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• Warn your passenger, if possible,
   if you must move the motorcycle
   suddenly, such as quick acceleration
   or changing lanes.

How to operate your
motorcycle with a passenger

Carrying a passenger requires that you
adjust how you operate the motorcycle
from when you ride alone.
• Take the motorcycle off the sidestand
   before the passenger gets on.
• Start with slow speeds in areas free of
   traffic and then in light traffic conditions
   to allow first-time passengers to get
   used to riding.
• Increase your following distance to three
   to four seconds as the extra weight
   increases your stopping distance.
• Operate at a slower speed, particularly
   on corners, curves or bumps.
• Reduce speed earlier than when riding
   because the extra weight of your
   passenger will increase your stopping
   time and distance.
• Look for larger gaps in traffic whenever
   crossing, entering or merging with
   traffic. The extra weight will make your
   acceleration slower.
• Avoid sudden acceleration that could
   cause your passenger to lose his or
   her balance and possibly come off
   the motorcycle.

A passenger on the motorcycle means
adjusting how you operate your motorcycle.

Carrying cargo

If you carry cargo, it is safest to carry
it in tank or saddle bags designed for
motorcycles. Small loads can be carried
safely if positioned and fastened properly.
• Be sure the bags or other items do not
   interfere with the controls or your ability
   to steer and control the motorcycle.
• Load saddle bags with about the same
   weight on each side of the motorcycle
   to maintain balance.
• Keep the load as low as practical.
• Place the load above or to either side of
   the rear axle. Mounting cargo anywhere
   behind the rear axle can affect control of
   the motorcycle.
• Fasten the load securely with elastic
   bungee cords or nets. (Rope tends
   to stretch, knots can come loose,
   permitting the load to shift or fall.)
   Attach several cords spaced along the
   side of the load.
• Stop and check the load regularly to
   make sure it has not loosened or moved.
• Never attach items to the front fender
   or handlebars.

 

CHAPTER EIGHT                                                                                 CARRYING A PASSENGER OR CARGO  53

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