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I'm not a seasoned rider by any means. For the past year I bopped around on a People 150 wearing a DOT beanie. I rarely went more than 10 miles per trip.

I now have a Burgman 400 and wear a white Vega Summit flip-face. Yesterday it was 107 degrees where I live. I set out on a 20 mile errand. It took me around 45 minutes to get there through surface streets because I won't take the freeway until I take the class. (Licensed for over 20 yrs, but no experience above 180 cc)

I don't think I could have made it any farther than my destination. My helmet was soaked. It took me a couple hours of window shopping in an airconditioned mall to recover. By then it was still warm, but the sun had gone down.

To some of you, this is nothing. In Arizona, for example, it can go higher than 115. So what do you do? How do you handle riding in the heat? And how do you keep a cool head?
Thanks.
Patti
 

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Hi Patti. Man, I don't envy you one bit. I suffer miserably when the temp gets up to 90. I'm uncomfortable above 75. Just my Wisconsin body chemistry I guess. Fortunately my Tour Master Accelerator jacket has good venting. I can't stand to wear it in town because I don't get enough speed to cool me down and too much stop n go, but I never ever get on the highway without the jacket and my riding gloves. The helmet I always wear. My helmet is pretty well vented as well, so it's not too bad, even though it's black. But again, low 90's is as bad as it gets here. My Airhawk seat pad also helps. Seems if my butt is cool, it radiates up. Today it was only 81 and I made about 135 miles round trip to visit my brother in law in the hospital. My helmet is damp inside, but not soaked.
Next helmet will not be black.

Glad to hear your feelings regarding the highway before you take your MSF course. I've been riding for 35 years but am taking the beginners course next month. Self taught and way too many bad habits to get rid of.
Wish I had some words of wisdom for keeping cool, but I don't. Maybe someone else will. Best of luck with your course.
 

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Hey Patti - same problem here. Seems the older I get, the less I can tolerate the higher temps. Normally in hot weather I ride on the coast or near the coast in the mountains. While everyone else is sweltering, I'm actually a bit chilled on those roads :p

I do a lot of group riding so I get to hear others' stories of staying cool. Seems the thing that works the best is also the cheapest. You take a t-shirt and soak it in cold water (any cotton shirt would probably work). Then you put it on - even under a leather jacket! People who've done that say they're very comfy in the hot weather. One of these days I'll try that myself. I also have a Saeng WingTip which is basically an adjustable add-on windscreen deflector. When its really hot I tilt it such that full wind is in my face.
 

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Patti,

I always wear a full face helmet. Here are some tips.

1. Full face helmets are not all created equal. The vent systems work much better on some models than others. Of my several helmets, my Shoei Z-II has the best ventilation system of the ones I own. It is my choice for hot weather.

2. I have tinted face shields on all of my full face helmets. I prefer the light smoke tint. They keep a lot of the sun's rays off of my face, which helps me feel cooler than if I wore my 3/4 helmet which has a clear shield. Once I discovered that, the 3/4 helmet went on the shelf.

3. I ride with the visor partially open. This helps a lot - I get more air over my face. The tinted shield still keeps the rays off of my face, but I get more air flow. I find any full face helmet stifling in hot weather with the face shield completely closed.

4. My Shoei Z-II is white. My other helmets are red. Some folks think that white reflects heat better. I'm not sure that it makes a huge difference, but every little bit helps.

5. I don't have personal experience with this, but I think there are "doo-rags" that can be worn under the helmet and are made of hi-tech material that wicks moisture away from your scalp & hair. I think there were a few posts about them on the forum some time ago.

I hope that something in this list helps!
 

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Patti,
Your helmet will get warm, make sure your vents are open and not cloged.
What type of jacket do you wear ? what do have on under the jacket, you need to be covered from the sun, yet still let in air to help evaporate the sweat. Your will never be cool, except if you pour a bottle of water over yourself, but I ride in 105 deg. 3/4 helmet, light vented motorcycle jacket, and vented gloves. sounds nuts , but it is cooler then a short sleeve shirt....
 

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edtech2000 said:
...Yesterday it was 107 degrees where I live. I set out on a 20 mile errand. It took me around 45 minutes to get there...I don't think I could have made it any farther than my destination. My helmet was soaked. It took me a couple hours of window shopping in an airconditioned mall to recover. ...

...How do you handle riding in the heat? And how do you keep a cool head?
It's been warmer than usual in the Seattle area this month, and I've taken several trips to eastern Washington as well; often over 100 degrees over there.

I'm going to get a gel vest before I head to Mexico next month, but in the mean time I have a cheap solution that works reasonably well:

I cut up a t-shirt and made a neck wrap out of it. I put it on, and then pour water over it. I also carry a sports bottle full of water so I can resoak it on the road.

By cooling the neck and shoulder area it keeps my head cooler, and since the head has the largest blood supply of any part of the body, that helps me keep cooler overall as well.

For trips of under an hour, especially errands around town and such, you could also try wearing one of the gel collars they sell for dealing with neck pain. You put them in the freezer or refrigerator, depending on how cold you want them, but because they contain gel rather than water they don't freeze solid.

I haven't tried that, but it might be just the ticket.

