Motorcycle Safety Tips: Riding Double

Motorcycle Safety Tips: Riding Double

Riding double on a motorcycle can increase the bike's weight by 20 to 30%. Learn how to adjust your driving habits to accommodate the extra load. Before riding double, check that your motorcycle meets the passenger requirements in your state. Generally, laws require that passengers have a separate seat and set of foot pegs.

Also check the owner's manual for weight restrictions. Some bikes can't handle the weight of two people, while others require adjusting suspension or tire pressure.

And of course, don't hit the road before you've secured proper insurance protection.

Tips for Drivers

Keep these motorcycle safety tips in mind when riding double:

  • Always wear a helmet and have your passenger do so too.
  • Be easy on the rear brake—the additional weight will affect stopping power.
  • Brake early to account for the extra stopping distance.
  • Allow more time and space for passing.
  • Refine your shifting and accelerating skills. Jerky transitions will cause the passenger to lurch forward.
  • Establish a communication system using shoulder taps: One tap means slow down, two taps means stop, etc.

Tips for Riders

Discuss motorcycle safety and proper riding techniques with passengers. Cover these basics:

  • Don't mount the bike until the kickstand is up and the driver says to do so.
  • Wrap your hands around the driver's waist to hold on.
  • Keep your legs clear of the hot exhaust.
  • Lean with the driver when turning.
  • Avoid sudden movements that could affect the bike's handling.
  • Keep your feet on the footrests at all times—don't put them down at a stop.

Click here for more motorcycle safety tips from State Farm®.


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The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm®. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.