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Riding in the Heat - Motorcycle Safety Tips

Riding a motorcycle in hot weather can be challenging, but with the right preparation and precautions, you can stay safe and comfortable.

Here are some tips:

  1. Hydrate: Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your ride. Consider adding electrolyte mix and make water stops frequently. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and impaired concentration, increasing the risk of accidents. Listen to your body and look after each other. Recognize symptoms of heat stroke or heat exhaustion: Clammy Skin: Cramps; Decreased urine output; Dizziness; Extreme thirst; Excessive Sweating; Dehydration; Fainting; Headache; Increased heart rate; Nausea; Vomiting; & Weakness.
  2. Dress appropriately: The wrong gear can cause dehydration. Likewise, do not surrender gear for comfort. Wear lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking clothing. Consider mesh gear with vents or mesh panels to allow airflow. Color of clothing also makes a difference. Dark colors absorb head/lighter colors reflect heat. Don't forget your full face helmet, gloves, and protective gear, even in the heat. Most helmets have vents & re-open your visor at times.
  3. Use sunscreen: Apply sunscreen with a high SPF to exposed skin to protect against sunburn and UV radiation and re-apply when necessary. Experts recommend SPF of at least 30, apply at least a shot glass full of sunscreen to your body and reapply every couple of hours. Your lips & eye lids also need protection and clothing counts too.
  4. Stay cool: Use cooling vests, neck wraps, or bandanas soaked in water to help regulate your body temperature. You can also install aftermarket fans or vents on your motorcycle gear to improve airflow.
  5. Plan your route: Try to ride during the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening. Avoid heavy traffic or congested areas whenever possible. Do not ride in the hottest part of the day. Likewise, be aware of tar snakes and avoid traffic jams to avoid burning out your clutch on the hottest of days – on main street or otherwise. This is especially true for bikers on long distance trips.
  1. Take rest breaks: Stop frequently to rest, hydrate, and cool down. Look for shaded areas or air-conditioned rest stops along your route. There have been times when we stopped and simply stood in a convenience store or even walked into a beer cooler to cool ourselves down. You might also consider grabbing a hose and pouring water over your head, neck and back, into your shirt or jacket, to cool yourself down.
  2. Stay alert: Heat can affect your focus and reaction times, so be extra vigilant while riding in hot weather. Watch out for signs of heat exhaustion, such as dizziness, nausea, or profuse sweating, and take immediate action if you experience any symptoms.
  3. Maintain your motorcycle: Ensure your bike is in good working condition, especially in hot weather. Check the coolant levels, oil levels, and tire pressure regularly, as they can be affected by high temperatures.
  4. Protect your bike: Park your motorcycle in the shade whenever possible to prevent the seats, grips, and other components from becoming too hot. Consider using a cover or sunscreen to shield your bike from direct sunlight.
  5. Stay informed: Keep an eye on weather forecasts and be prepared for sudden changes in temperature or conditions. Adjust your riding plans accordingly to stay safe on the road.

By following these tips, you can enjoy your motorcycle rides even in the heat while staying safe and comfortable.

Brad Souders, a lifetime biker, an award-winning attorney with more than 30 years’ experience – A Biker Representing Bikers!

Attorney Brad Souders has a main office in Tampa, representing injured bikers and their families throughout the state of Florida.

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