The Rider Nation Blog
Motorcycle Riding in Summer: How to Ride Cool in Hot Weather
There’s nothing quite like a ride in the summer, the warm sun balancing out the breeze of the open road. Of course, that isn’t to say that you don’t need to be mindful of just how warm that sun is, and how well you’re equipped to actually ride.
Let’s dive into a few ways you can feel as cool as you look out on the road.
Cover Up with the Right Gear
When it comes to riding your motorcycle, you need to balance protection with comfort. While it may sound odd—usually, the logic is to remove layers to keep cool—you want to make sure that you keep covered up while riding. Not only will this help you to stay hydrated and protect you from sunburn, but it can also actually help you to stay cool.
Sweat-wicking clothing, layered under your protective outer gear, can help keep you cool as well, with your outer gear properly ventilated to allow the heat to escape—or closed, to prevent too much dehydration. There are tons of warm-weather options in terms of gear, so it is a worthwhile investment to make.
Keep Grime Off Your Bike
Motorcycles generate heat as they run—no surprises there—so it helps to keep yours as clean as possible to help this heat dissipate. Keeping your radiator, oil cleaner, cooling fins, and fluids maintained will allow you to minimize heat buildup.
Dehydration can quickly become dangerous, particularly when you’re actively controlling a several-hundred-pound vehicle. We’ve already discussed how sweat is a component of the body’s natural cooling process. In order for you to sweat safely, you need to have the moisture to sweat out. Drinking water or some electrolyte-fortified beverage is crucial to remaining ride-ready, and you’d be surprised at how much water you should be drinking to remain hydrated.
Pure water (or something really close to it) is the best option to stay hydrated. Things with caffeine—or (although this shouldn’t be a factor) alcohol—are diuretics, which encourage you to “go” more and thereby lead to more water loss.
Avoid Peak Temperature Times
Generally speaking, the day is its hottest between noon and five o’clock. Riding outside of these times, early in the morning or later in the evening, can help minimize heat issues. Spending more time in these temperatures also helps you get used to such conditions by building up your tolerance, and regularly taking rest and water breaks will help you to stay safer and in a better state to ride.
Watch the Road
It’s simple science: hot sun + asphalt road = hot road. However, it is important to remember that the whole road isn’t all asphalt—cracks are often filled with tar, which tends to get soft, slippery, and/or sticky when heated. So, be extremely careful when driving over these “road snakes,” as they’re called, or you might find yourself taking a spill.
We hope that these tips help keep you cool while out on the road. Safe travels!