Our Malaysian climate has entered its cycle of hot weather during this writing (May). Riding in hot weather presents its own set of challenges, such as getting dehydrated quicker, besides feeling drowsy or just nigh uncomfortable.
But, there are ways of keeping cool.
By summer gear we did not mean t-shirts, shorts/skirts, flip-flops, and no gloves. Those are perfect for the beach, but not on a motorcycle. Instead, we meant riding gloves, mesh jackets, riding shoes, long pants that are optimised for hot weather riding. There is no two ways around it because we have to be protected at all times when we ride.
Jet type helmets offer great airflow, but full-faced ones offer the best protection. Find one which allows for plenty of airflow or crack the visor slightly open for more airflow.
Mesh jackets are the solution as they provide the necessary airflow around the rider’s body. Do choose one with protective armour. As for the undershirt, wear one which is sweat wicking. You can change into your work clothes at your workplace.
As for pants, do wear Kevlar lined and armoured ones. The usual jeans – although thick – do not protect against abrasion and impact. Riding shoes can take on the look of normal sneakers or work shoes, but there are armoured.
Look for perforated leather gear if skin is your preference.
2. Stay hydrated!
We have written about the importance of hydration while riding in hot weather many times. Signs of dehydration include dizziness, headaches, loss of concentration, drowsiness are signs of dehydration.
Drink clear water or fruit juices without sugar. Isotonic drinks are good, but it should not replace water entirely. Stay away from soft drinks as sugar counteracts hydration. Make sure you drink the minimum of 3.7 litres (for men, 2.7 litres for women) per day, if not more. Easiest way is to keep a bottle of water in your GIVI top case/tankbag.
3. Damp your clothes
This tip is especially useful if you are riding long distance in hot weather. Remember the sweat wicking shirt? Soak it by pouring water over it, wring out the excess water and put it on. The damp shirt will pull heat off your skin. Also, the wind through your mesh jacket will keep you cool and more comfortable.
Just like the damp shirt, wet a bandana and wear it around the face and neck. The trick is to keep the region at the back of the neck cool. Yes, splashing water on the back of the neck will also cool you down and resist headaches. Keeping your face cool also helps you to stave off drowsiness and stay awake. Apart from that, wearing a bandana over your mouth and nose filters out dust and some harmful vehicle exhaust emissions. You may check out the GIVI TB03R or TB03B bandana these very reasons.
5. Ride along wooded roads
Roads lined with trees are a rarity in Kuala Lumpur these days, but they do exist off the highways. Asphalt soak up the sun’s heat and radiate it back upwards, turning the environment even hotter and this is especially prevalent on highways due to the large expanses of asphalt, concrete and lack of overhead foliage. Riding along tree-lined roads calms us down a lot, too!
Yes, it is hot but being in tropics means that it can rain at any time, even when the sun is blazing. So, it always prudent to bring your rainsuit along. Feel free to choose from our extensive range.