If you live in the south - "riding season" isn't a thing, and you can ride your motorcycle year-round. In northern states, however, your time has come to rev up that engine and soak up all the vitamin D you've been craving. But, after many months of cold weather, it's easy for us to forget just how hot it can get and what risks are associated with overheating.
Follow these tips to stay cool while riding motorcycles in the heat this summer:
- Stay fully covered. Resist the urge to shed your riding jacket for your t-shirt. Remaining fully covered will prevent you from getting sunburned or losing too much moisture from your skin as sweat quickly evaporates in the wind.
- Wear the appropriate summer motorcycle gear. Opt for a mesh motorcycle jacket and pants that are well ventilated to provide airflow and protection. Be sure to select bright colors so you stand out in traffic.
- Wear a cooling vest. These vests will help maintain your core body temperature by soaking up water and then releasing it over time to help release any excess body heat. There are different types of jackets on the market with different price points, so be sure to do your research before deciding on the right one for you.
- Opt for a full-face and well-ventilated helmet in a light color. If you want to go high-tech, air-conditioned helmets are also available.
- Hydrate! Water is the key to successful summer riding. Make regular stops to drink water and bring extra with you. You can also wear a hydration backpack and sip water from it in frequent intervals.
- Avoid caffeine and sweet beverages like juice or soda. Of course, steer clear of alcohol. Water is the best riding buddy you can have during hot weather.
- Use a cool wrap that you've soaked in water and place around your neck.
- Choose your time wisely. Avoid riding during the hottest times of the day and go for a cool morning trip or early evening excursion.
- Take regular breaks, not only for hydration, but also to eat and keep your energy up. If you feel yourself getting tired, it's definitely time for a breather.
- Watch for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Symptoms include: fatigue, dizziness, headaches, disorientation, cramps, nausea or heavy sweating. If you're experiencing any of those symptoms, get off the road immediately and seek medical attention.
Follow these tips and enjoy your adventures in the summer sun.