Dainese And Regenesi Recycle Old Leathers Into Accessories

Do you really like Dainese gear but can’t stretch the budget to afford a full leather suit from them? Well, now you can own at least part of an old Dainese suit with their new partnership with Regenesi, a company engaged in the design of products made of discarded consumer items.

The collaboration has given life to the first moto-recycling project with a line of accessories and small leather items made of riders’ suits. The concept of waste in Regenesi is seen as a new opportunity: part of the leathers, in fact, become new objects with new functions.

Each Regenesi product is a unique piece made with leather parts from the original suits used by Dainese riders. Some even contain scuff marks and other imperfections courtesy of a crash.

If you were hoping that these recycled items would be fairly affordable, think again. The cheapest items available are smartphone holders which cost $79. Prices go up to $134 for the range of credit card holders. All items are available on the Dainese D-Store.

 

Weekly Deals Round-Up

Every week we search the interwebs to find the best deals on motorcycle clothing, gear, equipment, accessories and parts. This week includes up to 60% off Alpinestars casual clothing, $50 rebates on Dunlop tires and big discounts on a variety of BiLT Techno gear and equipment.

Pick of the Week

Tires

Gear

Helmets

Casual

Equipment, Parts & Accessories

 

Former Ducati CEO Cristiano Silei Takes The Reins At Dainese

Dainese, one of the leading brands of motorcycle (and other high performance sport) gear has a new CEO –  Cristiano Silei has been appointed Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors, effective immediately. Silei has 20 years of experience in the motorcycle industry with fellow Italian brand, Ducati and later in his career was CEO of Ducati North America and Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

Silei was introduced to Dainese by Federico Minoli, who has served as Dainese’s CEO since 2012. Mr. Minoli will assume the role of Chairman going forward. “Cristiano is the perfect person to lead Dainese, and will contribute his unique experience and skills to accelerate its international expansion and product innovation,” Minoli said.

“Dainese is one of those rare companies to have truly created a new market through technology and innovation, and I am honored to have been chosen to lead the company,” Silei said. “The opportunity ahead for Dainese to further capitalize on its global brand and superior product offering is vast.”

“We are at the start of an exciting new phase for Dainese, and we look forward to working with Cristiano as he leads the company to its next stage of growth while maintaining the mission of Dainese to save people’s lives” said Gilbert Kamieniecky, Partner of Investcorp’s European Corporate Investment team and member of Dainese’s board of directors.

Lino Dainese, founder of Dainese recently sold 80 per cent of the company to private equity firm Investcorp. Investcorp is a manager of alternative investment products, for private and institutional clients. Its principal client base is in the six countries of the Gulf Co-operation Council, but it also has institutional clients in North America and Europe.

The company offers investments in corporate investment, real estate and hedge funds, and has arranged investments with a combined value of approximately $44 billion. It typically places the private equity of companies and real estate properties it acquires directly with investors on a deal-by-deal basis, rather than through a fund structure.

Former Ducati CEO Cristiano Silei Takes The Reins At Dainese

News Round-Up – New H-D CEO announced, Dainese Release 2015 Jeans Range, RedShiftMX in Action

Matt Levatich To Take Over as New CEO of Harley-Davidson

Current CEO of Harley-Davidson, Keith Wandell will retire from the role on 1 May 2015 and will be replaced by Matt Levatich who currently sits in the role of President and Chief Operating Officer. The retirement of Wandell will bring to an end a six year tenure and one which saw him steer the company through a major global recession – one that hit the motorcycle industry hard.

As it stands, Harley-Davidson has probably never been in better health for many decades, with every increasing profits and huge cash reserves. “We have accomplished a lot to reposition Harley-Davidson for a bright future,” said Wandell, “and the most important achievement has been the development of great leaders at all levels of the organization. Our executive team has been integral to the creation and execution of our strategy and assuring a strong company going forward.”

Matt Levatich, 50, joined Harley-Davidson in 1994. In addition to an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Levatich holds a graduate degree in engineering management and an MBA from Northwestern University. He also served as the President and Managing Director of the MV Agusta before H-D sold the Italian marque in 2010.

