Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: OC, SoCal
Motorcycle: 2k7 Triumph S3
Thoughts on Carrying a Passenger
I very, very rarely carry a passenger nowadays, its something that I do not mind doing, it more that my wife hates being on the back, so its something that I hd fogotten about...
Last night I took a friend to the (not so) local bike night, and suddenly remember much of the stuff that I take for granted....
1) Before you take anyone on the back, make sure that they are dressed for the occasion. This is Leathers, Boots, Helmet, Gloves, sturdy Jeans at minimum.
2) Give them a pep talk. there are a few things that they need to know..
2.1 Never put your feet down, even at a stop.
2.2 Never attempt to get off, unless I am aware that you want off, especially never try to get off when we are moving.
2.3 Look THROUGH the corners.
2.4 Never fight the lean, but do not over-lean too. Keep yourself upright in relation to the bike.
2.5 NEVER fidget or move about in corners
2.6 Don't panic
I then arrange a seating position, my wife like to place one hand on the tank, and one behind her to brace against the acceleration and braking.
My friend from last night prefered the arms wrapped tight around me - both work well.
Work out an "I'm scared" signal - wife headbuts me, my friend thumps my chest [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
Then there comes the actual ride.
First off the extra weight screws up the performance, my rule of thumb is to take it 2-3K higher in every gear to compensate, and generally be in one gear lower than normal around town.
Braking distances are extended, and cornering ability is impaired, so generally you are going to be rider slower, leaving bigger gaps, and having a more slugish machine.
Next on the list is your attitude....
Traffic filtering (if you live in CA) is fun, but scares the shit out of passengers even if you have told them that it is legal, filtering on the I5 at 140mph will get you a slap [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
Remember that most people are used to car acceleration, so keep it down initially at least, because they will simply not be prepared for it.
Again Braking on a bike is vicious compared to a car, so they will not be ready for it.
Gear changes are a difficult thing when you have a passenger, clutchless will be smoother, assuming you are good at it already. Otherwise you need slower more labourious ones to cushion your passenger a little.
Finally, when you get to your destination, ask them what they liked, and did not like, and learn from the feedback.