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Riding with a Passenger:

Motorcycle Safety:

As you know, riding with a passenger is a great way to share your love of motorcycling. If your passenger is new to motorcycling, much of this article applies to them. Before you tell your passenger to hop on the back, it’s a good idea to educate them on how to be a good passenger. Here are some tips to ensure that the ride sharing experience is awesome for both of you. Insist on full protective gear for your passenger, A DOT certified helmet, eye protection, sturdy pants, full covered footwear, and maybe gloves. Your passenger may not know or may not think about what to wear to protect themselves or consider weather temperatures when riding. Additionally, you will want to point out the areas on the bike that will get hot and caution your passenger to not contact these areas. It is important to explain to them a bike must lean to corner and that the tires will provide plenty of grip and provide them with pre-ride instructions. Be sure to ask your passenger to pay attention to what’s going on and to brace for braking and acceleration by holding on. It’s your job to be smooth and avoid abrupt or extreme starts or stops, but the passenger plays a critical role in overall bike stability. Tell your passenger to sit still and always keep their feet on the pegs or floorboards. It isn’t uncommon for new passengers to think they are helping support the bike by putting their feet down at stops, but this can easily upset your balance. Passengers new to the backseat of a motorcycle can freak out and counter your steering efforts by sitting upright when you corner. To avoid the counter-leaning problem, ask the passenger to lean with you and look over your inside shoulder during turns. Tell them to pretend they are one with you, so that they don’t over lean. As you know, verbal interaction can be nearly impossible at speed. If you regularly ride with a passenger, consider Bluetooth communications for added convenience and enjoyment. In closing, if you want your passenger to join you more than once, it’s important you educate them on riding and make sure they are comfortable and feel safe.

Author: Robin Bacchus, Safety Officer, OTC Hog Chapter (Brandon, FL) Re-published with his permission - in the spirit of sharing information and improving motorcycle safety.

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