An experienced motorcyclist may be completely comfortable on the roadways of New Jersey, but taking a passenger along for the ride is a different experience. Not only does the operator need to understand how to adjust for the extra weight and other factors that affect the ride, according to the New Jersey Driver Manual, he or she should always review safety rules with a passenger before they get on the motorcycle.
To be in a secure position, the passenger should sit as close to the operator as possible without crowding him or her, and hold onto the belt, hips or waist. It is also necessary to keep feet on the footpegs at all time, including when the motorcycle is not moving. When going around curves or corners, the passenger needs to look over the operator’s shoulder in the direction they are turning, leaning in the same direction at the same time. Other than that, the operator should be as still as possible during the ride.
The rider should get on the motorcycle and start it before allowing the passenger to get on. It will not respond the same to the operator’s commands, so everything should be taken more slowly. Speeding up, slowing down and turning are all different maneuvers with the additional weight and adjustments for balance, so it is best to keep to a slower pace, especially when turning, and allow more following and stopping distance.
Because talking during the ride can be difficult and even dangerous, RideApart.com suggests that the operator and passenger communicate through hand signals. The passenger should be able to tell the rider when he or she is uncomfortable and needs to slow down or stop, in particular. Experts also recommend full safety gear for both riders.