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Wearing gaiters to beat the heat of the Can-Am

Like all Can-Am owners, I have noticed many times the heat that escapes from the sides of the engine.  Although appreciated in winter, this heat becomes very unpleasant in hot weather and it becomes downright painful when the water turns into steam and burns our calves when we go through a hole.  To avoid these inconveniences, I always wore my Klim pants, no matter the temperature, dreaming of a way to protect myself in other ways when it was very hot.  Of course, I searched the net for ways to reduce or deflect the heat from the engine, but these solutions did not suit my meager mechanical skills. Since I wasn’t going to redesign my quad, I took the problem from the clothing angle and a little idea came up this winter: gaiters.
Gaiters are an envelope of fabric or leather that covers the bottom of the shoe and the leg.  We wear them to keep snow out of our boots when snowshoeing in the winter or to protect ourselves from mud and ticks when hiking in the summer.  I looked for gaiters that would also protect me from the heat, but I couldn’t find any.  So I tinkered with the ones I had and the result is fantastic. I tested them for 1000km this summer during our trip to the Bas St-Laurent in temperatures of 35 degrees and it was a success:
– I was able to wear lighter pants
– The gaiters protected me from the engine heat
– They also protected me from the mud that came up through the footboards when I was riding in the water holes.
I’m sharing here my DIY heat-lined gaiters in economy size.  You will need:
– A pair of gaiters that you can find at a sporting goods store for about $15 to $35(avoid nylon which is not flame retardant)
– Contact glue
– A pencil
– A piece of leather or suede (I recycled an old pair of suede oven mitts)
How to do it:
1. First, wear your gaiters so you can visualize the area to protect on the inside of your calf.
2. Then cut your leather to cover this area.  It is not necessary to cover the outside of the leg.
3. Place the piece of leather inside the gaiter and outline it with the marker.
4. Glue with two layers of contact glue on the inside of the gaiter to keep the outside of the gaiter looking good and that’s it!
I really enjoyed wearing my gaiters while riding, so much so that I wondered why they weren’t more popular with riders who ride in jeans.  Surely, trying them on is adopting them, if only to protect yourself from the mud that floods the bottom of your pants and ends up in your shoes.  My gaiters are now part of the permanent equipment I bring on my quad. If it’s too hot, I can wear light pants and ride more comfortably.
Good luck to the Can-Am owners, and good riding to all!
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