6 Tips For Being A Safe Motorcycle Passenger
So you have a motorcycle and can’t wait to take your friend/lover on the ride of their lives. But before you let your friend or loved one hop on the back of your bike, you should always put safety first and educate your pillion partner on how they can be a safe motorcycle passenger. Remember, it takes two to tango.
Here are some tips to ensure that you can safely share your love of motorcycling with your friends and family.
1. Gear Up
The first and most important part of motorcycling is to be properly protected. While movies give you the romantic sense of jumping on a motorbike and riding off without a care in the world, many times, it’s not safe at all. Insist on full protective gear for your passenger. At minimum, this includes a MOT-certified helmet (preferably full-faced), eye protection against the dust, full-coverage footwear and layers to combat the heat and wind chill.
2. Pre-Ride Briefing
Your passenger might not be familiar with riding a motorcycle. He or she may not know the parts of the bike that can burn or pinch them, so it’s helpful to point them out to them. Help them relax by explaining that bikes must lean to corner and that tires provide plenty of grip. The last thing you need is your passenger having a mini-panic attack and throwing you off your grip.
3.Stability and Holding On
Riding alone and riding with a passenger isn’t the same thing. Two people on a bike will massively affect the overall bike stability, so you should always let your passenger know that they have to pay attention to the what’s going on and to brace themselves for braking and acceleration by holding the grab handles or your waist. While it’s often the rider’s job to avoid abrupt stops, the passenger’s is what keeps your bike steady.
There is a saying that you should keep all hands and feet inside the ride at all times. This is true for motorcycle riding as well. The passenger should always sit still and keep their feet on the pegs at all times. While some passengers may think that they’re helping to support the bike by putting their feet down when stopped, this may in turn upset the balance of the bike causing both of you to fall.
5. Leaning In
Leaning may very well be the scariest part of riding pillion. The body position of the rider and his pillion will influence steering and lean angle, so whatever the passenger does will affect the rider’s control. The passenger should always stay neutral and not shift their weight suddenly in the corner. Leaning out of the corner and trying to straighten the motorcycle up will probably have just the opposite effect. The best wat is to ask the passenger to lean with you and look over your inside shoulder.
6. Communication is Key
Verbal interaction can be nearly impossible when you’re riding, so it’s good to already have a preset number of nonverbal interactions. For example, one tap on the right shoulder, for example, might mean "I want to stop when it's convenient." Two might mean, "It's kind of urgent." And three means, "Stop right now!" A tap on the left shoulder might mean "Look at this" or what you are pointing at. Tapping both might mean "I have a problem." A thumbs-up means "I'm having fun," thumbs down the opposite.It’s important to know what both the rider and the pillion want to make the journey so much more enjoyable.
So what do you think? Do these 6 tips help you become a much better motorcycle rider or pillion rider? Leave a comment below!