On Sunday, I slipped out for a quick mid-morning ride. By 10am the temperature had already risen into the 90’s where it stayed for the remainder of the day. As I rode along the merciless black tar of the Long Island Expressway, the heat radiated all around me. I don’t often wish I were just going right back home instead of riding on… but yesterday was one of those days. It was utterly miserable.

How hot is too hot?

At some point, you have to ask yourself if it is simply too hot to ride your motorcycle. It is an entirely personal question to which the answer is sometimes, yes.

Today when I got into my car after work, the outside temperature read 104°F and crept up to 106°F while moving on the Expressway. I blissfully drove along in the cool of the AC. It was simply too hot to ride.

If you Decide to Brave the Heat

Hydrate, hydrate and then hydrate some more. Skip the caffeine, soda and alcohol. Go for water or a sports drink.

A good option to keep your fluids at a healthy level is to ride with a Camelback and sip as you go. It’s important that you try to stave off any of the symptoms of dehydration before they occur.

WebMD’s Symptoms of Dehydration in Adults:

  • Increased thirst
  • Dry mouth and swollen tongue
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations (feeling that the heart is jumping or pounding)
  • Confusion
  • Sluggishness, even fainting
  • Inability to sweat
  • Decreased urine output: Urine color may indicate dehydration. If urine is concentrated and deeply yellow or amber, you may be dehydrated.

Keep Cool with Evaporative Cooling

Wear a wet bandana or maybe Aerostich’s Evap-odana around your neck. There is also the option of using a cooling vest or the old-fashioned soaked t-shirt method.

Insulate your Body from the Sun and Heat

ATGATT helps with the heat too. Keep your skin fully covered and insulated.

Soundrider.com also notes that if the air temperature is below your regular body temperature, keep the vents open on your gear or opt for mesh garments. Once the temperature rises above your body temperature, close up vents to fight against the hot air. The moving hot air will heat up your cooler skin.

Use your Head

If you decide to ride in the high heat, listen to your body. If you feel a little woozy or maybe just a little “off”, do yourself a favor and pull off somewhere. Try to cool down by getting off the hot motorcycle and finding a shady spot, an air conditioned store or gas station and just chill out. By the time you feel the symptoms, dehydration could already be settling in.

Your Hot Weather Riding Tips? Do you have some hot weather motorcycle riding tips to keep to share? Put them in the comments, please!

How about you?

  • What’s the hottest temperature you’ve ever ridden in?
  • How hot is too hot for you?