I suffered through many years of wearing leather in Illinois’ hot and humid summers before realizing how much more comfortable a good textile mesh jacket could be. Textile mesh motorcycle gear is one way to keep you on your bike in the summer months while maintaining a level of protection. The model pictured above is the Dainese Sport Guard Jacket, which is essentially a mesh chassis containing CE-rated armor front, back, and sides. Mesh jackets and pants are a great way to give you airflow while bouncing around town on those hot, humid summer days. Nearly every major motorcycle gear manufacturer produces some sort of summer offering, so there are no shortage of options.

  • Starmag

    It’s a good thing that Alpinestars base thing is worn under clothes or bystanders would think you just escaped from Tron.

    LOL. Putin on a Ural shirtless. Is there no bad example he’s not capable of? /s

    • Ryan

      *Tron Lightcycle not included

    • toomanycrayons

      “Putin on a Ural shirtless. Is there no bad example he’s not capable of?”

      My brain screen went BLANK trying to imagine Trump faking that on a golf cart. Is there enough cheap vodka in the world to make that image bearable?

      Further reading: https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-most-popular-vodka-in-Russia?share=1

    • Douglas

      Catch the photoshopped “4 Sale” on the sidecar. Haw!

      • Auphliam

        the 4 Sale sign may actually be legit. It’s Putin that’s been ‘shopped from his old horseback pic.

  • Mahatma

    11:Ride like a squid

  • Vrooom

    If you come by a stream, soak your entire jacket and pants (empty the pockets first) and that will keep you cool for an hour or so in hot weather. Headed down to California to ride today, so will probably use some of these.

    • toomanycrayons

      Be careful to wash your hands after w/bottled water?

      “Agricultural runoff is water leaving farm fields because of rain, melted snow, or irrigation. As runoff moves, it picks up and carries pollution, which it can deposit into ponds, lakes, coastal waters, and underground sources of drinking water. ”

      https://toxtown.nlm.nih.gov/text_version/locations.php?id=1

      [NB] Once Trump removes the monitoring standards this will cease to be a problem. So, it’s not all bad news…

      • cupcub

        Right now the monitoring standards are doing nothing, since you still have to wash your hands after touching runoff water.

        • toomanycrayons

          I think the removal simply relieves the fake guilt of having standards but not paying the taxes to enforce them.

          • cupcub

            Or it removes standards which don’t actually accomplish anything except make the American economy incrementally worse.

          • toomanycrayons

            How can you tell that standards not enforced cause anything which reflects either way on those standards? The tendency to conflate wealth with ethics and morality is not a new thing. It might even be why things are as they are.

          • cupcub

            So you’re saying that the federal government sucks at their job? I completely agree. If you’re not going to enforce the standard, then why have it? All it does is make it harder for the economy to function…

          • toomanycrayons

            I’m saying that America is built on someone else paying for your free ride. It’s what makes some people smart. You could save money up front by not teaching people how to read, too. That saving would neither remove the need, nor the loss of future benefits.

            You are now free to move about the country soaking your riding gear in any factory farm areas. ” Ignorance is cool, and…even cheaper to not enforce.”-Kellyanne Conway

            An alternative reality is spending more tax money on regulations than those who profit from promoting the lack of them do gutting what there is. The “economy” argument you’re using is like blaming a bike rider for being hit by someone else being reckless.

            The government is being taken over by reckless drivers who don’t want to pay for brakes, lights or any safety features. Sucks To Be You, is the motto. It means the same thing as “In God We Trust.” It’s simply a notice of the price of admission to the reigning normative narrative.

            The “economy” is a method of reallocating wealth upward. It isn’t functioning now for the majority who would benefit from being able to at least live and ride healthy wherever they have/happen to live.

