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.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.
As 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.