How to Ride a Motorcycle With a Passenger: Complete Guide!


Carrying a companion on a motorcycle is not something we should take lightly. Pun intended. 🙂

Remember that driving alone is not the same as having someone else who can weigh as much or more than you. You must take certain precausions:

How the extra weight affects the power of the bike

A partner implies that our motorcycle will have to move much more weight.

It will be necessary to adjust the tire pressure and the suspension adjustment to the weight added by our partner.

You should also ensure that the extra weight does not modify the front light group, causing the light beam to point in the wrong direction. It is important that the light is focused on the asphalt and not on other motorcycles and cars on the road. We know that dazzling someone else could cause an accident.

Passanger safety gear requirements

The most important thing of all is to ensure that your passenger wears all their protective equipment. It doesn’t matter if the trip will be short or long; a passenger must always be protected.

The helmet, jacket, gloves, knee pads and special biker boots are essential elements to start the journey. This is the only way we have to protect ourselves against a fall.

Before getting on the bike

The driver must be well adjusted and stable for the movement that is to take place. Otherwise they may have a fall before starting the trip.

How should a passenger get on?

You must explain to your companion how and where to get on the motorcycle. There are several ways to do it and you can do it the way that is easiest for you.

Climb up the left side of the bike

Normally on the right side of the motorcycle there is the exhaust pipe, so there is the possibility that your passenger suffers a burn or damages the pipe when climbing.

If your motorcycle has the exhaust on the left side, then the passenger must climb on the right to prevent this from happening.

Climb up without support

This is one of the fastest and most direct ways in which a passenger can get on, it is a very comfortable way for tall people.

Extra height will allow them to simply pass the right leg over the seat and this leg can easily reach the other side of the bike.

Now the person will be leaning, on top of the motorcycle and they will only have to position their feet well.

Climb with support

This technique is more convenient for people of shorter stature.

The passenger must lean on the footrest of the motorcycle. But you must take into account that this form affects the driver more. Therefore, he must prepare and support himself well enough to the ground so as not to be destabilized while his partner climbs.

You must first place the kickstand of the motorcycle to generate greater stability with your feet flat on the ground. In this way the rider will be able to assert his motorcycle with greater balance.

This is necessary since what the partner will do is first support his leg on the left footrest and this will be able to push the motorcycle a little to that side; whereby the rider must avoid a sudden movement, firmly handling the motorcycle.

The passenger will get on more easily because he will not have to raise his leg as much.

Additional support

There are also those who help the passenger climb a little more, positioning the motorcycle in a higher place, such as a platform. This will give them the height the passenger needs and enough confidence to do it.

On what part of the seat should the passenger climb?

This must be explained to the passenger, it is very important that it is well located.

It is true that the position will vary from motorcycle to motorcycle since there is a variety of seats. The main thing is not to bother the driver and that the position of the partner is safe.

The partner has to sit close to the driver, close enough but without invading the driver seat. A space between the two must be respected so that the driver movements are not interrupted.

The proximity with the driver will allow him to perceive the position in which his partner is and if it is correct throughout the trip.

What should not happen is that the partner is far behind, because it can destabilize the whole of the motorcycle.

How to position your hands

You can place them in different ways.

There are motorcycles that have some type of handles on the back that facilitates grip.

The safest way to position your hands is with one back and one forward. The rear one placed on the rear handles and the one in front, could be positioned holding the driver abdomen.

The idea is that if the driver accelerates the passenger can hold onto the driver strongly and that if he brakes the passenger can hold on to the rear so as not to go forward.

This position will allow the passenger to be comfortable and also to enjoy the trip at all times.

But there are also other ways to sustain yourself depending on the moment.

When the bike is going at high speeds, it is better for the partner to hold onto the back and for his front hand to rest on the tank of the bike.

When going at very low speeds, the partner will be able to place both hands on the back, if he feels sure to do so since he will have enough grip as well.

When the couple is driving in curves and has a high speed, it is ideal for the partner to place both hands on the tank of the motorcycle, this way it will not have problems if the motorcycle must break since it will be able to stop easily.

If the motorcycle must advance again, when starting the partner can take hold of the rider’s abdomen with both hands, for greater safety.

Keep in mind that the right hand is always the one that holds back and the left forward.

Communication between passenger and driver

Once the passenger is seated on the seat and the journey has started, the passenger must behave fluently with what happens.

This is why the passenger must agree with the driver some way to warn if something happens if he needs to adjust his position if he wants to slow down; among other things. But in no way should the passenger act without the driver being prepared.

Clapping can be used to communicate

They can agree that two slaps on the right side of the driver back mean he slows down, and two slaps on the left side mean he needs the driver to stop; so that the partner can settle or recover if he feels bad.

