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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We’re starting to see some threads concerning passengers, so I thought it would be a good idea to discuss this as a group.

In my mid 20’s there was nothing better than the feel of my (actually, any) girlfriend pressed into my back as we ripped around. Tee shirt with a halter top pressed against it was a glorious feeling.

As the decades passed and the number of crashes added up, I carried less passengers. I quickly realized that if I was taking someone else’s life in my hands, it was unfair to expose them to any more risk than I was willing to accept for myself. I couldn’t stomach the thought of walking away from a crash in good condition and having my passenger end up with long term health issues as a result of something I did or didn’t do.

If their gear was not at least as good as mine, then they wouldn’t be a passenger.
 

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I too have had lots of passengers, especially/mostly when young and dumb...

But never once in my life have I allowed a passenger onboard without a helmet, jacket and gloves--- My very first passenger ever borrowed one of my friends "old" helmets.....I drove straight to the dealership and bought her gear--- that I kept with me...it passed through a few girls, and the ones too picky to wear "some other girls" gear..either buy your own or you don't come with
thus, a high turn over....lol

Later, like in the past 30 years......... I went even further and they had to wear gear pretty equivelant to mine, so that meant leather pants and real motorcycle boots and a leather jacket fully armoured with armoured gloves......... passengers shrunk drastically and I was 100% okay with that.........

Long ago gone are the days where I would go pick up a girlfriend and then we would go ride around the cloverleafs 5-10 times before darting off and heading down to Welch or over into Wisconsin to ride some twisties and far too often this happened at night back then as I was busy working usually until well after 7pm and nearly everyday we would get back to her(parents) house to drop her off around or after midnight.. but squeezing in a 3 or 4 hour ride nightly was a blast........ rinse and repeat, damn near every day all summer long as long as it was not raining
and on the weekends, what did we do............. rode some more if it was not a race weekend-- the weekends would end up being sun up to midnight days of riding and feeding her atleast 3 times..........lol
no wonder I never had any money!

oh the good ol days.............
 
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In my mid 20’s there was nothing better than the feel of my (actually, any) girlfriend pressed into my back
:ROFLMAO:

Ah, the good old days...


I was taking someone else’s life in my hands
This is something I have impressed on both my kids when they took up street riding. It is a huge responsibility to carry a passenger and many people don't ever seem to grasp this. One should never carry a passenger without acknowledging this responsibility and treating it seriously. It's one thing to be a retard with your own body, quite another to do so with a separate person who may not fully understand the risks in the first place.


Mark
 

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Several times in Italy we rented a scooter. Rode the Amalfi Coast 4 times (it is scary to most folks in a car). My wife loved it, she would sit on the back and take photos. We rode all over Capri one time. With a scooter it is so easy to pull over and take photos. Then we rented a scooter on Capri (her idea) and it didn't end well. Came out of a hairpin and a buss was on my side swinging wide for the turn, dodged the bus but gave him the American clearance and not the Italian clearance and wound up clipping the right bar on a rock wall. I'll never forget waking up and sitting up and looking at her. Her eyes were closed and I asked if she was OK. I thought she said I thing my arm is broken and my heart stopped!!! Then her eyes popped omen and she said think I'm ok. Just then Mario and Luigi walked up and picked up the scooter from her foot and she jumped up and looked at me and said oh no you bleeding. My reply was it's not my face it's my knee later discovered it was a shattered kneecap. We were wearing the rental helmets (worthless junk) and only doing 15 MPH. She was fine with only a small scrape and a bruise.

I have on rare occasions given someone a ride but make sure they have good safety gear and I stay on quiet streets. A good passenger knows how to plaster themselves to the rider and let the rider do all the leaning. My wife has a very difficult time not trying to lean with me and "help" me. When we had the scooter crash she told me she tried to lean away from the wall. It probably put me more into the wall - have never told her that and I will gladly take my injuries if it means she wasn't injured. Funny thing is I had a new Canon camera with a nice lens on it around my neck and across my chest - nat the first scratch or even scuff on it! I know as i tried to find something but there was nothing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I’ve only ever had one really good passenger, a friend named Bear who needed a ride to the HD shop that had repaired his bike after a crash. I was about 5-09, 180. Bear was over 6’ and well over 200. Not my halter top aspiration at all, lol. The back seat of my VF1100S had him further out from the rider triangle than I had ever experienced. He could have wreaked havoc on my choice of lines.

But Bear had been through MSF training and was a well practiced rider. That was the first time I experienced what a competent passenger could contribute to the ride. Surgically clean lines through corners. No head butting. The only way I knew he was on the bike was because it accelerated slower than normal.

If you look through the archives on this site you can find a photograph of The Mistress of Mayhem riding passenger with a forum member something like 7 or 8 years ago. The photo is on here as she is dragging a glove through a corner on the tail of the dragon. She’d flown over from CA for a gathering and as a result didn’t have a bike on hand.
 

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Luckily my wife has rode with me enough and she also rides so having her as a passenger isn’t bad. I hate riding her on sport bikes tho. Just scares me. Couple falls ago we was riding my street glide. This lady ran a redlight to try and squeeze between me and the car behind me. Hit the corner of my saddlebag just enough to slam us down. We never even seen her coming. I’d seen her sitting there but as I looked the other direction that’s when she took off and nailed me. She was 78 years old and twice over the legal limit. At 1115 in the morning. I only had road rash but it broke my wife’s right arm in four spots. Both bones in half. Down near the wrist and up at the elbo. It was an awful break. Even though I know 100% there is nothing anyone could have done to avoid that wreck there is still regret and I think about that day everytime she wants to ride with me. And she is still a little iffy wanting to ride by herself. Especially in town traffic. Sometimes shit just Happens and there isn’t anything you can do to avoid it.

