When it gets to summer, what can excite motorcycle riders more than being able to go on those long warm sunny rides without a care in the world?
However, riding in the heat (especially with temperatures slowly rising in the UK right now) can come with its own set of challenges that you need to stay alert for and ready to tackle at any point.
In this blog, I have compiled a list of 10 of the most important summer kit and riding tips for scooters and motorcyclists to take on board over the coming warmer months - so without further ado, let’s get into it shall we?
5 tips for Summer Riding Kit
1. Always wear protective gear
Although hot weather is somewhat of a rarity in the UK (with the past few weeks being an exception), the temptation to strip the kit becomes very appealing. However, before you do anything, you need to think very carefully about the serious consequences this could possibly have for you in the event you are thrown off your motorcycle.
2. Do not ditch the kit, instead opt for something lighter
Summer riding gloves and ventilated jackets can really make a massive difference to your comfort without comprising any of your safety.
3. Kevlar Jeans are an essential
It goes without saying that these jeans are a lifesaver. Made from abrasion-resistant fabric, as well as knee and hip armour, these jeans will protect your delicate skin and keep you cooler than ordinary textiles.
4. Invest in a full-face helmet
An open-faced helmet may look the part on certain machines, however, if you get hit in the face by an insect while going at speed - you will most definitely know about it.
As will your face and chin if you’re unlucky enough to part company with your machine, a well-ventilated full-faced or flip-fronted lid is recommended on any bike or scooter.
*For more on which helmet is best for you, check out our full motorcycle helmet guide!
5. Ditch the trainers and get some boots
Now I know we all love our pairs of trainers, however, when you’re riding a motorcycle, trainers do not have a great deal of protection built in.
Nowadays there are plenty of casual trainer-style shoes and boots on the market, designed for riding - all coming equipped with CE-approved protection, are comfortable, and are often waterproof as well.
5 Summer Scooter and Motorcycle Riding Tips
1. Ride as fast as your abilities allow
Summer is the perfect time for group rides and naturally, we'd always say stick to the speed limits, but it is very important to also stick to your limits and not to be influenced by mates or other road users.
Worry about yourself instead of keeping up with those who may have more experience tucked in their belt.
2. Utilise the weather to improve riding skills
Maybe you struggle with certain bends, can’t do a U-turn, worry about busy town riding, or just want to make your riding more consistent and smoother.
Practice makes perfect so get out and enjoy riding whilst it’s warm enough to just ride aimlessly, trust me - riding the same bend over and over again will work wonders for your confidence!
3. Be cautious of loose gravel
Summer in the UK can throw you some very strange curveballs, one of these being piles of gravel or other road debris in the corners of the roads.
If you see an unwanted piece of gravel in your path, be sure to adjust your speed and be prepared to alter your positioning before leaning into the bend. If you keep the bike as upright as possible, don’t do any harsh braking, and make everything as smooth as possible you’ll be fine. Tensing up and panic braking is the worst thing you can do. If you’re stiff the bike won’t go where you want it to go.
4. Expect Heavy Rain at ANY time
When it rains after a prolonged dry spell, dust can wash into the roads and make them greasier than usual.
If you see some fast approaching, make sure to relax and adjust your positioning through corners for a straighter line than usual to keep the bike upright and go with the flow.
Also try to avoid painted white lines and slippery manhole covers - Riding in the rain can be as much fun as in the dry if you learn how to make the most of it
5. Always be one step ahead
When riding are you smelling freshly cut grass or see muck on the road, this could be a sign that there is a grass cutter or tractor moving slowly on the roads ahead, make sure to use clues you can see in front of you to predict what is round the corner.
It is also worth noting that the UK summers seem to be getting hotter and for longer, with summer 2022 seeing record-breaking temperatures of more than 40 degrees Celsius recorded at several locations. Now more than ever it is apparent that we should all be wary of the signs of heatstroke when riding in the beating sun.
Recognising the signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke
Typically, if you start to experience heat exhaustion, you should not need medical assistance if you can cool yourself down within 30 minutes.
However, if you are unable to get things under control, this can lead to heatstroke and you will need medical attention immediately. There are a few easy signs to look out for such as:
- Dizzy or have a headache
- Being/Feeling Sick
- A heat rash or excessive sweating
- Rapid heartbeat and breathing
- High temperature
- Weakness and feeling very thirsty
If you, or someone you are with starts presenting these symptoms, you will need to begin the cool-down process and start drinking fluids. For more on heat exhaustion and heat stroke, head over to the official NHS website.
The Last Stop!
So there you have it, there are my handy tips to get you through riding this summer.
Last but not least, if you have a motorcycle you need to insure in order to get you out and about on the roads for summer, why not head over to Lexhams motorcycle insurance directly via the website for a competitive quote?