No matter how many years go by the needs for riding your motorcycle in the summer do not change. But the gear to make those hot-weather rides bearable changes hugely. Welcome again, to Infinity’s Summer Motorcycle Clothing Guide.
We’ve gone through some of the newest products that have been released over the last twelve months, and beyond, to update you with the gear you need when you are feeling hot under the collar. Riding your bike in the summer can be one of the most joyous times of motorcycle ownership, just you, the open road, and a slight breeze. Summer riding is almost mythical.
But it does not matter how hot the weather may get, you must always keep your protection the paramount concern, every time you are out on the road. That is why you need to be using the correct gear for the situation. No t-shirts showing off your arms, and definitely no flip-flops.
Overheating is one of the biggest concerns for every rider contemplating stepping out on the bike in hot weather. Not only does overheating leave you uncomfortable, but it will also start to affect your concentration and can leave you dehydrated. Heat exhaustion and even heat stroke will turn your joyful cruise into an utter nightmare.
This guide will walk you through some great options for clothing and gear to make your summer rides a lot more bearable and keep you a lot safer.
Summer Base Layers
Adding an extra layer to your riding gear seems a bit counterproductive when your aim is to keep cool, but stay with us because adding a technical base layer is great for keeping you fresh, cool, and dry. A good-quality base layer will have moisture-wicking and fast-drying properties – what this means is they draw sweat away from your body and the material quickly dries so you do not feel sodden and uncomfortable.
A good base layer is also so low-profile and comfortable that it is barely noticeable underneath your actual clothing. Adding an extra layer like these ones below will help to keep you performing at your absolute best and keep you at your coolest.
OXFORD BASE LAYERS | FROM £34.98
We included these base layers on our guide previously and them being here again shows how good they are. They are a wonderfully affordable base layer suit that you can get for around £35. That includes the top and bottoms.
The Base Layer top and bottoms are made from 4-way stretch knit fabric which is ultra-breathable and has fast-wicking and fast-drying properties. These properties are essential to keeping you feeling sweat-free – feeling damp, soggy, and uncomfortable in your jacket and trousers is a perfect scenario for ruining your ride. The Base Layers also have a specifically designed thermal property that despite the name works for both cold weather and hot weather, regulating your temperature to be comfortable and cool.
ALPINESTARS RIDE TECH V2 SUMMER | FROM £109.98
Alpinestars is one of the most relied on brands for motorcycle gear on the market. They have a pedigree for designing gear that suits everyone from the pro MotoGP racers they sponsor to the everyday road riders like us. Its pro-riders that need base layers that perform at absolutely top-notch levels, for that there is the Alpinestars Ride Tech V2 base layers. But these are not just for the pros they are for us too.
The Ride Tech V2 comes as either a long-sleeve or short-sleeve shirt and then separate bottoms. The base layers are made from stretchy Lycra material that allows for maximum range of movement for your arms and legs. It also has moisture-wicking properties to keep you drier and there are strategically placed mesh inserts to allow cool ventilation across your body. The base layers are also specially-designed to be worn under motorcycle layers which allows for easy removal of your motorcycle jacket, trousers or suit while wearing the layers underneath.
Leather is the go-to for most summer riders. It usually has just a single layer, the supple and protective leather layer that is designed to keep you protected. And when they do have another layer, it is usually made from mesh or perforated beyond belief. This allows air into the jacket to keep you feeling cooler.
Despite some advancements with motorcycle tech, leather is still the best protective material on the market for clothing. Leather is brilliantly hard-wearing and will stand up to being battered against the road even during a slide at 35mph. It does take a bit of wearing in but after a few uses, you will find it as comfortable as most other types of clothing. You just have to get over that breaking-in period.
RUKKA MARKHAM JACKET | FROM £299.99
You would not assume Rukka would be a go-to name for a leather jacket, but that is slowly starting to change. Rukka released the Coriace-R leather suit a year or two ago and many moons ago released the Merlin, again a full leather motorcycle suit. But the Markham is even more of a departure compared to those. Those previous Rukka jackets dabbled in combining Gore-Tex waterproofing with leather outer in an attempt to fix the one massive drawback of leather: it is not very waterproof.