Matt Levatich New Harley-Davidson CEO

 

Dainese 2015 Motorcycle Jeans Collection

Kevlar jeans are pretty important to wear as the abrasion resistant qualities of denim jeans is basically the same as tissue paper. But they’re often incredibly ugly, heavy and hot. But thankfully if there’s anyone that can make kevlar jeans stylish, it’s Dainese. In 2010 Dainese was the first company to make jeans a “technical” garment, and now the company has created an entire collection dedicated to denim—100% made in Italy.

The range features ten models, four types of cut and special colors, thanks to the choice of washed, used or rinsed finishes that make the Dainese jeans range a must-have for all riders who want to feel comfortable and stylish without having to forego safety—a trademark of the Vicenza, Italy-based brand. Each garment has technical features including an inner lining that is reinforced with DuPont Kevlar fibers and reflective inserts that not only make the items comfortable to wear, but also increase safety.

For more info, visit www.dainese.com.

Dainese D1 Evo 2015

 

Development of Alta Motors RedShift MX Continues

The idea behind the Alta Motors RedShift MX is fantastic – an electric supermoto or dirtbike (both versions are being worked on) that would promise huge decreases in maintenance costs and even downtime for racers with the ability to quickly swap batteries.

The RedShift promises to produce 40hp from it’s 11lb engine and the total weight of the bike itself is only 265lb. The trade off for this low weight is the fact that the maximum range will be about 50 miles – useless for the road but somewhat practical for competition. It’s been a few months since we last heard anything about the RedShift, but as the video below shows it’s gonna be a lot of fun.

[vimeo 118624089 w=500 h=281] 

Buying Motorcycle Gear from AliExpress – Is it Safe?

We all want the best we gear can get for the lowest possible price, and that’s why many bargain hunters end up buying their motorcycle gear from Aliexpress. But is it safe? Are the goods genuine? Are the prices too good to be true? We’ve bought a selection of gloves, jackets and pants over the past 18 months from the online superstore so you don’t have to and our conclusions should help prevent you from wasting your hard earned currency.

For those who haven’t heard of the website before, Aliexpress is the online retail arm of Alibaba, a massive Chinese e-commerce company that acts as a source for thousands of importers from all over the world to buy goods and then sell them locally. Most of the stuff you buy on eBay? It’s sourced from Alibaba at a wholesale level or Aliexpress for smaller players. At it’s initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange, it was valued at $231 billion.  Amazon is only valued at $144 billion and in stark contrast, Alibaba is actually profitable.

You can buy motorcycle fairings, rearsets, sliders, decals, replacement parts and clothing, be it gloves, boots, jackets or helmets. But we’re not talking about t-shirts here that you buy for looks. Motorcycle protective clothing is for just that – protection. So are all the Alpinestars gloves and Dainese jackets genuine?

Some of the products you buy are obviously fake. Dodgy looking logos, sizing that’s completely wrong and exotic materials that are clearly not what they’re supposed to be. But some goods are so realistic that if you put them side by side with the same product at a retail store, you wouldn’t be able to tell them apart. Perhaps they are genuine – there is the potential they’ve come from the same factory as the full priced items but I’m basing that judgment at a superficial level. The stitching and dyes which hold everything together may very well be poor (and cheap) imitations which completely changes the structural integrity of the product. Here’s what we found.

Gloves

We purchased a number of gloves from Aliexpress as follows:

  • Alpinestars S1 (RRP of $159.95 on Revzilla, $29.95 on Aliexpress)
  • Dainese Full Metal RS (RRP of $349.95 on Motorcycle Supestore, $80.00 on Aliexpress)
  • RS Taichi RST369 (Now discontinued, but $39.99 on Aliexpress)
  • REV’IT Summit H20 (RRP of $134.99 on Bike Bandit, $49.99 on Aliexpress)

As you can see there’s a massive difference in price between what you can get on Aliexpress compared to general retail stores. So is it a case of too good to be true? Pretty much.

