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Discussion Starter #1
What techniques if any do you employ for riding in full gear in high heat?

What would you consider extreme heat?

For me, in full gear anything above around 94 - 96 is high heat. I did a day ride today with a couple of objectives in mind. I wanted to test out my freshly broken in RDL saddle and bike mods in full race mode to see how they/I performed. Also, I wanted to do some dual sporting in high temperatures. It was 100 degrees. I'll post up my thoughts on my next post.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Riding in race mode in high heat is more sketchy than normal. Riding off-road in high temperatures was also a little more challenging. Some things I tried/thought about.

1. Carry lots of water and hydrate.
2. Remove liners, loosen clothing, unzip jacket.
3. Stand up and ride if you can from time to time.
4. Ride visor up if bugs aren't too bad.
5. An old technique from my backpacking days.....I saturated my t-shirt with cool water. This kept me cool for around a half hour. If I weren't on the way home I would have re-applied the cool water. As it was, I was a little sweaty and uncomfortable in my leathers by the time I got home.
6. Slow down, take it easy and cruise it.

Lastly......laugh if you must....think of jumping in a cool swimming pool. Hey, it worked a little for me.
 

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102 here the last couple of days. Yesterday returning home from a ride to higher elevations was getting unpleasant for me even with mesh gear. Cooler in the mountains of course and cooler in the mornings. No fun to ride in this once the sun gets up a bit. I'm retired so I plan to leave for a couple of months. I see it's 59 on the north coast.
 

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I don't know about Farenheit, but I ride up to 40 Celsius without too much trouble, depending on the humidity.
I find that being stopped in a high heat/high humidity situation is hell.
Otherwise, I'm fine as long as I'm moving.

A well designed jacket with good zippered vents actually keeps me cooler than a mesh jacket, as it protects me from the sun (I use a Teknic Hurricane jacket).

I really think the key is too keep moving; I have no heat issues at highway speeds. I haven't been offroad too much, but wouldn't the trees provide shade?
 

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A well designed jacket with good zippered vents actually keeps me cooler than a mesh jacket, as it protects me from the sun (I use a Teknic Hurricane jacket).

I really think the key is too keep moving; I have no heat issues at highway speeds.
The reason a vented, non-mesh jacket keeps you cooler is not because of better sun protection (it's not significantly different), but because it doesn't flow too much air. Mesh gear allows your sweat to evaporate much faster, so it cools you better for a short while, but when it's really hot you soon run out of moisture and the cooling effect evaporates (heh).

So obviously you want to drink a lot of water -- not soda, juice or anything with caffeine or lots of sugar, since they actually will dehydrate you faster. If you'll be on the road for more than an hour or so, supplement that with an electrolyte solution or non-sugary sports drink.
 

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118 here in the greater Phoenix area yesterday....I rode in the morning from about 5-8. Sat inside and read about V-Strom trips to Alaska in the afternoon. Swimming pool at appropriate intervals.

Stop lights suck.
 

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Stop lights suck.
It's not quite that hot here, but I've definitely learned to plan ahead at stoplights and try to aim for any possible shade.
 

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I've been debating the options:

Evaporation vest (or LD Comfort sleeves):

Pros: Cheaper ($30-100), you can usually find water anywhere (even in the desert, you'll need to find water eventually)
Cons: doesn't work to well in high humidity or sitting in traffic. 30-45 minutes before recharge.

Phase change vest:
Pros: works even in high humidity and no air-flow without getting you wet. Comfortable temperature. Easy, 20 minute recharge in fridge or ice water. Probably the best bang for buck for commuting (if you have a fridge at work). Claims are that it lasts 1-3 hours...
Cons:requires fridge or ice to recharge. Moderate cost ($100-300).

Veskimo:
Pros: works even in high humidity and no air-flow. Even temp with controller option, doubles as a hydration bladder.
Cons: Pricey!! $350 - $500 depending on options...still have to find ice.

Tiez option (shhhh, no one's allowed to know until its ready)

Home-brew options...evap vest, blue gel packs, forced air like entrosys Motorcycle Air Conditioner

Good discussion in this ADVRider thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I haven't been offroad too much, but wouldn't the trees provide shade?
We don't have trees like you guys do where I live. It was 96 in the shade. The off-roading I did today was in a high desert type environment. I did take a break in the shade of an oak tree....that's when I came up with the idea to soak my tshirt.

My goal is to one day (maybe within 2 weeks) ride from here in Santa Barbara to BC where you are. Never been there heard it's beautiful. Surprised you don't ride much off road. I would think you guys have a ton of logging roads to explore.
 

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Picked up a Klim Mojave shirt recently;moisture wicking, mesh, etc.. Worked well off-road in the mid 90's. :yesnod:
 

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A good mesh jacket, a cooling vest, and keep moving. I bought an inexpensive cooling vest that you soak in water about every 4 hours. It works great if you wear it over a lightweight wicking fiber tshirt (not cotton). The combination of these three things is a winner. For the legs, mesh riding pants over lightweight nylon pants.

