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Discussion Starter #1
The last time I rode in the summer was 20 years ago on a Honda 50cc so my "gear" consisted of a 3/4 helmet and a bandana tied cowboy-style to keep the bugs from dropping down my shirt. :shock:

Now, I've got the textile/body armor jacket, full-face helmet, etc. and would greatly appreciate any info you'd care to share re: keeping cool in the summer time. (I do know the best time to ride is during the morning hours.) Jersey/PA summers can be pretty humid. I do have a Camelback hydration system that I'll be using to prevent dehydration and some Coolmax t-shirts.

Have any of you tried the hydrocool vests, ties, etc. and found them to be worth recommending? Do these products soak your t-shirts/shirts and make it uncomfortable?

Thanks!

Bryna
 

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Hey Invincum. I'll be very interested to see replies to your question. This is my first summer riding my Burgman in Phoenix. Thus far, i've ridden in 103 degree weather. I do have a small vest that has those colloid crystals in it and i've used it twice. I wore it over a t-shirt and under my Phoenix jacket. It did wet down my t-shirt a bit, but not all the way to my waist. It kept my shoulders and chest cool, but I'm not sure it was worth it. Might be better when it is hotter. I commute 20 minutes one way per day to work, so the morning ride is beautiful with temps in the 70's (soon to be 80's) but evenings at 5 pm it is 100+ lately.

I also got a cool-mist jug that helps in this "dry heat" but may not help others where the moisture level is high. I attached the small mist-sprayer to the chin strap of my helmet and got a nice spray to my lower face/neck with rare droplets on my sunglasses (3/4 helmet). I bought it at Costco - two for $30.00. They seem to work ok, although i'm sure I looked weird flying down the interestate at 80 mph with two jugs wrapped around my waist and two tubes trailing up to my chin!

Anyone else with ideas?
 

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Most times I just wear a T-shirt and my First Gear Mesh Tex jacket, but then it seldom gets above 105 down here (in the shade). So long as your moving it's not so bad. 8)
 

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Best advice is to not ride in that heat at all...

It gets up to around 105 degrees or more in the southern Pacific Ocean facing penninsulars in Summertime here, so I tend to avoid going there like the plague. Not only do you have to think about the ambient temp, you've got to add in the humidity, direct sunlight, as well as the heat from air-conditioners and engines of the queues of cars heading out to the white sand beaches in droves.

If I am crazy enough to venture that way on two wheels, I tend to wear textile perferated jacket and trousers, with CE armour. But, again I don't tend to ride in the south in Summer - that's what the northern mountains are for. Only a humidity free 95 degrees up there at most. In a fit of insanity, I went down to the beach once or twice on the Reflex - thin long sleeve T-shirt, chinos, sun block and a bottle of water were my only weapons. 120km/h on the highway, but warm and humid air doesn't cool you much...
 

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Summer heat - observations one hot evening

I had to make a run to Target this evening. Our coffee maker was about to expire, and we were out of snack stuff.

I stepped out of the air conditioned house at 7pm. It was steamy hot outside. Temperature in the 90s and extremely humid. It has been fairly cool so far this year, but today it suddenly snapped hot. Here in Omaha, in the hot part of Summer it does not cool off much when the sun goes down. If it is 95 degrees at 5pm, it will likely still be 91 degrees at midnight. The humidity makes it feel a lot hotter. I thought about taking the scooter, but the thought of putting on even my perforated leather jacket was repulsive. So I decided to take the air conditioned car. I had ridden this morning anyway - the best time to ride in the hot weather here is between sun-up and 11am.

I couldn't remember the last time I had driven my car. I turned on the windshield wipers & washer to wipe the accumulated dust & dirt from the windshield. I headed out to I-80. As I got on I-80 I noticed a lot of motorcyclists were out riding. My rider reflexes kicked in and I lifted my arm to wave - **** car window was in the way. :eek:

A few miles down I-80 I entered a construction zone. Among other things, they are resurfacing a bridge over the Interstate. For some reason, they had just heavily doused the bridge surface with water. Both southbound lanes were sopping wet - and water was pouring off both sides of the bridge. The falling water made a loud thwack against my car windshield. If I had been riding my scooter or motorcycle I would have been VERY unhappy. Cooler maybe - but very unhappy...

