It takes two to ride with a passenger. This may seem a bit redundant to experienced Wisconsin motorcyclists, but there is a real need to clarify what riding with a passenger really means.
Whether a novice rider decides to impress his girlfriend, or asks his younger brother to hop on the back, riding with a passenger without training and preparation is a sure recipe for disaster in the form of a devastating motorcycle crash. You need to be experienced and self-assured on your bike before taking on the added responsibility of carrying a passenger, and you need to understand how this affects the operation of your bike.
How do you prepare and train to carry a passenger?
- Your motorcycle should be designed to accommodate a passenger and fitted with footrests;
- Check the maximum authorized weight, and increase the tire pressure if needed;
- Make sure your passenger wears protective gear and is of age to understand and follow your instructions;
- Explain, and this is crucial, that the passenger must follow your movements, inclining with you to the right or left, and never in the opposing direction;
- Show the passenger how to hold your waist or hips, and keep the feet on footrests at all times;
- Explain what parts of the motorcycle are hot and should never be touched;
- Be aware that you will need a longer brake distance, which means you need to ride more defensively than usual;
- Practice with your passenger in an empty parking lot, reviewing how to operate throttle/clutch and brakes, accelerating, stopping and turning.
There is only one thing worse than a motorcycle accident, and that is one you inflict on your passenger.
Hupy & Abraham, S.C. has offices in Milwaukee, Madison, and Appleton in Wisconsin, and Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Quad Cities in Iowa, and Gurnee and Bloomington in Illinois. If you or someone you love has been hurt in a car, truck or motorcycle accident, contact Hupy & Abraham today at 800-800-5676 (toll-free) or 414-223-4800 (local) for a free evaluation of your case, or send us an e-mail with your questions.