Summer is the season of the road. If you own a Harley-Davidson®, you know this is the time to take a long trip on your motorcycle, feel the breeze, and let your bike shine in all the glory of the sun. However, warm weather isn’t just the best time to ride. It also comes with serious hazards, as the human body isn’t equipped to deal with extreme heat for long periods of time. It gets pretty toasty in Georgia and the surrounding states, so it’s vital that you learn how to ride safely during the hotter months. This guide from Southern Devil HD will help you out, and if you ever need any gear for warm weather riding, feel free to stop by our dealership. We’re in Cartersville, Georgia, near Rome and Dalton, GA.
Your gear makes a huge difference in the comfort of your ride. It can either absorb the heat, or block it out. You want your apparel to do the latter on warmer days, otherwise you’ll get hotter and hotter every minute you spend on the road. A t-shirt is normally the go-to solution for combatting the weather, but these actually aren’t ideal when on a Harley-Davidson® motorcycle. Sun rays burn up your energy, and when your arms are exposed, they get direct contact with these harmful rays. Not to mention, a t-shirt won’t protect you very much if you take a spill in the middle of a ride. Instead, wear a good motorcycle jacket. It seems counter-intuitive, but a well-insulated jacket can actually keep you cooler than a t-shirt. They block sun from contacting your skin, while also filtering out the hot air and keeping you cool underneath. Opting for a minimal helmet will also help, since the extra wind on your face goes a long way in fighting the heat.
Best Is Water
You wouldn’t attempt any vigorous exercise without water, so don’t attempt going for a ride while dehydrated. Even though you might not think motorcycle riding counts as exercise, you still use a lot of muscles without knowing it. Along with this, the direct exposure to sunlight, the heat of your engine, and warm winds add up very quickly. This can be extremely dangerous if you don’t get enough fluids, so make sure you sip water regularly. A hydration system is a great way to ensure you don’t get thirsty while riding. These have a drinking tube that you can drink straight from the pouch, which eliminates the inconvenience of using a cap or mouthpiece. For really long Harley® rides, you’ll need electrolytes too, since your body makes better use of water when these are replenished.
No matter what you do to stay cool on a bike, sometimes it’s just too hot to ride comfortably. Sure, if you commute to work on a motorcycle, there’s not really any way around riding in the heat. But if you have other options, or if you can wait for later to ride, you should consider how important it is to avoid riding during the warmest time of the day. If you do decide to go ahead and tough it out, pay very careful attention to the signs your body sends. Don’t continue riding if you start feeling nauseous, lightheaded, or dizzy, as these could mean you’re heading toward heat exhaustion. Nosebleeds and vomiting are also sure signs of heat exhaustion, so you should get to a hospital right away if you experience these symptoms. To make sure you don’t get there in the first place, take frequent breaks. You might be used to riding for longer than an hour at a time, but taking a break and drinking some extra water every half hour or so is simply part of riding in hot weather.
Riding might be best when the sun’s out, but you always need to take safety precautions anytime you ride in the heat. At Southern Devil Harley-Davidson®, we want everyone to ride safely out there. Feel free to come talk to us with any questions, and don’t hesitate to take a look at our safety gear from our dealership in Cartersville, Georgia, serving Chattanooga, TN and Birmingham, AL.