Bikes for hot weather riding (don't fry me bro!)

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by longslowdistance, Jun 10, 2018.

  1. longslowdistance

    longslowdistance Long timer

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    Not sure where to put this so I'll try it here. Mods have at it.

    Current ride is a triumph Tiger 800. In 80 degree (27 c) weather it sends 120 degree air over the rider's entire thighs and lower abdomen. Good recipe for overheating the rider. I can't say I wasn't warned.

    Aside from electrics, what is on the market that
    1. provides a much cooler experience for the rider and
    2. is fully capable of at least mild ADV paved and nonpaved riding?
    #1
  2. BetterLateThanNever

    BetterLateThanNever Long timer

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    I have to say that on my F700GS, I'm never even aware of engine heat, even in traffic. I'd imagine the F800GS is the same.
    #2
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  3. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

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    No brand recommendations, just some overall heat observations and such.

    Catalytic converters create tremendous heat. Older bikes without them, decating newer ones with them.

    Designs that put the cat up high maximize rider suffering.

    Radiators with fans that blow the heat across you are horribly hot. Like a catalyst converter, the higher it’s mounted, the more you as the rider suffer.

    ECU reflashes can set the engine to run cooler. Beware though, doing this frequently causes the cat to run hotter.

    Shrouds can look goofy, but can do a lot to protect you from heat. But beware of accidentally cooking the engine.
    #3
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  4. Robert OK

    Robert OK Been here awhile

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    BMW 1200 GS/GSA are very good at keeping heat off the rider. Engine is way down low and in front. As the other poster mentioned the F700GS is good, but not as good as the boxers. I would add the Street Triple, but it's not much of an adventure bike.

    FWIW I won't own a bike that gets too hot in the summer.
    #4
  5. davidji

    davidji bike curious

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    Where do you feel the heat? If you close the vents on your gear, or wear gear that blocks the wind there, would it help?

    I always felt my R1200R didn't put off much heat. But one hot evening commute wearing a Roadcrafter over jeans, I left the legs partly unzipped for more airflow. The heat from the cylinders made my legs hotter. I hadn't felt it before, or since while riding.

    So yeah with proper motorcycle pants the R doesn't put off heat that I feel. But without, it does.

    Smaller engine cam help too. The 650 twins I've had for example put off a lot less heat than the liter bike.
    #5
  6. longslowdistance

    longslowdistance Long timer

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    RobertOK, Thanks for the reply. I have 15k miles R1200 GS LC. A lot to like about that moto. The cat warmed up the right foot and the radiators did dump heat on the legs which was a nuisance at modest speeds like 35 mph (think Skyline Drive or riding in slow traffic), but o/w not bad at all. The Tiger is in a different class. Blast furnace class.

    Davidji, I could wear ski bibs over my gear on warm days to insulate against the wash off the radiator. But that does not sound very pleasant in summer weather.

    So back to post #1.
    #6
  7. Vertical C

    Vertical C Long timer

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    Sachs Madass 125 is awesome
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  8. longslowdistance

    longslowdistance Long timer

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    Or just a pedal bicycle. Or a golf cart.
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  9. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    My DR650s don't seem to heat me up, and the SACS air/oil cooling keeps the engine from overheating in even summer desert riding.
    #9
  10. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    DL 650 if you want something with more get up and go than the DR. NOT the DL 1000, it's a nice bike and all that but it generates more heat than the 650.
    I won't claim the DL 650 is the worlds best off road bike, but if it looks like a road if you squint, it's probably capable of doing it. Less clearance than the 800 but I havn't had problems getting through anywhere a triumph one of the larger BMW's could go.

    I test rode a Triumph 800 several years ago and was wearing the short boots I wear on the commute - um, no because of the fried ankles then.
    #10
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  11. Robert OK

    Robert OK Been here awhile

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    I've owned the pre-lc GSA ('09?) and now own the 14 GSA (LC) and felt very little heat. I was assuming the GS was the same, but I've never actually driven one. Perhaps there is a difference? I drove both bikes in Manhattan where 35 was high speed. There was some heat but in both cases I've often worn shorts and have been relatively comfortable.
    #11
  12. PaveMint

    PaveMint precious bodily fluids

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    I have a KTM 1190 ADV, a bike known for heat issues. I have had it in 100+ degree temps with no issues, but I'm wearing a set of Latitude moto pants. Gear really helps with heat management. It also helps that the bike tends to cook only one area of your body, your inner thighs. But you are sitting atop one of the cylinders, so no surprise.

    My hexhead R1200R would get a little warm at times, but I would only notice it at stop. The watercooled GS-A I rode didn't seem to have any heat issues.
    #12
  13. Jimmy the Heater

    Jimmy the Heater Dirt Farmer

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    3 ADV type bikes that I can think of don't put out hardly any heat. I've spent time on a 650 VStrom, and a 650 Versys and neither of those put out much heat. I own a CB500x and have no heat problems with that either.

    There may be more but none that I have experience with.
    #13
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  14. ObiJohn

    ObiJohn Screaming Banshee

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    I've never had a problem with heat from the bike in 100-degree + weather, but I also ride ATGATT. At a minimum, for my 3 mile commute on suburban road I put kevlar overpants over pants/shorts. On longer trips I ride with my MotoPort mesh gear, and still don't get heat off of either the FJR or my GSA. Yes, I feel some heat off of both at traffic lights, but once moving it's ambient temps or lower.

    The Tiger has a powerful, light engine with the heads and exhaust just in front of the rider and you are going to get heat. If you're not wearing gear, consider armoring up. If you are, then the only choice is considering another bike.
    #14
  15. Sitheach86

    Sitheach86 Long timer

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    My wr250r radiator fan blows to my right upper calf. The heat is so intense I've actually had lingering burning pain and red skin wearing just jeans on a hot 20 mile ride. Moto pants with leather inside is mandatory on a longer ride. I feel the OP and it's a big factor for me as well.
    #15
  16. daveinva

    daveinva Been here awhile

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    My XSR900 is cool as a cucumber, although again like the posters above, always wearing riding pants hides whatever heat it may have. Ditto my old Honda CB500F, no heat at all.

    My Ducati Supersport can *literally* cook a turkey dinner in stop-and-go-traffic, if only I could rig up the appropriate grilling apparatus. Ditto the Ducati Scrambler I rode through Europe last summer.
    #16
  17. curtis6870

    curtis6870 Long timer

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  18. billmags

    billmags Scoot Jockey

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    My DL1000 V-Strom is the coolest bike I've ever owned. On chilly days I'm looking for the heat but it's not there. But when it's hot -it's hot, & the gear is what cooks me.
    #18
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  19. Nicksta43

    Nicksta43 Been here awhile

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    I feel no heat at all from my FJ-09. It's not very off roady though.
    #19
  20. Chico

    Chico Thief and Saboteur

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    CT90. Hardly enough fire to heat it up but totally adventureable. Kind of facetious reply but kind of serious.
    I had a k75 in NYC and hated it in the summer. I was warned but didn't realize just how hot it would get.
    #20