Motorcycle Forums banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I almost went out without my gear today. It hit 97 degrees, and had to be over 90 when I gave up at 10 or 10:30am. We've had 4 or 5 days straight over 90, 10 this month, and tomorrow is supposed to hit 99. Heck, it is 11:15pm and it is still 85 out there. It is only June!

I was out this morning around 8:30 and I was already hot when wearing my mesh jacket. It was OK when moving, comfortable when moving and in the shade, but every time I had to stop for a light it was sheer torture. I was very close to going out without my gear (the jacket and gloves anyway), but instead decided simply to go home and not go back out (when I went back out today it was in an air conditioned car).

Luckily, this summer is not our usual summer. Our first 85-90 degree days were early to mid April. Usually we don't get those until late May. Most summers the weather we've had this month is late July and early August weather (though we usually have a couple 100 degree days in July and August).

What do you guys who live further south or in the desert do? My jacket and helmets are black, would a lighter color really make that much of a difference? I do understand reflecting v. absorbing light and heat, but when it is this hot does a light colored jacket and helmet really make a noticeable difference? Should I just limit my riding for fun to early morning, evening, and nights when it isn't as hot? Stick to the highways and country roads where I can minimize lights (though I would have to deal with them to get from my apartment to the country or interstate)? Brosh has these "evaporative cooling vests" (I assume you drench them in water and the evaporation is supposed to help cool you?), do they work? Do they work in a very humid area or do you need to be in a dry heat?

Sun Glasses - Motorcycle jackets and clothing

Anyone have ideas and tips to help make riding in high heat more pleasant.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
421 Posts
To be honest, a couple weekends ago I was running a few errands in shorts and boat shoes. Dumb as shyt? Indeed. Do some of us do stupid things from time to time? Yep. In the end, I was still hot, self-conscious, and worried the entire time. (But my Sperry's looked fantastic)

There are times when the weather just downright sucks and riding isn't as fun as it normally is. My opinion is that if you're going to either compromise your safety or will be completely miserable being on a bike, it doesn't make you a fair weather fan to leave it in the garage (or the alley, in my case).

Y'all act like it's a hunert and twenty degrees out here....can't be more'n a hunert and fourteen.
 

· Aging Cafe` Racer
Joined
·
8,715 Posts
I try to make an effort to wear my jacket even if it's hot, specially on the freeway but sometimes I just wear whatever I'm wearing at the time. I use my bike to get around as much as I can and it's just not always practical to gear up. I always wear boots, gloves and a helmet, 99% of the time I wear long pants......

Since I bought the King Tourpak for my bike I've made the effort to wear my jacket more because I can stick it in the trunk while I'm at the store or whatever instead of having to lug it around. That's a big convenience factor for me, plus I've had a number of skin cancers so wearing my jacket and gloves keeps the sun off. Still there's times when I just hop on and go, it's a risk but you can't live in a bubble.

I have a white helmet and a high viz yellow jacket, it's pretty cool actually with the vents open and some air flow, cooler than my Fox Creek leather jacket that weighs 15 lbs that's for sure. In the end you just pay your money and take your chances, it's what you are comfortable with. Just remember sweat washes off a whole lot easier then blood.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
7,113 Posts
What do you guys who live further south or in the desert do?

Sweat. I rode in this morning in 90 degrees, 90+ humidity. I throw a clean shirt in the saddlebag to change into when I get in the office. Occasionally I'll risk the Cheeze Grater of Death and ride without the crash jacket, but not as often as I used to. Cycle Gear has a gel-filled vest you soak with water that cools you as the water evaporates. I'm thinking of trying it. Or that air-conditioned jacket somebody is making now...
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,331 Posts
As you may know, I live right near the beach. Yesterday, I saw a dude in short swim trunks, a sleeveless tee, flip-flops, and a backwards hat. All this while riding on a.... (wait for it)... Harley-Davidson. Does that make him a squid?
 

