Motorcycle Law
Motorcycle Safety

When is it safe to have a passenger on your motorcycle?

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August 03, 2009 9:21PM

Here's are the answers given in Timberwoof's Motorcycle FAQ: How do I ride with a passenger? Don�t, until you have enough solo experience. After that, go slower and brake earlier. How much experience should I have? Some people are perfectly capable of carrying passengers right away; others need a year or two of riding experience. Unlike luggage, passengers are heavy, floppy, and move by themselves. What do I need to tell my passenger? Tell them not to ride with you. Tell them that if they�re gonna ride with you they have to wear safety gear (helmet, gloves, boots, leather or Cordura jacket and at LEAST long pants). Tell them to look over your inside shoulder in a turn and never to put their feet down until you tell them to dismount. And HOLD ON. It depends on your personal preference and the type of bike, along with your level of experience. I personally would rather have that person on a different bike next to me than on the back of mine, since usually passengers are not riders themselves, and therefore do not understand that their movements are felt and need to be counteracted by the driver. make sure they know to NOT PUT THEIR FEET DOWN DURING A TURN. I've stopped giving rides to my friends because they do not understand this concept and are endangering themselves and me. I do think it's good for you to ride with a passenger at least once, to know what it's like in case you need to in an emergency. WHen I was 18 and had just gotten my license, my dad made me ride with him on the back so i would know what it would feel like. Once I was confortable with that, he shifted more and more to make me realize how squirmy passengers can be. I HIGHLY recommend an experience like this.. Another good thing to tell your passenger would be "Don't lean" a passenger should always stay perfectly straight with the bike! Turning their head to look at the scenery is perfectly fine but the second they lean one way or the other, they throw off the balance of the bike and the driver is tasked with correcting. The day I got my bike on the road, first time I wasn't a passenger, I went and picked up my girlfriend and gave her a ride... she had never been on a bike before so when we took the first turn, she got scared thinking we were going to fall and leaned the opposite way. In doing so she almost sent us off the side of the road. Luckily I knew how to correct. If you're going to have a rider on the back make sure they know not to lean... she never did it again!