The official start of the summer season is just weeks away. With this seasonal change comes warmer temperatures and shorter days. Of course, many motorcycle owners prefer to ride during this time of year because of the warm weather. But there are a few things you should know about summer riding to promote a safe and enjoyable experience.
You can quickly become dehydrated when riding a motorcycle on a hot summer day. What's even more alarming is that most people don't know they are dehydrated until symptoms like dizziness and headaches begin to manifest. To prevent problems such as these, it's recommended that you bring a hydration pack when riding a motorcycle during the summer. Hydration packs are refillable packs of water that you can drink while you ride, without requiring the use of your hands. It's an invaluable asset for summertime rides, keeping you cool and hydrated.
For those that use helmets, it's a good idea to wear a vented one during the summer, simply because the increased airflow allows sweat to evaporate more easily from your face and head. Vented helmets are relatively inexpensive, making them a smart investment for motorcycle riders, especially if you plan on riding during the hot summer months.
The secret to staying cool and comfortable when riding a motorcycle during the summer is wearing the right clothes. Avoid 100% cotton, wool or other “natural” fabrics and instead choose clothes that are made of a synthetic moisture-wicking material like polyester. Doing so encourages sweat to wick away from your body; thus, keeping you cool. Non-wicking clothes, on the other hand, have a tendency to absorb sweat and moisture, causing it to stick to your body.
Don't underestimate the importance of parking your motorcycle in a shaded area during the summer. The temperature difference between a shaded and non-shaded area can be as much as 15 degrees Fahrenheit; therefore, conventional wisdom should lead you to believe that parking in a shaded area will help keep your motorcycle cooler.
Some experts recommend riders plan their route to avoid low-elevation roads. Why is this important? Well, elevation affects temperature, meaning it's cooler to ride in higher elevations than lower elevations. This isn't always an option, but if given the choice, choose a higher elevation route when riding your motorcycle during the summer. But remember the higher the elevation, the stronger the sun's UV rays.
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