Bringing a passenger with you on your motorcycle is an enjoyable experience. However, it’s not as simple as taking a passenger for a ride in your car. There are complications such as the passenger’s weight changing the handling of your bike for example. While the veteran rider wouldn’t have much trouble with this, the beginner motorcyclist should wait until he has more riding experience under his belt. Two other considerations are complying with your state’s regulations on bringing a passenger, and making sure that your bike is properly outfitted and prepared.

Legal Regulations

Make sure that you comply with your state’s DMV regulations regarding passengers. Four common requirements are:

  • Your seat can accommodate two people (or have separate seating for the passenger).
  • There are separate foot pegs for your passenger.
  • Your passenger’s feet can reach the pegs.
  • You must have a license for riding a motorcycle. A learner’s permit doesn’t allow passengers on your bike.

Your Motorcycle

  • Don’t take a passenger on a motorcycle not designed for one.
  • Review the owner’s manual for recommendations on preparing your bike. Adjustments in tire pressure and suspension may be required. Know your bike’s weight limitations. This generally shouldn’t be a problem for bikes designed for two people but it’s dangerous to assume that it will handle two people of any size and weight.

Riding Safety Tips

  • Ride as smoothly as possible. This increases the passenger’s comfort and your overall safety. Unlike the operator, the passenger won’t be prepared for sudden turns, accelerations, and braking. This may also panic the passenger into doing something the operator isn’t prepared for and possibly cause a motorcycle accident.
  • The passenger should follow the bike’s motion. Go with the lean of the bike on turns and look forward on the inside of the turn.
  • The passenger should avoid sudden body shifts. Wait until the motorcycle is stopped at an intersection before repositioning.
  • Come to a stop smoothly and perfectly balanced.
  • Compensate for the extra weight. This means allowing extra distance for braking, applying more throttle for accelerating, and slowing down more for turns.
  • Educate your passenger. If your passenger has never been on a motorcycle before, tell them what they have to do to make the ride easier for both of you.
  • Make sure that the passenger is wearing a helmet and other safety gear.

In addition to the above, if you or your passenger are new to doubling up, ride in a safe area with little traffic and easy roads. It will take some practice for the both of you before it becomes second nature.

If you are suffering physical and financial setbacks because of a motorcycle accident due to the negligent or aggressive actions of another, contact us today.


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