Harmony in the curves

The passenger must facilitate the end of the curves for the driver. It is important that the passenger observes and moves with the curves and with the same driver.

Before entering the curve, the passenger should stick his head slightly towards the side where the curve will turn, either the right or the left.

You should not move when the curve has already started, as this destabilizes the motorcycle and the driver. You should do it a little before entering the curve, making a smooth movement, never a sudden or sudden one; nor take out your body excessively.

For this, a good idea is for the passenger to look for the exit point of the curve. This will help the driver much more than if you go without moving and tense. The driver will be able to go through the curves very easily and naturally.

In the event that the passenger does not know where the curve is going, he should not execute any movement, it will be better to do nothing and avoid going to the opposite side of where the motorcycle is going. The best advice, in this case, is for the passenger to stay straight.

In general, the passenger must accompany the motorcycle in the movements it makes or avoid contrary movements.

The passenger must NEVER lower his feet

It is very common for the driver, when encountering a red light, to lower his feet for stability, but this should not be imitated by the passenger.

If it gets its feet down too, it is creating instability for the driver. The passenger does not need to worry about stability as the person driving has both feet down to ensure this.

The passenger must remain still and without lowering his feet at any time of the trip.

Helmet distance

There are ways to prevent a crash when braking.

The passenger can squeeze the driver with his legs, so that the movement of the brake does not make him slide and that he hits the helmet with the driver.

We must bear in mind that our helmet must have a distance of approximately 6 inches or 15 cm from yours.

Holding yourself the right way will also help keep it from happening.

How to be a good motorcycle passenger

The main thing is trust. If you have enough confidence in the driver, you can handle yourself very naturally, avoiding any type of inconvenience that you may cause the driver.

Also try to be as loose as possible, since if we are tense what we can do is get tired too much.

Something driver can highly value is how you hold onto them. Sometimes the nerves can lead the passenger to hold on to the driver abdomen with great force and tighten them too much.

Keep this in mind and hold on without hurting the driver. Because this could deconcentrate and greatly inconvenience them.

If you are afraid of very high speeds it is important that you tell the driver before starting, the idea is that you enjoy the trip and not that you have a bad time. driver are used to riding fast, but perhaps you want a more moderate ride.

During the trip do not make sudden movements, you should not get up, make small jumps, try to adjust your shoes or anything like that. This can cause an accident when destabilizing the motorcycle.

It is often thought that all the work should be done by the driver, but now you know that it is also up to you to make the trip safe. Not only will you be there to think while the wind hits your face; you must take action on everything that happens on the road with your driver.

How to be a good driver

You will be an excellent driver if your passenger can trust you and does not exceed the limits that those who travel with you do not want to cross.

You as a driver are constantly exposed to high speeds and challenges on the tracks, but keep in mind that your passenger may have little or no experience, and if you exceed you will be having a very bad and even terrifying experience.

This is not the time for you to show all your driving skills, tricks, or the risks you can take. In no case is it good to have a scared passenger and if everything goes well, you will not want to ride with you again.

It will depend on your passenger how far you want to venture, so it is important that communication and trust between you, is adequate for both of you to have a great experience.

Use the rear brake

The rear brake will be a good element to enhance the passenger experience.

We are used to always using the front brake since it is faster and more effective when braking, but it also transmits said brake pressure to the passenger area, who will have to lean on each time you brake, and this could tire you.

You can make the bike brake flat if you anticipate a little when braking. You can play between both brakes, use the front to slow down and when you brake definitively, do it with the rear.

Shift smoothly

The driver is the one who makes the decisions, drives and when he wants to change gear he knows exactly when he will do it. The problem is that the passenger is the one who does not anticipate this move.

To avoid changes in gear that are so sudden that they can shake your passenger, make these changes smoothly and without stretching speeds.

We also don’t want there to be a crash between the two helmets and having a bad time. Similarly, the passenger with these sudden changes may feel insecure and will not enjoy the trip.

Control turbulence

When we drive at a certain speed it is inevitable that turbulence will start to be generated by the wind.

Some drivers when traveling alone, to avoid so much turbulence, they usually duck, but when we go with a passenger this is really very uncomfortable for him. Keep in mind that if you do, all the wind will hit the passenger with full force. This will definitely not allow you to enjoy the journey.

Avoid bending over if you are carrying a passenger since your body in front of your partner will avoid much of the air.

To avoid turbulence completely, it is best to ride at a moderate speed.

Final Word

Traveling with a passenger on the motorcycle requires a lot of responsibility from both the driver and the passenger, they must trust each other and communicate effectively. Follow these tips to make the experience safe and rewarding for both of you.

Luka Barron

Motorcycle mechanic, writer and Heineken lover. A bit like Hank Moody on a Suzuki.

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