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Old 11 Jun 2007
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Any tips against extreme heat?

I'm In India Heading to Pakistan. I've seen the forecasted temperatures on the BBc website reaching around and over 45 Celsius in the Islamabad area.
Any tips to avoid overheating (engine and rider!).
I have a temp clock. What temp is worringly hot?
Bike: BMW Dakar
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Old 11 Jun 2007
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To me afer 35 C is hot. For bike too. You can put an oil cooler to the bike (u can search it at the Hubb) and for yourself you can give more stops and drink more liquid. You can put some salt to your drink water.
I can recommend to look at what locals drink and drink the same. Avoid coke and drinks with gas. Behave like locals. You will see it will be easier.
"where the traveller goes, nobody knows ! "
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Old 11 Jun 2007
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Use engine oil with proper viscosity too.

20W-50 sounds reasonlable to cope with the contrasts you'll have there, note that you'll probably head for the high mountains, there temperatures can be near to freezing.

Drinking too much neutral water based drinks will "wash" salts out of your body. This can end up with increased heart rate and even its failure.

We used a special body re-salter added to water - we bought it from pharmacy back home if I remember correctly. Shouldn't be hard to find. Tastes like s***, but does the job well it proved. Me and girlfriend as northeners swet badly over +35C temperatures, it took us over 2 weeks to adapt with it. First days were a nightmare, and this was a DRY HEAT! Try to avoid humid locations like big lakes or sea areas, there it's a real killer heat for any northener! I.e. on the Caspian sea side I couldn't sleep whole night because of the humid heat, it was hard to breathe and swet madly.

Tip: if you want to get some relief from the excessive heat - ride into the mountains, this will feel as heaven for you and you feel as a human again. But you have to come down again sometimes anyway...

Cover your body, especially your head from sunlight if can't find any shade, ride alot (moving air is cooler), if not riding, take it all very easy - just "chillout" with locals, they'll inspire you to anyway.

Ride safe, Margus
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Old 11 Jun 2007
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I've just come down from Islamabad to the border yesterday: 47C in the shade, according to a fellow biker I met. Riding on the highway it's over 50C. Last night I stayed at the PTDC motel at the border and I couldn't sleep, either: everything I touched was hot, bed, chairs, walls... Ended up slkeeping in the hall, as it was aircon. The manager insisted on supplying a large bucket of COLD water, as the shower was too hot!

Oil cooler or not, I don't think your bike will have any problems. Drink lots. I do drink a lot of fizzy drinks, simply because they are safe and contain sugar = energy. I found my Platypus pack extremely useful, I can drink without stopping. I don't want to stop. I put a rag inside the pack and soak the whole thing, so the evaporation stops the water from heating up too much.

Stay in aircon rooms when it's that hot. If heading for Islamabad and the mountains there is a very nice hotel/restaurant about halfway by the Jhelum river bridge. Probably too expensive to stay, but the restaurant is aircon and good food, plus very friendly.

I'm now in Amritsar and it's become a little humid to boot, not good. Leaving for Kashmir very early in the morning.

Europe to NZ 2006-10
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Old 11 Jun 2007
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I see you´ve crossed the Pakistan/India border, how was that, and did it take you a long time to get thru all the formalities?

Regarding heat, and as I think youve gone partly the same route Im thinking, what are the longest distances in Iran & Pakistan where theres no water available, especially in the desert areas? How much water do you carry? Im planning to be there in late September or early October, probably still quite hot in those areas I think.
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Old 11 Jun 2007
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Vapour lock?

Watch out for vapour lock in your feul filter. It caused me days and days and days and days of head scratching in the nullabor(oz) at temps +/- 45degC.
Got bald patch to prove it!
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Old 11 Jun 2007
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Exclamation Lots to tip it in your favour.....

Purchase only 1 litre of COLD water at a time (even if your camelback/whatever can hold 2), add electral or any other ORT salts IN THE RIGHT PROPORTION, and see to it that you finish that litre within 2 hours (while still cool), before it gets 10 degrees celsius hotter than you. Do NOT put in ice - you may not like to see where the ice has been made/how it was transported. Locals can well survive it, you may not.

How much to drink? You should have to urinate at least every 4 - 6 hrs.

You should easily get refrigerated packaged water practically everywhere, failing that, cold aerated drinks (though most are not "balanced" for salt lost while sweating). Do NOT drink large quantities of cold water without added salts, unless you are very fit and exercise regularly - it's a surefire way to get cramps. Once you do start getting cramps you have the choice of staying mildly dehydrated until the salt levels go up - or drinking more of anything and risking even more by way of cramps.

Your bike will probably need no special attention, so long as you are on the move, and there is some airflow over the cylinders/radiator.

Be sure to cover yourself completely from head to toe - you absorb much more heat from the sun if you are not wearing at least 2 layers of cloth on you, esp on your back. Keeping the jacket vents/zip very slightly open allows enough air in to cool you, without frying you. Forget about opening the visor - 45 in the shade is like the breath of a dragon, you will not want it on your face. A mask/kerchief across your nose reduces water loss, too, apart from cooling whatever you breathe.

And DONT even think of doing what the locals do. They live with it at least two months a year, are USED to the heat, and some things don't bother them. Don't believe me? You have seen people walking barefoot on the road here, haven't you? Keep your socks on and just try STAND on the asphalt for a minute and you'll see what I mean . Ditto regarding what they drink (with the exception of buttermilk/tea - both are safe). I've also seen people wearing nothing more than a thin shirt and trousers (no helmet) belting along at 70 kph in the mid day heat, somewhere above 55 in the sun - don't think most of us can do that either.

