We love the cool breezes and lazy days of summer, but sometime riding on 90 degree days can feel like you’re being blasted by a hair dryer!
Here’s a round-up of rider suggestions for keeping cool when riding in extreme heat.
Why Motorcycle Gear in the Summer?
When riding this summer, don’t be tempted to go without protective gear.
it sounds counter-intuitive, but in the summer, riders really need to cover up.
Why? Besides exposure to road rash, riders who ride uncovered dehydrate MORE quickly as sweat evaporates. That can cause heat exhaustion — and it’s totally unnecessary.
Keep Cool: Summer Riding Tips
There are 3 key principles when it comes to summer riding: hydration, sun burn prevention and evaporative cooling.
Sun burn prevention: Apply sunscreen to prevent sunburn. Unless you are looking to sport a “biker” tan, protect all exposed skin, especially on the backs of hands, wrists and the back of your neck.
Here are 21 rider-tested tips for keeping cooler in extreme heat:
- Wear light colored clothing.
- White helmet with vents — color matters. White actually reflects heat away from your head.
- Keep heat at bay with apparel specially designed to circulate cool water to lower an maintain core body temperature — for instance, wear a cooling vest.
- Wear breathable clothing with ventilation and quick dry fabrics — like these “transition” mesh riding suits from Olympia Motosports.
- Wet a bandana for your neck, and your T-shirt, with clean fresh water every time you stop. In the heat, it should dry out in about an hour.
Put a wet towel under a ventilated jacket to help with cooling
- Wear a reversed baseball cap with the bill as a neck shade.
- Ride with the sleeve zips open and funnel the wind up your arms.
- Terry wrist bands can bridge the gap between glove and jacket sleeve — especially if you’re only wearing a T-shirt under the jacket
- Wear goggles or ballistic shades.
A wet bandana on your neck feels great, below the collar of your jacket.
- Wear breathable, mesh, ventilated summer motorcycle gloves to maximize cooling airflow.
- Cut up a piece of sheepskin and put that on the seat, wool side out.
- Cover your seat with a white towel when you are not on your bike.
- Cover black gasoline tanks with a towel as well.
- Avoid tight clothes.
More Summer Riding Tips for Motorcycle Riders
- Prevent blisters by taking off your wristwatch.
- Park in the shade or in a covered parking structure.
- Try to stay off of oily patches on the road. They can be as slick and hot as a pancake griddle on hot pavement.
- Carry some oil just in case the bike overheats.
- Ride early and late in the day … stay inside if you can, in the midday sun.
Summer Motorcycle Gloves
We hope these 21 summer riding suggestions help to keep you cool, all summer long. Want some more tips? Check out our Summer Survival Guide.
Now, instead of calling out, “I’m melting, I’m melting” like the Wicked Witch of the West … you’ll be as cool as the Fonz, all summer long.
Any tips to add? Please leave a comment. Keep cool and ride safe!