I hate seeing guys all geared up and they have a female on the back with nothing on more than a helmet. Especially cruiser guys in Florida. Not even a helmet and her in a bathing suit. Shits sketchy.
 

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I’ve only ever had one really good passenger, a friend named Bear who needed a ride to the HD shop that had repaired his bike after a crash.
I've had a couple, but they aren't common. One GF liked riding and really enjoyed spirited riding on my GSXR1000. She was pretty light weight and would lean in with me, making the bike handle nearly the same as solo. My wife is also pretty good, going with the flow and not fighting the bike. She is so relaxed I worry about her falling asleep sometimes. I could never be that relaxed on the bike, but it makes things easier as the operator.


Mark
 

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I've had a couple, but they aren't common. One GF liked riding and really enjoyed spirited riding on my GSXR1000. She was pretty light weight and would lean in with me, making the bike handle nearly the same as solo. My wife is also pretty good, going with the flow and not fighting the bike. She is so relaxed I worry about her falling asleep sometimes. I could never be that relaxed on the bike, but it makes things easier as the operator.


Mark
I agree. Your wife is a very good passenger 😲

🤷‍♂️😂
 

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Since 1986 I've had female passengers on only 2 occasions, and both times it was around the Skylands Manor property where there are few miles of private roads around the manor that cut through the Appalachians.

The Skylands Manor was on an episode of the Soprano's where all the guests cars at the wedding were stolen.

I absolutely do not ride with any passengers on public roads ever.
 

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When I met my girlfriend she had never been on a motorcycle, she fell in love with it and from day 1 was a perfect passenger, as others stated the only way I could tell she was there was by a slightly slower acceleration. I don't think she was ever on my zx6 because I took the pegs off right away. After a year of being on the back she got her license and her own bike. It is nice to ride together but I liked having a passenger too. Being on the back of my dads bike as a kid is some of my fondest childhood memories and I try to share that experience with my nieces and nephews too, obviously with gear on.
 

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These are great thoughts -- it's hard to know where to draw the line -- I used to ride with my daughter as passenger, always with full gear.

Now she rides the N400 herself with me behind her on the ZX-6R, with helmet intercoms -- we don't go above 35mph, though.

I'm not sure if that is better or worse, but I did not want her to be uneducated going off to college and then being passenger with some cute guy driving (I'd rather him be the passenger!)...

The same thoughts go thru my head rock climbing or even bicycling on public roads -- heck or even driving for recreation...

How much risk is OK, and can I even really explain the possible consequences to a 17yo?

I don't know the answer, but I do believe I kept the angels very busy as a teenager myself long ago -- I assume they are still up to the task... :)
 

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I miss using my gf’s legs as arm rests at red lights when she is not on the back!
I miss them wrapped around my face.................



too much???


lol
 
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I have really only ever had one great passenger.......... But she moved on, of course I knew that was coming considering she was about half my age........... but boy 2012 and 2013 were fun with all the riding- not just on the motorcycle.......... lol

I have had a few decent passengers, not great but not bad

and I have had dozens of terrible ones....always leaning too much or yelling, or just banging my helmet all the time etc.... most of them the most trying part for me was getting them on and off, they just could not master the technique without yanking on something vital.........

current gf is a terrible passenger (and a typical rider of next to no or very limited skills), she gets motion sick going around the twisties even at posted speeds (like the 20mph advisory speeds through the corners)......... thankfully she doesn't ride any longer, not her own nor on mine after her second time in 4 years of a serious crash on her own bike.......... after a 15 year run of no crashes, but considering her 15 years did not even total 15,000 miles of straight line riding at mostly speed limit speeds in a large group.......... then those two years were about 10k with me taking her to Arkansas twice, hill country and welch several times, - with two no riding years between them........... her experience and skill levels were both non existent even if getting better with the guidance she fought tooth and nail claiming she "knew"......

One of my customers taught his daughter and she went off to college in Florida with the Sv650 he purchased, as her transportation.......... he worries and his wife worries more, but thus far she has been doing okay.
he does think even thoguh she really wanted to ride a motorcycle, that he did not feel like he got enough time teaching her enough (I think he said ..... it was a few months in the neighborhood and parking lots before they finally broke 30mph and went on some 55mph roads, then to some Hill Country twisties for sub speed limit cornering, then finally hit some actual in town traffic several times--- but that was all the time he got, he never said how many miles that was, but when I looked over the SV pre purchase and when I did the tune up service just prior to her heading off to school it was only 1100 miles difference and he rode many of them just to ride it........ so my guess maybe she received 500 miles of dad training???)
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
^^^ this is why I always recommend formal training. No emotional baggage, controlled events in controlled environments limiting variables to manageable levels. A curriculum developed specifically for the level of aptitude available has a much higher chance of success than bumbling through it on our own.
 

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My daughter has taken the MSF beginner class twice now (she passed both times :)), but I expect she'll be taking some 1-on-1 classes once the weather gets better -- there's only so much I can imagine with cones in a parking lot -- and she gets sick of that... We've ridden the <35 mph roads around town more times than I can count by now!
 

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Yeah, I do think repeating the same training has diminishing returns….. ERC, Sport Bike Riders course are less classroom more range time. SBR is still not as good as Team Oregon ARC. ARC is run on go kart tracks, and teaches how to maximize braking in a turn (emergency braking) and the mechanics of how the kinetics work as you have to bring the bike vertical as it slows.

Discussions on late apexes for street riding to extend sight lines before you commit to a speed and line through a blind corner is also taught.

Vital to understanding sight lines are life lines….
 
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