The Markham though is a firmly vintage-style leather jacket. There is no waterproofing FYI. Instead, this is a high-quality supple cowhide leather jacket that is fitted with protective D3O Armour on the shoulders and elbows as well as a pocket to fit an additional back protector. The Outlast lining is temperature regulating to keep you cool in heat and warm in colder weather and stretch paneling in specific areas to keep your range of motion and flexible and free as possible while keeping you comfortable.
MOTOGIRL VALERIE JACKET | FROM £269.00
MotoGirl has continued to carve a niche in the world of motorcycle clothing, producing gear for women designed by women. Despite being on the market for a couple of years their Valerie jacket is still one of the best go-to leather jackets for any female rider.
The 1.2mm leather provides fantastic, hard-wearing protection while being supple enough to still be comfortable. The jacket features CE-Level 2 rated protectors on the shoulders, elbows, and back, and all that protection means the MotoGirl Valerie is AA Rated. As mentioned, the Valerie has been out for a couple of years but it is still MotoGirl’s mainline leather jacket and is still widely available for just £270, in a range of colours and a huge range of sizes from 2XS to 5XL.
SEGURA STRIPE LEATHER JACKET | FROM £279.99
There are two avenues to go when picking a leather motorcycle jacket – you can go vintage-style or racetrack ready. The Segura Stripe is firmly in the vintage-style avenue, made from a beautifully aged Buffalo leather, the jacket would not look out of place in Easy Rider. But vintage does not mean outdated. The Stripe is fitted with CE-Approved protectors on the shoulders and elbows and there is a pocket designed to accommodate a further back protector if you need.
There is a fixed mesh liner on the jacket, the benefits of which we mentioned briefly previously, but just to reiterate, the liner lets cool air in, cooling you off. There is also a removable thermal liner – we see this more and more with new leather jackets to give riders an option to use the leather jacket in colder weather. We did mention that a great benefit of using a leather jacket in summer is because it is a single layer – that means simply removing the thermal liner and not using it until the temperatures start dropping again.
The Segura Stripe has now reached the end of its life but it is still an amazing leather jacket that would see you through the summer months looking good and riding comfortably. And it comes in both a mens and ladies’ version. As it is end of line you can find the Stripe jacket for less than £300 which is amazing for a high-quality leather jacket that has a style that gets better as it ages.
RST AXIS LEATHER JACKET | £199.99
Not every rider is on a relaxed cruiser-style bike, some prefer much sportier models, so you would need a leather jacket that looks the part on that. Instead of a vintage style you would want something more racetrack-ready. The RST Axis is a fantastic choice for exactly that. You can get the Axis jacket for under £200, which is great for a racing-style leather jacket that comes with CE-Level 1 protection on the shoulders and elbows, along with TPU shoulder cups on the exterior. The jacket itself is made from premium cowhide leather that is brilliant at protecting you against abrasions and tearing, while the armour protects you from a potential impact.
There is also perforated ventilation on the jacket to allow cool air inside and across your body, exactly what you need when riding in hotter weather. And there is a 360-degree zip that allows you to connect the jacket to a pair of RST leather jeans.
As the technology in motorcycle clothing has advanced by leaps and bounds, mesh jackets have arisen as a great alternative to riders who do not want to wear leather. Now, we mentioned mesh in regards to many leather jackets having mesh liners – mesh jackets on the other hand are highly perforated and normally use textile and occasionally some leather paneling to finish the jacket’s construction off.
Thanks to this mesh, these jackets provide awesome cooling without compromising your protection. Because of this, they are becoming a more common alternative to leather.
DAINESE AIR FRAME JACKET D1 | £199.95
It may seem like grandstanding a bit but the Dainese Air Frame jacket is one of our best-selling products, people love this jacket and there is a good reason why. Well, a few reasons why.
The Air Frame jacket is made from QuickDry fabric that is fast-drying, as the name suggests, to keep you feeling fresh on your ride, but it is the specifically placed mesh inserts that raise the cooling game. These inserts allow cool, fresh air into the jacket and across your body to cool you down. The interior of the jacket is also perforated even further, giving you extra breathability and helping to shift that sweaty feeling that comes with hot weather rides.
There are also CE-certified protectors on the elbows and shoulders and a pocket designed to fit an additional back protector if you want. The Air Frame also has a removable windproof liner and reflective detailing to help you adapt to different weather, as well as elastic and soft inserts on the neck and adjustable wrists. Do not just take our word on this jacket, one of our customers called the Dainese Air Frame, the “best summer jacket I have bought.” And it comes in a men’s and ladies’ version.
