In order to test gear, you have to find the most suitable conditions and what a better place to test it than Iceland, with some of the best riding conditions possible, both on and off-road along with the otherworldly scenery, it certainly lived up to expectations.
As an Ambassador for Dainese and AGV, I was invited along to test the gear. Having used the previous generation Dainese Explorer collection on my world trip and put it through some monstrous conditions, I was excited to see how the new gear faced the challenge of Iceland and what had changed.
Let’s start with an overview of the trip and where we were testing the gear and then check out the gear itself.
We took a tortuous and fascinating route across Thingvellir National Park, between two points of the so-called Golden Circle. Starting from Reykjavik, across Gullfoss –the queen of Icelandic waterfalls – we headed to the majestic geysers of the Geysir geothermal area, arriving at Hrauneyjar. Along the way, amazing roads, mountains, mighty rivers and the beauty of unspoiled nature.
After watching the above video and seeing that the new collection was developed with spacesuit technology, I couldn't have been more excited. Alongside my passion for bikes, I also have a fascination for space, so I was pretty stoked to be trying out this space-riding outfit.
I had high expectations after that cinematic trailer, and after researching the lines of non-extension a bit more, I was expecting the outfit to be the most advanced riding gear ever. I enjoyed the original collection, due to all the layers, customisation, features and safety aspect... It is one hell of a riding set and managed to keep me safe through all kinds of scenarios, so it would be difficult to top, but the new gear didn’t disappoint
THE GRAN TURISMO OUTFIT
The Gran Turismo Gore-Tex is the most sophisticated Dainese road touring outfit. Thanks to the study of the lines of non-extension in the human body, it offers maximum comfort, protection and practicality on long-range journeys, whatever the climatic conditions. Explore infinite routes. The roads are never long enough.
Below is the whole collection I was wearing while in Iceland, I was testing out the road touring version, which is the less adventure driven of the two outfits, but even then, this was more than capable of the most extreme conditions!
If I were to compare this to the previous generation explorer collection, I would say this is on a whole different level and much more refined.
Lots of the old features have been significantly improved upon, and then there is a whole new set of very innovative features. I didn't know what I was missing until I had used the outfit for a week and would be disappointed if I didn't have these on any of my future gear.
Firstly this outfit is damn comfy. They aren't kidding when they say it has fancy spacesuit technology inside of it. It's quite a weird feeling, although you can see that it is some substantial piece of kit, when I was wearing it, it felt very light even with all the layers on. It also provided a lot of flexibility, to the point that if I were standing on the bike, it wouldn't feel any different to if I was sitting, so I was extremely comfortable to change riding positions, and I felt very relaxed and comfortable while riding the challenging and twisty roads.
- Armacor® fabric with aramid fiber inserts on high impact areas
- Nylon 6.6 high abrasion resistance fabric
- Pocket for Double Chest protector
- Pro-Armor back protector certified to EN 1621.1 Lev.2 included
- Removable composite protectors certified to EN 1621.1 Standard on elbows
- Removable composite protectors certified to EN 1621.1 Standard on shoulders
The Gran Turismo doesn't look like your standard suit either. The first things you will notice are the collar, the zips on the pocket and the mesh pockets under the arms.
I love the collar on this piece of kit. It has quite a large zipper, and after that is done up, you have a cross velcro fastener. With these two layers, not much wind or cold air is going to go under your helmet. It is a robust design.
The zips on the pockets allow you to make the pockets detached from the main section. It prevents that tight feeling when you are sitting and riding, and maybe you have a few things in your pockets. By having them detached you aren't creating this sort of pressure.
The main thing that is a significant improvement is the Jacket-pants fastening system. I only actually discovered it on my old suit very late into the trip, but I found that it wasn't as adjustable and was often very tight while riding. On this suit after connecting them both, firstly you are now fully resistant to the elements, and secondly, they have fixed the adjustment, and I no longer find this suit tight – it just connects how it should.
Additional Special features:
- Neck strap adjustment
- Quick fit zip sleeves adjustments
- Removable no-wind gaiter on the sleeve bottom
The glove pockets are great. They allow you to take your gloves off with just one hand, you stick your hand under your arm and can pull them out, this is awesome for those times when you need to pull out your phone or wallet in a hurry. You don’t have to come to a full stop to fiddle around and balance your glove on the tank only for it to fall off or blow away.
The support is a massive change compared to other jackets I've used. The lumbar belt gives you lots of support and allows for the internals of the jacket to fit you snug while allowing the jacket itself to be comfortable and loose. Being able to adjust the jacket in this way enables the fitment to be that much more personal, instead of trying to squeeze into an odd size, you can guarantee that the jacket is always going feel right.
Thermal Fleece Liner
With most jackets, the thermal layer for the jacket looks good when it is attached to the jacket, but you could never wear that on its own, it has that mad stitching and unfinished look on the inside. The Explorer range does this a little differently. It uses a damn good looking fleece as the thermal layer, so if you're in a cold area and you’re no longer riding, you now have the option of just wearing the thermal layer as a standalone piece of equipment. It looks like a separate piece of kit, and you no longer have to carry around extra warm clothing while riding... game changer.
Other General Features
- 1 waterproof cargo pocket on back
- 2 external waterproof pockets
- 2 in 1 - Removable inner thermal fleece
- 2 inner waterproof pockets
- 3M Reflex inserts
- Front Idraflap fastener
- Innovative gloves quick access pockets
- Internal lumbar belt
- Removable thermal collar
Lots of the same things apply, made from the same high-quality materials and to the same specifications, the pants are pretty damn amazing and complete the set very well.
The main significant improvement with the new collection is the jacket fastener system and the dungaree style adjuster. The fastener works like a charm, and the higher waist means that it is very comfortable and no wind or cold is going to get inside.
The dungaree style is excellent. No longer will your biker pants feel a bit loose and move around, especially when connected to your jacket, it gives the pants much-needed support and keeps them comfortable while changing riding positions. I have no complaints about these pants combo.
The extra calf pocket is great too – it’s a convenient place to store your wallet or money while riding and due to your riding position makes it more accessible than your jacket on most occasions.
It’s probably not worth mentioning, but as you can tell, this collection is built for the most demanding riders and offers the best level of protection you can expect from Dainese. The Explorer range is made out of the best GORE-TEX®, and the full suit provides all of the different types of protection that you would need. Thankfully I didn't get a chance to test the protection on this suit, but if it's an improvement over the older D-Explorer Collection which I had a couple of falls in, I'm more than confident that this is some of the most protective gear out there, only surpassed by the Adventure spec collection.
GRAN TURISMO COLLECTION OVERALL : ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The best and most innovative all-weather road-touring gear money can buy.
I have no bad things to say about this outfit other than the price, and although it is true that I am an ambassador for Dainese and AGV, if the gear were terrible, I would say so. I had initially tried all the top kit on the market for my world trip and was in the Dainese HQ with cash to buy the original D-Explorer gear when they offered for me to become an ambassador.
It has all the latest and most significant technological advancements and design, but that does come with a price. I can see it coming down in price over the coming years when these features become more mainstream, but if you're planning on going on long distance ride and comfort, safety and reliability are essential, then this is what you buy.
If I had this on my previous trip, it would have been a whole lot easier. In the negative temperature, I felt very cosy, when riding on the motorways into powerful winds I felt safe and warm, and when I went through deep river crossings, I remained dry.