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Summer is the perfect weather to get that motorcycle out of the garage, think of a destination and ride. Also, this the same time of the year when you get into a lot of trouble on the route when you have no idea about to expect and do in the heat.
The weather can get really hot and here are 10 essential safety must knows that can make summer riding fun.
1. Carry Plenty Of Water
One very important factor about riding under the hot sun is to be well hydrated. And to do that, the easiest way is to drink a lot of water. Invest in a hydro back, which can hold at least 1.5-litres of water so that you don't have to stop to drink. Else, just carry a bottle of water along with you.
2. Coconut Water
Tender coconut is another source to keep you well hydrated. There are plenty of road side shops that sell them and if at all you think you're dehydrated, pull over and drink one. Tender coconut water is also a very good source of vitamin C.
3. Wear Clothes In Layers
When the early hours of your ride is cold, wear something warm. But make sure you wear multiple layers of thin material clothes, so that when temperature slowly rises, you can slowly lose layer by layer. This also becomes easier to carry since one big jacket will be a pain to store or carry.
4. Wear A Summer Jacket/Armour
Chose your riding gear carefully. Opt to wear summer Jackets/ Trousers when riding in summer. They are well ventilated and keep you cool. Also, try opting for riding armours since they allow better wing flow and ventilation, while keeping you safe at the same time. The same advice goes with gloves as well.
5. Do Not Ride With Shorts/Exposed Skin
Hot weather means no matter what, you have to be in your riding gear. Never think you can manage with shorts, or take off your upper body protection since its getting too hot. Riding gear is a must no matter how hot the weather is. If you think it's too hot to ride with your gear, stay home!
6. Avoid Riding When The Sun Is Above You
Here is an alternate method if it's too hot to ride - start early and take a break for two hours between 12 and 2. That is the hottest time of the day since the sun is above you. Relax during this time under a shelter or have lunch and take a short power nap. This will also ease out that sore biker bottom and and relax you a bit.
7. Take Enough Breaks
Take a break every 100km or so if possible. Take a quick stop to rehydrate yourself and the motorcycle too, deserves a break. Some riders push themselves too far without realising they are tired, this is when accidents happen. Short breaks will will also refresh your head.
8. Wear A Full Face Helmet With A Clear Visor
The advantage is that when it gets dark, you can still use the visor. A dark visor will limit your visibility in the dark, which is dangerous. If you think the sun's too bright during the day to use a clear visor, wear a pair of sunglasses under your helmet. An alternate is carry a spare visor, but ensure it does not get damaged.
9. Ensure The Tyre Is In A Good Condition
Hot weather and tarmac is a perfect recipe for punctures. To avoid such unwanted punctures, make sure your tyre is inflated to the recommended tyre pressure and the tread is fine. Make notes if the tread wear is not uniform and get it checked. Try filling nitrogen, as it does does not increase the tyre pressure nor decrease it.
10. Watch Out For Melting Tar
Nothing could put your riding mood off, apart from a spill around a corner. If you are riding in the ghats or on twisty roads, watch out, since the heat can melt patches of tar on the road. If there is a melted patch around a corner, there is a high chance of the motorcycle losing the front end, and when that happens, Ouch!
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