TUCANO URBANO NETWORK 2G | £119.99
Tucano Urbano has built a strong reputation by designing motorcycle clothing with the commuter and city rider in mind. Many of Tucano’s products are functional and have a classy style that looks good while on and off the bike. Tucano’s Network 2G jacket is constructed from a mix of mesh – a lot of mesh – and Polyester Oxford inserts to finish the frame of the jacket. It then has a further mesh interior lining to allow cool air in and across your body while you ride.
The Network 2G has CE-Level 1 protective armour on the shoulders and elbows and there is a pocket designed to fit a back protector if you want. Reflective detailing across the jacket and the on-demand reflective inserts on the wrists will keep you right in view when it starts to get a little darker and multiple pockets give you a safe place to put your small belongings. The Tucano Urbano Network 2G is a jacket that keeps your cool and freshness paramount.
REV'IT ECLIPSE JACKET | £129.99
Rev’It is an all-new brand for Infinity Motorcycles, so we are still exploring their colossal range of jackets, trousers, and everything in between, but we were instantly taken by the Eclipse jacket. The Rev’It Eclipse jacket has a mesh outer shell to provide that cooling you need in a summer jacket, the construction of the jacket is then finished with a 600D Polyester outer that is amazingly abrasion-resistant, meaning you get the protection alongside the cooling.
The Eclipse jacket is also fitted with KNOX Flexiform protectors on the shoulder and elbows that are rated CE-Level 1, there is also a pocket to fit an optional back protector if you so desire. The Rev’It Eclipse jacket comes in a huge range of colours and sizes, all to make this jacket a fantastic choice for summer riding.
Denim motorcycle jeans were a godsend to every motorcyclist, in many more ways than one. They provide fantastic protection while looking just like a normal pair of street jeans – but they also provide amazing comfort, especially when being worn in hotter weather. Most motorcycle jeans are made from super hard-wearing fabric that is designed to not tear even during a slide at motorcycle riding speeds while still being lightweight, and they are usually fitted with knee protectors and possibly hip as well.
Every rider should have at least one pair of motorcycle denim in their wardrobe to break out when the temperatures start rising.
PMJ NEW RIDER JEANS | £139.99
The PMJ New Rider jeans have an effortlessly cool design, like a good-fitting pair of your favourite jeans, but style is not the only thing they have. The New Rider jeans are made from 12.5 oz. stretch cotton-denim that has the flexibility to be comfortable but still has that hard-wearing tear resistance that you need on the motorcycle. The jeans are further reinforced by 100% TWARON ballistic fabric that is highly resistant to heat, cutting and has very low flammability, to keep you safe in case of a potential slide or crash. The knees of the New Rider jeans are also fitted with hard protectors.
The jeans have a slim-fit design with no external stitching, and we could go on and on about how stylish the jeans look. The mesh liner inside the jeans allows for cool airflow, meaning these are an ideal solution for riding in the summer.
MOTOGIRL MELISSA JEGGINGS | £119.99
We are here with MotoGirl once again, and who can blame us, they design some fantastic clothing for female riders. The MotoGirl Melissa is a motorcycle-riding-ready jegging that combines the features of a pair of jeans with a pair of leggings, then packing it full of the stuff you need to keep you riding happily on the bike.
The jeggings have a cotton and Elastane mixed construction on the outer, but it is the inner liner of the Melissa jeggings that make them so good. The Jeggings are fitted with an inner layer of DuPont KEVLAR Aramid that is super hard-wearing against potential abrasions and tear-resistant. The Melissa jeggings then have CE-Level 2 protectors on the knees and hips to absorb a potential impact. The Melissa Jeggings have a stretchy but slim-fit design, but they definitely have a little less stretch than the range of MotoGirl leggings.
Despite being so hard-wearing and protective the material used is lightweight enough to keep you cool and happy while riding. The Jeggings are a fantastic choice for summer riding and have gone down very well with you riders, one reviewer said they “could happily wear these all day long on and off the bike.”
