Though summer usually means the end of wet weather for most areas and the longer days ahead create ideal conditions to take extended excursions on your motorcycle, you might long for the winter months once the mercury stretches past 90 degrees.
Helmets, boots, pants, jacket and gloves. How about shorts and t-shirt? Not if you ride a motorcycle. When the temperature rises most people shed their clothing but as motorcyclists we need to keep the same level of protection we wore a few months ago during the more pleasant months that ushered in spring. But that doesn't mean donning the same riding gear.
You can keep cool without sacrificing safety by wearing vented riding gear when saddling up. Vented gear allows for more airflow to pass through keeping you cool, dry and comfortable. And, yes you can find vented styles in all aspects of riding gear. So, let's start from the top, before working our way down, and discuss the most important part of your gear setup.
Vented Motorcycle Helmets
All motorcycle helmets have some type of ventilation but you can find versions with advanced ventilation systems that help keep you cool. Additionally, you have a number of more open air choices when it comes to head protection that keep your noggin safe and within the law for those states that require the use of a motorcycle helmet.
Open face and half shell helmets provide the most freedom but you will need eye protection. However, many riders still prefer the all-encompassing protection of a full face or modular thus the need for a model with extra intake and exhaust vents. Expect a higher price tag on these helmets as more features generally mean more cost.
Vented Motorcycle Jackets
Leather has come a long way but remains the warmest of options when it comes to riding jackets. Most riders shed the leather for in the summer months in favor of the lighter mesh or textile jackets which have the necessary ventilation to keep you cool even in the hottest part of the day. However, a ventilated leather jacket can work just as well if you don't mind the additional weight.
When looking for the best vented motorcycle jacket choose those that have perforated panels and zippered mesh-lined vents along with strategically placed breathable textile materials. And yes you can find these attributes in a leather jacket if you prefer but like the helmet expect to pay more upfront for comfort down the road.
Vented Motorcycle Gloves
In many respects, most riders probably use the same gloves year-round as long as the rest of their body remains cool. Yes, hands get hot and very sweaty when riding in warm conditions and if it affects you a new pair for the summer can help you go a long way. Check out our assortment of fingerless gloves for an immediate impact or consider any number of short gloves that feature adequate ventilation ports that keep your hands cool and a bit more relaxed.
Vented Motorcycle Pants
You get a wider selection of choice with motorcycle pants than any other gear category. Most riders like riding jeans for warm weather because denim naturally cools you with free airflow and most manufacturers have implemented some type of cooling system for moisture wicking anyway.
For leather, see above under jackets, but those who adhere to leather can find pants that don't adhere to their legs offering enough ventilation areas to keep mostly cool and relatively dry. But also like jackets, the textile pants offer the most in terms of ventilation and comfort during hot weather. The looser fitting helps in overall comfort and you can wear the textile pants over regular clothing.
Vented Motorcycle Boots
When it comes to footwear, we recommend a different set of riding boots from the summer to the winter. Actually, we recommend an entirely different set of riding gear for the summer than what you wear in the winter months for usefulness and comfort. But with the variety of riding boots available it makes perfect sense and total convenience to have a separate pair for cold/wet weather and another for hot weather. And, thankfully you have some excellent choices...
Motorcycle shoes look good on and off the bike and rank most popular with the summer riding crowd but if you prefer the standard style of boot that straps on and protects your calf you still have several solid choices in vented motorcycle boots. You will get the most comfort from a shoe but retain the high level of safety and protection with a vented boot.
Don't misunderstand, vented riding gear keeps you cooler and more comfortable but don't expect an air-conditioned ride. You will still get warm if not hot, especially in slow traffic or around town with traffic lights because you lose the necessary air flow, but at a more tolerable level so you can continue commuting to work or plan those long summer rides.