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How to Prevent Overheating on a Motorcycle Ride

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May might have just finished, but the importance of motorcycle safety ain’t (thank heck) – and despite Motorcycle Safety Awareness month now being behind us, we’re going into a season notorious for heatwaves…and jerks who think they can make that pass.

While sunny scoots may be welcome after such a dark winter, warmth doesn’t mean the weekend’s yoink should end in a ditch. Unfortunately, a recent report from PAHomepage shows a pattern of careless/reckless riding that can be exacerbated by high heat levels.

Apart from keeping a weather eye out for potential dangers on the road, here’s what you can do to prevent/help alleviate overheating and arrive alive:

Don’t Pull the ‘Tough’ Card​

A motorcyclist wearing a leather jacket. Photo courtesy of Twitter.
A motorcyclist wearing a leather jacket. Photo courtesy of Twitter.

We love your style – really, we do.

And while ‘riding through it’ may seem like a good idea at the time, last I checked your ego won’t help with overheating…in fact, it will probably make things worse.

Protect the peeps around you and pull over.

Know the Symptoms​

A female motorcyclist drinking while on the road. Photo courtesy of Ride to Food.
A female motorcyclist drinking while on the road. Photo courtesy of Ride to Food.

Not sure what heat exhaustion looks like?

Keep a wary eye out – confusion is right up there with the rest of the symptoms listed by the UK’s NHS:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness/confusion
  • Loss of appetite/feeling sick
  • Excessive sweating
  • Pale, clammy skin
  • Cramps in the arms/stomach/legs (not so good for the shifter)
  • Fast heart rate or breathing
  • Body temperatures showing 38C or more

Stop ASAP​

A male motorcyclist taking a break. Photo courtesy of MCN.
A male motorcyclist taking a break. Photo courtesy of MCN.

Are we wearing black leather?

Is today a day where Betty Crocker can bake a batch of brownies on the proverbial buns?

Pull off at the next exit and immediately find a way to cool down. Rider Magazine gives a bunch of tips and tricks – anything from removing your helmet to finding shade, to adding a cold, wet towel around your head.

Other ideas:

  • Remove thicker gear such as leather and any less-breathable shells
  • Walk into an air-conditioned store
  • Find an elevated area with a breeze and shade your head
  • Get away from your engine’s heat (some bikes are terrible for this, the KTM RC390 being one of them unfortunately)
  • Attend a restaurant and order a pitcher of ice water
  • Recover electrolytes with a sports drink (Gatorade, Powerade, etc.)
  • Take a dip in a cool lake, river, or swimming pool (maybe ask permission first)

Cooling Down Takes Time​

A view of a motorcycle rider experiencing beautiful topography and prepping to avoid heat exhaustion.
A view of a motorcycle rider experiencing beautiful topography and prepping to avoid heat exhaustion. Photo courtesy of Gebhardt Insurance.

Once you’re feeling better, get ready to…sit.

That’s right, don’t do anything – not yet. Make sure that your head feels ready to take on the responsibility of not wrapping your 2022 Indian Scout Rogue around the nearest Honda Civic. After all, heat exhaustion can easily turn into heat stroke – something that can potentially be fatal in and of itself, let alone when you factor a meandering motorcycle into the mix.

A male motorcyclist taking a break. Photo courtesy of the Orangeville country BMW Dealership.
A male motorcyclist taking a break. Photo courtesy of the Orangeville country BMW Dealership.

Here at wBW, we prize health and safety above all else. It’s the reason why we adhere so strongly to our ATTGAT rule (All The Gear, All The Time) – and we take pride in reminding you (and ourselves) to stay safe.

Now it’s your turn to take this blurb of goodies and pass it on. What tips and tricks do y’all have for beating the burn?

Comment down below, and as ever – stay safe on the twisties.

*Media sourced from Twitter, VisorDown, Ride to Food, Motorcycle.com, Indian Motorcycle of Orange County, and Gebhardt Insurance*​


The post How to Prevent Overheating on a Motorcycle Ride appeared first on webBikeWorld.

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Sandspike

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I have an evaporative vest. You soak it in water and it keeps you cool as the water evaporates taking heat away with it. I wear it under a mesh motorcycle jacket. Keep your core cool and other parts won’t notice the heat. I rode one day thru south Texas and didn't even realize how hot it was until i passed a bank with a sign saying 108f. I find it lasts just as long as my bladder and gas does. When I stop for gas I take it to the rest room and soak it in the sink. I carry a small spray bottle if I just need to refresh dry spots.
These vests are used in construction and are not expensive. Don't get it too large. You don’t want it extending too low or it will soak your butt. Keep it snug. If its flopping around, you won’t feel the cool. This is cheap but effective AC.
 

http404

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I'm not connected in any way except as a happy user: www.texascoolvest.com. Just the basic vest is all you need, though if you want more then go for it. I commuted for years in Houston summers (which last about 10 months, it seems) and it was great. I'd ride in, put the cool packs in the company fridge for the work day and have a fresh vest for the much hotter ride home. Best $150 you can spend if you ride in hot weather. I also have the cool neck band and that works nearly as well for just $20. It lasts for about 90 minutes and recharges in about 15 minutes in ice water. Awesome!
 

dduelin

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I have a cooling vest that holds water in a gel substance sewn into the vest. You soak it in tepid or cool water to charge it. It works well out west in high heat coupled with low humidity but I haven't found it useful in the high humidity climate of the Southeast US and quit using it years ago. Along the lines of the Texas Cool Vest I have found that on long rides in 93-95 plus I buy a small bag of hard frozen ice and pour off or give away about half of it. I stuff the rest of it in the front of my Aerostich 1 pc and zip up the waist and arm pit vents. I open the wrists and back vent open and let the evaporative cooling lower the air temp inside the suit. This works really well. A bonus is the melt water soaks my foundation layer and keeps my legs cool. In temps over 93F there is a body of science that says it's better to change from mesh to solid textile clothing. Hot air moving over bare skin removes water faster than the body can replace it. If this isn't possible at least wear a wicking long sleeve shirt and long pants under mesh to prevent air circulation over bare skin.
 

670cc

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“Now it’s your turn to take this blurb of goodies and pass it on. What tips and tricks do y’all have for beating the burn?”

Answer: I park the motorcycle(s) and don’t ride in hot weather. I enjoy riding much more at 40F to 70F than at 90F, so why even ride on a hot day?
 

670cc

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I enjoy riding in all seasons and that requires different gear and how to use it. Is that reason enough?
Of course, that is reason enough for you and and others to ride on a hot day. I should have clarified my statement. Why should I ride on a hot day?, (as I don’t find it at all enjoyable). I do use a cooling vest and/or hope for rain when I get caught in hot weather.
 
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Rabbit

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Of course, that is reason enough for you and and others to ride on a hot day. I should have clarified my statement. Why should I ride on a hot day?, (as I don’t find it at all enjoyable). I do use a cooling vest and/or hope for rain when I get caught in hot weather.
That is fair as far as a personal statement. As to each their own.
 
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