For the rest of the trip to Target and back, I watched all the motorcyclists. I didn't see anyone wearing a riding jacket - most weren't wearing gloves or even boots. T-shirts were the riding uniform of the evening. I took secondary roads going home. At one stoplight, a guy on a brand new bright red Ducati stopped next to me. Protective gear consisted of a tee shirt, shorts, and sandals - and a full face helmet. Great! At least his nose wouldn't get road rash if he went down.... Back where I come from a Ducati guy would have been wearing full racing leathers regardless of the heat. It's part of the Ducati Rider's Poser Handbook. But here in the mid-west it is different. Regardless of what brand of motorcycle people were riding, the only safety gear in evidence were helmets (Nebraska has a helmet law). A few more cautious individuals were wearing blue jeans instead of shorts...

For me, as much as I love to ride, taking the car tonight was the right thing to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I hear yuo, Paul. In Pat Hahn's book on advanced riding, he makes the point (paraphrasing here) that if it's too hot to wear the protective gear, it's too hot to ride. Good advice all round.

I also always carry water, stop frequently to drink it/pour it over me. (My own personal "wet T-shirt contest :wink: .) Have a Camelbak for my longer rides.

Cheers and keep cool,

Bryna
 

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Seen this summer in MO. (helmet law state), memorable but not recommended: on a four lane city highway, 40mph limit, stoplights every 1/4 mile, a guy and his girl, riding two up, in helmets, he in shorts, her in bikini and flipflops. Highly visible?--yes >>>>> Cool?--NOT!!
 

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Alan said:
a guy and his girl, riding two up, in helmets, he in shorts, her in bikini and flipflops.
That's pretty much standard riding gear around NH, but without helmets.

This is what I see around here, as an average.

The crotch rockets - No protective clothing (If any clothing) and No Helmet.

Sportsters and big gnarly noisy things - Lots of Leather, but no helmet.

Tourer's and scooters - Protective clothing and Helmet.

There are of course exceptions to this, but if I sat on a busy street corner and kept count, I'm sure this would be the average.
 

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Kias said:
Sportsters and big gnarly noisy things - Lots of Leather, but no helmet.
Around here, helmets are required. You do see leather on a lot of these riders. Most of the time it's thin leather vests in the summer.
 

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What you wear

I've been enjoying the forum since I found it the day in July I bought my bike. I guess I'm addicted because I've spent more time reading the posts on the forum than anywhere else on the net.

I know this is politically incorrect, but, as NormanB says, its just MY opinion. I had a couple of years while recovering from cancer (3 kinds, all cured) to decide what type of motorcycle I wanted to ride. 80% of my riding is to Blockbuster, the bank or grocery store, etc. I will cruise 2 - 3 hours on a day off or weekend, sometimes with 2 up, sometimes with one or two of other bikes. My decision to by a scooter was to be able to wear Tshirts and shorts, (no flipflops - can't walk in them). My BMW would burn my ankles unless I wore long socks - looked geeky. A Valkyrie was considered, but as your sitting directly on the motor - you had to wear jeans. Sportbikes are too uncomfortable, and my scooter, Seabiscuit, is more comfortable than just about anything short of a Gwing.

I'm 56, been riding 40 years. I've never owned a true motorcycle leather jacket, boots, leathers. I did have a great set of Bateman gloves 20 years ago, but short of my helmets, and a rainsuit, haven't bothered.
We have a helmet law here in Maryland, but last night, I rode home a few blocks from the neighborhood poker game without it, because it just felt great, and if they rescind the law here in Maryland, will get some more wind in my hair.

When I ride on the interstates, I do wear a helmet and jeans, and if cold enough, wear a jacket. My footwear is tennis shoes, but I may go for a lowtop boot for my cold weather riding, because I tuck my feet in behine the Beemers heads anymore. I ride my bike all year round - we do get a few 40 - 50 degree days here in Maryland.

My point is this. I feel that riding is a personal choice. I accept the risks against the enjoyment I get from the experience. If I was required to wear protective clothing to run to the grocery store, I wouldn't.

I don't choose to judge the young guy that flew by me the other day at 80+ on the Baltimore Beltway, dressed like he would on the boardwalk at Ocean City. I also don't agree with my wife and son's choice to smoke, but it's their choice, not mine.

