With Britain set for at least another week of scorching temperatures, we thought we’d put together a list of ten essential items for bikers in hot weather. There’s nothing better than a long ride in the beaming sunshine, but you need to ensure your own comfort and stay as safe as possible too.
This is an obvious one as most people know that white or light coloured clothing will not absorb heat as well as dark colours, therefore if you can find white motorcycle gear, that would be a bonus.
It sounds obvious but not enough bikers recognise the importance of stopping regularly, every 30 minutes or so in temperatures like we have had recently, and getting a cold drink.
Leather is generally cooler than synthetic fabrics, so opt for this in the summer months. There is also a wide variety of lightweight leathers specifically designed for hot weather. The hot weather is no excuse to leave your protective gear at home!
Pretty much every kind of protective gear you can buy comes in a ventilated version for the summer months. You can get jackets, suits, pants, helmets, gloves, boots and anything else you can think of with zip-up vents built in for your comfort, so use them! The more comfortable you are on your bike, the more likely you are to stay alert and safe.
This may sound like a bit of an odd one, and is probably not a great idea if you have long hair and are on your way somewhere important, but if you have shorter hair and a bit of water won’t ruin your style, wet your hair under your helmet and it should keep you cool for at least the first 30 minutes of your journey. Even if your hair dries quickly, don’t worry about overheating because no more than 10% body heat escapes from your head, so a helmet is safe in hot weather.
There is such a thing as an air conditioned jacket which you can buy in the UK. These jackets hold battery operated fans which blow cold air around your body keeping you cool. Certain companies make specialised protective jackets for bikers.
Windshields are obviously there for aerodynamic reasons and also to protect the rider from cold winds in the winter (among other things), but in the summer you can invest in a shorter windshield or an adjustable one to use all year round.
Snoods or bandannas are a great accessory for bikers in the winter as they help keep you warm, but they can also come in handy in the summer for that small part of you exposed to the sun. Wearing a snood or a bandanna will keep the rays off your neck, but if you wet it too with cold water then it will also keep you cool.
Remember, hot weather is no excuse to abandon safety, so ensure that you always wear the appropriate gear for riding and stay safe!