            Like Trump said about the whole Civil War, ( …maybe even Auschwitz, today. I don’t know I haven’t checked. ): “WHY?” Indeed.

            http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/18/us/18dairy.html

            Speaking of chicken, I have to go buff off the last few millimetres of the strips on these new Pirellis. Yeah, yeah…all that pollution, both in production, and usage? I never said I wasn’t a hypocrite…

          • cupcub

            Jesus, don’t tell me you’re one of those nimrods that believes the economy is a zero sum game and that the way rich people got rich is by stealing from the poor. Income inequality is not inherently bad. The Sudan has virtually zero income inequality, because everyone is dirt poor.

            The top 1% of the wealthy in this country account for about $1.6 trillion. If you evenly distributed that amongst every man woman and child in America, each person would get less than $5000.

            Income inequality is not the problem. Dipshits who want to drag the rich down and make the whole country poor are the problem.

          • toomanycrayons

            “Income inequality is not the problem. Dipshits who want to drag the rich down and make the whole country poor are the problem.”

            Is that right out of the Prosperity Gospel hymn book? Forget Paula White, Jim Jones lives! It’s not like the level playing field actually exists, right? Trump’s grandfather started the family fortune selling minors to miners in the Yukon. There is no record of the fates of the girls he used. That would be their fault, then? They could have become POTUS, too? Stacked decks are just a myth? Meritocracy is the rule? The Winners’ Circle is for the pure of heart? Pull the other one.

            You can’t grow a pie that won’t grow. Is your answer to zero-sum that all you have to do is keep moving the decimal point? I don’t get faster on a bike because Rossi does. He gets faster because the millions of dollars attracted to the sport make him possible. That money goes there because it makes more money there than lifting everyone like the tide that lifts the rich was supposed to do for the rest.

            The reason the Sudan is a mess is because civil society has broken down, basically as a result of sponsored corruption and exploitation by foreign actors, like US corporations, for example. Grandpa Trump got rich and the girls didn’t, which pretty much defeats your argument unless, of course, you find it useful to blame them.

            In North America motorcycle riding is largely an expensive indulgence. On reflection, it doesn’t seem that odd to encounter here the myth of self-made privilege, and the view that anyone not similarly blessed is justly disparaged.

          • cupcub

            Jesus, you do think it’s a zero sum game. Please tell me. What method did the rich people use to steal the money from the poor. And, if they were poor, how did they have money to steal? I notice you completely ignored the rest of my post which annihilated any thoughts of wealth redistribution. The poorest 1% of people in America are still in the 80th percentile in the world. Why?

            Because income inequality is the worst way of judging an economy. Please, please PLEASE take an econ class. Learn how economics actually work, and for god’s sake stop thinking that money is a zero sum game.

          • toomanycrayons

            “Because income inequality is the worst way of judging an economy. Please, please PLEASE take an econ class. Learn how economics actually work, and for god’s sake stop thinking that money is a zero sum game.”-cupcub

            That explains why economics works so well, revealed wisdom like yours? Money is a made up thing. For you it appears to expand like a spiritual/moral concept. We started with the campaign to defeat any attempts to protect environmental conditions, and you slipped over into blaming the blameless for their own situations.

            If life isn’t zeros for some how does someone else get more power to keep it that way? You act as if money is a moral reference point. It’s just a value metaphor. It isn’t real.

            How economics “actually works” is not a particularly profound perspective on human existence, either. Rather than deal with your zero-sum knowledge paradigm, why not refer to conflicting view points in the very economics you seem obsessed by:

            “If Americans want to live the American dream, they should go to Denmark.”

            http://www.businessinsider.com/the-negative-effects-of-income-inequality-on-society-2011-11?op=1

          • Simon Cohen

            It’s not that money was literally stolen — as you point out, if you have little to no money, how can it be stolen? — but rather that through the passage of tax laws that benefit the wealthy, they end up paying less (in some cases none) of their fair share of the tax burden. When you add on all of the measures that reduce social assistance, you end up with a system that is so heavily stacked in favor of the wealthy, it is the financial equivalent of stealing from the poor (if not in method, then certainly in results).

