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The most important point not listed here is to sit vertical and do not jump off! Twice I have had passengers think we were going over after I had to make a panic stop and go to my left leg to catch us. The passengers bailed to the right causing me, and the bike, to go all the way over such that I was catching the bike from completely going over and almost wound up breaking a hip!

I know it may seem counter-intuitive but, if you really are going over, tuck your legs in, the crash bars fore and aft are there to protect your legs if they are tucked in. We ride an Electra Glide, which has these. Other model bikes may not. I first learned this snowmobiling which I rode before motorcycles. I am a licensed instructor in Illinois.

Mark Schwendau
Byron, IL
Friday, October 14, 2016
I am both a rider and a passenger. Toby helped fine-tune my piloting by being my passenger. The perfect passenger becomes part of the bike so that once you adjust to the difference in weight, you literally cannot tell they are there. Some riders do not make good passengers because they try to pilot the bike from the passenger seat.

We do not have helmet communications, so when we ride two-up and he is driving, I use the same set of knee signals on him I use on my horse. It was actually funny when I suggested this to him. He was telling me I had to find a way to signal him without getting in the way of the rear view mirrors, so I said, "OK I will just ride you like I ride my horse, if I press into your side with my left knee, it means you need to turn right at the next turn off, if I press into your side with my right knee, it indicates a left turn coming up. if I press into your lower ribs with both sets of finger tips at the same time, it means 'caution, possible crap-storm ahead, slow down' and if I give you both knees at once it means "spank them ponies!"
He had his doubts but within 2 minutes of using these signals, we had a smooth system for me looking at gps while telling him where we needed to go with no verbal communication or hand waving...
for those who are not familiar with horse riding cues, horses are trained to move away from the pressure of your knees and calves in a specific manner... which is why it all sounds backwards but works really well.


Loren
Zenia, CA
Friday, October 14, 2016
Great article! When my husband and I bought our first motorcycle in 2008, a Harley-Havidson Heritage Softail, I had only been on the back of a bike a couple of times and was honestly scared to death of them. Since he hadn't ridden in several years, we decided to take a experienced rider/co-rider course. I was on the back of the bike during the entire class. At the end, he had the option of taking the testing part without me but he opted to have me on the back as that's the way we would be riding. It was a wonderful class and taught me a lot about being a passenger. I would highly recommend it to anyone, especially new co-riders.

Joan
Bixby, OK
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Editor Response
Great advice Joan, and one many riders and co-riders have probably not thought of.
Genevieve Schmitt, Editor
Very helpful.

Gene Carter
Louisville, KY
Sunday, October 18, 2015
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