Riding a Harley-Davidson® in Tennessee is nice for the predictable weather. Namely, you can expect a pretty healthy dose of sunlight throughout the year, which makes for clearer roads, fewer distractions, and much more comfortable riding. However, one of the caveats of riding in the sun, especially given Tennessee’s humid climate, is that the heat can get to you pretty quickly while riding a motorcycle. Summers get really hot around here, and if you’re not careful, you could be faced with dehydration or even possibly heat stroke.
We don’t want anyone to get hurt out there while riding a Harley®, so we put this guide together to explain how you can stay cool and safe when you’re out in the heat on a motorcycle. And if you’re still in the market for a new hog, come check out our Dyna®, Touring, and Sportster models at Abernathy’s HD®. We’re in Union City, serving the areas of Jackson, Paducah, and Cape Girardeau, Tennessee.
Protecting yourself from cold weather is typically pretty easy—you just wear more layers! However, when riding a Dyna®, touring, or Sportster model in extreme heat, you need to think a little more carefully about how to suit up. Wearing less clothing can actually cause you to warm up quicker, because t-shirts and shorts leave your skin exposed to UV rays, which can drain your energy levels and cause your body temperature to rise. That means that you should instead opt for some good motorcycle apparel. A riding jacket from Harley-Davidson® features thick lining to keep you protected in the case of an accident, and the ventilated materials also allow air to flow through and cool you off while you’re riding. Riding pants are good for the same reasons, and they’re also thick enough to prevent the exhaust from burning your calves when you pick up speed. Remember that your motorcycle will generate a lot more heat as the temperature starts to climb, so that exhaust pipe will just get hotter and hotter the longer you ride in extreme temperatures.
Bring Plenty of Fluids
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when riding a Harley-Davidson® is to underestimate how much water you’ll need. Riding is actually a very strenuous activity, especially when you spend hours on the road, so you’ll need to keep yourself refreshed with plenty of fluids. The basic solution is to pack enough water bottles so that you can drink about eight ounces every hour. This means you’ll have to stop every fifteen minutes or so to take a few sips, which might seem inconvenient, but will keep you much safer and far more comfortable as your ride goes on. If you elect for a hydration system though, you won’t have to worry about stopping all the time to get a drink. The nozzle can go directly into your mouth, which means you can sip on water throughout your ride instead of making frequent stops. Finally, if you plan on taking a longer ride in a touring bike, make sure you bring snacks and a couple sport drinks to replenish your electrolytes.
Knowing Your Body
Unless you’re the type who performs triathlons during 90°+ weather, you probably shouldn’t attempt to ride a Dyna®, Sportster, or any other Harley-Davidson® motorcycle in extreme heat. The human body can’t naturally handle strenuous activity in extremely hot and humid weather without proper heat training, so be very selective about when you choose to head out. If it’s going to be a toasty afternoon, try to take your trip in the morning or evening when it’s a little cooler out. But if you decide you absolutely need to ride during the hottest part of the day, make sure you’re taking frequent breaks and allowing your body to cool down before you start getting too hot.
Riding in the heat doesn’t have to be dangerous. There are plenty of tips and techniques you can use, including hydrating properly, dressing appropriately, and taking frequent breaks, to keep you comfortable and safe while on the road. At Abernathy’s HD®, we hope everyone can ride safely out there, and if you’re still in the market, we’ll also help set you up with a new motorcycle for more comfortable travelling. We’ve got Dyna®, touring, and Sportster models for sale at our dealership in Union City, where we also serve the areas of jackson, Paducah, and Cape Girardeau, Tennessee.