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Old 06-29-2012, 11:51 PM   #1
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Riding with a passenger

This is probably going to sound really stupid, but is it much different than riding solo? What sort of steps/precautions do I need to take? The gf wants to go on a ride on my Harley when she comes back to town. She will be wearing a helmet for sure, I always require a helmet on any of my motorcycles, period. But I am not really sure what else I've got to look forward to, need advice!
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Old 06-30-2012, 12:32 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idaholandho View Post
Make sure the passanger leans with the turns and not against. Make sure she also keeps her eyes on the road as a second pair sure might help when pulling out into traffic. And lastly, make sure she is topless as it is important for drivers self esteem.

Haha, but also good advice on the former stuff. Very true... an inexperienced rider's first instinct is to lean away from the roadway (natural instinct as who wants to become roadkill?), so make sure you start slow, do some slowspeed progressive turns, and let her get the hand of leaning with the bike and you. Also, makes sure she learns where the safe handholds are, and where the unsafe ones are... like yanking on your arms or shoulders. Let her figure out what works for her and you, especially from a stop as you don't want her to go flying off the back if you accelerate too hard. Lastly, make sure she has a good grasp of where the footpegs are (if there aren't any, where she can safely land her feet) and if your exhaust will interfere... you need to make sure her legs are safely protected from the heat and scorching metal of the exhaust pipes.

BTW, probably wouldn't hurt to have her sit with you and watch a safety video on line... Probably something on YouTube or at the MSF website. I know it may seem like overkill, but more info will only make her (and you) more safety conscious before your first, and hopefully not last, ride together. If you love riding, you want her to love riding too if you want this relationship to work out.

Hope you guys have fun! And tell her to drop that top!
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Old 06-30-2012, 12:26 PM   #3
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Okay, thanks for the tips guys! She will definitely have pants on that cover her ankles. I've been scorched before and it is no fun at all. Just the sound and smell of your skin sizzling on that pipe is a little unsettling!
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Old 06-30-2012, 03:07 PM   #5
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Get her a bike of her own.
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:48 AM   #6
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make sure she wears low cut jeans and a g-string... the driver's behind you will appreciate it...lol
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:55 AM   #7
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Tell her to look over your shoulder on the inside of a turn during a corner (If you're cornering left, she should be looking over your left shoulder). Also, tell her to sit still when cornering and coming to a stop as that is when the bike is the most reactive to passenger movement. Lastly, make sure she wears the proper gear, no flip flops, pants, long sleeve shirt or rider's jacket, helmet and gloves (same for you also, all your gear, all the time).
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pugga View Post
Tell her to look over your shoulder on the inside of a turn during a corner (If you're cornering left, she should be looking over your left shoulder). Also, tell her to sit still when cornering and coming to a stop as that is when the bike is the most reactive to passenger movement. Lastly, make sure she wears the proper gear, no flip flops, pants, long sleeve shirt or rider's jacket, helmet and gloves (same for you also, all your gear, all the time).

^ This. You don't want to even mention "leaning" to your passenger, as she has no real way of knowing your intentions while on the bike. If she looks over your shoulder in the direction of the turn, she will automatically lean in the right direction without having to think about it... which is better for everyone. The last thing you need is someone else trying to drive. This is how they teach it in the MSF course, and it makes a lot of sense.
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:41 PM   #9
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If she has not been on a bike before I would seriously think about you having her ride with a experienced rider. With 2 novices on a bike there is a greater chance of an issue. Myself, I have taken many riders for their first trip. Takes about 30 min with training on turns and stops and proper mounting and dismounting. When my wife and I ride I can't tell she's on the back. Being a relaxed passenger makes it a breeze. I know you want to take her for the first ride but just think about it if she's a newbie too.......
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:51 PM   #10
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Prepare her for what to do should you guys come off the bike the hard way. Let her know it's going to hurt either way but it will hurt less if she doesn't try and brace herself or fight the landing.
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:03 PM   #11
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as long as you aren't a terrible rider you'll be fine. Im assuming she is lighter than you. I've had passengers on my POS DR650 and it did great, it works best if she holds on around you though. Make sure you use passenger pegs.
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Old 07-26-2012, 06:19 PM   #12
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Old 07-26-2012, 06:20 PM   #13
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Old 07-26-2012, 06:35 PM   #15
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How long have you been riding? If less than 2 years and 20,000 miles, don't.

