How To Ride The Back of a Motorcycle – Don’t Fall Off

Whether you’re a rider or a pillion (person on the back), there is nothing more exhilarating than jumping on a motorcycle, whipping down the open road at 100 miles per hour, and feeling the wind blow through your hair.

However, as a pillion, it’s essential to know your responsibilities when you’re on the back of a motorcycle. When it comes to your safety and that of the drivers, you must learn how to be a responsible passenger. You don’t want to be the reason why your bike is constantly off balance, or your driver is distracted.

Besides safety, it’s vital to know what precautions you can take to protect yourself from the dangers of the road. Here are a few tips you can follow to ride safely as a pillion. 

Keep close to the rider

When you are a motorcycle passenger, don’t be shy to get close to the rider. It doesn’t mean getting emotionally attached to them (haha). You must be close enough to feel their body language and mirror it. For example, you will want to relax your body during a turn. So, being close to the rider will help you be in sync when needed.

If the motorcycle does not have a pillion handle, you will have to hang on to the rider’s belt loop as they ride. Alternatively, you can also hang on to their shoulder. 

Even as a passenger, wear the appropriate riding gear

Even if you aren’t actually in control of the vehicle, Dressing like a motorcycle rider is still necessary. In most collisions, both the driver and the passenger face the same level of danger. Since the driver is at risk of injury, passengers need to wear the same clothing as the driver.

Here are the essential riding gears you need to wear as a pillion:

Helmet: Your head is at the top of the body parts you want to protect when riding a motorcycle, whether you’re a rider or the pillion. Any accident on a bike can cause a severe injury to your head, especially if you’re thrown off the bike. You should wear a helmet to protect your face, skull, and brain. Many states now require riders and passengers on motorcycles to wear helmets because of their guaranteed protective ability. If you live in a state that doesn’t need them, you should still wear them, and for the same reason. A DOT-certified helmet is highly recommended. Besides its protection, wearing a helmet during a ride will save your eyes, mouth, and nose from the pesky insects you run into. Just make sure that the helmet is a good fit, has a chin strap, and is comfortable enough.

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Jacket: A good quality jacket is essential when riding a motorcycle, especially when it’s windy and cold. In an accident, wearing a leather jacket will protect you from the elements. It will also help save your skin in the event of an accident. Suppose you’re not a regular motorcycle rider. You probably don’t have a riding jacket, so if you’re planning to buy one, it’s highly recommended that you pick the one with a thick material. It’s also a great idea to get one that’s reflectorized at the back and sides. At night or in bad weather, a reflectorized jacket will help make you visible on the road.

Riding Pants: You need protective pants when you get on a motorcycle. While it’s not ideal as everyday wear, thick dark jeans are better at giving you protection than short pants or other clothes that don’t cover your legs. Suppose you plan to be riding a motorcycle regularly. In that case, invest in high-quality riding pants. These days, leather pants are the go-to choice of bikers.

Boots: Riders are aware that motorcycle riding is risky by nature. Having the proper footwear is essential for the rider’s increased safety. Tennis shoes, Crocs, leather sandals, and many other types of footwear are also not safe when riding. Also, remember that, as a passenger, your feet and ankles are beside a fast-spinning tire. If the wheel kicks up a rock, it can and will hit your ankles, resulting in an injury. So, considering the dangers, it’s necessary to have the proper protection. In this case, a pair of quality riding boots are in order.

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Gloves: If you’re knocked off your bike, your first reaction is to place your hands forward to minimize the impact of the fall; this is instinctive. That’s why wearing a glove when you’re out riding is critical. A good pair of gloves can minimize the damage you’ll experience.

Don’t change your position unexpectedly.

A pillion’s unexpected movement can affect the overall balance of the motorcycle. For this reason, a passenger needs to be mindful of any sudden change in their position. 

Unexpected movements can surprise the rider, resulting in a loss of balance and an eventual crash or slide. 

Sitting in one position can be painful for one’s buttocks or back, especially during a long ride. If you need to change your seating position, communicate with the rider first. Better yet, stop for a moment, find a comfortable place, and continue with the ride. 

Be ready for turns and stops

Riding a motorcycle is different from riding a car. In it, you don’t need to react every time the vehicle turns or stops. On a bike, however, it’s different. You need to pay attention to what your body is doing while the rider is making a stop or turn. 

Your body will feel pulled to a stop, and you will lean all of your weight don’t end up on the rider’s back. If you don’t anticipate a stop and mildly resist pushing your torso towards the back of the rider, the rider might lose control of the bike. The right way of reacting is to lean backward instead of leaning forward. 

When turning, inexperienced riders will tend to keep their body upright. This action fights the natural tendency of the bike to lean on one side. To maintain a neutral position, you must remain close to the rider. By being neutral, you help the rider maintain control of the bike. 

Finally, while some pillions tend to lean as the rider leans into the turn, you mustn’t overdo it. In short, lean too much, and you risk losing proper balance. 

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Be a part of the action.

 The driver must always stay focused on the road ahead to maintain control while negotiating intersections and other moving vehicles. Therefore, make sure that you are not causing the rider any discomfort, making riding difficult for them. 

Before the ride, it’s essential to develop a form of communication – a tap if you need to adjust your position, a double tap if you need to take a break, et cetera.

Nowadays, however, Bluetooth communicators make communication a lot easier. Gone are the days when you need to tap to signal the rider. The communicator enables you and your rider to carry on an entire conversation while riding.

Another way to help the rider is to be on the lookout for dangers on the road. It will help if you can point out potential road hazards. However, it’s essential to talk about this before the ride. Some riders prefer riding with zero distractions, so it is best to ask if pointing out hazards will not be a distraction.

Don’t forget to have fun

Make sure you have fun with your motorcycle riding. It’s a feeling that’s unlike any other.

As a passenger, you don’t have to worry about much because you’re in the driver’s seat!

Travel is a great experience. It offers an opportunity to be in a completely different environment. It gives you a chance to get away from the hectic pace of life. It’s the perfect way to refresh and relax.

However, it’s essential to ensure that you’re well-rested and well-fed before taking a long trip.

It’s not only about the physical comfort. It’s also about mental comfort. You need to be relaxed to enjoy the ride.

Have fun with your motorcycle riding, and you will have a great time.