While most people ride their motorcycles by themselves, these vehicles are still great for carrying two people. You can’t support more than two people or have a lot of cargo as with traditional vehicles, but you can get you and your passenger from one place to the next easily. However, there are still some dos and don’ts of riding a motorcycle with a passenger. Understanding these rules will help ensure that you two stay safe on your journey and get to your destination!
Do Get Two Helmets
As the motorcycle driver, you have a helmet that you always wear once you get on the road. It’s one of the most important pieces of safety gear that every motorcycle driver needs, but it’s also a piece that the passenger needs. Before you start your motorcycle, you must find your passenger their own helmet that fits their head well. If you get a helmet that’s too small or loose, you are potentially putting them in an uncomfortable position and in harm’s way.
For example, if the helmet is too loose and you end up getting into an accident, it won’t be able to provide the protection that a well-fitting helmet would guarantee. There are some areas that don’t require the passenger to wear a helmet, but that doesn’t mean going without one is okay. This safety measure is one of the most important things that every driver and passenger should understand and follow if they want to stay safe on the road.
Don’t Forget To Strap Them In
While wearing a helmet is one of the most important parts of staying safe on the motorcycle, it isn’t the only safety measure available to the passenger. A big mistake that some motorcycle riders can make is not properly strapping the passenger into the bike. You must securely strap your passenger into the bike with a seatbelt, and if there’s no seatbelt available, you can turn to other support systems or at least have them hold onto you.
These safety measures can help prevent unwanted shifting during the ride that could throw the bike off balance. Additionally, they’ll provide a more comfortable and secure experience for passengers and drivers, preventing falls.
Do Plan the Seat
When driving in a car, you don’t need to coordinate with your passengers about where to put their feet or how to shift their weight when turning. It’s a convenience that motorcycle riders don’t have, especially when riding with a passenger. Before setting out on the road, you need to talk with the person you’ll be riding with so that you can go over the basics when it comes to riding. They need to carefully place their feet and hands in a certain spot that varies from motorcycle to motorcycle.
Additionally, you should talk with them about the correct way to lean when turning. A passenger who leans the wrong way could put both themselves and the driver into a dangerous situation, whether that’s skidding into the grass or a complete crash.
Don’t Immediately Go for a Long Ride
Another thing you shouldn’t do when you have a passenger is immediately going for a long ride. Riding a motorcycle is incredibly different from driving a car. It affects your body and your mind differently, and it’s not something that you can do right away if you want to be safe. Starting gradually and going for a few short rides is a great way to create passenger comfort and familiarity with riding on the motorcycle. This way, the next time they ride, they can be confident.
It can be annoying if you’re in a rush to get somewhere, so don’t put yourself in that situation right away. If you think someone you’re with may need to ride on your motorcycle as a passenger soon, consider starting them off with these smaller rides. Taking the necessary time to familiarize them with what riding a motorcycle is like is a great step to ensure both of you can be safe when getting on the road.
Do Establish Clear Communication Rules
It’s not going to be easy communicating with your passenger when you’re riding on your motorcycle because it can be incredibly loud. However, your passenger may not understand this before getting onto the motorcycle. If you want to be a responsible and safe driver, you must establish clear communication rules before even getting on the road.
For example, the person riding behind you can’t let you know they feel unsafe or want to stop for any reason by simple talking into your ear. It's often too hard to hear. Instead, both of you need to come up with a kind of code or signal. A great signal is patting the driver a set number of times on a specific part of their body. It’s a difficult move to replicate, meaning you, as the driver, should recognize that they’re trying to let you know something important.
However, even with these communication rules, the driver must take the necessary action to go somewhere safe so that they can actually talk to their passenger. Getting the signal and not stopping is a mistake that motorcycle drivers should avoid.
Don’t Forget About Comfort
You need to think about communication and ensure your passenger is familiar with what riding on a motorcycle looks and feels like. But you also need to make sure they’re comfortable. Familiarity is just a part of this, but you should also go out of your way to get them the gear they need when on the road. Earplugs are a great way to minimize the noise of the ride. If a person isn’t already an expert on the ride, the noise can be quite overwhelming.
In addition to earplugs, consider getting them other gear to keep them comfortable, such as a nice jacket to minimize the effects of wind and keep them warm. Gear like this is important, but you can also go above and beyond by adjusting the bike for their comfort. Adjust their seat height to match their preference, and you can move your motorcycle’s windshield so that they can see and not get blasted in the face with wind for the entire trip.
These are some important dos and don’ts of riding a motorcycle with a passenger. When you completely understand how to be safe, you and your passenger can ride off into the sun. However, understanding the dos and don’ts is different from actually following them. If you’re interested in getting the right safety equipment for your ride, let Tucker Powersports help you. With our Speed and Strength motorcycle gear, you and your passenger can stay safe and stylish when riding on your motorcycle.