Riding your motorcycle is definitely fun, and that fun is something that you might want to share. No matter what the reason of you taking a passenger, you have to be reminded that it takes its own set of rules. Carrying a passenger on your bike requires skill on both the rider and the passenger. Unlike transporting a heavy suitcase or cargo, riding with a person behind your back requires you to become more considerate in terms of safety for your life is not only the one at stake.
If you wanted to carry a passenger on your bike, taking an MSF course can be of great help. Being an expert in riding is vital so that you will be able to maneuver your bike safely despite the additional weight you carry. Basically, a motorcycle instruction permit does not allow you to carry passengers; and, in most states in the US, you need to demonstrate that you are ready to take an added responsibility on your bike by acquiring a full motorcycle license.
How to prepare your bike for a passenger?
Not all bikes are designed to carry passengers. So if you are planning to carry one, you have to set an expectation beforehand so you can purchase a bike that supports the function. It is important that your seat is big enough to accommodate the passenger, and you also have to ensure that your passenger will be wearing all the required motorcycle gear, particularly a helmet (a bell vortex helmet is one good option). Check the traffic rules in your area, some states would require your bike to have additional equipments for passengers’ safety and comfort like footrests. As much as possible, do not carry passengers if you know that your bike is not passenger-friendly.
You can refer to your owner’s manual before hitting the road to know the weight limitations of your bike. Also, it can tell you whether it would be necessary for your tire and suspension to be adjusted.
Tips for passenger safety.
One key to successful riding with a passenger is for the rider to educate the passenger of things to do and to do not. Do not assume that your passenger knows what he or she must do. It would be helpful if you can provide quick tips:
- The passenger must be tall enough to reach the footrests.
- The passenger’s feet must be on the footrest at all times.
- The passenger must keep his or her legs away from the mufflers.
- The passenger must wear the required protective gear.
- The passenger must not make sudden moves that can jeopardize riding safety.
- The passenger must hold to the rider’s waist or passenger handholds for balance.
- The passenger must sit straight and not sideways.
Safely riding while on the road.
When you are carrying passengers in your motorcycle, you need to make some adjustments in the way you handle your bike. The extra weight of the passenger can affect the way you maneuver your vehicle, so you must be able to adapt to the changes to ensure riding safety. Double the care when you ride, and remember to start your motorcycle before allowing the passenger to mount the bike.