Dainese has long been a purveyor of innovative safety equipment for riders, claiming the first knee sliders in 1979, back protector in 1981, and carbon/Kevlar knuckle protection in 1995. In 2012, the Italian company made another first, becoming the first manufacturer to offer airbag protection in an off-the-rack (or custom) leather racing suit in America, the D-Air Racing. We are now seeing the third generation of D-Air technology used in the current race line-up as well as road applications available in multiple styles of jackets for both men and women.
Taking this job with Motorcycle.com has opened up an unbelievable set of opportunities for me. I’ve had the chance to ride some amazing motorcycles in some of the most awe-inspiring places. If you’d asked me when I moved from the Midwest ten years ago if I thought I would’ve had the experiences I’ve had so far, even though I’ve always been hopeful, I couldn’t have imagined just how incredible it has been. Not a day goes by, even the long ones in front of a computer, that I’m not truly grateful for this.
The thing about the Isle of Man TT is that we can’t get enough of it. Thus defines the magic of the race. There’s speed, there’s intrigue, there’s gasoline, there’s adventure – and looming not far off in the background is death. When you distill what makes the Isle of Man TT so interesting to so many of us, the essence of it all comes back to this: death looms large at the Isle and every competitor stares it right back in the face.
It’s hard to tell, but the outlook appears promising. By now, we’ve all heard that the motorcycle industry has been in somewhat of a stagnant rut over the last 10 years compared to the numbers it was enjoying during the late ‘90s and early 2000s, but I’m not here to beat a dead horse. Things are looking up. Or so it seems.
Any parent will tell you watching their children succeed brings a sense of pride that can’t be matched. But when your child is a world champion like Nicky Hayden, that sense of pride goes beyond winning a tee-ball game. Of course, succeeding at the highest level requires talent, dedication and discipline to achieve. And while you can’t teach talent, the other two traits are within the means of parents to instill in their children.
In a perfect world, we’d be able to ride any time we wanted to. Unfortunately, lots of things can interfere, like jobs or families or…seasons. So, what’s a motorcycle junkie to do? Well, there are a ton of ways to practice your love of riding without actually throwing a leg over a bike. While they may not be as viscerally appealing as riding, these activities provide their own enjoyment and can help to ease that riding jones we all get after a few days out of the saddle. Since you’re already actively engaging in the most commendable non-riding activity in the entire universe by reading MO, we’ve decided to recuse it from eligibility. It really wouldn’t be fair to the other options, now would it?