In 1968 a young Italian, Lino Dainese, travelled to London on a Vespa. It was here that he saw the "ton up bikers" and the leathers they wore.
Inspired he decided to design and manufacture motorcycle clothing using the expertise of leather tanning and clothing manufacture from his home province in Italy.
Founded in 1972, Dainese started manufacturing leather Motocross trousers from their new factory in Molvena.
A motorcycle enthusiast himself, Lino Dainese's vision for his fledgling company was to improve and advance safety in all dynamic sports.
Two years after the company started Dainese started their collaboration with top riders, introducing elastic inserts for improved comfort and thicker leather in certain areas for additional safety.
Giacomo Agostini and Dieter Braun became the first riders in Dainese motorcycle racing suits.
Innovations continued to flow out of the Dainese factory. Back protectors first worn on the track by Barry Sheen, Knee sliders developed for Kenny Roberts (known as "porcupines" because they were soft cylinders that protruded from the knee when the leg was bent) and composite armour rigid shells with soft bases allowing them to absorb and dispel the force of impact.
The suits themselves were ergonomically re-designed, with the input of Toni Mang, matching the rider’s crouch when in the racing position, dramatically improving comfort and efficiency of the protection during races.
Shortly after this Dainese introduced the aerodynamic race hump and expanded its motorcycle clothing range with gloves and boots.
The new gloves had carbon fibre and Kevlar to protect the knuckles and the back of the hands.
The boots had a carbon and Kevlar inner that limited the twisting of the ankle. Toe sliders also made an appearance.
Dainese further revolutionised racing boots by introducing boots that are worn under the suit, rather than outside, an innovation adopted by Valentino Rossi.
In 1993 the Dainese Technology Centre, D-Tec, was created as a specialist research and development technical centre, staffed by engineers, technicians and doctors to further the study of protective technology and the development of products for the market.
At around the same time Dainese formed their No Impact Division to bring the experience, knowledge and products to other sports such as snowboarding, skiing, mountain biking, horse riding and yachting.
Dainese's most sophisticated innovation to date is the D-Air<sup>®</sup> airbag system. First introduced in full racing service in 2007 at the Valencia Grand Prix where a fall, during a practice session, by Simone Grotzky saw the first D-Air airbag deployment.
Marco Simoncelli, Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo all have D-Air airbag race suits.
All of the track, off road and even space research and development that Dainese does is channelled into the products that motorcyclists use every day; from boots, gloves, leathers, armour and lobster back protectors to the latest D-air Racing and Street, Airbag protection systems.
Dainese - inspired by humans.