Things to think about when you’re riding your motorcycle in the sizzling heat of summer.Weather conditions can make all the difference to enjoying a motorcycle ride-or not. Few people venture out during the wintertime, depending on the climate, but spring and summer normally offer the best riding conditions for man and machine alike.
However, in some climates (typically the southern states of the US) the weather can be too hot for riding during the summer months, unless you are prepared.
Luckily, manufacturers realized there was a market for specialist clothing to keep riders cooler during summer rides. But there are a number of other things a rider can do to keep cool.
Hot Weather Riding Route
The majority of classic bike owners will ride their motorcycles for pleasure only, so their choice of route is more open than for someone who uses their bike to commute. In the US, freeways make journeys much quicker, but they tend to involve a lot of direct sunlight. Things to consider:
• Shade: A tree lined country road can be many degrees cooler than a freeway. Not only do country roads offer better protection from the sun, they have the added benefit of being more fun to ride, with lots of great curves and hills.
• Stop Lights: Routes that include many stop lights should be avoided too. Not only will the engine get hot very quickly (air or water-cooled engines will both suffer), but the heat from both the road and the engine will rise to make the rider very hot!
• Traffic jams and road repair: Road repair can result in backed up traffic and should be avoided at all costs. Check before riding to make sure no road construction is taking place on your planned route.
If you should get stuck in backed up traffic unexpectedly, it is best to switch off the engine if you are likely to be there for any appreciable length of time. This is particularly important for air-cooled bikes.
Things to Take in Hot Weather
There are occasions though that riding across barren desert roads may be called for (in Arizona for instance). Trips like this should be planned with safety in mind.
• Cell phone: Make sure your phone is charged before you go. However, remember that if the bike should break down in the middle of nowhere, there is no guarantee that you will have cell phone reception or that someone will see you and help. Therefore, you should bring items to keep you safe.
• Water bottle: The rider must always take enough water to last at least half a day, and it is always good practice to let someone know when and where you are going.
• Umbrella: Another item that is worth its weight in gold should you break down in hot weather is a folding umbrella. Although we all associate umbrellas with rain protection, they do have a duel role of offering shade in hot weather.
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