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Thread: R1200RT - Riding Gear for Hot Weather

  1. #1
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    R1200RT - Riding Gear for Hot Weather

    We just got our His/Hers 2018 R1200RTs a month ago and are pleasantly surprised how much the fairing really shields us from wind. We are riding in North Texas and our previous bikes required modifications to the shields between winter and summer riding, so with the ability to raise and lower the shields, that's a very welcome feature.

    I am curious what suggestions there are for hot weather riding on the RT. What are other riders in warm/hot weather wearing? Gloves? Jackets (Mesh)?

    Any modifications made to the RT for the summer months? We're considering getting shorty windshields to mount during those months. Any experience with various after-market shields?

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    Registered User pappy35's Avatar
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    Mine is a previous generation. I acquired a used OEM shield and am planning to progressively chop off more and more of the top until I get to a point where I get enough airflow to keep me from boiling over. I use that term because "cool" just doesn't happen when it's 95F and 90% humidity.

    I'm in Memphis and July-August can be brutal and the screen just works too well. I found that out last year when I bought a mesh jacket to replace my Tourmaster Transition 2. Still hot though except now I'm hot AND dehydrated. Haha.
    '13 R1200RT 90th Anniversary Edition

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    Quote Originally Posted by pappy35 View Post
    Mine is a previous generation. I acquired a used OEM shield and am planning to progressively chop off more and more of the top until I get to a point where I get enough airflow to keep me from boiling over. I use that term because "cool" just doesn't happen when it's 95F and 90% humidity.

    I'm in Memphis and July-August can be brutal and the screen just works too well. I found that out last year when I bought a mesh jacket to replace my Tourmaster Transition 2. Still hot though except now I'm hot AND dehydrated. Haha.
    Ha! That's exactly what we're trying to prevent. Hot is fine, as long as there is some air flow behind the windshield, and not just to the helmet. :-)

    Since I don't have the tools or expertise and would have to do it with two windshields, I am looking at the following options:

    • AeroFlow Sport AeroScreen
    • BMW Sport Windshield
    • California Scientific Shorty


    The AeroFlow is the shortest of the three at 6" from the top mounting hole to the top of the shield (according to AeroFlow), the BMW Sport Windshield comes in at 8 1/2" with the same measurement method, and the California Scientific Shorty is 10", again from the top mounting holes to the top of the shield, taken from their website. The BMW OEM is the most expensive, followed by AeroFlow, and then CalSci.

    I talked with Mark at CalSci and it sounds like they can manufacture just about any size, so asking them to go shorter than the 10" I would expect to be an option. They are also the least expensive according to pricing on their website.

    I hope that the short windshield together with mesh jackets make a difference. I also noticed that the air flow to the handlebars is shielded fairly well, so I'm looking for options for gloves as well without compromising on abrasion attributes.

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    Registered User alegerlotz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbtex View Post
    I am curious what suggestions there are for hot weather riding on the RT. What are other riders in warm/hot weather wearing? Gloves? Jackets (Mesh)?

    Any modifications made to the RT for the summer months? We're considering getting shorty windshields to mount during those months. Any experience with various after-market shields?
    I ride a 2016 RT in a part of Southern California that is 100 degrees or higher for a good part of June - August (and sometimes May and September).

    I deal with the heat mostly in the gear I wear, but I do have a "sport" windscreen from a 2018 RT that I bought from a guy who wanted the standard windscreen. I use the standard windscreen from about November through March, when rain is likely, and on long highway trips. The sport windscreen gets used the rest of the time.

    In terms of gear, I have multiple types:

    - Non vented leather jacket and riding jeans; obvious use is around town and/or when the weather is cooler (base layers as needed)

    - RevIt! Ignition 3 Jacket and pants with mesh and removable waterproof liners (jacket also has removable vest for warmth); I use these on longer rides in the cold/cool weather and up to the mid 80s, but the black soaks in the heat and becomes uncomfortable regardless of the mesh, especially in traffic or at stop lights. Also the jacket weighs 7 lbs without the liners, so the suit is heavy. I've only had this suit since January but I can definitely feel how the heat from the sun builds up in it.

    - RevIt! Wind Jacket and Airwave 2 pants in Silver (which looks like a very light, almost white, grey) with no liners and lots of mesh; These I've worn all the way up to 118 degrees with a water soaked cooling vest and it worked pretty well. You're still warm, but the coolest you can be all geared up. This suit is too big for me because I lost 25lbs. Depending on how the suit below works this summer, I may still replace it with the same thing in my new size.

    - BMW Venting Suit which only comes in "Anthracite" which is a bluish gray. This suit is very light and comfortable and flows a ton of air. I have not put it through its paces yet in the hot weather because I've only had it for a month and the highest temps we've seen are high 80s or maybe 90. So far so good, but it does absorb some heat from the sun (unlike the sliver suit).

