Being invited to ride on the back of a motorcycle can be a fun and exhilarating experience. However, if you aren’t prepared to be a passenger it can quickly become an unpleasant time for both you and the driver. Knowing what to do can make the ride fun and get you a second invitation to enjoy the open road.
1. Dress appropriately. If you are too hot, too cold or just not prepared, your ride can be a miserable experience. Make sure you wear clothes that will protect you if you fall. You should wear long pants, a jacket that closes up to the neck and solid footwear-making sure that the laces, if any, are tied tightly and can’t get caught in any part of the bike.
2. Wear a helmet. The helmet should fit snugly and not be able to twist. Check for size and make sure the strap is tight. Wear protective eye gear. A bug in the eye is not a fun way to spend the day.
3. Talk to the rider before you get on the bike. The rider should tell you mount and dismount, including what side of the bike you should use and if he wants you to get on first or wait for him. Always make sure that it is OK for you to get on or off the bike. If you do either out of turn it could cause the bike to fall over.
4. Mount the bike. To get on, extend your right leg over the seat and get up onto the seat. Use the foot pegs. If you don’t know where they are, ask, and be aware of the hot exhaust pipes and other dangerous bike parts.
5. Stay still. Once you are on the motorcycle make sure your feet are on the foot pegs. Keeping your feet still will make sure that you don’t get your feet, pants or shoes caught with any moving parts on the bike. Keeping your feet on the pegs will help you brace yourself when the rider brakes.
6. Hold on. Put your hands on the rider’s hips and keep your weight centered on the bike. When cornering look over the rider’s shoulder in the direction of the turn. This small motion will help your weight become part of the bike and not an obstacle in the turn. Don’t lean in the opposite direction of the turn.
7. Help out and look for obstacles and road hazards. Two sets of eyes are better than one.