Have you ever been asked by a friend or family member to take a ride on their motorcycle? Maybe you jumped at the chance to be a passenger or maybe you felt a little bit of fear and trepidation because you were not sure what to expect. There is a lot of information out there to teach you how to ride a motorcycle, but there are a few things you need to know about being a good passenger too. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Wear the right safety gear. When you are the passenger, wear gear that will protect you from the elements and make you safer in case of an accident while riding. You should wear footwear that protects your feet, a helmet, gloves, a long sleeve shirt and pants that are durable. Don’t forget to dress appropriately for the weather.
Getting on the bike. It is important before you get on the bike that the footpegs are down. And if you don’t know what the footpegs are, your rider will know and can help you. Stay away from the hot exhaust pipes anytime your get on or off the bike because they will cause severe burns. Once the bike and rider are stable and ready, step on the footpeg and swing your leg over the bike to the other footpeg.
Keep your feet on the footpegs. Once you are in position, your feet should be planted on the footpegs for the duration of your ride. By dangling your feet, you could come into contact with the rear wheel or the muffler which is dangerous for you and the rider. By keeping your feet on the footpegs, you are keeping yourself and the rider safe.
Sitting on the bike. Try not to hang or wrap your arms around the rider. By doing so, you affect their ability to control the bike by putting your weight on them. Instead, hold onto the rider’s hips or the tank especially when stopping. Try not to squirm or move around too much because this affects the balance of the bike.
Look over the rider’s shoulders during turns. While the rider leans into the turns, you should not. If you follow this rule of thumb, you will be positioned perfectly for a turn–look over the rider’s shoulder in the direction of the turn. So that means if you are turning right, you should look over the rider’s right shoulder; if you are turning left, look over the left shoulder. If you line up your body with the rider, it will keep the bike from leaning more than it should.
Dismounting the motorcycle. You should only get off the bike when the rider tells you it is okay to do so. If you do so when the rider isn’t expecting it, the sudden weight change could pull the motorcycle over or cause the rider to drop the bike. Don’t forget about the hot exhaust pipes while dismounting either.
Be an active participant. When you are a passenger on a motorcycle, you can help the rider by being alert and prepared. Be ready for sudden braking or changes of direction by paying attention to the road. You can also be another set of eyes for the rider, looking for any hazards or animals that may run into the road.
If you are prepared before being a passenger on a bike, it can be a fun experience for both you and the rider!