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Hannah Kirkland

Recent Posts

Tips For Riding A Motorcycle With A Passanger

Posted by Hannah Kirkland

Aug 6, 2019 9:49:10 AM

Two-up riding, or riding with a passenger, takes skill. It may be tempting to just have your riding partner hop on the back of your bike and take off, but in reality there is much more to it than that. Here’s some advice from us at Indianapolis Southside Harley-Davidson for both the rider and their passenger. two up 2.jpg

What the rider should know:

Even someone small will affect how much weight is on the bike, so it’s important to be aware of how your motorcycle handles with the additional weight. Kathy Schulteti, General Manager of ISSHD says, "The main thing is for the rider to be aware of the added weight stopping and turning". Start off with short trips to get used to the added weight. Turns will need slightly more effort, getting up to speed with take more time, and stopping will require braking sooner. It sounds like common sense, but riders can overlook these simple steps to ensure a safer ride.

Adjust your bike’s rear suspension when you add the extra weight of your passenger to avoid from bottoming out. You will also need to increase your tire pressure. Call our Service Experts for help.

What the passenger should know:

Have clear means of communicating with the rider. Know when you’re going to stop, how long the ride will be. Do you know what types of roads you will be encountering? Roads that wind and twist, or flat land? It’s important to have expectations of the trip, so that you will know how to respond.

Two up.jpgAs a passenger, you should always make sure that you are securely on the bike. You can do this by holding on to the rider, but making sure you are not limiting their motions or ability to maneuver the bike. Having a backrest is the best way to secure yourself on the bike. You can lean back on the backrest, relax and enjoy the ride.

One of the MOST important things to know as a passenger is don't get on or off the bike without the rider telling you it's okay to do so. The rider must brace for the bike movement and pressure you put on the passenger pegs in order to keep the bike balanced and upright.

The main component of being the passenger is to take your rider’s lead. Schulteti says, "The most critical thing is the stillness of the passenger. The passenger is the one who can cause problems, so just relax and let your body move with the bike". Don't resist. She also stresses that you should never put your feet down as a passenger, just let the rider handle that.

Though riding season may be coming to an end, it’s always important to know the skills needed for two-up riding. Whether you’re the passenger or the rider, familiarizing yourself with these tips will make for a smoother ride. If you are planning a road trip yet this season, check out our blog posts about Indiana's Best Motorcycle Routes and our Road Trip Tips. You can also stop in to Indianapolis Southside H-D at any time and ask us questions.

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Topics: Road Trip, Passenger, Two Up Riding

Indiana's Best Motorcycle Routes

Posted by Hannah Kirkland

Aug 19, 2017 11:45:00 AM

If you didn't make it to Sturgis this year, but are looking to put some miles in on your Harley-Davidson and go on a motorcycle adventure, take a look at this list we’ve compiled of some of the best motorcycle routes in Indiana. There are plenty of routes that you can take nearby that will make you feel like you’ve gone on a vacation, instead of a couple hours from home. 

A short ride from Indianapolis Southside Harley-Davidson, State Road 135 south of Indianapolis is a scenic and enjoyable ride. There’s the small town of Bean Blossom, that hosts a large Biker Fest every June, and not too far from that is the village of Nashville. Stop by for lunch and visit the various shops the town has to offer. Brown County is known for it’s awesome foliage in the fall, so you need to put this ride on your to-do list if you haven’t been. If you keep going south on SR 135 you’ll hit the tiny town of Story, Indiana. It’s a windy trail that will eventually take you to Story Inn, a hotel with a killer restaurant and lots of events. 


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After you hit Nashville you can head west on SR 46 and drive through Brown County. Stop by Brown County State Park and enjoy the lakes and various lodges as your ride through. You’ll end up in Bloomington, which is home to Indiana University and a lively downtown area. From Bloomington you can take US 37 north and discover different country roads to travel on your way back home.


If covered bridges and dams are what get your gears going then head out on SR450. If you go west out of Bedford then you’ll get a great view of the White River. You’ll pass lots of farms, ride through rolling southern, Indiana hills, and see the Williams Dam built in Lawrence, Indiana. Though it hasn’t been used for its original purposes since the 1960s, it’s an area many bikers like to stop and take in the view.

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Finally, a must-do ride is the Crawford-Perry County River Loop. In total it’s about 120 miles and there’s some  beautiful sights to see. The Ohio River, Hoosier National Forest, and Cannelton Locks and Dam. Awesome for spring or fall, the scenery on this trip cannot be beat. 


You may be feeling bummed out that you couldn't make it to Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, but that doesn’t mean Indiana doesn’t have plenty of roads to make a memorable ride. Twist that throttle and go. It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.

If you need any packing tips, take a look at our previous blog post Harley Road Trip Tips. Our awesome Service Department can get your bike road trip ready in no time.

Remember, each state has it's own helmet law. If you're traveling out of state, click the link below for each state's helmet laws.


photo credits: photo #1 (visitbrowncounty.com), photo #2 (motorcycleclassics.com), photo #3 (Tony Lombardi, flickr.com), photo #4 (indianarivers.com), photo #5 (Earl Teatherbury, flickr.com)

Topics: Motorcycle Routes, Indiana Riding, Rides

Motorcycle Road Trip Tips You Can't Leave Home Without

Posted by Hannah Kirkland

Aug 4, 2017 1:45:21 PM

It’s summertime and the ridin’ is easy. If you’re going on a road trip or just headed out for a long weekend, then what and how to pack your bike is probably on your mind. Indianapolis Southside Harley-Davidson wants to help you take the guesswork out of packing so that you can get to your destination easier and safer. 

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You want your bike’s added weight to be as low as possible. If you are deciding whether or not to take something with you, think about cost. If it’s something affordable that will be available for purchase at your destination, then that is something to consider instead of bringing it with you. In addition to adding the least amount of weight possible, it is also important to keep your bike balanced. Small weight differences of 5-10 pounds on one side can make for an exhausting trip. Keep the added weight close to the bike’s center of gravity, which is low and toward the tank. Make sure you don’t block the airflow to the engine. You may need to adjust your tire’s air pressure depending on the amount of extra weight.


What to Bring:road trip blog 2.jpg

Rolling clothes takes up less space than folding, and large zipper-lock bags work well when storing them. Zipper-lock bags can also be used for a number of other items such as toiletries, cash, credit cards, and tools. Try to bring tools that are multi-purpose as opposed to one-use items. Lighter is always better, so if you have access to a washer and/or dryer where you are staying, plan to use it and pack accordingly! Put your emergency items and other items that you may need to get to quickly in one saddlebag, and your overnight things in the other. 



It’s also important to do a “dry run” before you begin your journey. Pack up everything as you would if you were leaving, but take a short ride (1-2 hours) and see if adjustments are needed. Southside H-D wants to make your summer trips as easy as possible, that’s why you can stop in 7 days a week and talk to our Parts & Accessories department about the newest Harley-Davidson luggage for your bike.

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Be Weather Aware:

Lastly, you may never know what kind of weather you will encounter if you’re on the road for a long period of time. Southside H-D has all your rain wear and high-visibility needs. Come in and talk to anyone in our MotorClothes department who can supply you with knowledge to make the right riding gear purchases.

Harley-Davidson has a checklist of essentials and extras for long trips, as well. Regardless of your destination, Indy Southside has you covered. We hope these road trip tips get you roll. Ride on!

Topics: Riding Gear, Road Trip, Packing