Having leathers that fit is incredibly important. If the fit is too tight, your range of motion will be limited. If the suit is too loose, the extra material will get in the way or the armored bits won’t stay in place where you need them should you go down.
Earlier this year, we shared a fairly inexpensive route to get a leather race suit tailored. While that is a wonderful option, it still has a few limitations in that a tailor can really only cut down a suit. For those of us who are extra long or large in some areas, getting a suit custom-made from scratch is really the best option. Enter Dainese’s Made 2 Measure Program.
Made 2 Measure is a program that lets you show up at your Dainese authorized location, pick out the suit you want, and then have one custom-made to your body — complete with your choice of options. Whether you’re 6 feet, 1 inch tall and just shy of 150 pounds, like me, or 5 feet, 6 inches tall and pushing 300 pounds, the Made 2 Measure program has you covered.
What to expect
When I arrived at my local D store, I was greeted by a very nice Italian woman and handed a set of Dainese base layers and told to change. Then came the laughter. Most people can’t tell when I’m wearing street clothes, but when stripped down to my base layers, it becomes obvious I own every bit of my buddy Brandon’s “you have the weirdest body I’ve ever seen” comment. My legs actually aren’t very long, but my torso and arms are extremely long. My shoulders are actually fairly broad (comparatively) and my arms are a decent size, but my waist is in the almost-27-inch range, my ass is non-existent, and my leg muscles refuse to grow. Yes, I even do leg day at the gym.
The nice folks at Dainese had spaced the appointments for the day perfectly, and it was only a two- or three-minute wait while the lady finished helping Adam Waheed pick out color options before it was my turn. She poked and prodded and measured me every which way from Sunday. She asked about my riding style, the kind of bikes I rode, and the kind of track sessions I did, since they’re able to cut them a little extra tight to keep it in place better for short sessions, or a little roomier should you be more the type to spend 10-hour days in the hills. She also asked about boot style, since they’re able to cut the legs for over-the-boot style or under, and about the kinds of armor I wore while riding, to see if they needed to accommodate a back protector, chest protector, or both.
Once my measurements were completed, we looked at the various suits and discussed the benefits of each. I settled on the Dainese Trickster Evo Race Suit. I was then handed a bunch of color swatches and shown which panels I could have altered. I actually really liked the suit as it came stock and opted to leave it as is.
Six-ish weeks later, I received the most beautiful cardboard box I’d ever seen. OK, maybe it wasn’t any more special than any other box, but you get the point. The box smelled of leather, and its contents were so fresh. I jumped back into my base layers and immediately went to put the suit on. This was the first time I’d worn leather that hugged my little calves as I tried to get my legs in, and getting the leathers up and onto my shoulders and zipped took a little dance that made me worried maybe they’d blown the measurements. I’ve never worn leathers that fit even close to well, and I was extremely worried there would be some screw-up between the nice lady writing down numbers on a pad of paper and the race suit shipped to my door.
As soon as I’d closed the top Velcro strap, I realized the suit fit perfectly. Sure, it was a little on the tight side and I wasn’t going to do any gymnastics in it yet, but it allowed for plenty of movement while the creaking of the leather as it conformed to my body assured me it was stretching to fit me.
Since then, I’ve worn the suit on the track and in the canyons and on supermotos and supersports. I can tell you it is, without a doubt, the only way a guy with a body shaped like mine can feel confident traveling at breakneck speeds on a motorcycle. The confidence that comes with knowing you have the right tool for the job is worth the added price.
How to get measured
I attended one of Dainese’s Made 2 Measure Events. They are held at a number of different locations around the country on specific dates and are usually staffed by Dainese’s team from Italy. This year’s remaining events are:
- Oct. 11-12: Chicago
- Oct. 14: Portland, Ore.
- Oct. 16: San Francisco
- Oct. 18: Costa Mesa, Calif.
- Oct. 21: Derry, N.H.
You can also contact your local D Store, as most of them have someone on staff specifically trained to take all of your measurements for the Made 2 Measure program. They don’t all do the custom design work, but that can be taken care of via email.
Finally, Dainese says you can schedule a private time for one of their tailors to fly out and measure you at your local Dainese dealer. They say this may incur some additional costs — so don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Read more about how to participate in the Made 2 Measure program here.