Building The Perfect Summer Riding Gear Wardrobe
Building The Perfect Summer Riding Gear Wardrobe

Riding in Indian summers isn’t about looking cool in a leather jacket; instead, the two magic words are "mesh" and "ventilation." 

Summer riding is like diving into an action RPG game, but instead of praising the sun, you're battling the scorching heat. Akin to building your character carefully, you have to invest smartly to balance safety and utility, given the unfavourable riding conditions. And it’s no rocket science either. Ideally, you should start with the helmet—put most of your coins there. Then, kick it up with some sturdy boots, followed by a slick jacket, pants, gloves, and  so on. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you with the same 

 

Base (Rs 1,500 to Rs 15,000) 
 

Vapour Pro Performance Base layer.jpeg

 

The weather might tempt you to ride commando, but safety and society won’t. As with any riding gear, what you wear underneath is just as important as what you wear outside. For most, a basic cotton shirt should do the trick to absorb moisture. Brands like H&M and Uniqlo offer Pima and Supima cotton t-shirts for under Rs 1,500.  

 

For the same price, Rynox offers its Vapour Pro Performance Base layer, specifically designed to be worn with a riding jacket to keep you cool. There are also more expensive options available, such as the Alpinestars Ride Tech V2 inners. Made of Lycra stretch Spandex with strategically placed mesh sections for better breathability, these cost approximately Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000. 

 

Helmets  
 

Arai XD4 (Rs 1.08 lakh) 

 

Arai XD4.jpeg

 

Helmet shopping can be arduous, overwhelming, and downright expensive. While the temptation might be there to save a few bucks on a more 'affordable' brand, your noggin remains the most important part of your body, deserving the best protection. Unfortunately, brands like Arai and Shoei don’t officially retail their products on our shores, but the Arai XD4 is still worth the extra penny you’ll spend on customs and shipping. Designed to let in as much air as possible, this dual-sport lid comes with a Snell rating and undergoes rigorous testing. It also features exhaust ports and top diffuser vents for hot air to escape, along with a chin vent that houses the intake ports for additional airflow. Inside, the XD4 comes with Dry-Cool technology, which absorbs moisture and prevents sweating, ensuring a comfortable fit with its 5 mm washable, peel-away pads that can be adjusted. 

 

Shoei GT-Air II (Rs 80,000) 
 

Shoei GT-Air II.jpeg

 

It may look like a rather sporty helmet, which it is, but the pièce de résistance of it comes in the form of the ventilation it provides. Look closer and you’ll notice folks at Shoei revamped the entire upper air intake of the lid, while also expanding the lower intake vents, helping with rather an impressive amount of airflow. The helmet also features a breath guard and chin curtain. Internally, Shoei upholds its reputation for delivering some of the quietest helmets on the market, thanks to its new 3-D Max-Dry centre pad and multi-layered polyurethane foam cheek pads, which effectively diminish wind noise. 

 

Jackets 

 

Rynox Cypher GT Jacket (Rs 4,950) 
 

Rynox Cypher GT Jacket-2.jpg

 

You may look slick cruising in a leather jacket, but in reality, you will be sweating buckets faster than your bike can rev up. What you need is a mesh jacket. Sure, splurging on big-name brands like Alpinestars or Dianese sounds fancy, but let's face it—they're not exactly built for our sweltering weather unlike the Rynox Cypher GT jacket. Sporting a sleek and minimal design with subtle branding, it hugs your torso and arms just right. 

When it comes to protection, the Cypher GT comes equipped with Cerros Zero-G (Indian) CE Level 2 soft pads for your elbows, shoulders, and back, and you can even beef it up with D3O Level 2 pads. As for performance, this jacket offers enough airflow to keep you cool even on scorching days. Though, I won't lie—when you're stuck in traffic, things can get a tad stuffy. While a couple more pockets, especially inside, would've been a game-changer, I do wish Rynox offered a few colour options.  

 

Royal Enfield Windfarer Riding Jacket (Rs 9,500) 
 

Royal Enfield Windfarer Riding Jacket-1.jpeg

 

If you're exploring alternatives, the list would be incomplete without Royal Enfield’s Windfarer Riding Jacket. Updated last year with a range of new colours, it boasts of a two-layer construction, combining high abrasion-resistant polyester mesh with 600D polyester fabric. Protection-wise, it's equipped with Royal Enfield Ergo pro-tech CE Level 2 protectors for the shoulders, elbows, and back, with provisions for a chest protector. Unlike the snug fit of the Cypher GT, the Windfarer offers a regular fit, with adjustable cuffs, waist, and arms. 
 