The RS Taichi gloves were the best out of the four. We honestly couldn’t tell the difference between them and the genuine article. And out of the four pairs of gloves we purchased, they’re the only ones we crash tested – numerous times. They held up perfectly. I have no doubt the carbon fiber palm sliders and knuckle protectors are just plastic, but nevertheless they did the job.

The next best is the REV’IT Summit H20 gloves. They look genuine, the feel genuine but for some reason they just seem off and I can’t put my finger on why. The Alpinestars S1’s looked genuine until you take a closer look. First of all they’re pleather, not leather. Secondly, you know they’re fake because the logos are in the wrong places and the holes on the wrists aren’t fully perforated.

 

Alpinestars Tech-Air Jacket – An Airbag Jacket You’ll Actually Want to Wear

Alpinestars has released details of their brand new airbag system under the Tech-Air name and it works in a way no other motorcycle jacket airbag system has worked before. Everything is integrated into the jacket – you put in on and away you go.

Up until now, there have been two different systems used for motorcycle jacket airbags available for street use. The first and cheapest was by way of a tether attached between the jacket and the motorcycle. When the rider comes off the bike, the tether is pulled out of its clamp and the airbag inflates. It’s a cumbersome system that requires the rider to attach/reattach every time they get on and off the bike, and it would’t inflate if you lowsided and remained within a short distance of the bike.

The second system was offered by Dainese which involved sensors in the jacket wirelessly communicating with a second system installed on the motorcycle.  This system had to be installed by an authorized technician and is currently only available in continental Europe (though there is one dealer in the United Kingdom). Dainese has more recently teamed up with Ducati which has the D-Air system built into some of their bikes.

But the Alpinestars solution is by far the most elegant. First of all, it can be used on any bike. There’s no requirement to tether the system to your motorcycle or have a seperate computer installed on the bike. This allows you to easily switch between bikes without re-configuring or re-initializing the the setup. The system is completely housed within the jacket and is self-contained, requiring no pre-configuration and is immediately ready for use. As a result, no sensors or equipment needs to be installed on the motorcycle and no time is needed in setting up electronic pairing between rider and/or passenger and motorcycle.

 

So, how does it work? Obviously Alpinestars are keeping things close to their chest because this is a big leap forward in the technology. But they state that they have formulated some very sophisticated software algorithms to predict the impact, ensuring the airbag is deployed before the rider hits an obstacle. Amazingly, the jacket will work both on the street and off-road and there’s no need to deactivate the system if leaving the road for off-road trails or to stop in between to change settings. Changing surfaces while adventure riding therefore presents no problem

It gets even better. The actual unit will be interchangeable with other compatible Alpinestars jackets, so theoretically you can have a jacket for winter, one for summer and even I suppose one for the track, and switch the airbag and control unit between each.  At launch they’re offering two jackets, the Valparaiso touring jacket and the Viper street jacket with more to come. The electronic unit is protected by a durable and water-resistant casing which, when worn under a compatible outer jacket, means the airbag system is fully weatherproof.

There’s a few downsides though. Like the Dainese offering, you will need to charge the control unit. It offers 25 hours battery life and one hour of charging equates to about four hours of operation. Also, if you are in a crash, you’ll need to send the jacket to Alpinestars (or a licensed dealer) to have the airbag and inflators replaced. That’s not something you’ll obviously (hopefully) need to do often, but it is a hassle. Regardless of a crash or not, the system needs to be serviced once very two years.

But given the benefits of this, that extra hassle and cost is worth the added protection. The new Tech-Air will be available in Spring 2015 with pricing yet to be disclosed and will potentially offer the first leap forward in rider protection in decades.

Who Are Investcorp? The New Owners of Dainese

Today it was announced that Lino Dainese, founder of the Italian powersport clothing manufacturer Dainese, has sold 80 per cent of the company to private equity firm Investcorp. That’s probably not great news if you’re a fan of the company, as private equity firms aren’t renowned for keeping company values or being overly altruistic in their business practices.

