An Armour for the Dakar

December 29, 2011
Courtesy of Presna MRW Dakar
Helping to keep the head protected during the Dakar Rally is Marc Comas helmet
Marc Coma will be wearing protection from head to toe during the Dakar Rally in 2012 to help get him through the desert.

To face 9,000 kilometers of dunes tracks and mountains with a motorcycle and at the fastest speed possible is not an easy task. That is the next challenge that will face the most successful Spanish rider in the history of raids, Marc Coma. The rider from Avià will compete from next January 1st and with MRW colors in his tenth Dakar. But to achieve his fourth triumph in the toughest rally in the planet first you need to take precautions, because the race requires armor in good condition.
The 2012 follows a diagonal line from Mar del Plata (Argentina) to Lima (Perú) —with one rest day in Chile—, that will require from all participants an extreme effort alone. With the only company of his KTM 450 Rally, Marc Coma will face one more year the dangers of the desert and the toughness of the mountains. To reduce to the max the risk of injuries, the MRW rider will be equipped with all kinds of protections, more suitable to a gladiator than an athlete: helmet, knee guards, boots, cuirass…
Nevertheless, the first essential element for any motorcyclist is the helmet. Full-face, resistant but light and properly approved for competition, is complemented by the goggles, with interchangeable screen, to face the sun or eventual scratches. One of the latest novelties in safety is the cervical protection, which surrounds the neck. Used for the last few years, it is a very important step in the prevention of spinal injuries.
The high temperatures suffered by all the participants in South American soil are no excuse not to take all precautions. Marc Coma knows the risk of the deserts and tracks of the Dakar. A simple stone or an unexpected bump can derail the expectations of the riders in such a demanding rally. That is why the rider from Avià covers his torso with a cuirass that has protections in chest, back, shoulders and elbows. Over it, a jacket with the MRW colors offers the rider many pockets to carry documents and energy supplies, and zippers to allow ventilation, or not. On the other hand, the gloves of a Dakar motorcycle rider combine maximum comfort with the highest possible sensitivity in both hands.
For the lower limbs there are two essential elements to face the rally route with the adequate protection. The knee guards that safeguard the bones and the joint ligaments, and a rigid and adjustable boots, that protect the ankles and part of the legs.
Though there are many safety measures that can be taken before facing the Dakar, the best precaution is the talent of the rider. The technique, common sense, maturity and the control of the bike are characteristics that perfectly describe a rider like Marc Coma, who will try to achieve in Lima the fourth Dakar win of his sporting career.