The only thing more invigorating than riding on the back of a motorcycle is doing it as a pair. Taking a passenger along for a ride is a great way to ensure fun and camaraderie, but safety comes first.
Riding with a passenger is very different from riding solo. It is vital that your motorcycle passenger understand how to ride safely. According to Motorcycle Habit, passengers should wear the same gear as drivers do, and a good communication system is important.
What should a passenger wear on a motorcycle?
At an absolute minimum, a passenger should wear a DOT-approved helmet every time he or she gets on the back of the bike with a driver. Ideally, the passenger should also be wearing motorcycle leathers or an armored textile jacket in addition to riding boots, stiff pants and gloves.
Getting into a motorcycle accident is every bit as dangerous for the passenger as it is for the driver of the motorcycle. However, it is not uncommon to see a motorcycle driver in full gear with the passenger sitting on the back of the bike wearing flip-flops, a t-shirt and cut-off jeans. This is very dangerous.
How can a communication system help?
Keeping clear lines of communication open with your passenger is vital. Some people buy dedicated Bluetooth headsets for this, but a hand signal system will work just as well. The passenger needs a way to inform the driver if they need to get off the bike or are having any sort of problem.
For many people, a “thumbs up” system along with specific hand signals for “slow down” or “pull over” is enough.