HTH.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think it was my helmet that made me so hot. It does have vents - one on the top and one on the chin area. I think they should make one with lots of holes in it for serious ventilation! I think that if my helmet were cooler I wouldn't have been so uncomfortable. But there's no way to tell about how your helmet will feel on a hot day until you actually try it out.

Before I used this helmet, I wore a black Bieffe beanie. I don't remember being so uncomfortable in that one. I also have a sky blue mesh armored jacket, but wasn't wearing it at the time I described. On other hot days, it was very comfortable.

So I'm really wondering if there's some kind of head cooling system, or helmet that's known for outstanding ventilation.

Patti
 

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Patti,

Didn't see any mention as to what else besides the helmet you were wearing. A lot of people think it's much cooler to ride with just short sleeve T-Shirts, but they don't realize how much body fluid they are lossing by evaporation which makes them feel cool. Recommend a mesh or similar type jacket with the wet T underneath, also the neck ties that Brian mentioned are what I use. Best to carry a bottle of water with, even on a short ride.
Just my $).02 worth.
 

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Those who know me well know I detest hot weather . . . friends and family have been amazed that I ride here ATL's this summer heat and humidity. In years past, if you invited me to a cookout at 3PM, you'd see me at 7:30. A testiment to my new found love of riding my 400. . .

I wear the Shoei RF1000 (full-face), with mirrored visor that I crack around town. The ventilation system is okay, but not great. Sometimes cracking the visor is critical. I have the Vanson Vent jacket for upper body protection and Bohn Cool Air Adventure amor under my jeans.

I also have the Marsee evaporative vest, which I'm kinda ambivalent about and wouldn't really recommend. They changed the material to a heavier one (from the reviews I saw and on their site). It soaks up ALOT of H2O now, which makes it kind of heavy to me and contributed heavily to fatigue last time I used it. It works decent when chilled in the refridgerator but can get a little slimy undeneath, especially the lower back. I've used it on longer rides and when I'm not concerned with how my T-shirt looks/feels when I get off of the bike. Prior to that, I did the wet t-shirt technique.
 

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edtech2000 said:
I think it was my helmet that made me so hot. ...I think that if my helmet were cooler I wouldn't have been so uncomfortable. ...
Yeah, the design of the helmet can make a difference. But if you're not fully protected (like if your wearing only a beannie) then you're taking a higher risk of injury.

Since the head acts like a giant radiator (the brain has a huge blood flow), then cooling any part of the body will help cool the head (conversely cooling the head will help cool other parts of the body). That's why cool neck wraps and cool vests/t-shirts can help keep the head cool.

HTH.
 

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HI Patty,

Know what you mean about those 100+ temps, it was 103 last week when I picked up my new 650 and I had a 41 mi ride home on a mix of surface streets and freeway. I've got a KBC modular helmet that allows me to raise the chinbar and open the face up. When I dropped below 20 mph or stoped at lights I would flip the chin bar up to allow more air in. Above 20 the vents and cracking the face shield open a notch moved enough air to be tolerable. I also have a mesh jacket with CE armor and gloves with mesh inserts. I find that covering as much skin as possible to shade it from the sun helps as long the covering alows air flow.
 

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Try microfiber

I used to use the damp t-shirt &/or wet bandanna around the neck for cooling but if you're riding in an area of high humidity, they don't work too well. Conversely, in areas of very low humidity, they work well but dry out way too fast. A friend turned me on to micro-fiber towels and that's what I use now exclusively. They hold a LOT of water without dripping so the cooling effect lasts much longer between "re-soaks"

I carry an extra 1 or 2 for cleaning the windshield (no scratching) and they're much better than a chamois for drying the scooter when wet from rain or being washed. (They hold more water and don't get hard when dry.)

Regards,

Dan
 

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We took Nan's scoot down to hell, oops my bad, I mean Phoenix for its 600 mile tune-up on Saturday. The onboard thermometer was reading between 117 and 119 when we left the valley of the sun. We weren't terribly comfortable - though we did take every opportunity to hydrate. If the folks at Cycle Gear on Cave Creek had thought to push the Joe Rocket vests at $70ish each, we would probably have bought them! However, we simply pushed on to cooler climes.

I was thinking about buying a couple of Tech Niche vests ($30 at http://store.mm411.com/catalog/index.cf ... 175&id=848) but then I saw the post re: microfiber towels. Hmmm, Wally World sells those for a lot less than $30 each - and they are multi-purpose...

If we bought a couple and cut serape-style slits in the middle, they should drave very nicely. Even if they don't last nearly as long (hours or days?) they still serve as towels or can be cut up into very useful rags!

Thanks for the idea!

Are you reading this honey :?:
 

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I ride quite a bit in the heat and one thing I do: carry my helmet with me no matter where I go. That way, I take it into the office where it is air conditioned and it is cool when I put it on. I actually keep the vents completely closed and the shield closed my entire trip. It stays cool much longer it seems.

My legs and especially my feet get the most uncomfortable, but still tolerable. I think higher humidity is much worse than high heat.

I also got a heavily tinted shield, and that has helped not only with the temp but also to keep the sun out - I wear sunglasses underneath so I have heavy sun protection. My father has macular degeneration, so I try to keep my eyes shaded - don't want to be blind when I'm 80.

Mesh gloves help. I wear Phoenix mesh jacket and pants over a "business casual" slacks and short sleeve shirt. Sweat mostly where my back is touching my backrest.
 
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