The key distinction between the Rynox and Royal Enfield jackets lies in their usability. For example, the Windfarer features a detachable rain liner combined with thermal lining for adaptable weather protection. Additionally, Royal Enfield allows customization of the Velcro patches on the left shoulder for your blood group, name, group tags, and more. 

 

Pants 
 

Rynox Downtown Pro Motorcycle Jeans (Rs 9,750) 

 

Rynox Downtown Pro Motorcycle Jeans-1.jpg

 

When it comes to riding gear, taking off your jacket, gloves, and boots might be a breeze, but shedding your riding pants? That might raise some eyebrows. Luckily, Rynox’s Downtown Pro Motorcycle Jeans serve as a total game-changer. These jeans rock a sleek, slim-cut silhouette that feels just like your favourite pair of denim. But here's the kicker: hidden beneath that cool exterior is some serious protection in the form of D3O Ghost CE Level 2 armour. Made with D3O® Impact Print™ technology, these pads are lightweight and flexible, yet super tough. And get this—the jeans themselves are crafted from genuine indigo-dyed denim, so they'll break in and age just like the real deal. 

 

Gloves 

 

Rynox Urban X Gloves (Rs 3,750) 
 

Rynox Gloves-1.jpg

 

While gauntlet gloves might feel cumbersome in the summer heat, their superior protection is undeniable. Rynox's offering combines full-grain leather with lightweight and durable 3D mesh panels on the fingers and wrist. In terms of protection, these gloves feature KNOX's patented Sport SPS (Scaphoid Protection System), equipped with two specially developed sliders on the palm. These allow the gloves to slide smoothly upon contact with the ground, minimizing the impact on your wrist and scaphoid injuries. 

 

Royal Enfield Trailblazer Gloves (Rs 2,000) 
 

Royal Enfield Trailblazer Gloves.jpg

 

Royal Enfield's diverse range of mesh gear also includes the Trailblazer gloves. Available in a multitude of colour options, these lightweight gloves provide ample ventilation and protection while maintaining functionality. For instance, the touch-sensitive index fingertip allows seamless operation of touchscreen devices without the need to remove the gloves. 

 

Boots 

 

Dainese Torque 3 Out Air Boots (Rs 49,499) 
 

Dainese Torque 3 Out Air Boots.jpg

 

Why is it wise to invest in a pair of solid boots? Because  if things go sideways, it's your feet that are going to bear the brunt of the impact first. The Torque 3 Air Boots, equipped with replaceable magnesium sliders, D-Stone fabric, and high-grip TPU inserts is feature-packed in this regard. With protective nylon covering the shell, heel, and toe, plus the company’s D-Axial system to prevent foot twisting in a crash, these boots have got you covered. And don't sweat it, literally—the integrated air channelling system ensures maximum airflow even on scorching track days. 

 

Dainese York Air Shoes (Rs 21,999) 
 

Dainese York Air Shoes.jpg

 

Riding shoes are a must while you're on the bike, but they can be a real pain off it. Many are just too stiff and uncomfortable, making even a short walk unbearable, let alone all-day wear. How about something low-key, which looks like any other pair of sneakers? The Dainese York Air emerges as a game-changer with its lightweight design and mesh inserts for hot-weather riding. Despite their sneaker-like vibe, these kicks boast rigid ankle inserts, heel and toe protection, and a non-slip sole. 

 

Misc 
 

Carbonado Y 07 Hydration Pack (Rs 2,847) 

 

Carbonado Y 07 Hydration Pack.jpeg

 

Tired of constantly pausing for a drink during those scorching summer rides? Say hello to hydration packs—the ultimate hydration solution without the interruptions. These packs fit snugly inside your backpack and deliver hydration through pipes and straws that slide seamlessly inside your helmet. While there's no shortage of options, our top pick is the Y 07 from Carbondo. 

 

Alpinestars MX Cooling Vest (Rs 12,440) 
 

Alpinestars MX Cooling Vest.jpeg

 

While a soaked vest might suffice, Alpinestars' innovative vest allows riders to carry a body-mounted liquid cooler, maintaining low core temperatures through evaporation channels for up to 5 hours of riding. 

 

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