          • cupcub

            That is a complete lie, and you know it. The top 1% of the wealthy in this country pay about 35% of the taxes. The top 10% pay nearly 70%. Stop lying and use a real argument, not a fake one. You’d think you guys would have learned your lesson after it was proven that Trump pays a higher tax rate than Bernie and Obama COMBINED…

          • Simon Cohen

            Actually we still have no idea what Trump paid in taxes because he still hasn’t released his tax return. But all of that notwithstanding, don’t take my word for it, I’m not an expert, but Jane Meyer is, and she wrote about this extensively in Dark Money. http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/215462/dark-money-by-jane-mayer/9780307947901/
            If, after reading it, you still think it’s a lie, well I suspect it may be hard to convince you of anything you are predisposed to disbelieve. The thing to remember here is that no one is saying being wealthy is bad, or that wealthy people are bad, but to recognize that the wealthy have used their influence to tip the balance in their favor. Even the wealthiest of them all, Warren Buffet, agrees with this.

          • cupcub

            Funny, I remember Rachel Maddow releasing his taxes (illegally I might add) and being embarrassed to discover he paid $35 million. At a tax rate of over 25%. You should really educate yourself before speaking.

          • Simon Cohen

            C’mon, you and I both know I’m speaking of his most recent return, not one from 2005. That said, why do you think paying 25% represents his fair share, when the tax rate for someone with an income in the millions is over 35%? As I said (and as Meyer so thoroughly explains) it’s not that they’re doing anything wrong, or illegal. It’s that they’ve been able to influence the laws so that they’re able to pay less. It’s the same reason that any healthcare act (whether tabled by dems or GOPers) that actually provides decent coverage for all Americans, will continue to be shot down: It would simply cost too much and that would force a jacking up of the tax rates on the wealthiest — who of course don’t need the medical coverage and don’t want to pay for anyone else’s.

          • John Reddy

            Bingo. Nobody ever got a job from a poor man.

          • toomanycrayons

            “Bingo. Nobody ever got a job from a poor man.”-John Reddy

            Is that why Trump “loves debt?”

            ‘”Don’t Forget, I’m The King Of Debt, I Love Debt” – Trump Chimes In On Puerto Rico’

            Who did the first job come from, then, since your “poor man” theory seems almost Biblical in its lack of verifiable substance?

  • 12er

    Good tips but I can’t recommend Mesh Gear for any out of town rides. Im much cooler in my ‘stich than my mesh. In the ‘stich I get a nice RamAir swamp cooler effect with my vents open and my sleeves loose around my gauntlets. Do the funky chicken and my pit vents balloon open and Im cooled to my waist. In my Mesh Gear Im just as hot as the outside air as the only time to accrue any sweat is at a stop. In town Mesh is ok but I have no desire to ride around town in the heat.

    • toomanycrayons

      Where does the bug spooge go when you wear mesh, is another consideration.

      • 12er

        Yeah, My upper chest looks shotgun blasted with bug guts crossing the central valley in spring or fall. Worst though was when I had my old KLR and was still using my MX Helmet. Had a grasshopper hit the mouth guard and explode into my gaping maw at 80mph on I5… Blech…

        • toomanycrayons

          Mmmm. that makes me want to get the bike out!

          • 12er

            Heading to WSBK tonight, couldn’t get the day off. Going to be a long day… Hopefully no mid ride snacks…

          • toomanycrayons

            Is ti time to start a craft beer thread on which goes best with which accidental nutrients? Oh, I think so…

            Have a good ride.

  • cupcub

    Most worthless article ever. Nearly every single one is either patently obvious or dead wrong. Full face helmets? Nothing heats you up faster than a full face helmet, even a well ventilated one. And a t-shirt will always keep you cooler than leather. It’s not nearly as safe, of course. But this article is about staying cool.

    I think this writer doesn’t understand how evaporation and thermodynamics work. You WANT more air against your skin. You WANT to sweat. The combination of those two things is what your body uses to keep cool. Claiming that full face helmet keeps you cool by reducing the air against your face is one of the more asinine statments I’ve ever heard.

    Take two guys riding side by side. Dress them identically on identical bikes, but give one an $800 full face and one a half helmet. Have them ride 100 miles in California heat. See who comes out cooler at the end.

