Riding with a Passenger

There are a number of considerations to take into account before you share your love of motorcycling with a passenger.

  • Make sure your license allows you to take a passenger. Many provinces restrict carrying a passenger if you have your beginner license.
  • Make sure your passenger is of legal age and size to ride in your province, 14 is a common age but it’s a good idea to check. Passengers should be able to reach the passenger footpegs while seated on the passenger seat.
  • Make sure your bike is equipped to take a passenger, i.e. passenger footpegs.
  • Adjust your bike to take a passenger, i.e. increase rear tire pressure and rear shock preload when possible.
  • Equip your passenger with proper riding gear like appropriate good fitting helmet, jacket, gloves, pants, boots, etcetera.
  • Have a quick discussion before heading off letting them know that you are a team…when you lean, they lean, Tell them not to make any sudden movements and show them where to hold on, you or grab handles.
  • Let the passenger know that there are hot areas like the exhaust to stay away from.
  • There are a variety of different ways for the passenger to mount the bike. Most mount after the rider from the left side of the bike after the rider is on board. If the bike is tall or you are inseam-challenged you can use the sidestand as a support, then lift the bike once the passenger is on. Some recommend that the passenger mounts first from the right side of the bike. Then the rider climbs on. Find what’s comfortable for you and your passenger.
  • Pick a nice route, free of traffic if possible.
  • Remember the extra weight of a passenger will increase braking distance. Use the back brake more than normal as there isn’t as much weight transfer onto the front tire when stopping.
  • Accept the responsibility of taking a passenger. Ride smoothly and in control. If you scare them, they might be turned off of motorcycles or think you’re unstable.