• 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
• Avoid sudden acceleration that could
cause your passenger to lose his or
her balance and possibly come off
A passenger on the motorcycle means
adjusting how you operate your motorcycle.
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
• 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