    I also have 2 helmets. In the summer I often use my Schuberth M1 which is a 3/4 helmet with a full clear shield, but no chin bar. The rest of the time I use a Shoei Neotec. Both helmets are white. Some people say the color of the helmet doesn't matter because of the foam, etc... I've done a lot of reading lately because my Neotec is almost 5 years old and due for replacement... there are some people who have done tests with temperature probes and found that the black helmets are hotter inside after the foam has become saturated with as much heat as it can absorb. For this reason I will go with a white or silver helmet again.

    I have 2 pairs of boots, one water proof, the other Sidi ones with perforation (I'm not sure what model) and they keep my feet a bit cooler.

    I have multiple pairs of gloves, one pair of BMW Gortex gauntlet gloves for cool weather and rain and BMW vented gloves with perforations (not sure of the exact model name) for 60's and higher.

    As you've found the weather protection on the RT is great, but the down side is the airflow in the summer. You can simply lower the windscreen entirely, but fatigue will set in faster as all of the air coming over the top of it will be directed right at your upper body and head.
    Last edited by alegerlotz; 05-20-2019 at 09:28 PM. Reason: added info and formatting
    2016 R1200RT
    2007 KTM 450 XC-W (10/17 - 5/18)
    2005 R1200RT (2/2015 - 12/2016)
    1985 Yamaha XJ 700 Maxim (7/1989 - 9/1991)

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    Quote Originally Posted by alegerlotz View Post
    I ride a 2016 RT in a part of Southern California that is 100 degrees or higher for a good part of June - August (and sometimes May and September).

    I deal with the heat mostly in the gear I wear, but I do have a "sport" windscreen from a 2018 RT that I bought from a guy who wanted the standard windscreen. I use the standard windscreen from about November through March, when rain is likely, and on long highway trips. The sport windscreen gets used the rest of the time.

    In terms of gear, I have multiple types:

    - Non vented leather jacket and riding jeans; obvious use is around town and/or when the weather is cooler (base layers as needed)

    - RevIt! Ignition 3 Jacket and pants with mesh and removable waterproof liners (jacket also has removable vest for warmth; I use these on longer rides in the cold/cool weather and up to the mid 80s, but the black soaks in the heat and becomes uncomfortable regardless of the mesh, especially in traffic or at stop lights. Also the jacket weighs 7 lbs without the liners, so the suit is heavy. I've only had this suit since January but I can definitely feel how the heat from the sun builds up in it.

    - RevIt! Wind Jacket and Airwave 2 pants in Silver (which looks like a very light, almost white, grey) with no liners and lots of mesh; These I've worn all the way up to 118 degrees with a water soaked cooling vest and it worked pretty well. You're still warm, but the coolest you can be all geared up. This suit is too big for me because I lost 25lbs. Depending on how the suit below works this summer, I may still replace it with the same thing in my new size.

    - BMW Venting Suit which only comes in "Anthracite" which is a bluish gray. This suit is very light and comfortable and flows a ton of air. I have not put it through its paces yet in the hot weather because I've only had it for a month and the highest temps we've seen are high 80s or maybe 90. So far so good, but it does absorb some heat from the sun (unlike the sliver suit).

    I also have 2 helmets. In the summer I often use my Schuberth M1 which is a 3/4 helmet with a full clear shield, but no chin bar. The rest of the time I use a Shoei Neotec. Both helmets are white. Some people say the color of the helmet doesn't matter because of the foam, etc... I've done a lot of reading lately because my Neotec is almost 5 years old and due for replacement... there are some people who have done tests with temperature probes and found that the black helmets are hotter inside after the foam has become saturated with as much heat as it can absorb. For this reason I will go with a white or silver helmet again.

    As you've found the weather protection on the RT is great, but the down side is the airflow in the summer. You can simply lower the windscreen entirely, but fatigue will set in faster as all of the air coming over the top of it will be directed right at your upper body and head.
    This is wonderfully helpful input! Thank you so much for taking the time to document your experience. I will check out the various mentions.

    Your experience with the shorter windshield gives me hope. We tremendously enjoy the bikes and the heat-related aspects are something I feel we can address. At least we get all-year riding out of it. That's worth something! :-)

  6. #6
    I have recently completed a 19,500km circumnavigation of Australia, during which I encountered weeks of temperatures between 35 -38 degrees C (95-101F) every day while crossing the north of the continent. My RT has an aftermarket touring screen and airflow around my body is is minimal. I wear an RST Ventilator V Jacket, which is a mesh jacket with a removable waterproof liner, kevlar lined jeans, full length Alpinestars boots for protection, and mesh gloves with hard knuckle protection. This worked realy well for me, and if the weather turns really hot, I will wet my shirt under the jacket and the airflow keeps me cooler for up to 90 minutes. It's important to keep drinking lots or water, lots of distance riders in Australia wear a Camelbak.

