How to Ride a Motorcycle with a Passenger

Riding with a passenger can be fun, especially if you know the person well and both of you are well prepared for the experience. Because adding another person to the motorcycle opens the doors for additional dangers, there are some preparations riders and passengers should make.

Riding a Motorcycle with a Passenger

First of all, you should be sure that your bike is equipped to handle two people. Most bikes that are big enough for two riders will have an extra set of pegs and come with a spare helmet. When you buy the bike, you might also notice that it has a total weight limit though this is likely not going to be a problem. Some states require a bike to have the necessary pegs and seats for an additional rider, while other states only regulate whether or not there is enough room on the bike for two people. If you are concerned about these regulations, check with your local MVD.


Next, make sure to give your passenger a quick safety briefing, not unlike the briefing at the beginning of a flight. If the person has never ridden a motorcycle before, taking them on a short ride, to get them comfortable on the bike, show them where to put their feet and what to do while you are turning and braking can be a good way to break them in. Make sure that she knows to keep as still as possible, as any of her movements could affect the direction of the bike.


Your passenger will need a well-fitting helmet. Whether yours spare is good enough or whether she needs to find her own is up to you. In some instances, the spare that comes with the bike fits well enough, but a frequent passenger should have her own helmet.


Only let someone on your bike who is willing to follow your rules and instructions. They should understand that any motions they make can affect what the bike does and put both of your lives at risk. Also ensure that whenever possible, your passenger has the right riding gear. Long pants, a leather or denim jacket, gloves, and sunglasses may all be necessary to keep the passenger safe and comfortable.


If you have never ridden with a passenger before, you will not be sure how your bike will react to having more weight. Accelerating, decelerating, taking corners, and changing lanes will all be significantly different with a passenger than when riding alone. Because of this, be sure you have time to adjust to the new riding conditions.


One last tip: don’t allow your passenger to get on the bike until you are on the bike and stable and are aware that they are getting on. The sudden addition of weight could send both of you over the side.



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6 Responses

  1. Bob Haslett says:

    It is disturbing to see the number of passengers on sport bikes which have no sissy bar, a very tiny passenger "seat" (if you can call it that) and no passenger pegs. Those "passengers" are often wearing nothing more than a helmet, just. shorts, t-shirt and flip flops.

  2. Anna Hurlbutt says:

    Why are you presuming that the passenger would be a female? i have taken guys out on my bike. JS

  3. John Coldwell says:

    You ought to come to the Philippines! Six (yes, 6) on one tiny bike.

  4. Please don't take offense JS, we know that not all passengers are women.

  5. Yes, John, I know exactly what you're describing. Having visited the Philippines several times in my life, I can attest first hand that 6 on a motorcycle isn't a rare occurrence.

  6. I agree Bob, we've always promoted safety of both passengers and motorcycle riders. We have a vested interest in keeping our audience safe and alive.

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