The time to ride

It’s 6am, the weather is clear and there’s no wind. It’s time to ride.

Getting up early is the cure to beating the heat, at least in an Australian summer. 

Sure, if you live at high altitude or in on of the cooler southern areas of the country maybe you don’t suffer in the summer like most of us… the warmer months can be brutal.

I find it harder to beat the heat than the cold. My Zarkie heated jacket liner draws power from the bike to generate warmth, beating back temperatures, while the touring fairing on my FJR1300 takes out the breeze trying to punch through in the cold weather. Summer is harder to knock for six, we just don’t have air conditioning on motorcycles.

So getting up early and hitting the road around dawn can often mean a good three or even four hour ride before it’s uncomfortable riding, but be aware Aussie wildlife likes beating the heat too, so be vigilant in your efforts to spot the kangaroos, emus and wombats.

I own a naked bike for the summer, a cheap 600. It’s still fun to ride, costs little to own and is far more suitable than the FJR when the thermometer starts climbing toward the 30s.

Combine that with a mesh jacket and airflow keeps the ride comfortable, although it’s best to keep moving.

For longer rides in the heat adding a Macna Dry Evo cooling vest makes a big difference. It’s an evaporative system. Pour 600mL of water into the vest and airflow across it evaporates the water, reducing you body’s water loss due to perspiration and providing significant cooling.

Not as effective in keeping you as cool as an electric liner is at keeping you warm, but still a fantastic way to extend comfortable riding into warmer temperatures. 

Starting early (when the temperatures are lower) with an empty vest under a mesh jacket, then filling the vest with cool water for the ride home when the sun is biting can bring motorcycling into the summer.