd. With a 3”, 4.5” and 1.75 – 4” Coilover Conversion Suspension System ICON offers something for everyone looking to drastically increase the capabilities of their JKs. We are already looking forward to Easter Jeep Safari 2015, and hope to see you there!
For more information on ICON Vehicle Dynamics Ford Raptor products follow the link below:
For more information on ICON Vehicle Dynamics Jeep JK products follow the link below:
Alexander Motorsports wins the 2013 General Tire Vegas to Reno
The General Tire “Vegas to Reno” race is “The Longest Off-Road Race in the United States!”. This would be Alexander Motorsports second attempt to complete this legendary race. As the bright yellow car #5001 approached the starting line at 10:50am on Friday morning temperatures were already into the 100’s with absolutely no wind; but why should this year be any different. Steve Alexander would drive the first leg of the race with Mark Pettit navigating. They were the second Class 5000 to leave the line and within 10 minutes they had taken the lead like they had done at so many other races. But this wasn’t just another race. By mile 25 Steve noticed something on the rear suspension that didn’t feel right and with Pit 1 at mile 32 Steve was on the radio getting the crew ready. Unfortunately it wasn’t going to be an easy fix. All chase crews rallied back to Pit 1 to do whatever had to be done to get the car back into the race. 40 minutes later and with all repairs completed Steve now found himself in unfamiliar territory, he was at the back of the pack with over 500 miles to go. He had to keep his concentration up high as the course was already scattered with remnants of what used to be race cars that fell victim to lack of visibility as a result of the relentless dust. One by one Steve was catching the slower race cars and carefully passing them not to fall victim to hundreds of the hidden boulders. Just as they were making ground everything came to a stop along a section with hundred foot drop offs; another vehicle had broken down and there was no way to pass. Several of the navigators from the patiently waiting race vehicles jumped out of their cars to assist the stranded vehicle by pushing him to the side. After what felt like an eternity (actually 7 minutes) the path was clear and 5001 was moving again. 2 hours and 45 minutes after they had left the start, #5001 came into their first fuel stop at Pit 3. Both chase teams went over the car with a fine tooth comb.
The repairs that were made to the rear suspension looked excellent and they were back on the course. 125 miles after the car had to make the unscheduled stop, Steve would put car #5001 back into the lead. His plan now was to get as much distance between him and his competitor before he reached Pit 6 which was the 220 mile marker. At this point Doug Roorda was taking over the driving duties and Mark Pettit would stay in the car as navigator. At Pit 10, mile 354, Chase 1 and 2 would go over the car one more time and re-fuelled it before sending Doug into some of the biggest silt beds and mountain terrains up to 8,000 foot high. not to mention, Doug would have to do this in the dark. Thanks to the KC HiLiTES HID PODs and LED CUBEs they would tame the night making Doug’s job easier. Doug made the scheduled stop 432 miles in at Pit 12 where Baja Pits would splash 5 gallon of fuel to get them to the next fueling pit. Steve sat patiently at Pit 13, 468 miles into the course, waiting for Doug to bring in the car. Team manager Claudia Alexander was following the IRC tracker and could see that the competition was starting to close in on car #5001 so the last pit stop, driver and co-driver change had to be a fast one. Due to the logistics of the race they were short handed and had only one chase team at that Pit. Checkers pit support who was pitting next to Alexander Motorsports offered their assistance to help with the fueling. Steve was back in the car, now with Sean Babb as navigator taking over for Mark Pettit who had now completed 468 miles of brutal desert. With roughly 75 miles to go Steve was loaded up on Livewire Energy chews and disappeared into the night with one thing on his mind: the finish line. 15 hours and 12 minutes after car 5001 left the start they crossed the finish line to be crowned the 2013 General Tire Vegas to Reno Class 5000 Champion. 543 miles of rock, silt and everything else the desert had to offer Alexander Motorsports finished on the same set of red lettered Grabbers that they started on. K&N Filters kept the Wiks Type 4 running clean while Torco Lubricants kept the motor and RC Trans prepped Mendeola running smooth. This huge undertaking would not have been possible were it not for the tireless effort of the Alexander Motorsports chase crews.
Here is the link to a YouTube video that will take you for a 10 minute ride: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JE2BODDzDCU
This would not have been possible without the expert support of General Tire, KC HiLiTES, ICON Vehicle Dynamics, Torco Racing Oils and Fuels, Wiks Racing Engines, RC Trans, FK Rod Ends, K&N Filters, MSD Ignition, Livewire Energy, BTR Wheels, Butch’s Speed Shop and Patrick Sign’s and the professionalism of the whole Alexander Motorsports crew.
