Here are some of the products that the RoadRUNNER team can't live without this summer. You might need a few of these items next time you hop on the bike for a weekend camping trip or a day ride to the river for a swim.
Staying cool in the summer heat can be a challenge on a motorcycle where our only form of air conditioner is the wind when we're on the road. That's why we always ride in mesh jackets in the summer. One of our favorites is the Klim Induction. The Karbonite Mesh body is comfortable and flexible and not only allows adequate air flow but also holds up well in the event of a crash. Stretch panels allow the jacket to move with you as you ride and the D3O armor keeps your high impact areas safe. There is also a women's version - the Avalon.
Camping off a motorcycle requires the right gear, and space is often a limiting factor when deciding what to carry. That's why we love the Thermarest Space Cowboy sleeping bag. It packs down so small, it's almost the size of a Nalgene water bottle. The synthetic insulation will keep you warm even if the bag is wet and will dry incredibly fast. It's rated to 45 degrees, perfect for your next summer camping ride.
Even if camping isn't your thing, having a hammock with you can be incredibly useful. In the summertime, a ride out to your favorite overlook or river to hang a hammock can be incredibly relaxing. The Kammok Double Roo has enough room for two to rest comfortably and it packs down to about the size of a water bottle.
Pelican boxes are great options for low cost motorcycle luggage. Military grade construction means these boxes are as tough as they are water tight. Attach one to your motorcycle top rack and you have a perfect spot to throw your essentials when on a motorcycle tour. We like to use them for camera gear and other valuables you may want to lock on the bike when you step inside for lunch.
Motorcycle travel often takes you off the beaten path and away from creature comforts we have become accustomed to, like cell phone service. If anything goes wrong while on a ride out of your carriers coverage area, you can still call for help with the Spot X satellite messenger. It fits in your tank bag or jacket pocket, and keeps you connected even when you're in the middle of nowhere.
What you keep in your tool kit is a discussion for another article, but every rider should carry a good folding knife when they are traveling. A quality folding knife can come in handy for things like trimming tape or zip ties after a repair or for slicing a piece of cheese and salami for lunch when you reach a nice overlook. The Sog Banner is made of high quality steel and has a high resistance to edge wear and chipping. It's got a 3.5" blade and only weighs 4.5oz.
There's nothing better than a nice fitting pair of leather riding gloves, but often times those leather gloves are too hot to use in the summer. That's why we love the Klim Induction glove, it's vented so they are more comfortable in hot riding conditions. The use a zippered entry system to make them easier to put on and still offer protection in the form of carbon fiber knuckle guards and XRD impact foam.
These boots are a great option for day rides or trips across town. They have a casual look that can be paired with jeans yet offer plenty of protection for the daily motorcycle rider. They are perforated on the sides to allow air flow to keep your feet cooler in the hot weather.