If you own a motorcycle, you know how much of a blast it can be to take a friend for a ride, especially if they’ve never ridden before. If you’re going to take someone for a ride, it’s important to let them know what to expect and how to be safe. If you’re going to be a passenger on a friend’s bike, you’ll want to know how to be safe and courteous so that they’ll ask you to ride again in the future.
Here’s a list of simple tips for anyone who’s going to be a passenger on a motorcycle:
1) Wear the right kind of clothing to protect yourself in case of an unlikely spill. Here’s a good checklist:
- Durable pants – leather if possible, but sturdy jeans at a minimum.
- A jacket that’s abrasion-resistant – again, leather if possible
- Shoes or boots that protect your feet and ankles
- Durable gloves
- A helmet with a face shield. If there’s no face shield, you should wear goggles or sunglasses to protect your eyes.
2) Ask the rider for advice on weather-appropriate clothing. You don’t want to give up on the minimum level of protection, but you should be comfortable in whatever temperature you’ll be riding in. Make sure you don’t wear anything loose or billowy that could get caught in the rear wheel, drive chain, or any other moving part.
3) Wear a securely fastened helmet. Yes, we already mentioned it in our first tip, but we can’t stress enough the importance of wearing a helmet.
4) Before you try to get on the motorcycle, make sure that the passenger foot pegs are down. Make sure the rider shows you where they are. You need to be aware of the bike’s exhaust pipes – don’t let any part of your body touch them when you’re getting on or off the bike (you can be burned severely)
5) It’s customary to mount and dismount from the left side of the bike. You should ALWAYS wait for the rider to tell you when it’s okay to get on or off the bike. If the rider isn’t expecting your sudden shift of weight, they’ll be confused and you could possibly pull the motorcycle over.
6) When you’re ready to get on, simply extend your right leg over the seat and slide gently up onto the seat. Put your feet on the foot pegs and you’re ready to go!
7) When you’re riding, keep your feet planted on the foot pegs. If you move your feet, you could come in contact with the rear wheel, the drive chain, or the hot exhaust pipe. When you’re stopped, don’t try to help the rider hold the bike upright – just keep your feet on the pegs.
8) Put your hands on the rider’s hips so you’re in touch with the rider’s movements while you’re holding on. Keep your weight centered over the motorcycle – if you move around, it throws the balance of the motorcycle off.
9) Don’t be alarmed when the rider takes you around a corner. Motorcycles turn corners by leaning, like an airplane. To position your body correctly, just look in the direction you’re turning.
10) When the rider stops the motorcycle, your weight will shift forward – especially if it’s a hard stop. Brace your weight against the foot pegs and use your thigh muscles to keep from sliding forward into the rider.
If you follow these easy tips, you’ll be a safe, informed motorcycle passenger and your friend will invite you back to ride again in the future. If you’re a rider, these tips will make it easier to take a novice for a ride without being dangerous or sucking all the fun out of the ride. If you have any other questions about riding as a passenger or taking a passenger for a ride, call us at 512-735-5151 and we’ll help you out. If you’ve ridden as a passenger and gotten hooked, come by and check out our huge inventory of used motorcycles – we’ve got the best selection in Austin and we’ll help you get a bike that you’ll enjoy for years to come!