In terms of levels of protection in the saddle, a motorcycle leather suit is undoubtedly the most protective item of clothing. A thin layer of cowhide, or kangaroo leather in some particular models, features good impact resistance and, above all, exceptional abrasion resistance. Although motorcycle suits are mostly worn by riders for track racing, they’re actually a valid choice for road riding, too. So, here’s a short guide to choosing the right motorcycle suit for you.
This is the first and foremost difference between one-piece and two-piece motorcycle suits. In the first case, we’re talking about suits developed to offer the best when track riding. This means, for instance, that the suit features very pronounced angles on arms and legs and is pre-curved forward, to fit comfortably when crouching behind the fairing of a sports motorcycle on a straightaway. A good example is the Dainese Mugello RR D-air® suit, equipped with the advanced Dainese D-air® electronic airbag system, which analyzes how you move in the saddle and autonomously identifies any dynamics leading to a fall so that, when necessary, it will activate and protect collarbones and shoulders.
There’s also the more classic Laguna Seca 5, a suit that, though not equipped with the Dainese D-air® system, is nonetheless safe owing to its integrated hardshell protective gear and the metal plates on shoulders and elbows, and additionally features extended stretch inserts on hips, back, arms and legs, for maximum freedom of movement.
As already mentioned, two-piece suits are also an alternative, though they shouldn’t be confused with leather full jacket-pants suits (with a more relaxed fit and designed to be used mainly on the road). Two-piece suits are designed for sports road riding, and therefore they’re not as specialized as one-piece suits. They’re more comfortable and practical than one-piece suits, especially for riding in an upright posture, but are nevertheless created to always be worn “in full” (the upper part features a shorter cut than a classic leather jacket, so that it’s not suitable to be worn with different pants). A good example of a two-piece suit is the Avro suit, also available with the Dainese D-air® system.
Full leather jacket-pants suits, on the other hand, consist of jacket and pants that can be joined with a zipper; the fit, however, is decidedly more relaxed, being designed exclusively for riding on the road, and therefore to feel comfortable in an upright riding posture. Moreover, the jacket is designed to be used even without its matching pants.
To establish the correct size of a motorcycle suit, always try it on in the riding position: When you wear a new suit for the first time, in the store, feeling that it “pulls” in the upper area, especially on the shoulders, it’s normal. But don’t worry: A suit, especially a one-piece suit, must be comfortable while riding, not when standing up. In this respect, the Dainese centers offer the possibility to try on suits in the riding position, on the saddle of a motorcycle (find the store closest to you store locator link). Also, keep in mind that leather gives way over time, getting more comfortable the more you use it. Remember to try the suit on with your boots, back protector and gloves: Everything must be perfectly integrated, for maximum comfort and total freedom of movement.
Some suits, such as the Laguna Seca 5, offer different types of sizes, Short or Tall, to better fit your proportions: You will find a size guide on each suit’s dedicated webpage. Obviously, we advise you to visit a Dainese Store and seek the assistance of specialized staff.
To get the most out of your leather suit, you can contact Custom Works, the Dainese service dedicated to the creation of completely customized motorcycle suits – not just in terms of colors but, above all, sizes. This option is for the most demanding motorcycle riders, those who really want to have an individually tailored garment or those who are not totally comfortable with standard sizes.
As mentioned, it’s also possible to customize the suit’s graphics as well as the size, to obtain a unique and distinctive garment. You can choose the colors of each single component and leather panel, apply personal logos, race numbers and sponsors, to get the best Dainese suit – the suit of your dreams.
To see the different colors and get a cost estimate, please refer to the specific section on the website, though for the final measurements we recommend you visit an Authorized Dainese Center.
But what protection do motorcycle suits offer, apart from leather itself? If you follow MotoGP™, you might already know this. In 2007, Dainese introduced the first electronic airbag system in the World Championship, and after years of development, fine-tuning and increasingly prominent use among riders, in 2018 it became mandatory in all classes of the World Championship.
The suit that professional riders wear is the Mugello RR D-air®, the ultimate in terms of protection and performance. The D-air® system activates through sensors that monitor conditions 1,000 times per second and creates an actual high-pressure air shield that, owing to its crushproof qualities guaranteed by microfilament technology, protects shoulders and collarbones, the area typically prone to injuries caused by the most common falls on track. As well as the D-air® device, the Mugello RR also incorporates conventional rigid protectors on knees, elbows and shoulders. There are metal plates in these same areas, designed to promote sliding and prevent rolling in the event of a fall. Metal plates are placed on the outside of the suit, on strategic points, limiting the possibility that, during a fall, protectors made of soft plastic or the leather itself end up generating friction against the asphalt, causing the joint to “jam” and, as a result, potentially dangerous rolling.
As you will have realized, then, choosing a motorcycle suit is a momentous and special occasion for every motorcyclist – a useful way to spend time on our passion. And we can guarantee you one thing: The perfect suit for you is out there, you just need to find the right advice.