From mounting/dismounting to handing turns, the passenger is as much a "driver" as the driver.

It's not so much that she needs to lean into the turns, but if she leans against them (VERY common), she'll screw you up and you'll go wide.
Instruct her to look over your inside shoulder, NEVER look to the outside of the turn... same as you should be doing.
That will naturally place her body in the proper position behind you, without her thinking "Oh, I need to lean, but now how much?"


But take it super easy. Get some practice with an experienced passenger first.
Your inexperienced lady should absolutely NOT be your first passenger.


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Old 09-06-2012, 04:25 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich91710 View Post
How long have you been riding? If less than 2 years and 20,000 miles, don't.

From mounting/dismounting to handing turns, the passenger is as much a "driver" as the driver.

It's not so much that she needs to lean into the turns, but if she leans against them (VERY common), she'll screw you up and you'll go wide.
Instruct her to look over your inside shoulder, NEVER look to the outside of the turn... same as you should be doing.
That will naturally place her body in the proper position behind you, without her thinking "Oh, I need to lean, but now how much?"


But take it super easy. Get some practice with an experienced passenger first.
Your inexperienced lady should absolutely NOT be your first passenger.


Sorry I haven't checked in this post for awhile. But I have been riding since I was 5 years old on dirt, and just recently started on street. I've rode passengers around on my dirt bikes a few times and didn't have any trouble. My Harley shouldn't be much different I wouldn't think.
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Old 09-06-2012, 04:27 PM   #17
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I plan to take my stepmom for my first passenger ride. She has lots of experience as a passenger.
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Old 09-06-2012, 04:28 PM   #18
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The Harley won't be terrible with a passenger. Riding a passenger on a sport bike can get dicey because the passenger sits soo much higher than the driver and has a LOT of leverage and influence on the bike's handling. An inexperienced passenger on the back of a sport bike can cause some serious trouble, even for an experienced rider.
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Old 09-06-2012, 04:36 PM   #19
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A couple of things I would recommend:

1) First off, are you new to riding. You should have at least 1 season's experience riding solo before having a passenger.

2) Tell the passenger to sit like a sack of potatoes. The passenger should NOT lean into the turn or outside of the turn, but to try to keep her body line in line with the bike.

3) When accelerating or breaking, tell the passenger to hold on to your upper torso as low as possible, like lower back/belly button area (not high on you shoulders or upper back). This will ensure their weight will not affect your inputs to the bars.

4) When stopping, tell the passenger to push on your lower back and squeeze your hips with their thighs.

5) Have a couple hand signals in case they want/need to get off. Part of riding with a passenger is to ensure they are safe and comfortable.

6) Leave yourself more stopping room as the added weight will cause you to take longer to stop.

7) Don't just gun the throttle, let them know ahead of time so they don't fall of the back.

8) Put a few more lbs of air in the back tire.

9) If this is their first time on a bike, tell them it is their job to waive at other bikes. Passengers typically love to do that.

10) When time to get on/off the bike, you get on first and off last. Make sure you are really ready when they get on/off. You must tell them ok to get on and ok to get off. It is easy to dump a bike (especially a cruiser) if you are not ready for the weight transfer.

Good luck and ride safe.
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Old 09-06-2012, 04:39 PM   #20
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A passenger will change the handling of any bike, dresser or bagger, old wing-a-bago or sport bike. More weight is moved rearward, so the bike will be lazy into corners and want to push through the outside of the apex, so you will have to be ready for a change in how the bike feels. It sounds stupid, but maybe strap a bag or two of sand on your pillion and go for a spin to see the difference. I rode solo for 8 years before I let my wife ride two-up with me, and I was never comfortable with it.
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