ALPINESTARS DAIJI JEANS | £229.99
It is not often you get a piece of motorcycle clothing that is also designed by a fashion heavyweight. This collaboration by Alpinestars and Italian fashion brand Diesel is exactly that. The features you need for a pair of jeans on the motorcycle are all here alongside some Diesel-inspired stylish cool.
The Daiji jeans are triple-stitched for increased strength and resistance to tearing, and there are further abrasion-resistant panels concealed at the knees and hips of the jeans. The jeans are also fitted with Alpinestars’ own Nucleon Flex Plus knee protectors that can be removed and pockets to fit additional hip armour. The Daiji jeans have a high-quality and highly-protective design that is finished off with traditional jean pockets on the front and back. The Daiji jeans look the part on and off the motorcycle, and will keep you looking cool and feeling cool.
No matter how bright it gets – it is never a bright idea to skip your gloves. It is best to find a reliable pair of lightweight gloves and have them kept for your summer riding. A good summer glove is lightweight, vented maybe even mesh or perforated and has a short cuff. Here are some of our recommendations:
KNOX URBANE PRO GLOVES | £99.99
The entire Knox Urbane Pro range is a great thing to look at when kitting yourself out for summer, it is all lightweight with mesh while still prioritising your protection in the exact way you expect from Knox. The Urbane Pro gloves are made from a breathable mesh outer fitted with Knox’s own Scaphoid protection system and advanced Micro-lock knuckle armour. That all makes for a protective and comfortable glove. The Micro-lock armour is uniquely designed to feel soft to touch but hardens instantly when in a real impact situation.
The mesh material is used mainly on the outside of the gloves, cowhide leather is used for the palm area. This mesh placement means cool air will be filtering across your hands while they are in position on the handlebars of your motorcycle, maximising the cool air onto your hands.
ALPINESTARS REEF GLOVES | £34.99
The Alpinestars Reef gloves have everything you need in a summer glove. The short cuff along with the stretch fabric construction makes for a comfy glove while the hard knuckle protector provides safety from a potential impact. The backhand of the glove is where Alpinestars have put the mesh outer meaning that cool air will flow across your hands while they are in the riding position at your handlebars.
The webbing-style wrist strap provides a comfortable and secure closure and the palm is reinforced for both protection and added grip on your controls. The index fingertip is also compatible to use with touchscreen devices like your GPS. And they come in men’s and ladies versions.
Thankfully not a huge amount of thought has to go into your footwear even in the summer, something on the lightweight style will do. But throwing a pair of trainers on and thinking your ready to go out on your bike is never recommend.
If you are looking for features for a summer boot, lightweight, short boots are best and you can find some with good venting to allow cool air into your feet.
ALPINESTARS J6 SHOES | £159.99
Much like with denim it seems most manufacturers find it easy to design a boot that has all the features you need for on the motorcycle while having a design that does not look out of place walking about town. The Alpinestars J6 shoes are probably one of the most recognizable motorcycle trainer-style shoes about and there is a number of reasons why they are so popular.
The boots are CE-Level 2 rated for protection, the actual outer of the boots is made from high-quality full-grain leather with suede paneling and the J6 are fitted with a fully waterproof membrane to lock rainwater out of the shoes and off your feet. So, you are getting a lightweight protective shoe perfect for summer that is also ideal for when the weather, typically, takes a turn for the worst.
The J6 is a great choice for a pair of motorcycle shoes to see you through the summer, and they come in a mens’ and ladies’ version.
TCX MOOD BOOTS | £159.99
The TCX Mood boots have a similar, laidback style to the J6 shoes, but that is one ideal for summer riding, so we don’t feel bad recommending something similar. The TCX Mood boots are made from high-quality full-grain leather that has an aged vintage look, and they are fitted with a Gore-Tex membrane to provide some amazing waterproofing as well. The rubber sole makes for comfortable walking when off the bike.
The malleolus area, toe, and heel of the boots are reinforced for added support on the most important areas of your foot and the shoe itself has been designed with TCX’s Comfort Fit System. What does this Comfort Fit System mean for you? It means the shoe has a fully ergonomic design meant to map the contours of your feet.
MOMO boots are an all-new brand that has only released their range of boots this year – but from the looks of them, they are some amazing, high-quality casual style motorcycle boots. And they look perfect for summer riding.
