Whether you ride a motorcycle for commuting, leisure, or both, I think I speak on behalf of 99% of riders when I say that drier conditions are certainly welcome! As a rider in the UK, you spend most of the year trying to stay warm and dry, and then suddenly you’re faced with trying not to get too hot come the end of Spring. That’s why we’ve put this article together to give riders a few tips on riding a motorcycle in hot weather and how to ride on a hot road.
What do you wear on a motorcycle in the summer?
So, what do you wear on a motorcycle when the temperature rises? The key is to remember that no matter how hot the weather gets, you should never forego the correct clothing. Motorcycle helmets, safety jackets and trousers, gloves and boots are all designed with safety in mind.
Motorcycle helmets have ventilation that can be opened and closed as per the conditions. If it’s hot, make sure the vents are open on your helmet. Motorcycle safety jackets, depending on make and model, can have ventilation under the arms and (in some cases) on the chest with perforated sections that can be unzipped to allow additional airflow. The same applies to one-piece leathers and motorcycle trousers.
Specific summer gear is available for riding in warmer conditions, and you can choose from an extensive collection of gear including mesh jackets, summer trousers, summer base layers, cooling vests, summer gloves and boots. All these items can be found from a variety of manufacturers including Dainese, Alpinestars, RST, Revit and more. You can aways head to the Bridge Motorcycles showroom in Exeter to find the perfect gear.
Riding a motorcycle in hot weather
When it comes to the topic of how to ride a motorbike in hot weather, you may think it’s simple; just ride it! And in all fairness, you’re not wrong. However, we’ve put together a few tips from the team at Bridge Motorcycles that will help you to beat the heat.
- Hydration is key, so make sure you carry at least one bottle of water under your seat. If you’re limited for space, a camelback is a great option. Try to stay away from too much caffeine and sugary drinks, as these can make dehydration worse.
- Make sure that you have a route planned. For long distance riding, planning your route ahead is certainly a smart idea. If you know you’re not going to be able to find water or shade on route, be prepared or consider a different option. Avoiding the hottest part of the day (11am-3pm) if you can is certainly a wise move as well.
- Preparations before you set out should include a safety check of your motorcycle. The acronyms BLT and BOLTSS relate to daily and weekly motorcycle safety checks that should be carried out. If you’re not familiar with these checks, see our top tips for safe riding on busy roads article.
- Air expands during hot weather, so it’s a good idea to check your tyre pressures before you set off. You don’t want the tyres to be overinflated as this could lead to a blowout. On the other hand, underinflated tyres can degrade more rapidly than usual on hot roads, so it’s especially important to stay safe in the summer by checking your tyres regularly. Check your motorcycle OEM handbook for information on tyre pressures.
Riding a motorcycle on a hot road
A period of rain or light shower followed by intense heat can cause tarmac to become greasy and slippery in places. Cornering at high speed is not advisable, stopping distance will be reduced and braking, as usual, should be progressive. Heat can make you a bit sluggish and cause you to have slower reactions, so reading the road and planning ahead becomes even more important.
When pulling over for a break, consider where you park the bike. Motorcycle seats, grips and ancillary parts heat up quickly in direct sunlight. It may seem obvious, but parking the motorcycle in the shade will make it much easier to get back on the bike when you’re ready to set off again!
Most important of all, relax, enjoy the ride and don’t overexert yourself.