Summer’s coming up fast, and that first 100-degree or 90% humidity riding day will be here before you know it! That typical black leather motorcycle gear will get old really fast when you’re dripping with sweat. Don’t get caught off guard. Check out our guide and see what you need to stay cool, dry, and riding!
Every year, the first hot day of the season comes up way sooner than we ever expect, and makes us realize that we’re sorely underprepared for the heat! So whether you’ve had your first 100 degree day and realized the motorcycle gear you’ve been wearing won’t cut it, or you just remember the last time you had to sweat out a ride in that unvented black leather, make sure you’re prepared for the upcoming hot weather riding season with purpose-built hot weather motorcycle gear.
Vented Motorcycle Helmets
The Bell Race Star, Bell’s flagship sport helmet, is known to flow huge amounts of air.
Venting can make all the difference on a motorcycle helmet, especially if you ride wearing a full face motorcycle helmet (which is highly recommended for safety.)
While many full face motorcycle helmets may look the same, every helmet model has its own venting characteristics. For summer, get yourself a motorcycle helmet that has a great venting system. A rule of thumb is that any racing oriented helmet will tend to have excellent air flow, so race-oriented helmets like the Bell Race Star, Shoei X-14, or Arai Corsair-X will have plenty of big vents that flow a ton of air.
Of course, you don’t have to spend big bucks to get a helmet with great air flow. Check out the Icon Airmada and the HJC RPHA-10 Helmet for value-priced, fully-featured sport helmets with excellent airflow to keep you cool when the heat gets turned up.
One thing to keep in mind – with the extra air flow will usually come additional noise from wind and turbulence, so when purchasing a hot-weather helmet, think about adding some ear plugs for hearing protection as well. We actually recommend wearing hearing protection for all riding; click here for an informative article on how wind noise can damage your hearing without you even realizing it!
Mesh and Vented Motorcycle Jackets
Purpose-built hot weather jackets are often made of textile or mesh, but you don’t have to give up leather completely in a hot weather jacket. Some, like this Joe Rocket Phoenix 5.0 Motorcycle Jacket, have both!
Another critical piece of gear that can turn a nice summer ride into a sweat fest of doom is your motorcycle jacket. For example, leather is great for fall or winter riding as it gives great protection and will keep you warm, but wear it in the summer and you’re bound to have a miserable ride.
Instead, be prepared with a purpose-built hot-weather motorcycle jacket made with plenty of vents and cooling mesh materials. Even without the protection of leather, today’s textile materials provide tons of crash protection and armor where you need it while maintaining maximum air flow and breathability.
If you still don’t want to break away from leather, make sure you get one that has plenty of ventilation, or even mixes leather with mesh in its construction, like the Joe Rocket Reactor 3.0 Hybrid Jacket or the Icon Sanctuary Motorcycle Jacket.
Cooling Motorcycle Vests
Cooling vests like the TechNiche Hyperkewl Sport Vest work by soaking them in water, then wearing them under vented gear or leathers to slowly evaporate, creating a cooling sensation that lasts for hours. Pretty cool!
If the wind isn’t enough to keep you cool, some pieces of hot weather motorcycle gear that take coolness to the next level are cooling motorcycle vests. Some of the best stuff invented for hot weather motorcycle gear, cooling vests can be soaked in water for just a few minutes, are wrung out to keep them from dripping or soaking you, and then can be worn under a vented jacket to peel body heat and sweat off of you while you ride for hours on end. When the cooling stops, just re-soak and go again. These vests are the closest thing to an air conditioner that you can get while riding in warm weather!
Mesh and Vented Motorcycle Gloves
Hot weather gloves like these Tour Master Dri-Mesh Gloves keep you cool and let moisture evaporate so you don’t get that “soggy” feeling from sweaty palms.
Sweaty palms and fatigued fingers can not only take the joy out of a ride, but can also make riding less safe. To keep your hands protected but comfortable in warm weather riding, get a pair of motorcycle gloves that have some serious ventilation. Lots of motorcycle gloves that are made for being great hot weather motorcycle gear have armor in high impact areas and mesh in high ventilation areas. Get a set of gloves that will both keep your hands safe, but will also allow them to breathe.
Motorcycle pants like these Fly CoolPro Mesh Motorcycle Pants might not look as normal as regular old jeans, but they will keep you a lot safer, and with their vented mesh construction, will keep you much cooler on a ride as well.
A lot of riders hesitate to add motorcycle pants to their motorcycle gear repertoire; usually, either they’re goofy looking or inconvenient. But motorcycle pants can not only bump up your protection while riding, they can also keep you cooler. A lot of motorcycle pants are built to be hot weather motorcycle gear with venting or breathable materials while also giving you more protection than pants such as jeans can give.
Boots and Socks
Vented street boots like these Latigo Air Race Boots from Cortech are made from perforated leather with big vents. At right around $150, they are one of the most popular hot weather boots we carry!
It’s a nasty fact of life that feet sweat, so having a well ventilated pair of motorcycle boots as part of your hot weather motorcycle gear is essential. Any motorcycle boots that have “air” in the name are made to breathe and keep your feet vented and dry. But that won’t be enough. Make sure that your motorcycle socks are on board as well. Still, thinner isn’t always better. The key point to socks that will keep your feet dry and cool while riding is that they are made of a moisture wicking material.
Be Ready for the Heat!
Summer is coming, and that first day of miserable heat and humidity will be here before you know it. You waited all winter to ride, so don’t let summer keep you indoors while the roads are dry and the sun is out. Be prepared with the right gear and keep those wheels rolling! Shop all our Riding Gear and Accessories for the warming weather here!