Hot Weather Motorcycle Riding Gear

For classic motorcycle clubs, summer is the time for get-togethers, rallies and group riding. Unfortunately, if the weather is hot, riders are faced with an age-old dilemma: do I ride without protective gear to keep cool, or play it safe and get hot?

Putting clothing on during hot weather seems crazy. For the classic motorcycle rider who wants to be safe and cool, there are some specially designed pieces of riding gear to consider.

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Vented Helmets

vented helmet

Ventilated helmets have been available for many years, but the full-face helmet with specially-located vents are more recent.

To keep cool we must dissipate heat, and under normal circumstances, the body will do that through the top of the head. As soon as we put on a helmet, we restrict the body's ability to cool. Therefore, helmets with vents are a must to circulate air inside the helmet and ultimately dissipate the heat to the outside.

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Cool Suits

Motorcycle Suit for Hot Weather.
Images courtesy of: Scott Diamond Moto-D

For wintertime riding, multiple layers of clothing keep the heat inside. Air gets trapped between the layers and retains the body's heat. Many classic bike owners live in climates where hot weather is a concern. When heat is an issue, the rider needs to have protective gear that doesn't trap heat.

To meet these needs, manufacturers have developed special suits specifically for hot weather riding. A typical example is a suit made by Moto-D. The suit is designed to be used as an undergarment for leather suits. The washable liner helps air to circulate and allows moisture to be drawn (a system called wicking) away from the body to help regulate body temperature.

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Vented Leather Jackets

Leather Motorcycle Jacket
John H Glimmerveen. Licensed to

Leather jackets do not allow air to pass through them. While a little air may pass through badly fitting seems and zips, the jackets are closed, but to help protect the rider and keep him cool at the same time, some manufacturers offer jackets that allow a limited amount of air to pass through them. This again helps to dissipate the hot air generated by the body.

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Body Armor Cool Pants

Kawasaki Classic Racer
John H Glimmerveen. Licensed to

Many classic motorcycle riders like to wear denim jeans when riding their bikes. However, jeans are not good from a protection point of view and will not help to cool the rider during hot weather riding

Recognizing that many motorcyclists prefer to wear jeans, a company called Bohn introduced an undergarment that not only offers protection at the vulnerable points (hips, knees, etc.) but also helps to keep the rider cool during hot weather periods. These protective pants are ideal for riders wanting to retain the blue jean look, with comfort and protection.

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Cool Gloves

Motorcycle Gloves
John H Glimmerveen Licensed to

For safety, leather is an ideal material for gloves, but just like the jacket, leather gloves are not good at allowing air to flow. There are, however, many gloves on the market that offer the protection of leather at all of the vulnerable points, but are also vented to allow air to flow.

Another advantage of these vented gloves is that they will allow air to enter the riders sleeve, further cooling the body. This flow of air through the gloves is much safer than unzipping a leather jacket at the cuffs.