Tips to stay cool on hot motorcycle rides

Tips & Tricks

Nordcode - Tips to stay cool on hot motorcycle rides

Summer is here and you can’t wait for your next motorcycle adventure. The sun on your face, the fresh breeze of wind and those long, open roads just waiting to be explored.
The extreme heat can take its toll on even the hardest of bodies, but with the right planning and knowledge, you can be two steps ahead of the sun's rays. These tips should help keep sweating to a minimum so you can forget the heat and enjoy the ride.

#1: Always stay hydrated
#1: Always stay hydrated

Hydration is the key to summer riding. It's your number one priority and the difference between a smooth ride or a long day of suffering.
Small, frequent sips are the best way to keep yourself topped up. You never want to go too long between drinks, because once the effects of dehydration hit you it can be incredibly hard to reverse the effects.

#2: The right gear for riding on a hot day
#2: The right gear for riding on a hot day

There's a huge range of summer motorcycle gear made to fight the heat.
A motorcycle helmet should have vent holes on the front or top, so open them up for some air flow.
Mesh jackets are strictly made for warm weather and designed to maximise air flow. Riding pants also come in a few different materials. Like jackets, they also come in mesh. Motorcycle Jeans made from strong, lightweight material are a fashionable alternative that won't skimp on protection.
Likewise, a good pair of gloves with mesh will increase breathability on your hands and reduce sweat, whenever you’re riding on a hot day.

#3: Sunscreen
#3: Sunscreen

Good old sunscreen is still the best way to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Make sure to grab something with a high SPF factor, apply anywhere your skin isn't covered by clothing and don't forget the neck.

#4: Avoid alcohol, added sugars and caffeine

Aside from the obvious drink/driving implications, alcohol is known to accelerate dehydration. Even drinking after a ride can rob you of hydration and contribute to a hangover the next day.
Caffeine's relationship with hydration is still a matter of debate but try to avoid it if possible. What's not debatable is that sugary drinks inhibit the body from absorbing water. So no matter how much you feel like smashing a can of coke, the effect is temporary and will hurt you in the long run.

#5: Make good food choices

If you're planning a ride in hot weather, it's better to go for a light breakfast. You might be the kind of person who loves to load up in the morning, but meals packed with protein and carbs need much more water to break down in your stomach.

#6: Make frequent stops
#6: Make frequent stops

As a rule, try to take a break every hour. The rest will help reduce your body heat and fight fatigue from hitting you later in the day. 
Try to find a resting place in the shade to let your body cool and prevent the onset of heat stress. Keep the breaks to about 10-15 minutes and you should feel a whole lot better.
If you don't feel like you need a rest after an hour of riding that's absolutely fine. Ride your own ride. But once you hit two hours then it's highly recommended that you stop and cool off.

#7: Avoid riding during the hottest part of the day

You won't always have the luxury of choice but, if possible, try to avoid riding between midday and 5 p.m. This is the hottest time of the day and where the dangers of heat stroke and heat exhaustion are at their highest.

#8: Stay away from air conditioning

This might seem counterproductive, but sudden swings in your core temperature are going to cause some problems. It can lead to a cold and make you feel about 5x hotter once you leave the safety of the air con to face the sun again.

#9: Watch the road ahead
#9: Watch the road ahead

The hot, dry summer months can create unique hazards for riders. Road grime like grease, oil, and tyre rubber are normally washed away with rain, but if it hasn't rained for a while then the sudden exposure to eventual rainfall can create a slippery surface.

#10: Plan your riding route ahead of time

Know the weather forecast and your general route well in advance. Finding out the exact temperature you'll be riding in and how often you'll be able to restock at shops will make your packing decisions a whole lot easier.

#11: Watch your motorcycle oil

A motorcycle's oil is at risk of overheating in extreme heat. It's important to check the state of your engine and know if action needs to be taken well before the situation reaches a crisis point.

#12: Don't take off your motorcycle gear

As the day heats up the temptation to ditch some gear will increase. It won't necessarily be something big like your helmet or jacket, but something small like your gloves because your hands are getting sweaty.
Every piece of riding gear is there for a reason. If you make contact with the ground your natural instinct will be to stick your hands out. That's bad news if you took your gloves off 40 minutes ago.

#11: Watch your motorcycle oil


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