How to Stay Cool Riding a Motorcycle in the Summer

Jun 3, 2024


motorcycle driving towards sun on empty road How to Stay Cool Riding a Motorcycle in the Summer

Riding a motorcycle during the hot summer months brings unique challenges. The combination of heat, humidity, and gear can make even a short trip uncomfortable. BUT- you can beat the heat and enjoy your ride with the right strategies and gear. Here are effective tips to help you stay cool while riding your motorcycle in hot weather.

Choose the Right Hot Weather Gear

The right clothing can significantly affect how you handle the heat. Opt for motorcycle gear specifically designed for summer riding:

  • Light-Colored and Breathable Clothing: Light colors reflect sunlight, reducing heat absorption. Breathable fabrics like mesh allow air to circulate, cooling the body.
  • Cooling Vests and Neck Wraps: These accessories can significantly reduce body temperature. Cooling vests work by evaporative cooling, while neck wraps keep the blood flow to your head cool, providing a refreshing effect.

Hydration is Key

Staying hydrated is the key when riding in hot weather. Dehydration can occur quickly and impair your ability to ride safely.

  • Hydration Packs: Wearing a hydration backpack allows you to drink water without stopping, keeping you hydrated and focused​.
  • Electrolyte Replenishment: Alongside water, it’s important to replenish electrolytes lost through sweat with sports drinks or coconut water​.

Plan Your Ride Times

To make the most of your motorcycle rides during the hot summer months, avoid the midday heat. Planning your early morning or late evening rides can significantly enhance your comfort and safety, as temperatures are generally cooler and more bearable during these times. This strategy helps avoid peak heat and reduces the risk of heat-related stress and fatigue, making your ride more enjoyable and safer.

Regular breaks on longer rides are essential, especially when traveling in high temperatures. Frequent stops allow you to rest in the shade, rehydrate, and cool down. These breaks are crucial for maintaining hydration and preventing overheating, which can lead to heat exhaustion or even heatstroke. By planning ahead to include rest periods in cooler, shaded areas, you can significantly improve your overall riding experience and ensure you stay healthy and refreshed throughout your journey.

Wondering how hot is TOO hot for riding? Visit our blog

Sun Protection

Protecting your skin from the sun is vital to prevent sunburn and heat stroke.

  • Sunscreen: Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen to all exposed areas of skin and reapply as necessary during your ride.
  • Protective Clothing: Full coverage clothing, a full-face helmet with UV protection, and gloves help protect against UV rays and prevent sunburn​.

Maintain Your Bike

A well-maintained motorcycle is less likely to suffer from performance issues due to heat. Keep both YOU and YOUR BIKE cool this summer. 

  • Check Fluids: Ensure your motorcycle’s coolant and oil levels are adequate to prevent overheating​.
  • Inspect Tires: Hot weather can affect tire pressure and tread. Check these before each ride for safety​.

The Risk of Overheating.

Heat exposure is a significant risk factor for motorcycle riders, especially during the summer months. Statistics from the CDC show that heat can exacerbate chronic medical conditions like hypertension and heart disease, increasing the risk of heat-related illnesses or even death for those exposed to extreme heat. Medications for these conditions can also impair the body's ability to manage heat stress. Furthermore, substances like alcohol or drugs can enhance susceptibility to heat-related complications​.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notes that heat is the leading weather-related killer in the United States, emphasizing that most heat-related deaths are preventable with proper intervention and preparedness. Trends suggest that extreme heat events have become more frequent and intense over the decades, and this pattern is expected to continue, increasing the risk of heat-related deaths. Particularly vulnerable groups include the elderly, children, and those with pre-existing health conditions.

Motorcycle riders need to understand these risks and take proactive measures to avoid heat-related health issues. This includes wearing appropriate gear, staying hydrated, avoiding riding during the hottest parts of the day, and being aware of heat exhaustion and stroke symptoms. By taking these steps, riders can help safeguard their health while enjoying rides during the hot summer months.

man holding water bottle with bike in background How to Stay Cool Riding a Motorcycle in the Summer

Tips for Renting a Motorcycle with Riders Share in Hot & Humid Weather

When renting a motorcycle with Riders Share during hot and humid weather, it's important to prepare adequately to ensure a comfortable and safe experience. Here are some essential tips to consider:

  1. Choose the Right Bike: Opt for a motorcycle that suits your comfort and experience level. Consider models with better airflow around the engine to prevent overheating in hot weather. Some bikes are also equipped with features like windshields and fairings that can offer some protection from the heat.
  2. Inspect the Motorcycle: Before you embark on your journey, thoroughly inspect the motorcycle. Check the coolant and oil levels, tire pressures, and overall condition of the bike. Ensure that the motorcycle is well-maintained and ready to handle the heat.
  3. Wear Appropriate Gear: Invest in the right gear. Lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking clothing is ideal. Mesh jackets, pants, vented helmets, and perforated gloves can help manage the heat and keep you cool.
  4. Stay Hydrated: Carry a hydration pack or water bottles and drink regularly. Staying hydrated is crucial in hot and humid conditions to prevent heat exhaustion.
  5. Plan Your Route and Timing: Avoid riding during the hottest parts of the day. Early morning or late evening rides are preferable when the temperatures are cooler. Plan routes with shaded areas and regular stops to rest and cool down.
  6. Use Sun Protection: Apply a high-SPF sunscreen to exposed skin areas and wear UV-protective sunglasses. This will help protect against sunburn and the glare of the sun, which can be particularly intense during summer.
  7. Check Weather and Heat Advisories: Check the local weather forecast and any heat advisories before setting out. This will help you plan your trip better and avoid extreme conditions.

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