Riding with any passenger

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Before you take a date on your motorcycle, please review these tips that apply to riding with any passenger.

Be sure your skill level and confidence level are good enough in a variety of situations. Lots of people say, “three months or a thousand miles, whichever comes sooner.” That’s a general guideline. Please note that you should get some experience riding alone if you’ve been away from riding for a while or are using a new or unfamiliar motorcycle.

Your motorcycle must have a place for the passenger to sit. If you’re using a “stick-on” passenger seat, you should have foot pegs for your passenger. You might need to adjust your tire pressure and suspension for the additional weight. And be extra careful in your pre-ride check.

Be sure your passenger is ready to ride. Are they wearing the right gear? Do they know where the hot and/or dangerous parts of the bike are? Do they know where to put their hands? Before you start up your motorcycle, show your passenger how to get on and off and where to put their hands and feet.

Remind them not to make sudden moves, to brace themselves for starting and stopping, and teach them to lean with you into curves.

Establish signals so your passenger can let you know when they are tired, when you are going to fast for them, when they need a bathroom break, and so on.

Remember that a passenger can change how you start, how you brake and corner, how much time it takes to pass, and how side winds affect you.