Safety Feature written for Countyline Publications and printed in Wisconsin and Illinois Biker Information Guide– third quarter 2010 Bill Gade – Tour on Two In my opinion being a passenger on a motorcycle is the ultimate in trust. We all know that riding a motorcycle is inherently a risky operation and putting one’s trust in another as a passenger on a motorcycle is the ultimate “leap of faith”. Here are a few things to consider before riding with a passenger. Make sure your motorcycle is capable of riding passengers. Just because it has a passenger seat and foot pegs it does not mean it has the capacity to carry both you and a passenger. If your motorcycle has the capacity make sure you have adjusted the suspension to adequately control and support the additional weight. The additional weight of a passenger will increase your stopping distance so make sure you take that into account. Being a passenger requires that you remain as neutral as possible to the control of the motorcycle. When riding very slowly or when slowing down to stop DO NOT MOVE! A motorcycle is the hardest to control when going slowly and movement by a passenger can upset the balance of the motorcycle. If the passenger needs to move they should warn the rider and do so at speeds higher than 30 mph. Riding on twisty roads creates a challenge for the rider and passenger. While the rider has to keep focus on the road the passenger needs to relax and follow the lead of the rider. On larger touring motorcycles the passenger really does not have to do anything in turns and can remain “neutral” while riding through curves. If the passenger cannot remain neutral they should gently lean forward making light contact with the rider and follow their lead. Being a passenger on twisty roads is much like slow dancing with a partner. Just follow the lead of the rider and DO NOT lean in the opposite direction. The best passengers are those poor girls we see “hanging on for dear life” on the back of the “crotch rockets”. They have not choice but to hang on and follow the lead of the rider. Riding with a passenger can be a very enjoyable or it can be a very difficult one. Work with your passenger to make sure they fully understand what they need to do. Less is more in this case when it comes to what a passenger needs to do! When the rider and passenger are in sync, riding can be a very enjoyable experience. Ride safe!