There are four boots across the range, all named Firegun followed by a number to denote the model. The whole range is made from lightweight technical fabric that is designed to provide superb breathability and all the boots have reinforced protection at the malleolus area, toe, and heel. The looks are also deceiving, the boots may look lightweight and casual but every model in the range features CE-certified protection.
All of the shoes are in the range are waterproof except for the Firegun-3 Air which instead trades off the waterproofing for a mesh outer allowing cool air across your foot. Despite the mesh nature of the Firegun-3 Air, the whole range of boots have the features that make them an excellent choice for summer riding.
FALCO AVIATOR BOOTS | £184.99
Trainer-style boots are not the only option for your summer riding footwear, you can find other casual style boots that have a more classic design. A pair of boots like the Falco Aviator look just as good off the motorcycle as some of the previous trainer-style ones we have mentioned. Of course, this more classic boot style will have a lot less venting and mesh but they are made from high-quality full-grain leather that is fantastically protective and lightweight.
For even more protection the Aviator boots are also fitted with a reinforced toe and heel, and there are D3O armoured cups on the ankles. The boots are then also fitted with a High-Tex membrane inside that provides soft comfort and a bit of ventilation to cool your feet. The Aviator boots are an excellent choice for summer riding and give you the ease of stepping off the bike and not needing to faff around changing your footwear, because, they look so stylish off the bike.
Helmets are the most important piece of gear you can choose for your motorcycle because it protects the most important part of you: your head. Riding without wearing a motorcycle helmet is as close to a cardinal sin as you can get – all you are doing is putting yourself at risk and possibly others around you. That is why you should never ride without a helmet – it is in fact a legal requirement to wear one.
There is no such thing as a summer motorcycle helmet but there are specific properties for helmets that make them good for summer riding over others. Flip-up motorcycle helmets like the Shoei Neotec 2 or AGV Sports Modular are a great choice in good weather because they let you pop the face-shield up when you are off the bike. But many new flip-up helmets will also be dual-homologated for use with the face-shield down and up. You have to make definitely sure that your helmet is dual-homologated but that means you can use the helmet on the motorcycle with the face shield raised like it is an open-face helmet.
A race-style helmet will also prioritise airflow into the helmet, which is good for hot weather riding. Be warned though: race helmets are often a lot noisier because of the extensive ventilation systems they use that prioritise keeping you cool over keeping your hearing clear. A good quality set of earplugs will help mitigate this though. The Arai Debut is a great entry-level full-face helmet from Arai made from a solid, super-fibre laminate shell that is brilliant and deflecting and dissipating energy generated during a fall or crash. The helmet has been built to ECE 22-05 standard so you have the peace of mind knowing that you will be protected if the worst-case scenario does happen.
Another option for a helmet to keep you cool would be an open face. These do not have the complete face-shield, like a full-face helmet, instead normally having just a visor, though there are some vintage-style ones which have no visor at all so you can wear a pair of goggles or there are modern-style commuter open-face helmets that have a visor that covers the whole face.
The modern-style open-face helmets are well-loved by commuters and couriers because they offer the full-length visor alongside the ease of not having to remove your helmet too much to talk. A low-cost choice for a modern-style open-face helmet would be the HJC IS-33 2, it has reached its end of life and has now been discontinued but you can get some graphics, like the Korba for £80. For a more top-end of the scale for these kinds of helmets, there is the Shoei J-Cruise 2, an update of the previous J-Cruise model the 2 is constructed from Shoei’s high-quality AIM shell that is a mix of various material layers alongside fibreglass. The J-Cruise 2 has a big wide-open visor that gives you a great peripheral field of vision – that is perfect for navigating busy city streets.
The other option for an open-face is a vintage-style one, traditionally stripped back, they had no visor and relied on you getting a pair of goggles to wear while riding. But many newly produced helmets of this style will have some mod-cons to make riding a little easier. The HJC FG-70S for example has an integrated sun-visor, meaning you can wear regular goggles but when the sun starts shining you can drop the sun-visor for a little UV protection. The shell is made from a mix of Kevlar and fibreglass for a lightweight but super protective shell. At the top-end of this style you can take a look at the Arai Freeway Classic – and classic it is. The helmet is stripped down its basics, there is no sun-visor this is meant to be worn like a traditional biker helmet from the 60s, with goggles or sunglasses. But what you do get is Arai’s complex fibre outer shell and triple-density inner shell, that will provide fantastic protection that you can totally rely on.
