Over the last couple of weeks we’ve covered some of the tech that you can find in Dainese’s latest and greatest kit. This week we’re looking at their boots and their crowning achievement so far, the airbag-equipped D-Air.
Anyone who’s ever sat in a relatively modern car will have seen that airbags are completely commonplace, they’ve been around for years in even the cheapest of cars and yet bikers have been left out for the most part. With cars it’s easy to keep people inside them where they’re (mostly) safe from harm, whereas bikers fare better if they aren’t attached to the bike – 200kg of metal landing on you is something nobody wants! This presents a challenge for gear manufacturers; the airbags have to be integrated into the gear you’re wearing for the airbags to cushion any impacts. Technological advances in the form of smaller microprocessors, more potent batteries and general miniaturisation of everything means that what was once a tricky proposition only worthwhile on the track is now in reach of the average road rider.
It used to be a case of attaching a ripcord to your bike which, when pulled, would cause your airbag to detonate. There are obviously flaws with this, the main one being the fact that you have to clip in and out of the bike when you get on or off – if you forget to unclip you’re running the risk of detonating the airbag just as you get off the bike. You can’t just simply reset an airbag either, they’re a one-time use. You can still get ripcord airbag gear, mainly in lower-end vests, and for simply accessing better crash protection they’re a solid option despite the drawbacks.
Dainese are well beyond this; D-Air used to require sensors attaching to your bike to detect a crash but thanks to advances in tech current D-Air is almost as convenient as a conventional bike jacket. Simply keep the battery in it topped up and that’s all the faff required. It will reliably detect a crash using sensors that check your motion 1000 times a second to ensure that the airbag is deployed before you hit anything. There’s obviously one drawback to airbag gear normally, you’re stuck with the gear it’s integrated into or have to wear a vest over your own. Dainese have even got around this with their Smart Jacket – it packs all the airbag tech you find in their top-end kit in a vest that fits under your own kit. This means you can look however you want and still benefit from the excellent impact protection that a deployed airbag can provide.
Naturally this level of tech does come at a cost, however prices for gear that’s effective yet current continue to drop. We’re a long way off from having airbags integrated into all kit for any budget, but for those serious about their safety an excellent level of protection is now within reach of mere mortals.
Moving on from airbags and finally onto boots and Dainese is, as usual, well in the mix for leading gear manufacturers. Used by racers and adventurers alike Dainese’s boots cover all bases.
All Dainese’s sports boots, amongst some others, feature an Axial Distortion Control System – effectively a method of stopping your ankle going ways it shouldn’t, namely twisting. Lateral twisting or hyper-extension is prevented by this system acting as a full-on ankle brace. You’ll find most boots don’t attempt to prevent crushing of the foot from being run over and concentrate more on other more likely forces that can seriously damage your feet. Usage of aramid fibre means that on top of your foot not twisting in ways it shouldn’t you’re also protected from punctures during any impact. Depending on the kind of boot you get you might have shin armour to protect from impact however Dainese also uniquely offer racers boot that fit underneath their leathers to integrate with compatible Dainese gear by using Velcro to securely tie together.
Dainese are the only boot manufacturer to go down this route with some sound logic behind their decision. Sports boots, and most others, often have some serious protrusions in the form of clips, zips and external armour – by simplifying the fastening method and placing all of the upper portion of the boot underneath the trouser leg you have far fewer things the boot can snag on. The trade-off is reduced convenience which is why this concept is reserved for their top-end race boot, and for MotoGP riders, and why you’ll find the majority of their boots pander to convention by using laces and clips as most do. After all, an inconvenient boot is one you won’t wear thus rendering it utterly useless!
Suffice to say there are a wide range of terms and tech that Dainese offer in their gear to keep riders safe and comfortable. If ever you’re in doubt as to what these mean then don’t hesitate to contact us, either by visiting us in store in Stevenage, or by remote methods such as the web chat on our website, email or phone (firstname.lastname@example.org / +44 (0)1438 317038)
We are an independent retailer supplying the world's finest riding gear to motorcycle and scooter riders.
Founded in 1981, Bike Stop built its business alongside Dainese as their #1 representative in the UK based on a reputation of offering the best quality, protective gear on the market. Today we sell an extensive range for all budgets, all carefully selected to be the best gear at the best value.