    (Hint) It won’t be the guy in the full face.

    • Lance H

      True, given that the article is about keeping cool, versus keeping hydrated and sunburn-free. However, I’d rather ride thru Death Valley in July wearing a full-face and textile mesh jacket than a t-shirt and beanie (I’ve done both). The helmet and jacket really don’t add as much heat as you think especially when you’re moving (and the materials are keeping the sun off your skin), and the benefits of keeping you better hydrated and protected from sunburn (and road rash) far outweigh the tiny differences in “coolness”.

      • cupcub

        One small thing that you post doesn’t take into account. Humidity. On a hot muggy day leathers can actually make things worse. I’ve seen riders overheat wearing exactly what you describe. I’ve tried it both ways coming home from work and less clothing is infinitely cooler. Less safe, to be sure, but cooler.

        Humidity isn’t really an issue in Death Valley

        • Lance H

          Yeah, humidity sucks no matter what you wear or don’t wear.

    • 12er

      Ive rode in 113 and my full face with the shield down was cooler surprisingly. With it up it was like a 90mph blast furnace.

      • cupcub

        I could see that. But 99.999999% of riding doesn’t happen in 113 degree weather. Using the extreme to prove the general doesn’t work.

        • I’ve ridden plenty in triple digit heat. It’s not fun, but it is possible. I wear a modular as a compromise for safety and access. While a lot of heat does go through the head, gotta get the core temps down. The highest I’ve done is 119. over 100 isn’t anything special.

        • 12er

          Well 101 Now, heading to Laguna Seca in a few min, not looking forward to lane splitting in triple digits.

        • Born to Ride

          Any time the temperature of the air exceeds the temperature of your body, this principle will hold true. That is hardly an extreme case. Yes the effect becomes more pronounced at higher temperatures, because the temperature gradient drives the transfer of heat energy. But I assure you, on a 100 degree day, which is common in California, it is noticeably more uncomfortable to ride with no face shield.

    • You won’t sweat enough to cool off effectively. Better to wet down, either with a wet vest or just soak yourself and then cover, with the sleeve ends open to allow airflow in and out the neck.

    • Born to Ride

      Unfortunately you seem to lack a basic understanding of how convective Heat transfer works. You are correct that the most effective means of cooling that the human body possesses is boiling off condensed water from the surface of our skin. The latent heat of vaporization inherent in the phase change of water from liquid to gas carries energy away from our bodies, and insulation in the form of helmets, jackets and clothes keep the sweat from boiling off as effectively. However, you overlook the absolute key aspect of this equation, delta T. Our pores can only produce so much sweat, our bodies have limits to their hydration. If the delta T is high enough between the surface of your skin and the air colliding with it, the heat transfer goes the “wrong way”, and the heat flux quickly overcomes the cooling ability of Sweat. This is why on a 85 degree day, the air feels cool on your skin as you ride, but on a 95 degree day, it feels hot. Below 90 degrees, your body is the high energy system, and the heat flows to the low energy system. On a 100 degree day, your body is the low energy system, and the atmosphere transfers energy to you via convection. The laws of thermodynamics are against your argument. also, you’ve clearly never ridden on a 100 degree day without a helmet, the hot air literally cooks your face.

  • HeDidn’tWeDid

    As of 7/7/17 in Little Rock it is 90F with a Heat Index of 102F and 60% humidity. Here, you are going to sweat no matter how meshed and ventilated your gear may be. The best two tips from this for us Southern riders is ‘hydration’ and ‘light colored gear’. Hydration is very important in high-humidity environments because evaporation for cooling is just not effective…so our bodies dump (it sure feels like that too) sweat to cool us down. I have had a few close calls over the years from dehydration.

    • Douglas

      Ditto OK, TX, LA, AL, etc. I ride before 1000 and/or after about 1930 when it’s over 90.

      • HeDidn’tWeDid

        It’s all about them humids. The humids just kill my joy for summer riding.

