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Hurrah! It's summer! – column

Hurrah! It's summer!


Motorcycling in the summer. Opinions are divided on that. Now the Internet is buzzing with lines in which Precise rages with viciously pointing fingers about the brain-dead who get on their motorcycle in this weather in T-shirt, shorts and slippers. And vice-versa.

Because the other tribe sees it very differently. People who go to get an ice cream in a full motorcycle outfit in this weather wear a neoprene diving suit and a mouthguard during sex.

The real truth, of course, is that it's just too hot to ride a motorcycle right now…


But still: Dressed in summer you will experience the freedom and pleasure of motorcycling optimally. And as a motorcyclist, every accident is your own fault. So if you're a little careful, you'll be fine. Well. When shifting or jacking up your engine, an exhaust bend or muffler with a short hiss can put its brand on your calf. And if you ever go off, do it at a leisurely pace. And yes: then you have asphalt eczema. It's annoying, but it will pass.

Riding in a completely safe motorcycle outfit with these temperatures also has its drawbacks.

On longer rides there is a serious risk of 'heat stroke' and/or dehydration. These are phenomena where at best you have the responsiveness of a dead guinea pig or a wet washcloth. You can do something with a wet washcloth in such a case… For modern motorcyclists there are water-cooled and blow-through vests/body coolers. If you want to bravely join the chorus “Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the mid day sun” that might be an option.

These summer temperatures are also extremely suitable to see whether a motorcycle is sensitive to vapor locks and other overheating phenomena. Shovelheads and Ironheads are fantastic examples of this. Its rear cylinder is very sensitive to overheating. The geniuses from Milwaukee have already solved that problem with the 2017 models. If it gets very hot… Then the rear cylinder switches off electronically and the Harlist M/V temporarily bumps on a single cylinder. Just like before…

Classic British twins do much better in this weather, when ridden in the way they were made for: dancing down side roads. The only problem that BMW, Ural and Dnepr drivers experience is that they get very warm feet. An acquaintance had his Dnepr run at zero load in the sun for a whole afternoon because of a bet. That went without a hitch. It got him two crates of lager and a full tank of gas. Russian engines are genetically temperature resistant and generally significantly better than their reputation.

Gloves are handy

Back to what kind of clothes motorcyclists should wear in this weather. Summer gloves seem practical to me. Even those Harley Gloves, the leather version of the old dairy farmers and greengrocer's gloves without fingers. Then you are at least protected if it goes 'fold'. Because filling in a claim form with skinned fists? That's not going well.

Also read:
- Lake columns
- More stories about classic engines

3 Comments

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  1. That switching off of the fuel supply to the rear cylinder only happens under extreme conditions AND during prolonged idling in front of a traffic light…
    As soon as the gas is given, both cylinders are involved.
    It is mainly the pre-Evo models that suffer from possible overheating due to their cast iron cylinder head, but strangely enough there is no difference between the front and rear cylinder/piston during overhaul/boring.
    Mounting an oil cooler on a Shovel already works wonders.

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