Selecting Motorcycle Riding Gear for the Tropics

Over the years, I have ridden in all kinds of weather conditions, and that's one of the main reasons I still love riding. Battling nature is a major part of my hobby. It is what separates the men from the boys, and, more to the point, the prepared from the unprepared.

We all know about what to wear for cold-weather riding, but once the thermometer starts to go skyward, there are only so many layers of clothing you can remove. The trick is to learn to understand how the human body copes with heat stress and what you can do about it. The reality is that we have to make compromises.

We need protection in the form of helmets, boots, pants, jackets, gloves and protective pads, but these same protective gear can trap the heat next to our bodies and eventually cause a dangerous situations. Not wearing protective gear can result in life-threatening accidents.

The solution is to come up with the best possible compromise between protection against impacts and protection against overheating. The goal is to maximize all possible cooling strategies and minimize heat build-up by carefully choosing gear that is designed for hot-weather riding and optimizing the body's ability to cope with heat.

My chef mechanic has a son who always wears the best suits to school, after school, and in the weekend. His theory is 'Look good, feel good, do good.' I love that concept, as it perfectly sums up my philosophy when selecting gear for my trips around Thailand. First, it need to look good, who want to wear stuff what doesn't look good. Second, it needs to make you feel good, and I hope I not need to explain this. At as the saying go's use the right tools for the job, this also applies to wearing the right gear riding your bike.

It sometimes amazes me that fellow riders spend large amounts of money on the latest exhaust pipe, improve the fueling of the bike or buy carbon fiber fenders while riding around Thailand wearing the latest fashion jeans or worse.

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