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Riding w/ a passenger

Old 05-11-2013, 03:55 PM
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Default Riding w/ a passenger

im about to take my friend for a ride, but ive never rode with a passegener. Any advice?
Old 05-11-2013, 04:29 PM
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Just make sure that the passenger always has her/his arms around your chest or stomach. Never while riding can he/she let go or they can fall back with very little throttle you give.

On all the turns, they have to follow your movement, if you move your body to the left or right, they have to move with your also, if they counter force you can both fall, or not make the turn right causing it to make a wider turn. Other than that, be safe, happy riding.
Old 05-11-2013, 04:37 PM
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In corners or low speed tell them to not move or adjust.
In corners tell them to only look over the shoulder of the way you are turning.
ALWAYS hold on.
Make a couple signals, One tap on the leg pull over.....
Tell them when you are braking to pinch there knees so they don't sandwich your nuts on the tank.
Old 05-12-2013, 01:56 PM
Join Date: Nov 2011
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-Passenger needs to be careful getting on and off the bike so it doesn't get too unbalanced to one side or you could drop it--especially if they're fatter than you. Be ready to balance the bike more than usual with your legs as they climb aboard. Not an issue if they climb onto the bike cleanly.

-Have them copy your torso's position with theirs, especially helps at low speeds to keep handling easy.

-Make sure they know to hang on, either to you or a grab bar if the bike has one and also with their legs. Otherwise, they could get thrown off if you ride aggressively.

-Make sure to practice heavy braking / acceleration with them beforehand if you do that kind of stuff in your riding. Otherwise, if it happens and they're not prepared they could get mad, or worse.

-Make sure they know not to put stuff in regular pockets or they'll lose it. This is a common one.

-They should wear at least a helmet because most people feel bad if a friend or acquaintance gets brain damage / dies.
Old 05-13-2013, 12:29 PM
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I wrote an article for Motorcycle Mojo on this topic, I've cut and pasted it below. I hope it helps

Riding Two-Up:
The Finer Points of Riding as a Team:

I can’t recall the exact reason why, but about 7 years ago I found myself on the back of my friend Scott’s bike as his passenger. I was a little nervous at first, not because I was unfamiliar with motorcycles or because I feared the speed or the feeling of being exposed to the elements, but because I was afraid of relinquishing control. Having been the pilot of my own bike for several years it was a strange feeling to hand over the controls to someone else, and to essentially put my life in his hands.

It was rewarding though because after a beautiful ride through the twisty back roads of Vancouver Island I realized that two people on a motorcycle are able in some instances to metamorphosis from ‘rider’ AND ‘passenger’ into a unified “team.”

While we were riding I seemed to intuitively know when Scott was going to change lanes or brake or shift gears. When he looked over his shoulder to check for traffic I was already doing the same. As he was leaning into a curve I was relaxed and calm and leaning with him. When he tapped my knee once I knew he was telling me I was doing a good job, when he tapped it twice I knew he was getting ready to slow down or come to a stop, and when he reached back to squeeze me tight against him I knew we were going to speed up quickly. We were communicating without words and it was a pretty cool feeling.

I hadn’t thought back to that ride or given much thought to the dynamics of riding as a passenger (seeing as I don’t do it very often these days) until I received a note from Frank DeWolff.

Frank wrote to Glenn Roberts, editor here at Mojo Magazine and explained that he and his wife are planning a 6-week trip in July from Prince George to Newfoundland/Labrador on a 2008 Goldwing. He mentioned that his wife is normally a very good passenger but that she “tends to be less than relaxed when making maneuvers out of the ordinary.”

He then went on to say that “there isn’t much advice being given to motorcyclists who ride two-up” and asked us for “an article that discusses the finer points of riding as a team in different riding situations.”

His note made me think of my experience of riding as a team with Scott, and got me thinking of how I might be able to convey that experience to others.

Taking a passenger on the back of your bike is a big deal. You are now completely responsible for that person’s well being. They have trusted you with their life so you had better do everything in your power to take care of it.