You answers to Newbies about proper protection is excellent advice, but the comments about other riders choices smack of eliteism. You are just like the Harley riders that sneer at riceburners, and any other group that looks down on another.

I thank you for this forum, and the opportunity to express MY opinion!
 

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Re: What you wear

drspencer48 said:
You answers to Newbies about proper protection is excellent advice, but the comments about other riders choices smack of eliteism. You are just like the Harley riders that sneer at riceburners, and any other group that looks down on another.
Mr Spencer,

I am glad that you enjoy the forum. And I support your right to voice your opinions - and I want you to continue to do so.

I totally disagree with your views on protective gear of course. I have also been riding for 40 years, and have had several experiences where wearing my gear paid off.

The portion of your post that I quoted, however, went a bit wide of expressing your personal choices. Those of us that dress appropriately for riding are not elitists, and we have little in common with the "snob" groups. We are simply exercising sound judgement toward reducing the risks of the pastime we all enjoy. And we certainly reserve the right to comment from our perspective, and to encourage other forum members to also protect themselves when they ride - without being labeled as extremists.
 

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Eliteism

pauljo said:
OK. I try to refrain from Harley bashing. But I have noticed something. If I take off on a morning ride when it is cool outside, there are very few annoying bugs messing up my windscreen or faceshield. There are also very few Harleys on the road. If I am still riding as it approaches noon and the outside temperature climbs, there is a point where the bugs and the Harleys seem to appear - at roughly the same temperature. :shock:
Say what?

Dave
 

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pauljo said:
'Cause that's the only kind some Harley riders will wear? Note that I said "some". Not all Harley riders are idiots where safety is concerned - but there is a certain segment of them that value image over life.
pauljo said:
'As for the side humour on wives vs garage door openers, etc. - we do share humour on this site. Life is too short to be serious all the time. I hope you can relax a little and continue to enjoy the site with us, and continue to share your ideas.
As do I
 

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Re: Summer heat - observations one hot evening

pauljo said:
So I decided to take the air conditioned car.
I couldn't remember the last time I had driven my car. I turned on the windshield wipers & washer to wipe the accumulated dust & dirt from the windshield.
I did that today too... got in the car, turned the key and the car wouldn't start... its been so long the battery had to be jumpered!
 

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Dave (dr)

I respect your choices - after all risk management is just that, you make your assessment and then live or die by it.Legislators have generally responded to the 'unnecessary' deaths due to head injury suffered by motorcyclists over time.

I was just interested to know how insurance based medical cover operates in the States - would gravel rash after an 'offy' while not wearing some form of protective clothing be taken as contributory negligence and give them an 'opt out' of fully funding medical care?

On the subject of head injuries (I am not trying to challenge your opinion). One of my wife's friends was cycling with her family on a beautiful summers day (2003), hubby - wife and 3 kids. An incident occurred and the wife fell from her bike which was virtually stationary - she landed heavily and cracked her head on the kerbside. She died.
She was the only one of the group not wearing a safety helmet (would not fit over her hair style).

We know that a motorcycle hemet is not going to do much if you total at sonic speeds and hit a stationary hard point (except to keep the evidence in one place) :shock: . But rather, it is the lower speed and actually higher risk urban journeys where this safety premium pays off. In risk terms it is probably better to wear a helmet in the urban environment and 'go naked' on the freeway!
 

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drspencer48 said:
My point is this. I feel that riding is a personal choice. I accept the risks against the enjoyment I get from the experience.
NormanB said:
On the subject of head injuries (I am not trying to challenge your opinion). One of my wife's friends was cycling with her family on a beautiful summers day ... she landed heavily and cracked her head on the kerbside.
Unlike Norman, I will challenge your opinion. While riding is a personal choice, you choices impact others. Norman didn't clarify whether he was talking about a bicycle or a motorcycle, but I'll give you a bicycle anecdote. True story -- happened yesterday.

In our first-run district is a nice jogging/bicycling trail that runs along the Brandywine Creek. Yesterday a 40 year-old woman was bicycling, without helmet, lost her balance and fell, hitting her head. When the medics arrived she was still unconscious. Under local protocols, that warrants a helicopter transport to a trauma center. So, who was affected?

