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Keeping COOL on a Motorcycle in Hot Weather

On some of the hottest days of the year, folks all over the country zip themselves into thick leather suits, heavy boots and jackets, before climbing on top of an even hotter engine - we must be mad!

Here’s some tips for keeping cool and staying well this summer:

 

1. Drink (water) at every opportunity! It may mean more stops at the services (if you don’t sweat it out first) but good hydration is vitally important for concentration and decision making – both of which we need in spades on the UK’s busy roads.

Fizzy drinks don’t cut it either, if you’re really sweating nothing beats water with the occasional boost of electrolytes. Pop on a camelbak with a drinking straw like the pros or pack your drink in an insulated container in the tank bag to keep it cool and refreshing.

 

2. Avoid town centre traffic if you possibly can and plan for off-peak times, to not find yourself melting like the witch of Oz at a zillion traffic lights! Why are there so many?! Not to mention the stress of it all, sitting in that kind of heat can put serious pressure on the bike’s cooling systems too so steer clear and keep to the open road.

 

3. Choose your kit wisely! Don’t be tempted to go without, if you use your bike only on hot days opt for light coloured jackets and leathers which reflect the sun better and keep you much cooler compared to black. It really does make a difference!

Also when shopping look for a decent arrangement of vents in the jacket, gloves, and helmet that you can open nice and wide to let a pleasurable breeze through to where you need it…

 

4. Bring a hat or bandana for your out-of helmet moments. After sweating all day the last thing you need when you get free of the heavy helmet is to have the hot sun beating down on your forehead causing you to squint, and likely burn! A cap or wetted bandana will keep you feeling and looking cool and is well worth chucking in the tank bag or stashing under the seat if nothing else.

 

5. Pay attention to your body and don’t be a hero. Even the best of us can become ill in heavy heat, if you find yourself feeling ‘off’ head to a shady area in the services and give yourself some attention. Take 20 mins to chug more water (you can NEVER have enough on a hot day!), eat something sustaining, and have a lay down in the shade before pushing on further. Heat stroke or exhaustion is an extremely serious medical condition that can often be avoided if we just give ourselves a few moments of care.

 

Enjoy your summer rides!

 

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Sarah is an artist and writer with a lifetime interest in camping and survival techniques.

Living the #vanlife since before it was a hashtag and touring on two wheels with her husband Ryan, they have a wealth of camping and motorcycling knowledge to share, and know a thing or two about packing light! read more


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