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I wasn't exactly sure where I should post this but I'm hoping someone can help me out since Google let me down. Does anyone have experience, advice, words of caution, etc. when it comes to riding with a passenger who is both taller and heavier than you are? Is it even safe to ride given that circumstance? I truly couldn't find any information on this so if anyone could share their experience with something like this I would really appreciate it.

Here are some specifics which might help get a more detailed and accurate response. I am asking because I may have the opportunity to go riding with my girlfriend at some point (she is currently bike-less). She is interested in sportbikes. She had a ninja, I can't remember which one, but her friend crashed it awhile back. So unfortunately I can't give the specifics on what size or how powerful of a bike she would get, but it would definitely fall into the crotch rocket category. She is 5'5 and I'm nearly 5'7 and depending on how dedicated we are to our diets and exercise we range from a 20 to 30 pound difference. It's not a significant height or weight difference but I am wondering if it will make it challenging or unsafe for her to steer or balance the motorcycle
 

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There are others in here who are better suited to answer your question, because they probably take a "rider" on a more continual basis than I do.

That said, I have been a "rider" only once in my life, and from THAT point of view, I realized just how dependent, vulnerable and helpless I was, being totally in the hands of the other person driving. It's not like a car really, in the sense that I might think I could quickly slide over and take over the controls if I had to, in an emergency situation (which would be tough to do, even in a CAGE; never mind a motorcycle!).

I have taken my wife and both of my daughters on the back of my previous 500cc bike, (none on the second Shadow, because circumstances did not present themselves, and none on the NEW bike because I want to be fully competent on it, before taking a rider).

So, what are my suggestions? (NOT in order of priority!!)

1. Put yourself in the place of the rider, and remember
that, as you invite them to ride. Understand that
even an experienced "rider" still has concerns.
Remember how it feels to be vulnerable and totally
dependent; and drive in such a way as promote
confidence and calm in them.

2. Yes, have them wear the proper gear (helmet, gloves
torso protection and ankle-covering boots), and YOU
wear it TOO!!

3. The passenger should be briefed in some of the more
obvious fundamentals of "leaning WITH the bike" and
to "avoid any exaggerated body shifting (particularly
in cornering situations) and point out the "you could
get burned" spots.

4. The passenger should be last "on" and first "off" the bike. (LOFO)

5. Agree on the way you will communicate with the
passenger (if microphones, hand signals, whatever). Agree on
your destination, and keep them informed as you go, about
the trips progress. (They just might be anxious to be "done"
with it all. Be sensitive to that).

6. Don't assume that your passenger will have the same
bladder stamina as you. Stop more frequently, for their
comfort, as needed. They should not necessarily be
expected to "tough it out" and match your durability.

7. Tell them about "the wave" (they might wonder)

8. Make sure you adjust your rear shock(s) to the
recommended setting for transporting a passenger,
found in your Owners Manual.

9. Make sure that your tire pressures are correct (as
recommended in your Owners Manual) for carrying
a passenger.

10. Always do a pre-ride inspection of the signal lights,
the horn, the brake lights, etc..


I'm assuming that you are the driver in this scenario, but.........based on the last part of your post:

............ I am wondering if it will make it challenging or unsafe for her to steer or balance the motorcycle
It SOUNDS like YOU will be "riding B_____h" (?)

-Soupy
 

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The difference in height and weight won't be an obstacle. Check the load rating of the motorcycle to make sure it is designed to accommodate what is being asked of it.

The motorcycle will behave a lot differently with a passenger. It may take longer to accelerate and more distance to stop. Lean angle may be reduced. In general, things will feel more sluggish for the rider.

It's good practice to make sure the rider is proficient on their motorcycle before even considering taking on a passenger.

If she doesn't have experience with a passenger, it would be a great idea to start out in an empty parking lot and doing some practice drills before taking off into traffic.
 

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Height and weight should not make much of a difference.

What really matters is how much experience she has riding a bike and if she has taken on passengers before. It's a totally different ball game riding with a passenger. Many of bikes have been dropped due to rider not adjusting for differences with a passenger, or don't know what to do when the passenger decides to lean the opposite way. Is she ready to take on the responsibility for someone elses life? Some people, including myself, don't want to take on that responsibility. As far as you, don't figit on the bike. Don't adjust your seat unless bike is stopped and/or you communicate your intentions. And as far as leaning in the corners, best advice I can give anyone is just go with the bike, let the bike do the work.
 

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One thing I would add, regarding mounting the bike. Have them stand close when mounting. Keep the center of gravity close to the bike.
I tell new riders to sit still during turns and cornering, just stay with me. Going straight, they're welcome to switch which shoulder they want to look over.
 

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Better yet, man up and get a bike of your own.
 

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Height and weight will make a difference if you ride a Ninja 250/300 double. Only half of my overly plump Arse would fit on one of those little things:biggrin:

Experience is the best teacher for Motorcycle safety. If the rider is proficient, then carrying a passenger is intuitive.

