What to Wear When Riding a Motorcycle in Hot Weather

When it comes to hot temperatures, what should a motorcycle rider wear to keep their body and head cool? And how can keeping all that safety gear on possibly keep a rider comfortable and cool at the same time?

Riding motorcycle in hot weather what to wear

Many motorcycle accidents take place in hot weather, largely due to heat exhaustion, dehydration and fatigue, which impair a rider’s cognitive abilities. Motorcycle riders must resist the temptation to leave protective gear behind in the interest of staying cool. Of course nobody wants to be sweaty, sticky and smelly during and after a ride. However, safety always comes first, and staying cool is directly related to riding safely. With that in mind, here is some apparel you can wear to stay cool while riding a motorcycle in hot weather.

Motorcycle riding in hot weather

Cooling Head and Neck Gear

Let’s start with keeping your head cool during hot motorcycle rides. There are a number of helmet accessories that help keep your head cool, but that’s another list for another time. Instead, let’s focus on what you can wear on your head under your helmet or without one (which you should never do, by the way). Something as simple as an evaporative skull cap or a head wrap can be worn underneath a helmet to combat the heat. Head wraps and skull caps made of lightweight, breathable material are an effective way to keep your noggin cool. Pair that with an evaporative cooling neck wrap to protect you from sunburns.

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Breathable Denim Riding Jeans

Keep it casual while riding in hot weather by trading out the leather pants with motorcycle riding jeans made of breathable material. You might associate wearing armored riding jeans with being hot as hell, but advances in denim technology have given manufacturers new ways to make more comfortable motorcycle jeans. For hot weather purposes, look for single-layered Kevlar weave jeans that don’t sacrifice safety for comfort.

Riding motorcycle in hot weather jeans

Cooling Vest

For keeping cool under your layers, get an evaporative cooling vest. These types of vests can be soaked in water for a few minutes to provide several hours of upper body cooling while you ride in the heat. Cooling vests are relatively inexpensive, and can be worn not just for motorcycle riding, but also when doing outside work such as construction or yardwork in the summer heat. Pair the vest up with a cooling tank top for added heat exhaustion protection while you ride.

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Ventilated Motorcycle Gloves

Who says you can’t wear gloves in hot weather? Motorcycle apparel technology has come a long way, and that includes riding gloves to keep your hands comfortable and cool while you ride. Gloves made with ventilated nylon mesh are available to protect your hands in the heat without having to sweat your palms off. 

Hot Weather Motorcycle Boots and Socks

Besides keeping your hands cool and comfortable, you want to do the same for your feet. Put on a pair of moisture-wicking socks along with vented boots that have breathable mesh inserts to keep your feet protected, comfortable and cool on a scorcher of a day.

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Vented Motorcycle Jacket

Leather jackets look cool, but do they actually keep you cool when you’re riding in the heat? They might if they’re made of breathable material, but you can also change up your look every once in a while. And in the interest of literally staying cool, try a vented air jacket instead. These air jackets are typically made with fabrics tailored for a wide range of weather conditions, and feature air vents with removable thermal liners and large mesh panels for added ventilation.

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Light-Colored Riding Gear

If you’ve ever worn black on a hot day, you’ve probably heard someone call you crazy. Darker-colored apparel absorbs more heat, while lighter-colored apparel does the opposite. Pretty straightforward: lighter-colored gear equals less heat absorption, which helps keep your body cooler while riding on hot days.

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Moisture-Wicking Motorcycle Riding Suit

Our bodies produce sweat to defend us against heat, and when sweat evaporates, it helps cools our skin. Wearing moisture-wicking base layers keep moisture off the skin. For a full-body cooling base layer, try a moisture wicking riding suit. This type of base layer covers your entire body, and has open mesh inserts for ventilation. 

What to wear on a hot day motorcycle riding

Hydration Pack

Finally, staying cool while riding in hot weather also means staying hydrated. This is where a hydration pack comes in. To prevent heat exhaustion and dehydration, you need plenty of water and electrolytes, and a hydration pack that includes a water bladder and a drinking tube allows you to sip water from a backpack while you ride. Keep some cooling towels in your pack too to help you cool down while you hydrate.

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These are just a handful of motorcycle riding gear/apparel items you can use to help keep you cool. However, keep in mind that no matter how hot it is outside, never sacrifice safety for comfort. That means no riding in shorts and flip-flops!



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