When it comes to motorcycle gear and keeping riders safe, Dainese is at the front of the pack. The brand’s cemented itself as one of the premier gear companies in motorcycling. So, when it asked if we’d like to give their recently revamped Custom Works program a try, we jumped at the chance to see what the experience was all about.
With the Custom Works program, anyone can receive the sort of treatment normally reserved for professional racers: A personal fitting for custom-tailored motorcycle gear. This covers any type of gear Dainese makes, but is most often deemed appropriate for full leather suits. Dainese leverages its product showrooms — or Dainese flagship stores — to offer Custom Works fittings at its many locations throughout the world, including multiple locations in the United States. The brand also travels to select motorcycle dealers to make its services available to customers in other regions. This dedication to its customers sets Dainese apart from much of its motorcycle gear competition.
When asked about why Dainese goes to the lengths they do to offer programs like Custom Works, Dainese CEO Cristiano Silei told Digital Trends: “In the same way Dainese was founded by passion for motorcycling based on safety, style, and innovation, the Custom Works program was conceived to offer these ideals to people whose body types fell outside the standard availability of our products. With the recent relaunch of the project in late 2017, the idea was to incorporate new technology available in order to bring the safety, service and experience to even more people worldwide.”
With the Custom Works program, anyone can receive the sort of treatment normally reserved for professional racers.
Not only has Dainese completely overhauled the Custom Works program to better meet its own standards, but it’s also incorporated a web-based suit configurator. Silei relayed that updating its own internal processes and introducing the Custom Works 3D Configurator has marked a “new era in the ease of participation.” Now, anyone who wants to see what their own custom-tailored and colored riding suit might look like needs to simply open the configurator and get to work.
In the same way some automotive and shoe manufacturers allow you to design for yourself from home, Dainese introduced its 3D configurator as a way to explore the wealth of design options available — as well as their cost impact — long before making your appointment to get fitted. And if off-the-rack gear fits you well, you can still utilize the configurator to create a bespoke suit, jacket, or pants without the extra step of getting fitted.
If you do happen to be one of those special few where nothing ever fits quite right, a custom fitting is well worth the extra time. In the world of motorcycle gear, the better something fits, the more protective it’s going to be. A better-fitting kit also gives a rider confidence and, as the saying goes, a confident rider is a safer rider.
When we showed up for our fitting, we weren’t entirely sure what to expect. Thankfully, Dainese’s dedicated event coordinator and tailor were there to help. Meeting these two was like being welcomed into the Dainese family — and suited up for battle at the same time. After taking measurements, of which there are a lot (from bicep flexing to ankle circumference), we sat down to get into the nitty gritty of the suit’s options.
The Mugello-R is a technical marvel that’s a far cry from the leather suits of yesterday.
Up until this point, we had no idea what we would be customizing. Wanting to bring their A-game, Dainese opted for the Mugello-R as the canvas for our foray into motorcycle slash superhero suit making. The Mugello-R is a technical marvel that’s a far cry from the leather suits of yesterday. Complete with Dainese’s D-Air airbag technology, which deploys in the event of an off-bike experience, the suit extends around the collar bones, ribs, and back. In essence, it’s a track enthusiast’s best friend. The suit is also armed with GPS, a suite of accelerometers, all the padding you’d ever need, and an LED strip on the back reminiscent of RoboCop’s suit.
All this tech does come at a premium — the Mugello-R runs at $4,500 off the rack, with a custom fitting tacking on an additional $630. This surely is an extreme price point when it comes to Dainese’s offerings — the rest of its lineup costs much less. Though the main draw of the Mugello-R is that a regular consumer has the opportunity to purchase the same level of protection professional racers get. If you’re into the sport of motorcycling, you want this suit.
Now that we knew what we were climbing into, it was time to explore the world of color. This is the point where having already tweaked with colors at home on the suit configurator helped set a baseline for the design. Being able to customize the suit down to even the smallest of details means the options are nearly limitless. Custom colors are just the start — the ability to add logos and phrases throws an entirely different level of customization into the mix. Luckily, there are professionals to help guide you to a design you’ll end up loving, and can take you even deeper in detail than the suit configurator can.
With colors chosen and subtle personalization added, it was time to send the design to Italy, where years of Italian seamstress experience would handcraft this pinnacle of protection. Production times vary based on overall demand and level of customization, but roughly three months is a good estimate, give or take a week or two.
The suit is also armed with GPS, a suite of accelerometers, all the padding you’d ever need, and an LED strip on the back reminiscent of RoboCop’s suit.
Once the suit was ready, it meant a trip back to the place where we were fitted since Dainese doesn’t ship Custom Works items direct to consumers. This is done to make sure they walk you through the process of adorning your newly minted duds and that everything fits properly. Dainese goes to great lengths to ensure its flagship store employees, as well as certified dealers, are well-versed in how the tailored goods should fit. The brand also explains the technical side of how a D-Air garment works — having staff physically walk you through the components of arming and disarming your new airbag-equipped garb is definitely helpful.
While the suit itself is nothing short of stunning, the obvious hindrance to the process is the cost. Sitting at a whopping $630 more than any other suit, the Custom Works program isn’t going to be for everyone. Looking at the dollar figure might be enough for some to not even consider a custom garment as an option.
With that said, however, riding a motorcycle comes with the responsibility of keeping yourself safe. Spending more upfront in favor of potentially abating injuries is simple math, and ample justification for your hard-earned dollar. What Dainese does to earn that dollar includes bringing you the type of service normally reserved for the athletic elite, as well as imbuing the confidence that comes with being able to strap a computer to your back that’s sole occupation is to keep you safe. Couple that with the chance to live out your superhero fantasies in a one-of-a-kind garment, and you have a truly unique experience.