When you go to bed sprinkle water on the mattress (liberally) put the fan on full (I'm assuming there is no AC) sprinkle some on the sheet as well, and try to sleep before it all dries out. Sprinkling water all over the room, esp the curtains cools it as well. All this will dry out within 2 hours. Keep the bath water in a bucket a while for it to cool.

Where are you at present?
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Old 12 Jun 2007
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I found soaking the inner linings of my helmet with water quite refreshing and cooling. It works for some 30mins to 1hr of riding obviously only when humidity is relatively low (desert areas).
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Old 12 Jun 2007
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Last year I rode through the deserts of California in 45°c heat. Several of the locals died of heat stroke that year. The only thing that really worked was to stop at a petrol station every couple of hours and soak my cotton T-shirt with cold water. Then you put your leather jacket over your shirt, have your jacket open a few inches and you'll get a cool breeze down the front.
The cooling effect lasts for about an hour and a half to two hours.
It feels uncomfortable at first but it's glorious when you get a 60mph cold blast down your shirt!
Don't be tempted to leave off your jacket, the effect isn't as good as your shirt will dry out in minutes and you'll burn.

And drink at least a litre of fluid every couple of hours in those temps! Double that if you're riding off road. Camel backs/platypus are good but to be honest I'd rather stop for a break and have a drink from a bottle. What's the rush?
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Old 12 Jun 2007
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Surprisingly most riding gear is black, which really soaks up the heat. In hot countries I prefer my light grey riding suit with lots of air vents and no water-proof membrane plus my camel back.

Yep, and just keep going, don't stop ;-)
Only when we pause to wonder
do we go beyond the limits of our little lives.
(Rod McKuen)
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Old 12 Jun 2007
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Cool leather

The Swedish bikewear producer Halvarsson/Jofama have made some sort of "cool leather": They claim that their TFL Cool System treated leather jackets and trousers are a lot cooler than ordinary leather jackets/trousers.

Read some more here: Jofama (click on "Cool Leather" in left column)

Haven't tried it myself, but might be worth a try to add coolness, so to speak.
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Old 13 Jun 2007
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Red face heat

Cover your body, especially your head from sunlight if can't find any shade, ride alot (moving air is cooler)

Ride safe, Margus[/QUOTE]

All posts with sound advice , to I would like to add a bit.
If you ever need to stop aim for any available shaded spot.
Moving air does often feel cooler as Margus notes but that is only true up to the point at which the air temperature starts to rise above the human body temperature. Below 37C the body can shed heat to air moving across the skin and for several degrees more the evaporation of sweat will also carry off body heat. But when the air temp rises farther direct air blast will evaporate sweat the instant it comes to the surface and before it has absorbed any body heat. It is then like a hot air blower, a hair dryer , and it will be adding heat to your body. This is why you should keep bare skin covered with loose fitting light coloured cotton clothing- the light colour will reflect some of the radiant sun heat and the textile will absorb the sweat which then has a marginal chance of absorbing some body heat and removing it. This is the same principal as was used in the first evaporative-style air conditioners.
At feul stops ,and any chance in between, if you soak your riding clothes with any available water you will in effect be creating your own evaporative air conditioner (Icecap) And as a1arn suggests "wetting the bed " is also effctive. (Just hope the old stains were from the same clean water cause)
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Old 15 Jun 2007
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practical rehydration recipe-proven!

here's a practical rehydration recipe for everybody and very cheap. can be prepared by yourself anywhere on the world-if only there is some place to supply those: a table spoon of (just to the brim of the spoon-brimful) table salt (the ordinary salt you know), a teaspoonful (heapfull) of bicarbonate (it is also known as table soda -a white powder and tastes salty,ok?), a teaspoonful of ordinary lemonjuice (just squeeze the lemon over a teaspoon), again a tablespoonfull (heapfull) of ordinary table sugar-regular sugar ; all added to 1(one) liter of water (bottled or boiled if you have to/depends on the regional circumstances of course). if there's excess amount of sweating, this liquid can be used instead of plain water. this is also recommended for rehydration for the children (and all) diarrheas. you may find it useful and it is widely commonly used in medical practice.

and, never-yes never go on coke etc. sugar added fizzy drinks; it is not good for health under hot weather. adding some mineral water maybe helpful, but not sure how much is enough.

Last edited by endurin; 15 Jun 2007 at 13:37. Reason: to add creucial info and grammer edit
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Old 15 Jun 2007
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That solution is what most ORT (oral rehydration therapy) solutions are based on. Easily available at any chemist, OTC, I prefer to purchase 5 or so pouches before setting out, and chilled bottled water as and when I stop.

Takes a minute to empty the contents of the pouch into the bottle, and you get a chilled, balanced soln, pretty refreshing if used within the first 2 hrs (before it gets hot). And no chance of salt imbalances, cramps and the like.
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Old 30 Jun 2007
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Last summer I rode across the US including the Mojave Desert and Death Valley. The bike's thermometer peaked at 118f in Stovepipe Wells, DV. I do suffer a bit in hot weather as my head expands and the helmet get's too tight causing drowsiness. I solved this by carefully paring away with a sharp knife at the polystyrene lining and after four of five attempts, the helmet became more comfortable. The other thing is clothing. I don't wear black except for my boots. White Arai SX open face helmet (the visor always up unless it's raining). FirstGear hi-viz mesh jacket (without the lining), with a self-wicking t-shirt underneath. Hein Gericke 'Tuareg' trousers with the side vents undone. Olympia lightweight gloves (with gel palms).
Every morning I'd fill my Gatorade bottle with ice - many motels have ice making machines - then fill the bottle with water. This would stay cold until about 2pm. Drink lots and lots. There were weeks and weeks with the daytime temps in the 100s. I only once rode without my jacket, and this resulted in sunburnt arms after a half hour ride.
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