Warm, sunny weather and long days make summer an ideal time for motorcycling. But with parts of the UK already seeing temperatures of over 30 degrees, IAM RoadSmart is warning motorcyclists to be prepared before setting off on those summer rides and to know how to keep your cool this summer.
Richard Gladman, Head of Driving and Riding Standards at IAM RoadSmart (also a keen motorcyclist himself), is on hand to give his expert advice on keeping yourself and your bike cool throughout the summer months.
Begin to drink water in the hours before you hit the road. You don’t want to just down a large bottle of water minutes before hopping on the bike. By drinking little and often will allow your body to absorb more instead of passing the fluid.
Pack bottles of water and make a point to refill each time you stop for fuel or to stretch your legs. One of the easiest ways to stay hydrated on route is to take a water bladder with you, they’re easy to wear and include a hose that you can sip from. Add ice to keep that water cool and refreshing.
Keep the drinking habit going to continue replenishing your body and prepare for the next day’s journey.
Wear the right clothes
Just because the sun is shining doesn’t mean your safety should be compromised. If you haven’t got any summer gear, then it might be time to invest. Riding in cold weather leathers when it’s hot will mean you get a very uncomfortable journey. The right kit will ensure you can keep cool without sacrificing on safety. Vented, textile jackets are much breezier than leathers and can still have elbow, shoulder, and back protection at the very least.
Park in the shade
If you leave your bike in the sunshine then your seat, plastics and paintwork will suffer. Choose that shady spot when parking to keep your bike cool and in tip top condition.
Avoid riding during the hottest part of the day
Early evening rides can be a real treat but beware that around dawn and dusk you can often see greater wildlife activity, such as deer and pheasants crossing the road. Stay cool, but also stay safe.
Take frequent rest breaks
If you’re planning a longer journey, then you should make sure you plan where you’re going and take plenty of breaks for refreshments. Take that break and maybe you’ll get chance to enjoy your surroundings on a nice summer’s day.
Richard said: “Hot weather usually means lots of sun exposure, so get some good sunglasses, or a tinted visor to prevent headaches caused by sun glare. Don’t forget to put on sun cream, especially on the back of your neck where your riding gear leaves the skin exposed. Of course, don’t forget we are in the UK so the sun will inevitably be followed by a downpour so pack a waterproof to prepare you for either extreme. The sun, a motorcycle and a decent road is all it takes to make us smile”