With the legendary Valentino Rossi flying the flag for Dainese racing apparel and Dainese- owned AGV helmets, the two premium brands create natural interest for riders needing serious protection at racetrack speeds.
Made in Ukraine, the Dainese Laguna Seca Evo P. Estiva one-piece race suit has the fit and finish of the Italian-made garments I have sampled from the Vicenza-based company in the past.
The leather hides appear to be first-rate, supple, and perfectly stitched. There were no loose ends or anything to betray its non-Italian build, and the result is as good or better than any race-wear I have sampled. The zippers have no brand name emblazoned, but are strong, smooth, and well built.
And, while beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I find this suit to be one of the nicest looking available. It features perforated leather and fabric sections, all lined with mesh for hot weather comfort.
I choose to wear a Dainese polypropylene undersuit in order to stave off the heat on warmer days, and this makes donning and removing the Laguna Seca Evo suit a bit easier.
Initially, the new suit is quite stiff, as it is built on multiple layers of leather, fabric and armor with the latest safety specs, but spending time within it has helped to form it to my frame and be even more comfort- able. I did not experience any binding, twisting, or hotspots caused by imperfect or poorly placed internal seams.
While everyone has his own body type, the suit is true to my usual size 54 in all aspects. It fits snugly and the proportions in the cut are typical of Italian clothing, which is just right. The Laguna Seca Evo P. Estiva is a confidence-inspiring piece of kit.
The matching TR-Course Out Air boots are built in Romania, but again, there appears to be no difference in materials or build quality from those made on Dainese’s home turf. I like the zippered rear-entry system with the internal rear tongue that makes for easy on and off; fit and feel is perfect.
There is an armored exoskeleton exclusively in the area around the inner and outer ankle. Dainese calls this the D-Axial system, and it is hinged to the upper armor in the shin area. The boot requires no break-in, so shifting and braking duties are not a concern right out of the box.
When locked and loaded, the TR-Course Out Air are extremely comfortable yet with controlled flexibility that befits their mission to keep those extremities safe. Again, as with the suit, they are nicely proportioned, comfortable, perforated, and attractive.
The Full Metal RS gloves from Dainese are manufactured in Vietnam, which is a common source for gloves, and exhibit the same Italian quality and craftsmanship as in homemade examples. They are mostly cowhide, with a goat- skin-reinforced palm—the combination is supple.
Built with titanium and carbon armor, the gloves have strategically placed textured sections sewn into the palm to enhance grip and lessen hand fatigue. They have the typical wrist and cuff straps and are lined with an aramid and polyester fabric for comfort and to make it easier to don and remove.
Like the boots and suit, the Dainese Full Metal RS gloves are true to size and proportions, with a snug initial fit. My experience is that most race gloves require a good bit of time to break in and feel perfect.
The last piece of this ensemble is the new AGV Corsa Velocity helmet. AGV has taken the many technical advancements and proportions of the Pista GP carbon-fiber helmet worn by Valentino Rossi, and made it more comfortable and added adjustable ventilation. Shell construction is aramid and carbon fiber and is markedly lighter than the GP Tech helmet it replaces.
I like the faceshield lockdown with a push button release under the wearer’s nose, as well as the five adjustable intake vents and two exhaust vents. The faceshield has no detents to keep it in an intermediate position, so closed or slightly cracked are your only choices, which is appropriate for a race, rather than street, helmet. For racing, there are tear-off studs.
Corsa Velocity has a less-complicated quick-release visor mechanism than the GP Tech had, plus the field of vision is 15 degrees wider than before. The cheek pads are customizable via replacement. Out back is a racing-inspired clear plastic spoiler. The AGV Corsa Velocity helmet is made in Italy, and enjoys near perfect fit and finish.
Putting in laps on a track in apparel inspired by Rossi works on both functional and psychological levels. When comfortable and properly protected, you can ride your best. The combination of Dainese and AGV is perfect for my track days and for spirited road excursions.
Story from Ultimate MotorCycling magazine; for subscription services, click here.