Dainese is a storied Italian company founded in 1972 by its current President Lino Dainese. It specializes in protective wear for sports such as motorcycling, mountain biking and downhill skiing. Its first products were leather pants for motocross followed by leathers for road motorcycling. Within racing and riding circles, Dainese is considered one of the most technical and protective brands in the world.
Dainese is known well in motorcycling circles, sponsoring such current racers as Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden and Max Biaggi. Giacomo Agostini, another Dainese legend, is a 15-time World Champion who began racing in Dainese leathers in 1976. Innovation is crafted into the product development process to improve comfort and protection on many levels. Dainese’s innovation starts with its riders and began with the technical sponsorship of German Dieter Braun, the first racer officially sponsored by Dainese in MotoGP racing. The end of the ‘70s saw its collaboration with Barry Sheene lead to the first back protector, utilizing composite sliding protection.
In 1980, Dainese tested the first knee sliders with their top riders and produced the first pair of gloves specifically designed for motorcycle racing. “King” Kenny Roberts earned three world titles, 500cc class, wearing Dainese leathers and protectors continuing the heritage. Around the mid-’80s impact absorption capabilities were improved and later in the decade, the first pair of boots for motorcycle riders were developed.
The Dainese Safety Program (D-TEC), a research, development and technology center staffed by doctors, engineers and technicians, was established in 1993. A fundamental contribution was provided by Dr. Costa’s Mobile Clinic, (D-Mobile) visiting racetracks around the world identifying and testing the latest innovations in the development of all its safety related projects. D-TEC develops the performance of technical riding apparel in a logical and consistent manner, not only with regard to leather suits, jackets and pants, but also with respect to all other textile and leather items, including gloves and boots.
In 1995, Max Biaggi won his fourth world title in the 250cc class and tested the first Dainese Full Pro prototype gloves featuring carbon fiber and Kevlar protectors. Later, new boots with the patented D-Axial system were born, featuring a carbon inner bracing that limited the twisting of the ankle. Biometrics, ergonomics and comfort continue to be at the forefront of the D-TEC mission.
Wave, the fourth generation back protector, was launched with a revolutionary ventilation system in 2002. In the same year, Valentino Rossi won in MotoGP class as well, after previously winning the titles in the 125, 250, and 500 classes, the only racer to ever do so. Valentino Rossi became a Dainese safety testimonial and will go down in history after leaving Honda for Yamaha in 2003, then leaving Yamaha for Ducati in 2010 and then winning his ninth championship title in 2009, all with Dainese.
Dainese uses its racing sponsorship program to research and develop new innovations through its sponsored riders in MotoGP. D-Air®, a highly innovative system for protecting motorcyclists based on a brand new concept of an airbag began in 2000. Marco Simoncelli, Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo have all used this suit in races. The suit has an airbag integrated into the shoulders and neck of a leather one-piece suit, which inflates when the suit's internal microprocessor detects a crash. The D-air® protection technology platform was launched in 2011. This intelligent system with an advanced triggering algorithm, enables it to operate without any physical connection to the motorcycle.
Dainese continues to lead with form as well as function, spearheading their approach with highly technical safety products, inspired by humans, which continue to offer a design, look and feel which is decidedly Italian.