Riding with a Passenger

In an article on RideApart, Justin Hughes discusses the proper ways to ride with a passenger on a motorcycle.

Appropriate Gear

Make sure your passenger has the same quality riding gear that you do. Both parties face risks, hence the need for equal protection.

Prepare for Extra Weight

Passenger weight will have a big impact on the performance and handling of the bike. The additional pounds will affect acceleration, braking and suspension. Make sure your brakes are in good shape to help stop a heavier load, and that your suspension is set up for the extra weight. Check your bike’s specs and make sure your tires are inflated properly. Also, passenger footpegs are a must.

Getting on the Bike

A passenger should not hop on a motorcycle until you instruct them to do so. Make sure the passenger footpegs are down and have them get on from the left side. Keep the bike vertical and brace it with your legs and the front brake until they are on, with their backside planted in the seat and their feet on the pegs.

Hang On

Your passenger will need to hold onto you in most instances. Having a grip on you will help them feel stable when you accelerate. It will also help in case you under brake so that your helmets do not smash into one another.

Turning

Movements from your passenger will affect how your bike feels, especially when turning. Inexperienced passengers tend to lean the opposite direction of the turn. Instruct them to remain straight while looking over your shoulder to the side you are turning toward. Ultimately, a passenger needs to stay put and allow you to maneuver the bike.

Stopping

With a passenger, a motorcycle will take a longer distance to stop. The brakes will require more effort, too.

When you stop, it is unnecessary for your passenger to put their feet down. Have him or her keep their feet on the footpegs. At the ride’s conclusion, ask your passenger to wait to get off until you let them know you are ready. Once again, brace the bike with both legs and use the front brake. Have them dismount the same way they got on toward the left side.

More Tips

  • Ask your passenger to refrain from turning around or making sudden movements.
  • Avoid high speeds and excessive lean angles.
  • Consider Bluetooth helmet communicators.

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