6 Tips for Being a Motorcycle Passenger

It takes both riders to be a safe moto duo.

Riding with a pasenger
Before you tell your friend or loved one to hop on the back of your bike, however, it’s a good idea to educate your pillion partner on how to be a good passenger.Brian J. Nelson

Riding with a passenger is a great way to share your love of motorcycling. Before you tell your friend or loved one to hop on the back of your bike, however, it’s a good idea to educate your pillion partner on how to be a good passenger. Here are some tips to ensure that the ride-sharing experience is awesome for both of you.

Riding with a Passenger
Protective gearBrenda Weaver

ATGATT

Insist on full protective gear for your passenger. At minimum, this includes a DOT-certified helmet (preferably full-faced), eye protection, sturdy pants and jacket, full-coverage footwear, and gloves. Don’t forget seasonally appropriate layers to combat heat and wind chill.

Riding with a Passenger
Pre-ride briefingBrenda Weaver

Pre-Ride Briefing

Point out parts of the bike that can burn or pinch if your friend is new to motorcycles. Help them relax by explaining that bikes must lean to corner and that tires provide plenty of grip. Then give them some pre-ride instructions.

Riding with a Passenger
How to hold onBrenda Weaver

Hang On

Ask your passenger to pay attention to what’s going on and to brace for braking and acceleration by holding the grab handles or your waist. 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.

Riding with a Passenger
Where to place your feetBrenda Weaver

Tell your pillion to sit still and keep his or her feet on the pegs at all times. It isn’t uncommon for passengers to think they are helping to support the bike by putting their feet down at stops, but this can easily upset your balance.

Riding with a Passenger
Lean with meBrenda Weaver

Lean With Me

Passengers new to the backseat of a motorcycle can freak out and counter your steering efforts by sitting upright in corners. To avoid the counter-leaning problem, ask the passenger to lean with you and look over your inside shoulder.

Riding with a Passenger
CommunicationBrenda Weaver

Communication

Verbal interaction can be nearly impossible at speed. Hand signals are okay, but if you regularly ride with a passenger consider Bluetooth communicators for the added convenience and enjoyment it brings to two-up rides.