It’s no surprise that the best time to hit the open road on a motorcycle is somewhere between May and September when you’re less likely to face frigid, wet obstacles. But before you ditch your leather jacket for a cotton tank top, it’s a good idea to consider how the right riding wardrobe can help keep you safe and comfortable on summer rides.

Lightweight motorcycle gear intended for higher temperatures makes all the difference in keeping you cool and safe on the road. Check out these 3 examples of summer-specific riding gear to help you cruise comfortably all summer long.

1. A seasonal, DOT-approved helmet

Summer is a good excuse to go shopping for a heat-friendly helmet. There’s a lot to consider when choosing a helmet, but always make sure yours is DOT-approved (there will be a sticker on the back to indicate its certification). That means it’s a top-quality helmet with ample protection for your noggin.

Finding a helmet that has seasonal fixes is also helpful. For example, a flip-face helmet allows you to easily flip up the face guard to to get some air and feel the breeze when you’re stopped at a light. And don’t forget to grab a helmet liner, especially one with a moisture-wicking, breathable knit fabric. Helmet liners help keep the inside of your helmet cleaner and drier, especially on sticky summer days.

2. A mesh motorcycle jacket

When riding in warmer temperatures you’ll want to opt for a jacket that moves with you, doesn’t weigh much, and is ventilated. Fortunately, there is such a thing: a mesh motorcycle jacket. Mesh jackets are typically much thinner than traditional leather jackets and allow air to flow through. Plus, they’re still designed to help keep you safe! The most versatile, cost-effective solution is a jacket with a polyester or poly-mesh shell, removable waterproof liner, CE-approved armor in the shoulders and elbows, and interior mesh lining for breathability.

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3. Gloves with increased air flow

It seems like more ventilation would mean less protection (because greater air flow has generally come from bigger perforations and/or mesh or textile fabrics), but newer summer motorcycle gloves don’t compromise comfort for safety.

The best pair of summer gloves will provide better protection and air flow by using protective material (like Kevlar) in vulnerable places (like your knuckles) and using air vents and/or breathable material in less vulnerable places (like the back of your hand).

Keep layering through the summer months

When  temperatures rise, it’s often more comfortable to shed any extra layers and start soaking up that Vitamin D. But on a motorcycle, light layering (like wearing a shirt over a t-shirt) is the smarter (and safer) move. Layering helps your body preserve moisture, so it can better cool itself down. Loss of moisture means you’re more susceptible to the drying, dizzying effects of summery winds and sun.

And for the best defense for you and your bike this summer, make sure you’ve got motorcycle insurance. Grab a quote from us to see if Esurance fits your lifestyle.

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about Jiordan

Jiordan is a pizza-loving word lady transplanted to San Francisco from the wilds of New York. As an Esurance content writer, she makes all things insurance sound super awesome on the web. In her spare time, there are cupcakes baked, cartoons drawn, and books dog-eared.