How To Ride Safely With A Passenger On A Motorcycle
I’ve been riding for a few years, and I never really had someone ride on the back of my Harley. I’ve been putting it off and my girlfriend talked me into it. I am so glad I did. We have rode a few times before the intense summer heat sidelined anymore trips. #YumaSummer. I learned a few things and I want to share them with you.
Make Sure They Have Proper Safety Gear — One thing I truly can't stand is seeing other riders have their pillion wear no gear whatsoever. That is disgustingly unsafe. As a rider, you should have the appropriate gear. So should your passenger!
Your Motorcycle Should Have The Appropriate Gear Too — Do you have passenger pegs? A 2-up seat? Can your rear shocks handle the extra weight? To ride safely, the passenger really does have to sit on a seat and have their feet planted on something. It’s also probably illegal in your state if you don’t ride with them. #USABrahs. Are you rubbing the rear tire on the fender? Seems like the bike isn’t ready for a passenger. I invested in 13 inch rear shocks, 2-up seat, and pegs. That is the minimum. There are other goodies like a tank handle for the passenger to grab. See what you need to make the passenger feel safe.
Getting On And Off The Motorcycle — Make sure the passenger doesn’t get on without you being ready. Make sure you have both feet planted on the ground, bike vertical. Grab the handlebars to keep the front end steady. Only after that, let them know it’s ok to get on. Have them get on from “the non-muffler side,” usually on the left. One leg over the bike, foot on peg, sit. Grab on.
Yes, Grab On — I prefer when my girlfriend holds me…tightly…ayyy. Most times she really doesn’t have to, but I like knowing she is secure on the seat. The more I have ridden with her, the more I don’t need that feeling. Turning, stopping, accelerating, all great times for your passenger to grab on.
Have Them Just Sit Down — This is a quick one. Have them just sit. No fidgeting, no leaning over to look down, no leaning back. Just sit and mimic the rider. Make sure they know that. If you don’t, they will be controlling the bike, not you.
Turning — Like I said, make them sit. The only issue I had riding with my girlfriend is that she liked to go against the lean in the turn. That was quickly fixed. Her leaning the wrong way, made all my turns wide. I had to lean even harder to make it. Your passenger doesn’t really have to lean too much with you. They just have to sit and not lean against you.
Stopping — Be aware that you’ll need to increase stopping distance. More weight = more time to stop. Once you actually come to a stop, make sure your passenger stays on the footpegs. Don’t let them put their feet down. That will throw the balance of the bike off, and you two will possible fall.
Got all of that? Good. I hope I was able to help out with any questions you might have had. If anyone here has some good tips, please comment or let me know!!
Just have fun and enjoy the ride!