When it comes to riding in the UAE, it is a general assumption among most motorcyclists that summer is a time to park your motorcycle in the garage or the basement parking lot, sell it or keep it handy for an occasional weekend rides down the favorite beach road. But is it?
For most riders, getting used to the Middle Eastern summer heat is the biggest challenge. Make no mistake, no matter how tough you are, no matter how experienced a rider, no matter how good your physical condition is, if you don’t respect the heat, it will make things very uncomfortable very fast.
To overcome this and to ensure you enjoy your ride, here are a few basic tips and tricks for riding in the heat that I’ve learnt over the last five years that I’ve been riding in the desert summer.
Start early: Your best bet is to start around 5am. Most riders are used to starting their rides around 7am during winter but starting around 5am in summer gives you the advantage of riding in reasonable temperatures and enjoying the sunrise which usually happens around that time in this region.
Carry plenty of water: Make sure you carry plenty of water with you while you’re out riding. Most adventure riders have a top box or panniers they can store bottles in, for others, a simple motorcycle net for the rear seat can hold a couple of big water bottles that can come in very handy.
Wear the right riding gear: This one is a no brainer. It is critical to wear the right kind of gear that suits this kind of hot weather. A mesh jacket, mesh pants and mesh gloves will really help in keeping cool. Also, don’t forget to wear sunglasses if your helmet has a clear visor.
Plan your route well: if you’re going for a long ride, it’s always best to plan your route in advance on Google Maps. Also, try not riding alone if possible, especially in the eastern region, which tends to be more isolated.