Have you been watching Dakar 2024?
The YouTube recaps have become my favourite end of day routine.
Nothing like some hot desert moto action to stoke that adventure riding fire inside on these cold, dark winter days.
Can you imagine riding like that, over terrain like that, on bikes like that for two weeks?
What an experience.
The Dakar Rally is written into the history of Adventure Spec (you can find out more about our story here).
Lyndon completes his AS gear R&D Dakar!
About 8 years ago, when the idea of manufacturing our own lightweight adventure riding gear was put on the table, we were working with Lyndon Poskitt making our Races To Places series.
When Lyndon decided he wanted to ride to South America and compete in the 2017 Dakar Rally Malle Moto class, creating a full set of gear that would provide the level of performance he needed to get to the finish line safely became our big fat ambitious clothing project goal.
Something out of our comfort zone that would propel us forward.
The very first Atacama / Mongolia gear being tested in Dakar 2017
A lot of what we make today can be traced back to that intensive period of R&D.
Researched, woven, tested and refined for Lyndon’s Dakar campaign.
This jacket needed to be extremely tough, capable of withstanding repeated crashes, provide impact and abrasion protection but also be breathable and help keep Lyndon cool in the hot desert.
We worked with our factory and fabric suppliers to develop a nylon 6-6, low snag mesh fabric.
Nylon 6-6 is an incredibly tough material, you will find injection moulded parts in your car made of it, and you may even walk over it at home in your carpet. It’s strong, durable and very abrasion resistant. Read what Wikipedia says about nylon 6-6 here.
Some typical examples of nylon 6-6 - find out more here.
We worked with a specialised mill who used nylon 6-6 to weave into an open mesh pattern creating a fabric that was virtually see through. The weave is open enough to let masses of air pass through, the nylon 6-6 is strong enough to resist tearing. A perfect combo for the main body of our lightweight adventure / rally jacket.
Virtually see through weave for massive air flow.
Extra tough abrasion zone panels.
For added abrasion protection, we use a much tighter weave 1000D Nylon 6-6 over the shoulders, elbows and hips. Whilst this is not as breathable, the heavier weight 1000 denier provides a lot more protection in the areas of the jacket that are most likely to see impact in the event of a fall. Find out more about denier ratings here.
Lyndon did have some spectacular crashes, but also managed to make it to the finish line in one piece. You can watch our documentary of his Dakar adventure here.
Lyndon's Atacama Jacket, and the Mongolia version available to buy now.
There were two major changes we made to Lyndon’s Atacama / Mongolia jacket between his Dakar campaign and the version you can buy today.
Firstly, we added internal armour pockets and Forcefield Level 2 back, shoulder and elbow armour.
Secondly, we replaced some lighter mesh fabric under the arms with the open weave nylon 6-6 used throughout the rest of the jacket.
These two changes allowed us to achieve a CE AA rating for the Mongolia / Atacama jacket which means we can sell it to you as both an off-road and road motorcycle jacket. Without this CE rating it would only be suitable for off-road use.
From monster Dakar machines...
...to the mighty CRF300L.
Built for the South American sand, tested and certified for adventure riding on the road.
The work done in that intensive pre-Dakar period set Adventure Spec on a path as a motorcycle clothing manufacturer.
We’ve learned a lot since then, but every fabric in every bit of gear we make has been considered, made, tested and improved based on our own experience of making outdoors gear for adventure motorcyclists. Our understanding of the balance between weight, performance and safety that our community strives for.
It’s certainly not been easy, but it has been worth it.
I hope you enjoy the next ten days of Dakar action!
This story was first published in our email Newsletter. Subscribe now for the most ADV email you will get all week!