Staying Safe: Staying Cool

Sound RIDER! logo


Yamaha Motorcycles Street Event - Tacoma


Safer riding

Staying Cool

Hopefully you came through the recent heatwave unscathed and the information I share here may help you in the future, or help you assist another rider when you're out on a group ride.

Obviously, water is the key element to keeping cool. In more ways than one.

On the internet you'll find plenty of mathematical calculations that will help you determine how much water you should drink a day. For most adults in the 150-200 pound range, 64 ounces is a good baseline. Just don't try and put it all in at once. My general rule of thumb is to drink 8-12 ounces of fluid just before or right after going to the restroom. Add in what you're consuming during meals and you're well on your way to attaining that goal.

Keep in mind that every time you urinate, you are rinsing your body of precious electrolytes which must be replaced. Electrolytes help your body's brain and nerve functions work properly and are essential to organ performance. If you wash them away, you need to replace them with foods and beverages that contain electrolytes, or use an electrolyte supplement in your beverage canister.

Water is essential to keeping your body cool. The way that works is when the temps go up, your body will sweat. If you ride your motorcycle wearing nothing more than a short sleeve t-shirt on top, the water will rise to your skin and immediately wick away. Goodbye natural cooling. When you sweat, the goal is to get a layer of water on your skin and have it stay there. You can draw the heat away and maintain the water on your skin by wearing a jacket and opening the vents, allowing for a mild form of evaporative cooling as you ride. If your riding pants have vents, open them too.

If you wear a mesh jacket and the outside air temperature goes over 90 plus degrees, you're setting yourself up for heat stroke. That's because mesh jackets allow too much air to circulate stealing that precious layer of water you need to release the heat from your body. Without water on your skin during a hot ride, your body temperature will rise above 98 degrees and could cause your organs a loss in function.

Additional support can be provided by soaking down a thick t-shirt and recharging it with new water every 30-60 minutes. For longer support time, consider investing in an Evaporative Cooling Vest, sometimes referred to as a wet vest.

In our store we sell evaporative cooling vests. I recently was in contact with our vendor who advised me inventory is spotty. Currently we have most sizes and colors, but if you order one, I may call you to see if we can't substitute a different color or model during this time. You'll also find electrolyte substitutes in our store online at

PT/July 2021

We've worked hard to upgrade this site. Click here to notify us of any problems we need to correct.

Dualsport Northwest Rally


Subscription has its privileges - Each month Sound RIDER! publishes new features on rides, clubs, dealers and events. Don't miss out on these informative stories.

Sign up today for your FREE subscription and you'll get notification each month when the new issue comes on line. You'll also be the first to find out about special Sound RIDER! events. From time to time, we also provide valuable coupons that can save you hundreds of dollars on motorcycle services. What are you waiting for? Click here to sign up now!