In the Pacific Northwest, we experience mild weather for about 9 months out of the year. But summer has arrived, and whether you plan on riding in the rising temperatures of peak season or taking a trip to another warm location, you might be tempted to skip out on heavy motorcycle gear to stay cool. While enjoying the freedom your bike has to offer, your motorcycle protective gear shouldn’t be left in the dust. Riding in high temperatures or for long periods of time puts you at risk for heat exhaustion. Learn how to avoid the dangers of overheating while still protecting yourself from the elements and the risk of a collision with the tips below.
Breathable and Versatile Gear
Be on the lookout for gear that has vents or mesh. If you don’t allow air to get to your skin, you won’t be able to cool down. While looking for clothing that is breathable and has ventilation, still keep in mind that the clothing you wear should have the ultimate purpose of protecting your skin. You want to avoid mesh on areas of your body that might contact the road in the event of a motorcycle crash. If you don’t want to buy different gear for the changing seasons, find a heavy or leather jacket that has ventilation zippers.
Opt for Lighter Colors
High visibility gear pays off in more ways than one. Brightly colored clothing and motorcycle helmets not only increase the odds of other motorists seeing you, but they also absorb less light. While darker-colored leathers and black helmets may be the most popular choice, they will soak up the sun’s rays, and make you less visible to others on the road.
Sometimes it is easy to forget to drink water when you are on longer rides, but staying hydrated will also prevent you from overheating. Instead of waiting until you are thirsty and need to stop, pack water with you and drink as you go. Wearing a water bladder, or packing a cooler on your bike is easier than stopping to seek out water.
In cooler times of the year, your bike’s windshield protects you from the elements. When it’s windy and cold, you want a large screen that blocks out the elements, but in warmer months having a large windshield will prevent you from cooling off.
It’s A Fine Line is an inclusive community of motorcycle riders advocating one common mission: zero motorcycle deaths by 2030. We want to share videos and stories about motorcycle events, rides, clubs, gear, safety and training because we believe that together we can save the lives of our friends, our families and our communities.
Rode through Idaho last week. 104 degrees on US95 @ Lewiston headed to Sun Valley. Prior to ride a friend said he always adds electrolyte replacement powder to a quart of water each stop when riding hot. Amazing result for me. Improved energy and alertness. Packet supply always in my tank bag now.