Riding A Motorcycle During Intense Heat

Riding A Motorcycle During Intense Heat

Posted by Team Motorcycle on Jul 21st 2016

If there is one vehicle ideally suited for hot weather transportation, it's a motorcycle. Wind flowing over your body, enjoying the heat; bliss. But when you are riding during a heatwave, or just in Death Valley, it's anything but fun. At that stage, being in a strongly air-conditioned car is probably nicer. But that is often a luxury which we can not, or want to, partake in.

So we end up riding our bike during intense heat, and that's fine, as long as you don't stop and keep riding. Because when you stop for a red light or a toll plaza, that's when you really feel like riding in hell. So here are a few points you need to know when facing such a situation, and it's not only you and your body. Your motorcycle doesn't like intense heat either.


1. Make sure you motorcycle's coolant liquids are fully stocked. Look at the reservoir and make sure you are on the “max” line. Not above, not below, just perfectly on it.

  2. Same with your bike's oil level. Make sure you've got plenty oil (check the oil level with the bike straight and cooled down). When you've stopped somewhere to eat, drink or check the sights, when you come back to your motorcycle, check your oil again. In intense heat, oil can start leaking.

3. While riding, and especially when stopped with the engine running (red lights, traffic jams, toll plazas etc), check your engine temperature indicators, and if you are lucky enough to have temperature gauge, keep a narrow look on it. Once it goes up quickly, stop.

4. Monitor the state of your tires. Already they are going to increase in temperature when you ride, but now in the intense heat, they may well increase too much. And they'll start loosing air. If you are riding in a group, you can ask one of your riding buddies to check if your tires are deflating (or get one of those tire pressure monitors, they not only tell you about your air pressure, but also the temperature).

5. Go easy on the brakes. Obviously when you need to brake hard, then you don't have a choice, but if you start taking twisties fast by braking hard before entering the curve, you'll end up without a working brake.

6. When parking your bike, keep it in the shade. When not riding, it's even hotter for your poor motorcycle.

You and your Body

1. The obvious one, but often forgotten; drink plenty of fluids! And we don't mean beer. Water, and lots of it. Best is to have a camelback pouch, enabling you to drink regularly while riding. The problem with dehydration is that you don't know your exposed to it until you fall over. And falling over at 60 mph is not going to improve your looks. So even if you are not thirsty, DRINK!

2. Avoid where possible to ride during the hottest part of the day. Prefer early morning, or late afternoon. This way you'll enjoy the ride much more.

3. Wear suitable clothes, but don't ride without protection. ATGATT, but adapted gear. Summer gear, ventilated, meshed etc.

4. Make sure you are wearing sunglasses. The sun can tire you out more than running a marathon.

5. Open all vents, especially those on your helmet to keep air circulating.

6. Put suntan lotion (high factor) on your neck and other exposed skin. Hours of riding in the intense heat, and when you arrive, you'll be hospitalized with 2e degree burns.

7. Stop regularly.

Now, get ready to ride in the heat. Enjoy the ride, but keep a careful watch on your bike and on your body. Oh yeah, and don't forget, that often after intense heat comes the heavy rain. Bring some rain gear...