So who are Investcorp? Their Wikipedia entry describes them as such:

Investcorp is a manager of alternative investment products, for private and institutional clients. Its principal client base is in the six countries of the Gulf Co-operation Council, but it also has institutional clients in North America and Europe.

The company offers investments in corporate investment, real estate and hedge funds, and has arranged investments with a combined value of approximately $44 billion. It typically places the private equity of companies and real estate properties it acquires directly with investors on a deal-by-deal basis, rather than through a fund structure.

The modus operandi of Investcorp is to purchase a firm, streamline it, do whatever it can to make it more profitable and then sell it, either directly or on the stock market. Now, that doesn’t mean all bad news, but I would hardly consider it good for the end consumer. I’m certainly not anti-capitalist, but for for Investcorp to make a quick return on their investment, costs will be reduced wherever possible which will normally lead to reduced product quality.

Lino Dainese, founder and President of Dainese, said: “It was hugely important to us to find the right partner in this period of strong development for the company. I believe that Investcorp’s proven track record, global presence and network will support the Company’s continued international expansion and product innovation. I also believe that their support will enable me to refocus on my passion, driving forward technological advances in our product line and, in particular, the D-Air system.”

Given that he has sold 80% of the business for €130 million ($162.9 million), it’s fairly evident it’s more about cashing out then requiring cash funds to advance the product range. And good on him – he’s created probably the most recognized motorcycle clothing brand in existence. But unfortunately, the Dainese we all know has today been lost.

Dainese Giro ST Boots Review

Before I begin this review of the Dainese Giro ST boots, let it be said that Dainese make some great gear, of that there is no doubt.  Safety is usually amongst the best available and yet style doesn’t take a back seat.  So one would expect then that I would be writing a glowing review of the Giro ST boots.  And these boots are both safe and stylish. The trouble is, I don’t really see the point of them.

You see, the Dainese Giro ST boots are what would be described as the top offering of Dainese’s sports boot range.  But for an extra $30 or so, you can move up to a track boot (such as the Dainese TR Course), which offers more protection with no real drawbacks.  While walking around the local shopping centre with the track boot may look a bit weird, the Dainese Giro ST is hardly inconspicuous to begin with.

But let’s focus on the Dainese Giro ST first.  It provides plenty of protection around the foot, with plenty of hardened plastic on the toes, ankle and heel.  On the shin, which is very prone to impacts and injuries, there’s further reinforced plastic (or thermoplastic polyurethane).  It’s all wrapped in synthetic leather around the foot, with nylon going up the back of the calf.

A big plus for this boot is feel.  It protects your feet well, but you don’t lose any feeling through the boot – a big plus in my opinion.  There’s nothing worse than wearing big bulky boots that offer no feedback from the bike.  Using the rear brake and shifting feels natural and comfortable.

I also found the ‘break-in’ period with the boots to be minimal.  The initial tightness only lasted for a week before I hardly even noticed them.  While I wouldn’t recommend walking around in them for extended periods, they didn’t hurt for shorter walks to and from my bike.

Egress in and out of the boot is great, with a zip down the back, but additionally, Velcro bellows that allow you to adjust the size of the boot around the calf as required.  This is a great addition and is just another example of Dainese’s attention to detail.

They do look great, too.  They make the Alpinestars SMX-6 boots look cheap and outdated, while the SIDI Cobra’s look ostentatious in comparison.  Dainese always seem to be able make gear that is understated yet extremely stylish.  Just don’t try wearing them to work – they still looks like a motorcycle boot.

So, back to what I said earlier – the fact that I don’t understand the point of this boot.  If you’re on a track, a crash is likely to be high speed but without hitting any stationary objects.  On the road, it’s likely to be lower speed but with greater risk of hitting something.  Either way, you need quality foot protection.  So if it only costs an extra $30 for the TR Course, why not just go for a boot you can quite easily wear both on the street and at the track?

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the Dainese Giro ST boots.  It’s just that for the cost, I’d rather have more protection from a boot that looks very similar.