Summer is typically when most motorcycle riders spend the
majority of time on their bikes. Whether it’s taking advantage of the extended
daylight hours commuting back and forth from work, or spending days on end
burning up miles traveling across scenic highways there’s no better time to
ride than summer. The one big drawback
for riding a motorcycle in the summer is extreme heat.
Unlike traveling in a vehicle that offers the respite of ice cold air conditioning from sweltering heat, on a motorcycle your exposed to the sun and all its blazing glory. Riding a motorcycle in extremely hot weather can cause serious health issues such as dehydration, dizziness, lightheadedness, and fatiuge.
We all know that staying hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids when exposing your body to extreme temperatures is very important. This is plenty easy to do when riding a motorcycle by wearing a hydration pack like this one offered by Fox Racing. What many people don’t realize is that when you are out in high temperatures your body ends up working harder thus wearing you down quicker. Riding a motorcycle when your body is worn down and tired is never a good idea. You become less observant, your reactions are slower, your thinking is less clear, and worst case scenario, you may fall asleep.
Mesh motorcycle jackets and vented riding gear really help when it comes to summer time riding. But if you’re going to be riding in really hot temperatures one of the best things you can do is wear a cooling vest like the one offered by Fly Racing.
The Fly Racing Cooling Vest features a quilted nylon outer shell with a very technical Hyperkewl Polymer material embedded inside. The Hyperkewl material is a water absorbing material that holds water for an extended period of time and gradually allows the water to evaporate. The material also reacts with the water and the hot outside air to create a cooling effect against your boy. The sides of the vest feature soft elastic fabric panels that allows for stretching to make for a more comfortable fit. At the center of the motorcycle vest is a durable YKK zipper with large teeth to make for easy zipping/unzipping.
In order for the cooling vest to work its magic you need to soak
it in water for about two minutes. Once the vest is thoroughly saturated you
then lightly ring out the excess water (so it’s not completely dripping wet)
and then put it on. As you ride, the vest emits a cooling effect against your
core, helping you maintain a safer and more manageable overall body temperature.
Even though the vest is completely wet, on the inside is a water resistant
liner that allows the cool air to pass through without soaking your tee shirt
or making you feel damp.
While you could ride with just the vest, to get best results both in the cooling effect and the longevity of the cooling feature you should wear the vest under your motorcycle jacket. Now you might think that wearing a mesh motorcycle jacket would be best because it would allow for a ton of air penetration to hit the vest and thus cool you better. That’s not exactly the case. The more air and exposure to the heat the vest experiences, the quicker it will dry out.
The best way to utilize the Cooling Vest is to wear it with
a traditional motorcycle jacket that has multiple vents. By opening a few of
the vents and allowing some air to hit the vest you create a shell of cool air
against your body. By utilizing the vest in this manner you can typically keep
it wet and cooling your body for upwards of four hours. Once the jacket is dry,
or when you get to a gas/rest stop you can simply soak it in water for a few
minutes and you’re ready to roll with built in air conditioning again.
One thing to take note of is that the vest is quite light
when it’s completely dry. After it soaks up water it will be much heavier (a couple
pounds) but not so heavy that it’s uncomfortable or burdensome. It’s also
important to make sure the vest is completely dry before you store it away or
hang it up in your closet, otherwise it could develop mold/mildew and end up
with a nastier stench than your motorcycle boots.
When the vest gets dirty or if you notice that it does start to smell a bit funky you can wash it with cold water and the gentle cycle on your washing machine. Just don’t use bleach and don’t throw it in the dryer; let it air dry.
If you’ve got a big summer motorcycle trip planned and are
looking for some hot weather riding gear this Fly Racing Cooling Vest should be
at the top of your list.