    Here's a link to a really good article about riding in hot weather. http://www.ironbutt.com/ibmagazine/i..._62-66_hot.pdf

    If the weather turns cold and wet, I'll put the liner in the RST jacket, put on a jumper, and perhaps wear a fully waterproof overjacket and pants.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stinkypete View Post
    I have recently completed a 19,500km circumnavigation of Australia, during which I encountered weeks of temperatures between 35 -38 degrees C (95-101F) every day while crossing the north of the continent. My RT has an aftermarket touring screen and airflow around my body is is minimal. I wear an RST Ventilator V Jacket, which is a mesh jacket with a removable waterproof liner, kevlar lined jeans, full length Alpinestars boots for protection, and mesh gloves with hard knuckle protection. This worked realy well for me, and if the weather turns really hot, I will wet my shirt under the jacket and the airflow keeps me cooler for up to 90 minutes. It's important to keep drinking lots or water, lots of distance riders in Australia wear a Camelbak.

    Here's a link to a really good article about riding in hot weather. http://www.ironbutt.com/ibmagazine/i..._62-66_hot.pdf

    If the weather turns cold and wet, I'll put the liner in the RST jacket, put on a jumper, and perhaps wear a fully waterproof overjacket and pants.
    Great suggestions. Agree completely with staying hydrated. One of the fatiguing effects that can do a number on you.

    Which mesh gloves have you chosen? Again, the biggest surprise starting to ride the RT is the minimal windflow to the handlebars. That's wonderful in the winter months, but I can see where that is adding to the heat-related discomfort in the summer.
    Last edited by jbtex; 05-20-2019 at 10:09 PM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by jbtex View Post

    Which mesh gloves have you chosen? Again, the biggest surprise starting to ride the RT is the minimal windflow to the handlebars. That's wonderful in the winter months, but I can see where that is adding to the heat-related discomfort in the summer.
    Alpinestars "SMX-2 Air Carbon V2" is on the wrist tag.

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    Registered User pappy35's Avatar
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    +1 on Calsci.

    I'm an aerospace engineer and I really like the idea of having a low air-entry point to reduce the low-pressure region behind the screen. I got that 2nd shield for, literally, next to nothing and will be opening up holes at the base of screen as well as shortening it. I did the same to my '05 FJR (which was heat management nightmare) and was a night and day improvement.
    '13 R1200RT 90th Anniversary Edition

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    Quote Originally Posted by pappy35 View Post
    +1 on Calsci.

    I'm an aerospace engineer and I really like the idea of having a low air-entry point to reduce the low-pressure region behind the screen. I got that 2nd shield for, literally, next to nothing and will be opening up holes at the base of screen as well as shortening it. I did the same to my '05 FJR (which was heat management nightmare) and was a night and day improvement.
    You're talking about the opening they have on the taller windshields? When I talked with Mark, he indicated that the Shorty he makes doesn't include it. What kind of openings are you planning and how tall is that shield you're using?

  11. #11
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Both my wife and I wear Klim Induction short gloves in hot weather.
    We have the previous generation of the glove.
    The big thing we like is the narrow short cuff allows air to get up our sleeves on our RSs.
    Not sure if you'll be able to get air up your sleeves on a RT.

    Here's a review of the current Klim Induction short glove.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

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    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbtex View Post
    Agree completely with staying hydraded. .
    Don't forget you need to hydrate more if you go with mesh instead of vented gear.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

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    Registered User RYD1WD's Avatar
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    On long days in high temps, mesh will defeat the purpose... it dries you out too fast, you lose a lot of the benefit of evaporative cooling, and you can't produce enough sweat in a non-aerobic state to keep up with the air exchange. It's a lot like tossing yourself in a convection oven when the heat index climbs north of 90 degrees.

    I have an interesting article written by Tom Austin for Iron Butt Mag in 2010, and the power point presentation I developed for doing clinics on core temp management that I'll be happy to share with anyone who asks, just shoot me an email: greg.north@bmw-ducati.com
    Greg North - Sales & Marketing Manager, BMW Motorcycles Of Charlotte & Greensboro
    There are motorcycle owners, and there are motorcycle riders.
    And then there are those of us for whom motorcycling is an essential part of our journey - a way of life, and looking at it.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by RYD1WD View Post

    I have an interesting article written by Tom Austin for Iron Butt Mag in 2010, and the power point presentation I developed for doing clinics on core temp management that I'll be happy to share with anyone who asks, just shoot me an email: greg.north@bmw-ducati.com
    There's a direct link to Tom's article in my previous post. You can read it at http://www.ironbutt.com/ibmagazine/i..._62-66_hot.pdf

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    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alegerlotz View Post

    I also have 2 helmets. In the summer I often use my Schuberth M1 which is a 3/4 helmet with a full clear shield, but no chin bar. The rest of the time I use a Shoei Neotec. Both helmets are white. Some people say the color of the helmet doesn't matter because of the foam, etc...
    White is also a much safer color because it is far more easily spotted in traffic. Not just my opinion: https://www.bmj.com/content/328/7444/857.full

    From the article: Compared with wearing a black helmet, use of a white helmet was associated with a 24% lower risk
    The safety study also shows Hi-Viz and reflective materials are helpful as well.

    Harry
    My fleet: 2015 R1200GS, 2017 Toyota Prius Prime (plug-in hybrid)

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