I live in North Carolina where it gets very hot and humid in the summer. Couldn't ride without these items. Here's the link to the cooling vest: TechNiche Hyperkewl Evaporative Cooling Vest - DennisKirk.com
:thumbup:
 

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I have used a kevlar mesh jacket by Motoport and a long sleeve shirt by LD Comfort with good success. Add to that the LD comfort helmet liner and it's almost as good as air conditioning when the outside temp is well north of 105 fahrenheit.
 

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I commute daily in FL. Highs have been in the upper 90's for weeks and it tends to be very humid here.

I always use a bandanna under my helmet. When it is hot out, I soak it first. Sometimes I toss it in the freezer after getting it wet. At first I got an icecream headache but I got used to it. Doesn't do anything after 5 minutes but feels good before getting hot. Before riding, I keep a spray bottle full of water and I spray down my arms and gloves. If I am not going to work, I spray down my chest too. They say it does not work well in high humidity but I can tell you it is better than not spraying it down and I am almost always in 70% or more. Works better at high speed.

Evaporative vests are great. I use them when just riding around on the weekends. I think I bought a $20.00 vest on Amazon. Need not be motorcycle specific and works well under my mesh vest.

I bought something called Coolbands on Amazon. They are advertised for sporting and people with multiple sclerosis. When you have MS, heat is bad. Anyway, I am not in love with them but they do help a little. They are basically ice packs that strap to the underside of your forearms next to some large veins. I only use them on my 20 minute commute.

Bead seat. It helps airflow down there and if your bike has been in the sun, it is not as hot when you first sit down. I made one from an $8.00 car seat model from Walmart and some bungee cords.
 

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I saw the evaporative cooling vest last week but thought it would be useless to me as I usually wear a leather jacket.
 

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Evaporation vest (or LD Comfort sleeves):
Pros: Cheaper ($30-100), you can usually find water anywhere (even in the desert, you'll need to find water eventually)
Cons: doesn't work to well in high humidity or sitting in traffic. 30-45 minutes before recharge.
Nice Link GM! It claims to keep you cool for 5-10 hours. It only costs 32 bucks. Win!
The evaporative cooling vest might hold water and therefore provide some cooling for 5-10 hours, but in my experience (at temps 95-105°F or so) it works best if recharged after 2-3 hours. If you have access to running water, say a convenience store bathroom sink, it takes only a minute or two under the tap for for an adequate recharge. It doesn't have to be chilled to work, though of course that makes it even more pleasant for a little while before your body and the air temp warm it up. As organicrider said, a synthetic wicking shirt underneath works best.
 

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I think you could probably keep water locked in a gallon ziplock bag to refresh your vest with. You would probably only need a quart of water in the bag to do it.
 

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A synthetic wicking shirt?

I haven't grasped the principle of the "wicking shirt", and I'd be grateful if its method of working could be explained.
Important to get the maximum cooling that's available to us - as heat can be a killer.

Basically, it seems best to have your sweat evaporate while actually on your skin surface, so that skin heat passes directly into the liquid sweat (and then the water vapour, having effectively absorbed that heat via the phase change - what used to be called "the latent heat of evaporation" - would slowly dissipate while being replaced gradually by lower-humidity air from the outside).

If you have a "wicking shirt" adhering to your skin - as happens when everything is damp & sweaty - then the skin heat has to penetrate up to the surface of the textile layer before evaporating "out there" : all of which results in less efficient skin cooling [and consequently less efficiency of water usage i.e. in higher than necessary rate of sweat loss from the body].

I mention this, because in ancient times (say 50-plus years ago) there was a belief that, for standing and/or walking about in hot weather, you were better off wearing a singlet or tee-shirt underneath your regular shirt "in order to get the wicking".
That was a widespread Urban Myth - which scientists "busted" long ago.

Admittedly, things are more complex in the "high breeze" of riding - but there it seems logical to have an inner layer of loose, extremely open mesh and a loose outer layer of (thick/deep) mildly porous material to allow the slow penetration of air-flow plus give insulation against the radiant heat of direct sunlight. (The outer layer to be easily removed or unzipped/opened-up as soon as the ride stops.)

Possibly Organicrider was not exactly meaning "lightweight wicking fiber shirt" but rather "superlightweight, super-thin, super open-weave fiber shirt" - in other words, something that lacks much "wicking" ability [I hope].
I am sorry if that comes across as a nitpicking distinction - it's not really, because in very hot weather it is [literally] vitally important to efficiently dump body heat, and avoid the deadly dangers of hyperthermia and/or dehydration.

And I am very keen to learn if there are better ways of achieving the goal, in a practical and efficient way. That includes the using of external water supplies as "artificial sweat" - and if you don't use that artificial sweat in the manner of highest efficiency, then you'll need to tow a water tanker, or otherwise restrict your riding to non-arid regions where water supplies are plentiful.
So, practical efficiency is important.
.
 
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