· Aging Cafe` Racer
Joined
·
8,715 Posts
As you may know, I live right near the beach. Yesterday, I saw a dude in short swim trunks, a sleeveless tee, flip-flops, and a backwards hat. All this while riding on a.... (wait for it)... Harley-Davidson. Does that make him a squid?
Was he standing on the seat popping wheelies? Doing stoppies for the purdy gals? was the sleeveless tee black with some Harley bullsh*t on it or white?......

A sleeveless tee doesn't really have the same gravitas as the traditional dirty white 'beater so there's at least some style points off......

Enquireing minds want to know......
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,639 Posts
Ken/Jeff, save your money on the 'swamp cooler' vest/jacket/scarf/codpiece idea.

They only work when the water can evaporate. When it's 'thick' outside, they just make you wetter.

Only thing you can do is wear light colored outerwear, and breathable/well vented gear.

Which means traffic lights are a lot more irritating.
 

· Aging Cafe` Racer
Joined
·
8,715 Posts
I just started wearing these Firehose Dungaree work pants from The Duluth Trading Company, they're super thick 11.5oz cotton and supposed to be very durable, triple stitching all around etc. I bought them for work because I go through a pair of regular blue jeans in about 3 months but they're turning out to be great for riding the bike too.

I don't know how they'd work in really hot weather though. They're definitely heavy duty pants so they're going to be warm but around here they work pretty good. They also have double front logger style too.
 

· The Toad
Joined
·
17,449 Posts
I use light colored mesh gear, a white Arai helmet and I sweat a lot. If I'm going to be doing errands around town when it's 95+ I take the K2500 and use the A/C. Temperatures under 95 don't seem to bother me that much.

Of course in Utah we have dry heat.... like in the oven.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,286 Posts
Ohio

I was in Ohio this week, a state that has no helmet law and about 90% humidity. 9 out of 10 riders I saw had no helmet or protective clothing. The most common rig was shorts, t-shirt and tennies. More power to-em but they are just asking for trouble.A long time friend's philosophy is it only takes one crash to learn the proper gear lesson.A couple of years ago I bought a mesh jacket a Hein-Gericke (on sale less than 200 bucks) with full armor and find it to be most comfortable when hot or riding in the desert. Long live the free society. And hydrate or die.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
When I started I promised myself that I would always gear up before riding, but this heat and humidity is making me rethink that. Normally this is the kind of weather we have for the worst 2-3 weeks of the summer, and the summer practically started this way (Baltimore has had 10 days before today over 90 already this month, DC had 12, I'm between the two cities, and our first 85+ days were in the end of April). This is looking to me to be like the summer of 2002 (just with rain, it only rained 2 or 3 days that summer) when almost the entire summer was over 90, and we had about 2 weeks straight of 98-100+ (in addition to quite a few days scattered throughout that were that hot), I remember that summer well- I worked outdoors as a head counselor in a summer camp. Most summers it will only be a few weeks of only riding for fun in the early mornings or late evenings/night when it is cooler (and play it by ear whether to ride or drive for transportation), but it looks like this year it may be the entire summer and I want to ride more than that.

I thought the idea of going out without the gear would be jumped on, but I guess it is reassuring that people here sometimes go out without it. Still, I've only been riding for a bit under 2 months and 1400 miles so I'm not sure I should do it just yet (though it may be necessary if I want to ride much this summer).

If I get selected to teach summer school (I'll know in a week +/- a couple days) I may buy some new gear. I'm a teacher, I don't get paid summers, and I just had a fairly large and unexpected car repair, so I don't think I'll have the money to buy anything this summer without teaching summer school (other potential summer jobs: 1) haven't come through, and 2) don't pay very much). I hate my FF helmet to the degree I almost never wear it (I usually wear my half helmet), but I do want the protection of a FF if I can, so I am shopping for a new helmet. I'll make sure to get it in a light color (probably silver or light gray to match my bike). If I get summer school I guess I'll also look to get another mesh jacket in white, yellow or light gray.