Make rules for your passenger where she/ he knows that on bikes there is no such thing as a "Back seat driver." No control input whatsoever is needed by a passenger as that is for the rider to decide.

Remember that some passengers can be scared to death if you childishly try to impress them by acting stupid. Some will NEVER get on a bike again if scared initially.

Practice a little with your passenger in a big deserted parking lot until you are sure things will work out.

I don't think a passenger should shift their weight to help a rider steer into and out of corners. I tell them to never take their feet off of the pegs at a stop or stoplight as this shifts weight and balance. No screaming in the back of my helmet and don't ever grab my LOVE HANDLES to get my attention!:wink:

Sam:coffeescreen:
 

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................... I tell them to never take their feet off of the pegs at a stop or stoplight as this shifts weight and balance. No screaming in the back of my helmet and don't ever grab my LOVE HANDLES to get my attention!:wink:Sam:coffeescreen:
Now THAT'S some GOOD advice right there!!!!!!!!!!

-Soupy
 

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Better yet, man up and get a bike of your own.
You're assuming OP is a man. I didn't see gender listed anywhere in the post.

I believe the opposite to be true. In which case, hey lady. Just don't shift your weight around when she is riding and she should be fine.

My biggest concern would be when you two are stopped. At 5'5", and on a sportbike, she isn't going to have the easiest time keeping the bike upright with just her on it, let alone it carrying an extra xxx lbs all on top.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
soupy1957 thank you for the advice. I do have a fair amount of experience being a passenger on a bike. There is certainly a lot of trust involved when it comes to getting on the back of someone's motorcycle. No I am not the driver my girlfriend would be. That's why I ask because she is shorter and lighter than me, but you provided a lot of good safety tips and some I didn't really think of so thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Dodsfall, zippywonder, and dwsonar thank you for answering my question. I'm glad to know the weight and height difference won't really be an issue. But to be safe I would for sure have us do some practice rides before going out on long rides or areas with lots of turns and of course make sure she is comfortable with the bike before I ride with her
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Height and weight will make a difference if you ride a Ninja 250/300 double. Only half of my overly plump Arse would fit on one of those little things:biggrin:

Experience is the best teacher for Motorcycle safety. If the rider is proficient, then carrying a passenger is intuitive.

Make rules for your passenger where she/ he knows that on bikes there is no such thing as a "Back seat driver." No control input whatsoever is needed by a passenger as that is for the rider to decide.

Remember that some passengers can be scared to death if you childishly try to impress them by acting stupid. Some will NEVER get on a bike again if scared initially.

Practice a little with your passenger in a big deserted parking lot until you are sure things will work out.

I don't think a passenger should shift their weight to help a rider steer into and out of corners. I tell them to never take their feet off of the pegs at a stop or stoplight as this shifts weight and balance. No screaming in the back of my helmet and don't ever grab my LOVE HANDLES to get my attention!:wink:

Sam:coffeescreen:
Thank you for your input. Lucky for me my gf isn't a douchbag so she wouldn't pull some stunt of accelerating too quickly and unsafely or taking a corner in a risky way in an attempt to impress me. P.S. to guys out there that does not impress a girl, total turn off. Haha I love your last piece of advice, but my girl doesn't have love handles so I guess I would have to grab something else to get her attention :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
You're assuming OP is a man. I didn't see gender listed anywhere in the post.

I believe the opposite to be true. In which case, hey lady. Just don't shift your weight around when she is riding and she should be fine.

My biggest concern would be when you two are stopped. At 5'5", and on a sportbike, she isn't going to have the easiest time keeping the bike upright with just her on it, let alone it carrying an extra xxx lbs all on top.
You are correct, I am female. I don't have my motorcycle license but I've thought about getting it. However, financially I cannot afford a motorcycle and the insurance at this time. That was a concern of mine as well because obviously 5'5 isn't all that tall and I think height, at least long legs are helpful when it comes to keeping a bike balanced and upright
 

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Well then, it sounds like you have the knowhow to be a passenger, if she has ridden with a passenger before you two should be all set (practice in lot won't hurt of course).
If she hasn't ridden with a passenger then yeah I'd surely recommend a "test ride" in a parking lot for her to learn what to expect with added weight.
Have fun and ride safe!
 

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If you can ride with her and trust her to do what is right you will be just fine. If you try to actively help her balance, stay off her bike. Nothing in my experience is worse than someone moving around thinking they are helping me. In maneuvering I would suggest you close your eyes with your arms wrapped around her and follow her every move. Never even peak to see what is happening.
 

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This really doesn't help you, Im sorry but I just want to say, Cindy and I ride together all the time, she's a great passenger, she knows how to ride until.................................She has a couple drinks. Once she gets a couple in her she is all over the place back there, It drives me nuts. I told her next time, Im getting a side car and stuffing her in it.
 
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