Monday, March 02, 2009

Hot weather riding.

I am sure you can pick this spot by now...

It was rather hot Sunday the 1st of March. I decided to go for a ride all the same since fine days have been a bit scarce this year.

Riding apparel.

There is many ways of approaching riding in peak summer here, some perhaps better than others. Riding in shorts and t-shirts is the stupid way however riding in full leathers IMO isn't the answer either. I have seen riders with severe heat exhaustion because they are riding in leathers in the sun when its 35 degrees in the shade, to me that is also dangerous.

There is some good summer riding gear out there, but not everyone may be aware or willing to shell out the money required for a 2nd riding outfit. I find the motorcycle shops in Brisbane to have a very limited range of motorcycle clothing. I have talked about this before however I recently did the rounds again because I want to update a couple of items only to come home empty handed and start surfing the online shops.

So what to wear in Summer, well depending on how you want to go there is three main styles. If you have to wear leather then get something perforated. It will still be warm in our summers but not a sauna. I still have my perforated leather but I have not worn it for many years as I found it too hot.

An intermediate and common choice might be the every popular Draggin jeans with a textile jacket. This is a big improvement over leather cooling wise however on the real hot days both may still be warmer and less comfortable than some may wish for.

My pick is a good mesh jacket. These flow so much air that even on a really hot day you won't be uncomfortable. Mine has all the usual armor and even a back protector as well as lots of extra padded sections. As for pants the full summer mesh/textile items are going to deliver the same or if you prefer to wear jeans then look at ones with a baggy fit with suitable kevlar/nylon protection. Or that have a lining like my loose fit Alpinestars Jeans that lets the air really circulate.


Back roads around Stokers Siding are a roller coast ride in places.

Old ideas

I met a guy once in summer who was saying despite the heat he wouldn't dream of not wearing his leather jacket as nothing else offers as good protection. Now this guy like many seems to be a bit out of touch.

The wear resistance that is always quoted for leather ie Will last 5 seconds abrasion on the road is for special 1.4mm leather. Problem is virtually nothing except top label competition wares use this thickness of leather, all the cheaper race suits and jackets use 1mm or .8mm which delivers a much lower abrasion resistance. Super soft or older worn leather will be less again. The other item that gets over looked is the stitching. Without proper burst proof stitching then that favorite old jacket is going to separate apart on impact.

Now the level of resistance of textiles is actually rather good. Kevlar for example is actually 10 times more abrasion resistant than leather and there are a number of other nylon fabrics which compare favorably as well. The stitching issue still remains and needs to be examining closely.

If in doubt then consider a European brand, reason is only the EU has a mandatory quality standard that motorcycle apparel must achieve along with testing. Other brands of course do meet similar standards even if they are not required to in their own country however some of the cheaper brands might not so do some research on sites that review things like Webbike and Newenough as well as read buyer comments on the major US online stores.

So back to that guy - well I didn't say anything, it's pointless however as he gets on his bike I notice that he is wearing everyday regular Levi jeans - so no protection on his legs which they say is the part much more likely to be injured in a spill than your upper body.


Speaking of old ways, I nabbed this shot while having lunch

Sundays ride report

So back to my ride. The route can be found -here- I did a bit of a small loop over the coastal roads back to Mooball in the opposite direction of travel to my ride last weekend. Then via Burringbah and Stokers and ended up over at Uki pub for lunch where I kicked back with a icy cold ale in the shade with a few other riders. Then home via Numinbah valley and Advancetown. Plenty of bikes out despite the heat. Enjoyed the company of a nice rider on Blue (I think) ZXR the way down the coast which let me later on ignore the wanker on the 999 in the Currumbin range.



I think I have my 1000km up now so I have booked my first service anyway. Gotta really as only 6 weeks till I start the Buell Muster tour - I can't believe its coming up so fast.

5 comments:

  1. I reckon Iam geting old! I find that I just do not enjoy riding on the hotter days anymore - seems to really sap my energy. Roll on the cooler months! Looks like you enjoyed your ride anyway.

    Good advice re gear - I have not worn my leather jacket since October of last year and it may still spend some more time on the wardrobe. My textile Dri-Rider jacket has become my favourite, along with my perforated leather shorty gloves.

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  2. I'm with you on the mesh.
    And whether or not leather seems hot, or has questionble protection, my Dainese leather jacket has perforated side panels, breathable kevlar cloth in the underarms and back of sleeves, and a new bubble like interior that flows air real well. I am OK with it in the summer, and it is thick, like 1.2-1.3mm or so with full internal armor, and external shoulder armor. like a track suit has.
    Even so, I may get a mesh jacket though to review.
    On the legs, if you insist on wearing jeans, even kevlar, you may consider knee guards (I know cumbersome), or better, get Bohn body armour that fits under relaxed jeans. I have both. The Bohn comes in either lycra or mesh tights to hold pads aligned, has hip, knee, coccyx, and even thigh pads, and are surpisingly stealthy and unnoticeable, but boy do I feel safer with all those areas padded.

    http://motorcyclesafetynews.com/

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  3. Hi Beaker. It can zap you when it gets really hot. I ride less distance than usual and stop for more rests (in shade or air conditioned) where I make sure I drink water or a sports type drink each time. Hydrating is really a key to not feeling fatigued which I should have mentioned in this post.


    Jeff thats a nice sounding jacket you have. I had an excellent Dainese textile jacket in the early 90's but now nobody seems to sell their gear here.
    I would like a pair of their ventilated Tex model pants however I might look at the BMW City pants instead which Morgan & Wacker sell.

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  4. My jacket is a DriRider mesh with Rain lining and Winter Linging too. In Summer I take both of those linings out. The mesh allow good airflow while protection comes from the armor and pads.

    Summer gloves are RJays perforated with pads on the top of the fingers, external Hard bit on the top knuckles - with vents in them.

    I've was caught twice last month in the rain. Both times I got soaked but the gloves and jacket were dry hours later.

    Also recently got a Kevlar Shirt from Draggin. The guy down Melbourne said when it's real hot he wets the shirt before riding. And is cooled down as the water evaporates from the shirt. This is obviously not worn while knee scraping around corners, but for more Sedate cruising type riding - my style ;o)

    Michael

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  5. That idea of wetting the shirt would work rather well on a stinking hot day I think :)

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