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Dainese's History and Heritage

“Providing people with head to toe protection in dynamic sports.”

This was the objective with which Dainese was founded, a mission it has pursued right from the start on racetracks around the world with help from the greatest racers. Lino Dainese, the company’s founder and president, began his adventure back in 1972 after returning from a motorcycle trip to London, where for the first time he’d admired English motorbikes and was surprised to see the suits the riders wore to be just a little more than leather sheaths without any protection at all. This was when he first noticed the need to improve motorcycle riding gear and to introduce modern, and effective methods of protection. The first step towards his vision was the creation of a pair of leather pants.

Innovation and Research

From Giacomo Agostini to Valentino Rossi and many other motorcycle champions, Dainese has played a key role in the motorcycle world by working together with the Champions on the invention of new products, the back protector, the knee slider as well as the evolution of existing products with the development, and introduction of innovative technologies and materials. Dainese was the first to use Carbon Fiber and Kevlar in protectors for gloves, boots, and suits. Dainese was the company behind the concept of “head-to-toe” protection that integrates the various components of protective motorcycle apparel and optimizes performance and weight.

Over forty years ago R&D and competition were what started everything. Dainese's products had to protect, be comfortable and reliable.

Dainese has created a range of products that meet the needs of a wide range of users that reflect those safety concerns. People who ride on the racetrack require a different combination of protection and comfort than those who commute on a scooter. The D-Tec (Dainese Technology Center) technicians transfer the knowledge and experience gathered from professional racing to the collections in which every type of rider (Racing, Touring, City) can find the most suitable product.

Transversality: Multisport Collection

The way of learning and designing used for moto has enabled Dainese to transfer its protection technologies to other sports in which the need for adequate protection is a necessity. Dainese already protects Skiers, Snowboarders, Mountain Bike riders and Equestrians with its Multisport Winter and Summer Collections. In these cases as well, professional competition and collaboration with sports' stars like Maria Riesch, Lasse Kjus, Paul Bassigoita and many other Champions have been the starting point in the development of a concept of protection shared by everyone from slalom racers to freestyle fans. Safety designed “from head to toe” is being extended to other sports in a process of “transversality”.

Italian Legendary Protection

With its acquisition of renowned helmet manufacturer AGV in 2007, Dainese combined in one group two names that wrote motorcycle history in Italy and everywhere else in the world. The strategically important operation helped Dainese increase its share of the international market in the helmet sector in a big way and create important synergies in terms of research and development, production and distribution. Today, most of the racers sponsored by Dainese wear Dainese suits and AGV helmets in emphasis of the vital importance of the head-to-toe protection concept.

“Providing people with head to toe protection in dynamic sports”. This was the objective with which Dainese was founded in 1972 by Lino Dainese. The company’s mission pursued right from the start in every new direction that makes Dainese a dynamic company in continuous innovation.

Gino Amisano from Valenza

Born in Italy in 1920 Gino Amisano, who named the company after himself and the city where he founded it, would grow AGV under his watchful eye from 1 employee and a production capacity of 5 helmets per week to over 700 hundred employees and thousands of helmets per week at its peak.

The legend begins

The AGV legend began with the introduction of its first wood and leather helmet in 1947. However, Gino Amisano saw a need for better protection for racers who used mostly leather and linen caps. AGV immediately began experimenting with new materials and construction techniques.  

This rapid development period led AGV to introduce the first modern Italian-made helmet in 1954. What was this leap forward in construction? Fiberglass! Innovations at AGV continued and 1967 saw AGV launch one of the first full face helmets outside of the US. Although many pro racers were initially skeptical, by 1971 a rider by the name of Giacomo Agostini had made the switch and the full face boom was underway.  

Building the legacy

AGV has continued to be an innovator both on and off the track over the years. Although known for his helmets, Gino was equally talented with his marketing. Gino saw the crossover appeal of other high-tech endeavors and in 1956, inspired by the dawn of the new jet age, he created the AGV “Jet” helmet.  Modeled after the helmets worn by fighter pilots, the jet was an immediate success and led AGV to other “outside the box” ventures. 

In 1958 AGV became the first company to place banners along the course during motorcycle races for its advertising.  Gino also understood the value of celebrity and getting his products seen in the hands of VIP’s.  Through the 60’s Gino was a pioneer and innovator in product placement.  From magazines to movies the AGV logo was known for being innovative and cool. In fact, when the call went out for donations to fund the first race-side medical clinic and nobody came forward, AGV made the entire twenty seven million lira donation and the AGV Mobile Clinic was born.  At the end of the first year, 178 racers were treated with a total of 1,287 medical services provided.  A smashing success of innovation that is now standard in almost all forms of motorsport.

AGV didn’t only make motorcycle helmets. AGV was at the forefront of all the exciting and dangerous sports. Through the history AGV has protected the best in many disciplines including Olympic equine, World Cup downhill skiing, World Speed Skiing records and most notably Formula 1.  Riders who have chosen AGV to protect them include: Giacomo Agostini, Barry Sheene, Kenny Roberts, Johnny Cecotto, Angel Nieto, Marco Lucchinelli, Franco Uncini, Nelson Piquet, Keke Rosberg, Niki Lauda, Emerson Fittipaldi, Randy Mamola, and Wayne Rainy, Max Biaggi, Troy Corser, Guy Martin, and Valentino Rossi.  These collaborations have brought AGV many victories and more than 130 titles.

The Doctor and Dainese

When young Valentino Rossi, the greatest rider in modern history, was ready to make the leap to the GP ranks, he knew there was only one brand he could trust with his head… AGV.  As AGV moved through the late 90’s and 2000’s, this partnership was the foundation on which AGV continued to grow, but the year 2007 would become one of the highlights in the long history of AGV. 2007 saw the acquisition of AGV by the other great and storied brand in Italian motorcycle protection… Dainese!

“The Doctor”, as Valentino Rossi is referred to, along with the contributions of many other modern greats in the AGV fleet, and the new partnership with Dainese have led to a revolution for AGV in the most recent 5 years.  Innovation is once again back at the forefront of AGV design.  Investments in new design technologies like FEM (Finite Element Method Analysis) have led to new, cutting edge helmets like the Pista GP and Corsa models.  With ongoing research at AGV into new technologies like HUD displays and Graphene based composites, AGV is poised to lead the helmet market into the future.