Carrying a Passenger on a Motorcycle

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Company while riding is always nice. Some company weighs 100 pounds, other weighs 200 pounds. Putting extra weight on the motorcycle will affect the handling. Adjust your suspension and tire pressure to compensate for the additional weight. Check your owner's manual.

Also realize that your braking capabilities have changed. The more weight you have on the motorcycle, the longer it takes to stop.

Passengers should be instructed to always mount from the left side, and to wait for your permissions before mounting or dismounting. This goes a long way to prevent dumping the bike.

Passengers need the same protection that you do - proper clothes and helmet. Ten-foot scarves flapping in the wind may look dashing, but not on a motorcycle. You don't want shoe laces or loose pant legs catching on rear wheel or chain parts.

Never carry anyone saddle-side. Passengers should always straddle the bike with their feet securely planted on both footrests. Tell passengers not to put a foot down when you come to a stop.

Before mounting the bike, show the passenger where the hot things are - like header pipes and mufflers. Caution passengers against coming into contact with the hot parts to prevent foot and ankle burns. Also, rubber soles can melt and leave a mess.

Instruct passengers to hold onto you at your waist or hips. Ask them to lean forward slightly when you leave from a stop or accelerate along the highway.

When the motorcycle is moving slowly or is stopped, the passenger should try not to move around much. Sudden moves at low speeds or while stopped will easily throw off the motorcycle balance and cause a tip over.

When you brake, passengers should be firmly braced against your waist and should lean back slightly. You don't want their weight to shift forward.

Advise passengers not to lean unless you do. You don't want the person behind you hanging off the bike at 30 degrees; that will do funny things to the steering and cause a wreck. However, when you lean going around a corner, passengers should definitely lean as well. So have them look over your shoulder in the direction of the turn when you go through a corner; that will put the weight where you want it.

When banking right, the passenger should be looking over your right shoulder. When banking left, the passenger should be looking over your left shoulder. When traveling in a straight line, either shoulder is okay.

Lastly, it's the passengers job to waive at other riders as you pass. This will allow the driver to concentrate on the road and maintaining the bike. Don't be offended if other riders don't waive back, as they may be concentrating on something other.

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