When I ride, I usually go alone. I am not a big group rider, and I like to enjoy nature and the sounds of the road in peace. But, sometimes, I like to take a passenger along for the ride, especially since it’s a great way to impress women! A lot of people are a bit afraid of riding on the back of a motorcycle, so I try to quell their fears. With this in mind, here are a few things I do when I take on a passenger.
First, if I take a passenger with me, I teach them basic safety tips, and I make them put on a well-fitting helmet and riding jacket, and I go over everything with them. This is often a problem when I am introducing a person to riding for the first time. With a quick lecture and once over, I can avoid problems as people who are interested in riding are going to learn how to stay safe and enjoy the ride. Simply put, with a safety briefing and all the right gear, most passengers are going to feel good about hopping on the back of your bike
I love riding out to Palomar Mountain or to other mountains in Southern California, but I can’t go as fast when I have a passenger. Since my clearance is affected, I take it easy when I go around hairpin turns. It’s good practice to avoid quick accelerations, especially with new passengers who may not take kindly to high speeds and being jerked back unexpectedly. On the same token, braking sooner and more gradually will usually avoid causing your passenger to be uncomfortable.
When on the bike, it’s important to have a lot of communication. You don’t want your passenger to feel nervous, moving around/shifting weight constantly or messing with your rhythm. Then, when it comes time to get off the bike, I also ask that my passenger tell me when they are going to get off. Of course, since I chat about everything before they get on the bike, I usually don’t have problems with dismounting the bike. Many have been surprised by a passenger quickly dismounting, placing all of their weight at once on a single foot peg.
An informal chat at the end of the ride can help shine light on the experience of your rider. Take their words into consideration and incorporate it into future rides with passengers.
Without a doubt, when you want to ride a bike with a passenger you must understand that the physics are going to be much different than when riding alone. Take it slow and be prepared to make adjustments in riding style. If you are cautious and pay attention to your passenger, you are going to have some fun and just might convert your friend into someone who loves riding.