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Protection from weather

Protection from the weather is a safety issue. Physical stress due to heat, cold or discomfort is tiring and distracting. You will be less likely to be involved in a crash if you are comfortable and alert.

What are the issues and how can you protect your self from:

Cold stress:
Feeling cold can affect a motorcyclist in three crucial ways.

1.    The most obvious is a loss of feeling in the hands and feet that affects your ability to operate the controls.

2.    Being cold or uncomfortable is also stressful and tiring, so you are more at risk of crashing because you are less alert and your reactions may be slowed.

3.    Finally there is evidence that lower core temperature may affect decision making and emotional responses such as anxiety, irritability, aggressiveness, or detachment

Flash Gear Rain Wear incorporated Insulation and wind proofing that are the keys to avoiding cold stress. The principle of insulation is to allow a thick layer of air between the riderâ™s body and the outer layer of clothing.

4.    Close fitting openings (neck, wrists and waist) and covered zippers and other fastening points prevent wind entry and heat loss and are essential to maintain the warmth of the air layer.

5.    Clothing that is too loose may also result in heat loss from wind buffeting that forces the warm air out.

6.    Cold stress can also result from wind chill when wearing damp clothes, particularly leather. This is because, as the wind evaporates the moisture, it draws the heat from your body. There are a range of under wear products made from functional membranes which are designed to draw perspiration away from your skin thus keeping you dry and warm.

7.   Insulated boots and gloves can keep the warmth in your feet and hands. However, this will not be enough if your body is cold because your brain will restrict blood flow to the extremities in an effort to maintain core temperature. If your body is cold, then your hands and feet will also be cold.

8.    The shins of a rider are very exposed to cold, if the shins become cold this will affect blood flow to the feet and therefore the warmth of your feet - so protect your shins.
9.    Chemical heat packs from camping shops can help restore or maintain warmth if tucked inside your boots or wrist straps.

10.  Pressure (eg from tight boots, gloves or wrist straps) can also affect blood flow and will become more of a problem as you get colder. Additional layers on your hands such as inner gloves or over mittens can also help.

11.         A third of your heat is lost from the neck and face, so use a neck sock or wind proof cover over those areas.

Wet stress:

Wet clothing draws heat away from your body. Water conducts heat much faster than air, which means you will get cold, much quicker if you are also wet. Wet weather gear is therefore essential, but rain is not the only source of wet stress. Clothing that is wet from perspiration will also draw heat away from your body. Under wear made from functional membranes is designed to prevent this, it functions as a wick drawing moisture away from your skin.

Wet clothing is a particular problem for motorcyclists because of the additional effects of the wind chill factor. The wind chill factor means that for every 5 km/h wind speed, the surface temperature drops 5 degrees.

Flash Gear textile made suits do have water proof or water resistant properties, whereas leathers are not so good at keeping you dry because leather absorbs water. However whether your normal gear is leather or textiles, you usually need to add another layer to be protected from rain.

The key to keeping comfortably dry is to have waterproof breathable clothing.

1.    Lightweight roll up PVC or plasticized nylon over-suits are waterproof, but not breathable. They are useful in an emergency to keep the rain out, but they quickly become very uncomfortable because they keep your sweat in. This results in accelerated heat transfer resulting in overheating in hot weather and rapid cooling in cold weather.

2.    There are a variety of  Flash Gear textile jackets and pants that come with a waterproof or water-resistant liner. There is a difference between waterproof and water- resistant. Water cannot penetrate a waterproof fabric, where as it will eventually soak through one that is only resistant.

What Points a rider should keep in mind while having Weather Protective Wear?

A·         Is the garment made of waterproof or just water resistant fabric?
B·         Is the liner fully breathable, semi-breathable or non-breathable?
C·         Check the design and construction of the garment. How are the pockets, zips and          
cuffs covered? Does it have waterproof seams? Will water find its way in?
D·         Does it allow ventilation in hot weather?

Heat stress:
In some of the regions motorcyclists do not wear protective clothing in summer because it is often uncomfortable.

Biker's Guide

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)