Share The Joy; Minimize The Risk

Safety Tip of the Week
Avoiding Double Trouble

Cruiser magazine says that learning to ride a motorcycle as a passenger is even harder than learning to drive one. There are no classes to take, so your passenger will depend on you to show them just what to do and when to do it. And you’ll need to remember that the bike won’t steer as well or brake in as short a distance as when you’re riding alone. It will also be more difficult to balance when stopped.

Start by showing your passenger how to mount, sit quietly, and dismount. Don’t assume that “everybody knows” because “everybody” doesn’t know. Show your passenger where it gets hot so they can avoid touching them. Point out the wheel and drive system and warn them against getting their feet in the way. Show them the footrests and how to use them. Remind them that they should keep their feet on the pegs even when stopped. You’ll hold the bike upright.

Show them what to hold on to, whether a backrest or (more typically) with both hands around your waist.

Explain cornering and tell them to stay upright—you’ll handle it. For sure, don’t lean against the turn if it feels too scary and don’t shift weight quickly. Similarly, your passenger should not have to worry about leaning on you when you brake. Acceleration is a different matter. If there’s no backrest, your passenger will have to hold on to something. Decide what. And you should accelerate more slowly than usual until your passenger is accustomed to riding with you.

Decide on hand signals for stuff like “Look at that!” and “I really need to stop now” and “Please slow down.”

Keep the first ride short and stop every twenty minutes or so to make sure all is well.

Double the fun!