Are you eager to join a friend on their next motorcycle ride? While motorcyclists can do everything in their skill set to safely ride with a motorcycle passenger, you also have a part to play to ensure a safe trip. It’s important to be prepared and educated on a few things before you decide to jump on the back of a bike. Follow these tips to enjoy your next motorcycle ride as a passenger and to help keep you and the rider safe:
- Plan Ahead
Before hopping on the back of a motorcycle, it’s essential to run through the details of the trip with the rider, and learn how to safely get on and off the bike. Establish where you will be putting your hands and feet – Are there foot pegs? Is there a grab rail? Will you be holding onto the rider? Between the wind and motor, it’s going to be hard to communicate verbally with the rider, so come up with a few hand signals or shoulder taps so they know when you need a break. If you’re heading out on a long ride, plan to stop after about 20 or 30 minutes to check in, address any concerns, discuss adjustments that might need to be made and if any other stops are necessary along the way.
- Gear Up
Whether you’re riding down the street or across the state, as a motorcycle passenger, you should always wear motorcycle gear. First and foremost, make sure you have a motorcycle helmet, along with riding clothes, gloves and closed toe shoes with ankle support – the more motorcycle safety gear, the better! If motorcycle specific gear isn’t available, wear thick clothing that covers most of your skin, which will act as a barrier in the event of a motorcycle crash.
- Communicate and Listen
Always listen to the rider’s directions. Wait for them to tell you when to get on and off the bike, and watch for signals when they might want you to lean or look in certain directions. Riding a motorcycle is supposed to be fun, so if at any point you feel uncomfortable, let the rider know! Use your established hand signals when you need a break and if at any time you feel unsafe, get off the bike. If you feel the rider is out of control or might not be experienced enough to handle their motorcycle with an additional person, it is time to end the ride.
- Plan Ahead
It’s A Fine Line is an inclusive community of motorcycle riders advocating one common mission: zero motorcycle deaths by 2030. We want to share videos and stories about motorcycle safety, events, rides, clubs, gear and training because we believe that together we can save the lives of our friends, our families and our communities.