First of all, make sure that the suspension and tire pressure on your bike are set for the combined weight of rider and passenger and any luggage or gear that you might have. Always do a quick check of the bike to make certain everything is in good working order.

Second, ensure that your passenger is wearing proper riding gear even if you have to give her your own jacket or gloves. It absolutely infuriates me when I see a rider all decked out in leathers, boots and gloves while his passenger is on the back in shorts and a t-shirt.

Your passenger should wear quality gear; boots or sturdy shoes that cover the ankle, leather or cordura pants and jacket, leather gloves and a DOT approved helmet that fits properly. Buying a cheap helmet in a large size just so you have a “spare” lying around is going to do no good for a passenger that has a small head.

Before you take a passenger for the first time educate him or her about what is hot on the bike, (I’ve been burned before) let her know where to put her feet, and instruct her that they should remain there until you say otherwise.

Show her how to safely and smoothly get on and off the bike and tell her to always make sure that you are ready for her before she climbs on.

Then show her how to hold onto you when you are riding. I always suggest that the passenger start by putting both hands around the rider and placing them firmly on the tank. This gives them something solid to push against under braking when their body tends to slide forward, and it also ensures that they don’t jerk back under hard acceleration either. When she gets more comfortable she can hold the side rails or the waist, but never the shoulders or arms.

It is a good idea to come up with some basic hand signals so you can communicate while riding and be sure to check in with your passenger here and there to see how she is doing.

Remember that when riding with a passenger the bike is heavier and it will steer and maneuver differently, so take time to learn the new characteristics. Also remember that you need to be even smoother with all the controls, rolling on and off the throttle, applying and releasing the brakes, shifting and steering when you have a passenger otherwise you will be bonking helmets the entire ride.

Be sure to explain to your passenger that the BEST thing she can do while on the bike is remain relaxed and neutral and to “go with the bike.” Doing so is going to make the bike handle and perform the best and it is important that your passenger know this. Tell her to look over your inside shoulder and to not lean away from the bike or fight leaning and tell her not to make any sudden movements.

To help your passenger feel more comfortable and to prevent her from tensing up in situations that are “out of the ordinary” as Frank mentions, talk to her about how the motorcycle works. Show her how you steer the bike and how it leans in a turn, tell her what you are looking at when going through a corner, teach her how to look far ahead in a corner and not target fixate on things she is nervous about, show her how you roll on the gas in a corner and how you shift gears, and then talk about different situations that could come up that would require “out of the ordinary” maneuvers.

Another excellent way of helping your passenger stay relaxed on the bike in ALL situations is to practice making emergency stops and sudden avoidance maneuvers in a parking lot before heading out for a long ride. Do some quick s-turns and then some longer sweeping turns and have your passenger work on going “with the bike.” Have her intentionally lean away from the bike and tense up so she can feel the difference between how the bike reacts, it will be smoother when she follows it than when she fights it. The more you practice together the better you will be able to read each other and work together as a team.

We always talk about educating the rider and how practice makes perfect. The same holds true for team riding. Educate your passenger and practice together so that sudden maneuvers aren’t so sudden and unexpected anymore. The more you communicate and work together, the more in-sync you will be.

Misti Hurst
Old 05-31-2013, 02:16 PM
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awesome write-up
Old 05-31-2013, 02:25 PM
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Location: Fort Campbell, KY
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^^Second that ... I'm always terrified of riding with a passenger ... Just the responsibility of their life on my hands is scary. Someday I will get past it hopefully. I know my wife will want to ride sooner or later.
Old 06-03-2013, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by mpugeda View Post
awesome write-up
Thanks Glad you enjoyed it!
Old 06-04-2013, 05:29 AM
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Very good write up. Gives alot of useful tips and insight into how to approach issues you might not have forseen before.
Old 06-04-2013, 10:31 AM
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Wonderful writeup as usual Misti.

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