TRIP TO DAINESE

I’ve just signed a deal with Dainese now. It took a long while and I didn’t think it was going to come off, but I’m glad it did. They’re a good company to be involved with.Within days of confirmation I flew out to Italy to be measured up.

Their place is in Molvena, in the middle of nowhere.It’s like driving to Kirmington, you’ve got to be heading there. The R&D department is on one side of the road and the production line’s on the other side. The production line is for made-to-measure and prototype stuff. Most off-the-peg stuff is made elsewhere.

Silvano, the same fella that measures Rossi up, measured me.What are the chances of that? What a bloke. He asked what size off-the-peg I wear and gave me some to try on. Then he asked me to get into a racing crouch and pinched the leathers and made notes in a pad. He didn’t use a tape measure or anything, just measured by eye and hand. He asked me loads of questions about how I liked my cuffs and which back protector I preferred. All sorts.

An hour down the road in Vicenza is Dainese’s CNC-controlled Bladerunner-style warehouse building. They have a private museum there full of everyone’s leathers, from Ago and Sheene onwards. They have Nico Vouilloz Rotwild mountain bike and Troy Corser’s Power Horse Ducati from when he won his first world championship.

Unfortunately it’s not open to the public. It’s for dealers from around the world to visit to order the next season’s designs.For the opening of the building they had Ago come and do a burn-out in the car park. Then they dug up the tarmac and put it on the wall as art.