The next race will be the Best in the Desert “Bluewater Desert Challenge” in Parker, AZ on October 12th and 13th, 2013.
MONGO RACING WINS “LONGEST OFF-ROAD RACE IN THE UNITED STATES” AGAIN
Randy Merritt and Tracy Rubio won the 2013 Best In The Desert Racing Association’s Vegas to Reno billed as the “Longest Off-Road Race in the United States.” What makes this even more remarkable is this is their 3rd consecutive class win at this event in 2 different classes. Randy and Tracy teamed up in 2011 for this event in Randy’s 2011 Class 8100 ECO Boost powered F-150 built by Tracy Rubio at TNC Fab in Kingman, Arizona and then they returned in 2012 in Randy’s new Class 7200 Unlimited also built by Tracy Rubio at TNC Machine and they drove it to their 1st Class win.
Randy was looking forward to the 2013 Vegas to Reno with anticipation, knowing that most of his team was unchanged and the truck was ready. Since the 2012 BITD Vegas to Reno, Randy has only missed finishing in the top 2 in class twice.
The 2013 BITD Vegas to Reno was 545 miles of the fastest and roughest terrain in the south west; pitting man and machine against Mother Nature. The Class 7200 unlimited trucks started the day fourth class off the starting line near Beatty Nevada. Tracy Rubio started the race at 10:29 am on Friday August 16, 2013 for Mongo Racing with Chris Golding sitting in the Navigator’s seat of the number 7281 KC HiLiTes General Tire truck. Tracy and Chris were the 6th truck in class to leave the start line.
After changing a tire at Race Mile 17, Tracy and Chris had fallen from 6th in class to last and was now in the dust of the Class 1000 cars as they charged to make up for lost time. Tracy stopped the KC HiLiTes General Tire truck at pit one for a replacement tire and a splash of fuel before returning to the track now 14 minutes behind the leader.
Tracy began picking off cars and trucks and by Race Mile 176 had raced up to 4th position in Class 7200. By Race Mile 281 Tracy was in second place and only 10 minutes behind the Class 7200 leader when he turned the truck over to Randy, with RD Miner in the Navigator’s seat.
Once in the truck the goal was to cross the finish line first as Randy left pit 8 on a mission.
Randy made a stop for Fuel in Gabbs Nevada and advised the crew he was experiencing power steering problems. Randy told the crew he had power steering assist to the right, but had no assist when turning left. After assessing the situation the crew told Randy he would have to race without power steering and Randy left the pit charging hard to catch the leader.
At Race Mile 443 Randy took the Class 7200 lead as he passed the leader on the side of the course; another truck that had fallen victim to this long race course.
The Crew advised Randy he had a 15 mile lead on second and encouraged Randy to keep up the pace. Randy responded by keeping the gap going into last 20 miles of the 545 mile race.” The last 20 miles are mountain roads and hard to navigate with power steering, so we had to slow down and race smart. We also knew the truck in second place had to pass us and put minutes on us for the win, which is hard to do on these narrow roads at night,” said Randy.
At the finish line the Mongo Racing Crew sat excitingly, anticipating Randy and R.D. to cross the finish line in first place now with a 9 mile lead on the second place Class 7200 truck.
At 8:58 pm Randy won the 2013 Las Vegas to Reno for the 3rd straight year and his 4th BITD class wins since turning professional.
On the podium Randy Thanked his crew and sponsors and said he believed this race was won in the shop as they only stopped for fuel and one tire.
After the race Tracy said the flat tire was his fault as he got a little impatient trying to make a pass and hit one of the biggest rocks in the desert. Tracy added the truck ran great the rest of the day.
The Mongo Racing Class 7200 Unlimited Ford number 7281 is sponsored by KC HiLiTes, General Tires, TNC Machine, ICON Vehicle Dynamics, Trail Ready Bead Lock Wheels, Kincaid Racing Engines, Yukon, Wilwood, Currie Enterprises, Pro AM, EBC Brakes, Master Craft Safety Innovations, F&L Fuel, Lucas Oil, K&N Filters, McQueen’s Prototype Designs, Borla Exhaust, MSD Ignition, and FK Rod Ends.
Visit www.mongoracing.com for additional information about the team and sponsorship opportunity.