There is a host of accessories on the market nowadays designed to help make a summer ride in hot weather a lot more pleasant. These accessories can be used alongside our clothing recommendations to give you a better chance of enjoying your ride.
Keeping hydrated is a brilliant way of making your hot weather ride more bearable. Kriega, the go-to name for most riders looking for luggage and storage accessories also has a range of hydration packs. Worn like a backpack, the Kriega Hydro 2 and Hydro 3 provide a quick way of refueling your body on the bike.
The Hydro 2 has a 2-litre capacity while the Hydro 3 has a 3-litre capacity. The bags themselves are made to the high standard that you expect from Kriega, they are made from tear-resistant 420D Cordura nylon that is lightweight but fantastically hard-wearing. Both bags feature Kriega’s unique Quadlock harness system that will keep the bag securely strapped to you while you ride. Both the Hydro 2 and Hydro 3 kits will work brilliantly to make your ride through the summer sun that much better.
ALPINESTARS COOLING VEST | RRP £164.99
The Alpinestars Cooling Vest has been one of our go-to recommendations for rider comfort for a long time and that is because its unique design which vents fresh air inside and across your body cooling you down. The vest also has temperature regulating properties to keep you feeling even cooler. The vest is also lightweight and comfortable and has anti-bacterial properties.
TUCANO URBANO COOL FRESH SEAT COVER | RRP £26.99
The Tucano Urbano Cool Fresh seat cover is designed to leave an air gap between you and the seat, now that may sound a little bizarre but what this means is airflow is able to pass under you. Your bum is sat against that seat for the best part of an hour so getting some airflow down there is a godsend while riding in hot weather.
The seat cover is made from 3D Aero mesh and is just 2cm thick but it still creates a channel for air to flow through. The seat cover has a strap so that you can securely strap it to your seat to limit the potential slipping that can come with sitting on another layer on your seat. And there are two version, one for a motorcycle and one specifically for a scooter.
WATERPROOF OVER SUITS
The United Kingdom is the United Kingdom and so even when in the throes of lovely weather there is that ill-feeling that it could all go Pete Tong. The heavens could unleash on the loveliest of days and you kitted out in your summer riding gear may find yourself short of a way of keeping you dry.
Summer motorcycle clothing is designed to keep you cool and fresh; it is not meant to protect you from rain, which is why a packable waterproof layer comes in handy. These are designed to pack away into a small and unobtrusive size to go into the storage of your bike, under your seat, or in a backpack for example. They allow you to adapt instantly to a change in weather that can happen in moments. The Oxford Rain Seal comes in two parts – as over-jacket and over-trousers, for a little under £60 altogether, there is also a full one-piece suit that you can get too. The material used on the Rain Seal is lightweight and waterproof to keep you dry and comfortable and the sizing is designed with motorcycle gear in mind, so if you are a medium in a regular jacket, you should get a regular in this, same with the trousers.
An alternative is the Richa Typhoon rain overalls, a full one-piece waterproof suit that comes with its own handy storage bag so you can stow it away easily. It also has a waist strap that allows you to carry the suit around when packed away. You can get the Richa Typhoon overalls for just £45!
You just can’t beat a countryside blast in the sun! Warm air, grippy tarmac, fellow bikers out, bugs dappled on your visor. But what about when the midday heat cranks it up a notch and becomes a little bothersome?
I’ve found that taking a neck tube and soaking it in cold water works wonders for helping to regulate temperature a bit better when it’s really hot out.
In a dry, sunny climate the water in the neck tube evaporates, cooling the skin rapidly. Because the neck is a major blood vessel highway (carotid artery & jugular vein) the body uses it as an area to dump heat before entering the brain. By improving this exchange of heat with our wet neck tube, the cooler blood flows around the body, and critically, to the brain.
It also just feels really nice!
There is no excuse to not wear your proper motorcycle clothing while riding in the summer, no matter how hot, dry and bright it may be there is no point at all to put yourself, or possibly even others, at risk when you step out on the bike. Infinity hopes this guide will help on the journey to find the gear that makes every ride, including the potentially hot and sweaty ones, as good as possible for you without compromising your protection. And the gear you need to keep comfortable while being protected.
This article was written by Aaron Thomson.