Dainese D-Air Racing suit, £2409.99-£3239.99
Time tested: One year/2000 miles
What’s good? This is a one-piece racing suit, with an electronically-activated airbag that is inflated in the event of a crash. The airbag claims to reduce the risk of direct impact between the rider’s helmet and collarbone in a crash, and limit the amount of neck bending while the rider tumbles. The electronics responsible for triggering the airbag are located in the hump on the back of the suit. Micro electronic sensors, three accelerometers, three turn meters and GPS are continuously monitoring riding activity and comparing values to recorded to pre-recorded data. If the values match that of previous crashes then the airbag will be triggered, with an inflation time that can be varied to suit the particular characteristics of the crash. I’ve worn it for MCN track tests, some of which require us to be in leathers for as long as eight hours at one time, and it’s proved comfortable in most conditions. As well as the safety aspect of the suit, Dainese has integrated a 2D data recorder into the system, which stores GPS data that can be downloaded after each session. I have recorded up to five hours data in one day and Dainese claim up to eight hours is achievable with a full charge. The software for this is easy to use with an intuitive interface, and the system provides as much data as possible, including lap time, section times, track map, lean angle, speed, distance, time, inline and lateral forces. Dainese recommend that this suit must only be used exclusively on race tracks, or closed to traffic circuits. It is not recommended for touring, commuting or leisure road riding. I’ve not had a crash in the suit, so can’t comment on the airbag’s protective qualities, but having used the suit for a year I am impressed with its functionality, particularly the data recording function.
What’s not? The suit itself weighs around 3kg more than the average suit. Because there are no ventilation holes in any of the panels, things do get a bit sticky when it’s hot. On occasion, because of the nature of GPS and its reliance on ‘seeing’ clean sky to connect to satellites, there can be an odd spike in the data and the download and charge cable access are located behind the neck so it’s necessary to remove the suit to download data.
Quality rating: 4/5
Value rating: 5/5