I've had a number of skin cancers so wearing my jacket and gloves keeps the sun off.
That's a good point, I haven't had skin cancer (yet) but I'm pretty high risk so protection from the sun is a big deal. My younger brother (with a darker complexion) has had pre-cancerous growths cut off several times. I am extremely light skinned (read, white as a ghost) and I've had several really bad sunburns in my life (a couple 2nd degree burns at the swimming pool when I was a kid- I used to live at the pool during the summer). I do try to use sunblock, but it isn't 100% and there are times I forget. Maybe I should at least wear a long sleeve shirt when/if I go out without my jacket.

I throw a clean shirt in the saddlebag to change into when I get in the office.
That is a great idea! Wear the gear and sweat (it won't be too uncomfortable when moving) and when going somewhere with a place to change (work, my parents' house, a friend's house) bring another shirt to change into.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Ken/Jeff, save your money on the 'swamp cooler' vest/jacket/scarf/codpiece idea.

They only work when the water can evaporate. When it's 'thick' outside, they just make you wetter.
That's kind of what I figured (I'm getting into riding enough that I'm actually thinking about moving out west where they have better riding weather, maybe even be able to get rid of the car, even though I love the change of seasons).

I just started wearing these Firehose Dungaree work pants from The Duluth Trading Company, they're super thick 11.5oz cotton and supposed to be very durable, triple stitching all around etc. I bought them for work because I go through a pair of regular blue jeans in about 3 months but they're turning out to be great for riding the bike too
I went a similar direction. I have a pair of Carhartt double front work pants. They aren't bad when it is hot, they do breathe a little, and they are great when bugs and debris hit your legs (wearing jeans sometimes something hits that really hurts, I haven't noticed that yet with the Carhartts). I'm thinking of trying those Firehose pants from Duluth as well.

I was in Ohio this week, a state that has no helmet law and about 90% humidity. 9 out of 10 riders I saw had no helmet or protective clothing. The most common rig was shorts, t-shirt and tennies. More power to-em but they are just asking for trouble...

And hydrate or die.
Yeah, I've noticed around here that the past week or so I've been one of the very few wearing gear (I've gone out at least an hour or more most days for the past week and I've seen a lot of motorcyclists, there have been days where I haven't seen more than one or two others wearing more than a helmet). I suspect a lot of the riders around here wouldn't even have the helmet if it wasn't the law in MD.

As for hydrating, I have been thinking about a hiking style water bladder. I'm just not sure where I'd put it or how I'd rig it up. Once my saddlebag supports are in I'll finally install my bags and I may be able to rig it up there, or at least I can finally start carrying a water bottle.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
11,482 Posts
I had a dream last night I was riding-around naked, then I woke this morning with muffler-burns in a "sensitive area"...........
 

· Registered
Joined
·
11,482 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
11,482 Posts
.......and the other was from my Skull.......
 

· Aging Cafe` Racer
Joined
·
8,715 Posts
I am extremely light skinned (read, white as a ghost) and I've had several really bad sunburns in my life
Well you're a candidate, most skin cancers are Basel Cell which are very slow growing (20+ yrs) so sunburns you had 20 years ago are the ones that will bite you. Melanomas are fast growing and deadly but rare. At anyrate you want to keep covered, I used to ride in a tee shirt without a helmet quite a bit and would get lots of sun on my head and arms so that's where they start to crop up. I have more of an olive complexion, probably from some Roman soldier having his way with my ancestors but I still burn. If I go out in the sun any more I cover up or paint myself with sunscreen. Fortunately sunshine isn't much of an issue here.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
I moved basically to the beach in early may and I see the people with no gear as a regular thing. Foolish to me, but we all think and feel differently.

I have done the minimal to no gear thing. I didn't like the feeling. I do like the visor open at times, but I kinda think of not having gear as driving without a seatbelt. I can do it and have done it, but it just doesn't feel right.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top