  • I live in hell and some of the advice won’t work or is counter productive, some of it right. In extreme dry heat the only solutions are evaporative cooling or a Veskimo. I wear a leather jacket and wet my shirt underneath, open up the ends of the sleeves and let the air in and I actually get cold for a bit. Gotta keep covered though. Without the evaporative cooling, the wind will cook you and mesh isn’t of any help in that regard. Keeping hydrated is important too. Drinking a gallon of water a day isn’t unusual in this heat.

  • Sayyed Bashir

    We have had several 100-plus days in NorCal and I find that a leather jacket with or without ventilation keeps me cooler than a mesh jacket. The mesh jacket gets hot itself and also allows the hot air from the pavement heat my body whereas the leather keeps me insulated from the heat. Same thing with a full face helmet which keeps my face cool whereas if I open the visor the hot air burns my face. Having hot air blowing over your body and face is not a good thing. I also have a Icon laser perforated leather jacket and pant set that keeps me quite cool on the Suzuki Bandit. Wearing a T-shirt, shorts and sandals is not a wise option for commuting on the freeway.

  • Jeff S. Wiebe

    Nice.

  • MrFalloffalot CrashTestDummy T

    Easy!! Just move to Australia in your summer…It’s BLOODY Cold here atm!!
    RSOT all >:)

  • TC

    I just did a 350 mile ride from Phoenix to San Bernardino yesterday, it hit 112 degrees and was over 105 the whole way. Lucky I was in a car, with the a/c cranked up. Did that same ride on my bike, but I left at 4 AM, and was in Blythe before the sun came up. If you look at daily temperature graphs, the low is usually around 7 AM, so plan your ride accordingly. I wear a mesh ADV jacket and kevlar jeans in the summer, with a modular helmet. Good to about 100 degrees. I bought some perforated leather summer riding boots, but they have the waterproof membrane, and they aren’t any cooler than my solid leather boots. For any of you ‘I ride a t-shirt’ guys, I’m telling you, a mesh jacket is cooler than a t-shirt, because the sun isn’t heating up your skin.

  • manfromsima

    Great read as there is a lot of misinformation out there.

  • Bubba Blue

    I never saw “base layer” referred to before. There’s one company that advertises in the back of the motorcycle magazines, is that what they’re talking about? Or are they talking about Under Armor? What are they talking about?

    Most of this stuff sounds like a recipe for being hot and sweaty. Cool to me is a T-shirt and shorts. It ain’t how I keep cool, that’s for sure.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      Base layer is underwear that wicks moisture away from the skin and evaporates it instead of absorbing it and getting wet like cotton. Search for “base layer” on amazon.com.

  • webheadwilks

    Please stop posts where we must “click-through” 10 pages. I don’t.

  • DO-NOT-MESS_with_USa

    11 FULL PAGE RELOADS?
    PAY ME FIRST, for you are wasting my bandwidth allotment.

  • SikterEfendi

    It is very important to distinguish cooling when ambient temperatures are below normal body temperature (~36c) and when they are above it. Why? Because increasing air flow over your skin will help with cooling at 30 degrees, but it will will have the opposite effect at 40. Consequently, mesh gear will be as bad at +40 as it would be at +5 degrees (sorry for using metric units, folks from Myanmar, Liberia and USA will have to convert to colonial). Similarly, cooling wests like those soaked with water will be simply too cold below body temperature (~36c). I’m a 12 month a year rider and have experienced temperatures between -10c and +50c for extended periods. You’d be hard pressed to tell the difference in the gear I wear at extreme temperatures – I’m covered head to toe in both cases and there’s no air flow over any part of my body if I can help it.

    • Ron Nath

      You are absolutely right. I ride year-round in SC and our temp ranges from -10c to about 40c and I am geared up like you, head-to-toe with the only air-flow being from vents in the suit that I open. Mesh gear is more psychological than anything. The rest of the cooling gearing would not work here either due to our high humidity – the sweat simply does not evaporate.

  • Val Demort

    Ride naked . It works Unless u are fat

    • You until it doesn’t, which is when skin touches ground or one gets 1st degree burns from sun exposure.