Riders often ask what to wear when riding a motorcycle in blistering summer heat. It is deemed irresponsible to wear shorts and flip-flops when riding a bike, but many people say that this is better than sweating to death in your leather pants and jackets. Of course, safety should always be your primary concern, whether you are riding a motorcycle in summer or frosty winter.
But there is a problem: riders hate to wear a lot of gear when the weather gets toasty. And who can blame them? When the weather gets hot and humid, you will inevitably sweat like a pig under your fashionable leather jacket, so you need to wear something that is light and breathable yet offers the same amount of protection from cuts, scrapes, and road rash.
Sweat is your best friend and worst enemy
When the air temperature is presumably greater than your skin temperature, your sweat will help keep your body cool.
Sweating is the body’s natural response to excess heat. When riding a motorcycle in the summer, sweat is your best friend, especially when you’re riding in gridlock traffic or if you’re waiting for the stoplight to turn green.
However, there is a downside to all of this. Sweaty clothes and riding gear are extremely uncomfortable, and your gear will begin to smell like a heap of rotting carcass not long after you depart.
When riding in extremely hot and humid conditions, your riding gear should be made from lightweight and moisture-wicking materials to help keep you cool, even when the going gets tougher and hotter.
You need hot weather motorcycle gear to help keep your cool
In order to keep your cool while riding a motorcycle in hot weather, you need the right kind of gear. Here are some of the things that you can wear if you are planning to hit the open road in the middle of summer:
The Oxford Comfy is made from a technical fabric dubbed ‘Coolmax’. This fabric is lightweight and has superior moisture wicking properties so your head and neck will remain cool.
Wearing a moisture-wicking and breathable fabric will enhance the removal of moisture from your skin, which will keep you comfortable and cool even when riding directly under the sun.
When your body releases sweat, the liquid will vaporize into the air, which effectively absorbs the heat from the skin. As cool air comes into contact with your skin, the process of convection will transfer your body heat to the surrounding cool air.
This is the importance of a head and neck wear with supreme moisture-wicking properties like the Oxford Comfy Coolmax. It will rapidly remove moisture from your skin so you can enjoy riding your bike even in warmer climates.
This is better than wearing a soaked bandana on your neck.
It’s true that Kevlar-reinforced motorcycle jeans are a bit warmer than your trusted pair of denim pants, but the HB Motorcycle Kevlar Riding Jeans allows more air to enter the body, specifically on your legs and thighs.
This pair of Kevlar jeans even comes with removable protectors for the hips and the knees. This pair is made from 14 oz. denim jeans with double-stitched Kevlar and cotton lining. Extra Kevlar is utilized on the hip, thigh, and knee area to provide maximum protection.
When the going gets tough, it pays to wear an evaporative cooling vest like the Ergodyne Chill. Simply soak the vest in cold water for 2 to 5 minutes and wear it like a normal vest.
The activated polymer-embedded fabric will remain hydrated for up to 4 hours so you can ride in supreme comfort.
The Ergodyne Chill Evaporative Cooling Vest is a much better alternative than soaking your cotton t-shirt with water. Cotton doesn’t retain much water, and it enables the water molecules to evaporate quickly.
This cooling vest is not only good for riding in the summer because it is also perfect for construction workers working under the sun or for professionals in the line of duty.
You should invest on a good pair of cooling vests if you are planning to ride your motorcycle in the summer. This will not only keep you cool, but it will also help fight fatigue so you can ride harder for longer, even in extremely hot and humid climates.
Summer Riding Tips
1. Keep yourself hydrated. Wearing the right gear is good, but you should always keep yourself hydrated. You can wear a camelback on longer rides so you can readily sip water without stopping your bike.
It is also a good idea to carry an extra bottle of water, especially if you are planning to ride cross-country. There is no substitute for H20!
2. Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated drinks. When riding a motorcycle in summer, you should avoid drinking sugary drinks like juice and soda. It is also best to avoid caffeinated or alcoholic drinks.
Downing a bottle of cold beer might feel refreshing at first, but alcohol and coffee will increase the urge to urinate due to their diuretic properties, which means your body will lose a lot more water.
3. Watch out for signs of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Your body can only take too much heat. The early warning signs of heat stroke are nausea, cramps, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, flushed or pale skin, and heavy sweating.
Fatigue is your number one enemy when riding in extreme heat. This is the reason why you should invest on summer motorcycle gear so you can keep your composure even when you are constantly exposed to the sun.
You can easily overcome fatigue and prevent heat stress by drinking plenty of water. Don’t wait until you’re extremely thirsty before drinking water! Your body is losing a lot of water as you sweat, so you should do your best to replenish lost fluids before fatigue sets in.
If you feel any symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion while riding, you should pull over and rehydrate as soon as possible. It is also a good idea to take a rest until your body recovers from dehydration.
Do not ride your bike when you feel weak, groggy, or disoriented!
Summer Motorcycle Maintenance Tips
Here are a couple of tips to keep your bike happy during the summer.
- Inspect the tire pressure, brake hoses, fluid levels, lights, and the kickstand daily, preferably before starting your bike in the morning. It is always a good idea to check the tire pressure when the tires are cold. Never ride with overinflated or underinflated tires.
- Wash and wax your bike at least once a week. This will not only preserve the value of your bike, but periodic washing will help you get up close and personal with your ride, making it easy to detect minor flaws that might become a huge headache later on. Prevention is the best cure.
- Take time to check the condition and the tension of your motorcycle chain at least once a week. Don’t forget to lubricate the chain and the sprockets while you’re at it. If the tension is a bit loose, you should adjust the tension accordingly. Check the service manual of your bike to determine the right chain tension.
- Check the oil level weekly. If you ride your motorcycle every day, it is best to check the oil level daily. If the motor is low on oil, you should top it up to the proper oil level. Your engine will work harder in extreme summer heat, and this means that the motor will usually consume more oil as it churns and grinds in 90 degree heat.
- Check the condition of the spark plugs and the air filter at least once a month. Replace when necessary. It is better to always err on the safe side rather than risk the possibility of a major breakdown.
- Check the condition of the battery at least once a month. If you find cracks, leaks, or dents on the battery case, it is time to replace the battery.
When riding a motorcycle in the summer, it is essential that you equip yourself with the right gear so you will remain comfortable even after hours of baking under the hot sun.
No matter how hot the weather gets, you should resist the urge to wear shorts and flip-flops when riding your bike, even for short distances. Accidents can happen without warning, and you don’t want to find yourself scraping the pavement wearing nothing but shorts.
Always check the mechanical integrity of your bike before riding in the open sun. As if riding in hot weather is not tough enough, you don’t want your bike breaking down in a scorching hot afternoon.