On another blog, I saw a post that the author cringes when she hears the term “I’m just a passenger.” That blog post was Liz Jansen’s “Guiding Travelers On The Road To Empowerment“. The post got me thinking because it’s very true.
On a motorcycle you never really are just a passenger. Your actions and movements affect the handling of the motorcycle and even the direction it travels. You are more of a “co-rider”.
I’ve been riding motorcycles on and off now for over 33 years now, even having been a motorcycle police officer. Donna however has only been “co-riding” for just over 6 years now. She wasn’t sure she’d like it, but took to it like a duck takes to water. At first Donna was just a passenger. She was a little stiff and I could feel she was unsure. But she enjoyed being back there and wanted to do it more. As she rode with me more, she became more relaxed and it showed. There are no more jerky movements (not that there were ever that many anyway). Donna noticed the ways I would move and asked “What should I do?” I told her to relax and that it would come to her without her doing anything. She did nearly jump off though the first time I scraped the floorboards on our Suzuki C-50T! She is a natural back there. Sure, I’ll feel her adjust on the seat. But if she needs to move a lot, she’ll let me know. Now she’s back there leaning against the back rest or leaning into curves. She almost never holds on to me or to the motorcycle. In fact, in some pictures we’re in a curve and her hands are in her pockets or on her thighs! As one commenter said once, “She has a look like, “Yeah, we’re bad and I know it.”” She looks through the curves. We’ll take the K1200LT on some “crooked roads” and scrape the side stand, center stand and even footpegs with confidence because of her abilities as a “co-rider”
If she wanted to, she’d be quite capable of riding her own motorcycle.
You can learn more about being a novice passenger in this article entitled “A Novice’s Guide to Being a Good Motorcycle Passenger and Enjoying Yourself Along the Way“.
And not to leave us drivers out there’s also an article for us, “Motorcycle Passenger Etiquette“.