Every sport bike rider could use a set of leathers in the closet. They’re required for track days and nothing protects better on a canyon ride. The choices are endless, ranging from several brands of pre-made suits to custom one-off suits based on your design and measurements. There are even 1 and 2 piece varieties, though 2 piece suits are less common. I chose what many consider the best off-the-rack 2 piece suit available, the 2010 Dainese Laguna Seca 2 piece. It happened to fit me pretty well, much better than my old Alpinestars suit, and I like 2 piece suits because I can easily remove the jacket when I stop to eat on a canyon ride. Now that I’ve worn it at a track day and on a few rides, it’s review time.
What I like:
- If you’re like me and have a thin or athletic build (i.e. your chest size is a good deal bigger than your waist), Dainese suits will fit you well. The suit makes my butt look so good it’s ridiculous. On the contrary, Alpinestars tends to make their suits with more room in the middle to better fit those carrying a little more weight in the gut area. The Dainese fits my particular body type much better, especially the pants.
- The leather feels softer and nicer than that of entry level suits. That doesn’t mean it’s more protective, but it’s definitely more supple and nicer to the touch.
- It’s perforated everywhere. I’ve never seen a suit with this much airflow. Even the pants are perforated. Good stuff. You can get a non-perforated model if you live in a cooler climate though.
- Stretch panels are used in all the right places, even the elbows.
- The suit can be worn with Dainese’s “in” style boots or traditional “out” style boots from other makers (more detail on that below).
- The back logo has more reflective material than the 2009 model, the back of the elbows have reflective panels and so do the sides of the lower legs.
- The inside jacket pocket is well made and integrated into the liner. For comparison, the inside pocket on my Alpinestars suit was just sewn on and eventually tore apart.
- The zipper pull tab is one continuous piece and won’t break. My Alpinestars suit had a pull tab that was attached via a bent loop (imagine a straight piece of metal bent into a circle but not welded together) which eventually broke, leaving me with a small nub that was really hard to hold while trying to zip/unzip.
- The craftsmanship just has that superior feel. I’m not a tailor or textile specialist, but when you pick up the suit for inspection it just looks and feels like it’s put together better than the entry level suits.
- “Nice suit, man!”
What I don’t like:
- Maybe the design has something to do with comfort, but I wish the calf zipper was on the inside of my leg instead of the back. It’s harder to zip from the back.
- It’s normal for leather in the pants to take a while to break in, but the knees were really stiff. I actually got a lot of abrasion on my knees the first three or so rides. Zipping the pants over my boots was really tough at first too (not an issue if you go with “out” style boots though).
- It’s $1200.
- Man, why did I get white. I’m forever cleaning off bugs.
One great feature of Dainese motorcycle leathers is the ability to use their “in” style boots or traditional race boots that go around the outside of the leathers. The in boots, such as the Torque In or Axial Race New, go underneath the bottom of the pant legs and are held in place by velcro. A second zipper opens up a stretch panel so the leg bottom will fit around the boots. The zipper can be zipped shut if you’re going to use traditional style boots that go around the outside of the leathers.
If you want one of the best 2 piece suits available and have the right build (and the dough), this might be it. It feels great, looks great and has the appearance of a well made product.