When riding a motorcycle with a passenger, you need to be as careful as possible. Unlike previous rides, you are no longer the only one whose well-being you need to keep in mind.
The experience might be scary at first, if the passenger has never been on a motorcycle before, but within a short amount of time, it should become a fun way to spend an afternoon. To keep the passenger (and yourself) safe, make sure you follow these guidelines:
Ensure the motorcycle can handle the extra weight
Since not all motorcycles can carry extra weight, make sure ahead of time that yours can. It helps to research ahead of time before even offering to give someone a ride. Failure to do so can be quite risky to both the rider and the passenger. Weight added impacts acceleration, braking, and suspension, and could make the motorcycle uneven. Check that the brakes are fit to handle stopping is a good idea, too.
The passenger should always wait until you, the rider, tells them that the motorcycle is ready for boarding. Instruct the passenger to board the motorcycle from the left side, and demonstrate if needed.
It is also important to ensure that the motorcycle is totally upright and the rider’s legs support it firmly to enhance stability for the passenger to board. Although the motorcycle may seem to be stable while on its kickstand, straightening it will be more difficult once the extra weight is on board. Avoid the problem altogether by straightening the bike before the passenger boards. This is another reason your passenger is better off waiting for you to say you’re ready for them to get on.
Instruct the passenger to hold onto you tightly
If your passenger has a loose grip, they will be more likely to slam into you when stopping, and that’s not only uncomfortable, but dangerous. It will also feel like they are going to fall off during acceleration, but by holding tightly and warning them ahead of time, hopefully you can alleviate that
Ensuring the passenger is holding on tightly helps you, too, because you can concentrate instead of worry that your passenger could fall off anytime.
Inexperienced passengers tend to lean in the opposite direction due to fear of falling off during turning, which will cause the motorcycle to tip precariously. Therefore, before departure, remind them to stay straight and look over your shoulder to the side you are turning towards.
Even the slightest movements by the passenger impact how the rider’s bike feels during turning, so moving with the bike in the right direction is crucial to turning safely. Do your best to communicate this with your passenger before starting out on your drive.
Make sure to instruct your passenger to stay in position before stopping the motorcycle. Putting their foot down by the passenger can make the motorcycle lose balance and cause you to lose balance.
On arriving at the designated place, ask them to wait until ready. Thereafter, they can dismount towards the left, the same way they came on, and you both can be safely on your way.