In motorcycle terminology, “riding double,” means cruising with a passenger. Even though there is only one true driver in these cases, any passenger should be considered as a second “active” rider to ensure the safety of both people.
Now, just because you have a motorcycle doesn’t necessarily mean you can ride with a passenger. The motorcycle has to be designed to accommodate a passenger. Riders may want to consult the owner’s manual to review weight limitations prior to commencing on a ride with a passenger.
Make sure any passengers you choose to ride with are tall enough to reach the footrests, and mature enough to handle the responsibility of riding on a hog. Like the driver, passengers should definitely wear protective gear and receive a safety briefing prior to hitting the road.
As the driver, remember that riding with a passenger is an added responsibility. You should practice low-speed throttle control and emergency breaking in an open parking lot with a passenger to make sure that you’re ready for the open road.
Drivers should also make sure that they have well-developed cornering skills. It is highly recommended that a Search, Evaluate, Execute (S.E.E.) strategy is used to increase time and space safety margins.
Allow your passengers the chance to acclimate to riding on the back of a motorcycle if they’re first timers. During the ride, the passenger should hold on to the operator’s waist or hips (or handholds), have their feet on the footrests and avoid turning around or making sudden movements.
Keep in mind that riding with a passenger does affect the handling of a motorcycle because of the added weight and independent motion. A passenger tends to move forward in quick stop situations, sometimes causing the riders to bump helmets.
Operationally, you’ll want to allot yourself more time and space for passing if you’re travelling with a passenger. Cornering clearances will also be affected due to the extra weight, so be cognizant of upcoming turns.