(1) Obviously the woman.
(2) Obviously her family.
(3) The local ambulance and police made the initial response to the accident.
(4) The air medics had to fly out from Phila.
(5) The local fire dept. had to secure a landing zone for the helicopter.
(6) Local residents were inconvenienced while they were detoured around the area.
(7) And, of course, there are the resultant medical, ambulance, & helicopter bills, which we're all paying through our ever-increasing medical insurance rates.

So, never underestimate the impact of your personal choice.

drspencer48 said:
I thank you for this forum, and the opportunity to express MY opinion!
Likewise.
 

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I'm afraid I'm really going to step in it here...

The good D R has some valid points. I have been riding since 1969, and except for a good helmet, I too have never owned protective motorcycle gear. Though some of it looks pretty cool, I never could justify the expense. (I'm not much of a fashion-horse.) And even if I could justify it, after purchasing the motorcycle, I couldn't afford it. Yes, I have my share of scars after some several hundred-thousand miles, but I have just as many from other less-dangerous activities (like factory work).

Around town, I tend to wear my helmet about half the time. More often when I ride the D-P bike because I need the eye protection, and there's a greater likelihood that I will fall down - but not much greater. On the highway, I wear it about 90% of the time. If I think I may want to do some quick twisties and I don't happen to be wearing it, I'll often go back home to get it.

If it's nice out and I want to wear shorts - it's my skin. There's a very good likelihood that it'll grow back if I need it to, and I've needed just that from time to time. I've heard that as I grow older my bones will break more easily (I've yet to test that one), but I don't think I'll invest in kevlar body armor either.

If you want to wear protective gear, more power to you. If you want to promote the wearing of protective gear, great. Go for it. If you won't ride with me because I'm wearing deck shoes, shorts, and a t-shirt - well, I do most of my riding alone anyway.

Oh. And you won't catch me in a do-rag and vest, either. :)

Steve

*edit Analytical made a post since I started mine.

The only way to avoid all of that is to outlaw all dangerous, probably-dangerous, potentially-dangerous, possibly-dangerous, maybe-dangerous, safe-unless-used-in-a-dangerous-manner, or really-really-safe-but-you'll-have-to-get-out-of-your-super-safe-environment-to-use-it, products, activities, and etc. That includes pretty much everything, doesn't it?
 

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Analytical said:
NormanB said:
On the subject of head injuries (I am not trying to challenge your opinion). One of my wife's friends was cycling with her family on a beautiful summers day ... she landed heavily and cracked her head on the kerbside.
Unlike Norman, I will challenge your opinion. While riding is a personal choice, you choices impact others. Norman didn't clarify whether he was talking about a bicycle or a motorcycle, but I'll give you a bicycle anecdote. True story -- happened yesterday.
The former - a bicycle! (Clue - safety helmet as opposed to crash helmet). :wink:
 

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Analytical said:
In our first-run district is a nice jogging/bicycling trail that runs along the Brandywine Creek. Yesterday a 40 year-old woman was bicycling, without helmet, lost her balance and fell, hitting her head. When the medics arrived she was still unconscious. Under local protocols, that warrants a helicopter transport to a trauma center. So, who was affected?

(1) Obviously the woman.
(2) Obviously her family.
(3) The local ambulance and police made the initial response to the accident.
(4) The air medics had to fly out from Phila.
(5) The local fire dept. had to secure a landing zone for the helicopter.
(6) Local residents were inconvenienced while they were detoured around the area.
(7) And, of course, there are the resultant medical, ambulance, & helicopter bills, which we're all paying through our ever-increasing medical insurance rates.

So, never underestimate the impact of your personal choice.
There's some problems with the above that weren't addressed. First of all, WHY did she lose her balance? Was it because the city didn't fix a pothole, in which case the city made a personal choice not to use taxpayer's money to fix something that could have avoided the accident.

This is just one scenario. Many people make personal choices to get in their cars, go to work, and yap on the cell phone which, in turn, distracts them and can (and has) led to an accident. Again... personal choice.

So, while you may find the faults of the personal choice this bicyclist made... in all fairness, we have to then fault the personal choices in each and every accident, whether it was city-caused, negligence, or just by deciding to be on the road at the very moment lightning strikes a tree and a 500-lb branch falls on your vehicle.

Bottom line: there's always 20/20 in hindsight.
 
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