How to be a good pillion rider
To be a pillion rider is rudimentary to some. It comes naturally to them. But, some people can be nervy and some can react the wrong way.
Basically by following the steps below, a person who never took a ride on a motorcycle can become a good pillion rider on SAM motorbikes with safety and comfort.
Step 1: For starters…
Before you get on, ask the SAM biker if they want you to put your feet down at the lights, etc. It’s actually a serious point. Most will say no, if they can balance with extra weight. This is because, when they’re taking off you’ll inevitably be moving your legs around behind them which isn’t good for balancing and you can sometimes get in their way.
Look at where you’re going to be sitting, flip out the pillion pedals before you get on the bike. They’re really fiddly to flip out, once you’re perched up on the seat.
Look at what kind of grips you have to hold on to. Most bikes have a handle across the rear of the seat. You can you put your arms behind you and hold on to it. Some bikes have handles on the side for you to hold on to. The SAM bikers can help you to identify the right thing and way to hold on to, during a ride
Step-2: Getting on
Let the SAM biker get on and set up on the SAM bike. Don’t get on until they’ve shifted the bike to somewhere they’re ready to leave from. Ride-around with a pillion rider on the back is a hard task for a biker, especially in narrow streets.
Get on from the left hand side. However, it’s usually easier to get on the side which is opposite to the exhaust, if it’s a single exhaust bike.
Swing your leg right over the bike and put your foot on to the peg. Then bring yourself up on to the seat. Putting a hand on the biker’s shoulder makes it easier all round for both of you to balance. However, please ask for permission from the SAM biker to put your hand over his shoulder. Bring your other foot up and round and get comfy. Once both of you are happy, tell the biker that you’re ready to go.
As for holding on, hold on to the baby sissy bars behind or the two handles on the side of the bike. Holding on to the SAM biker can be a tad weird but is at least comfortable. Be sure to take permission from the SAM biker before holding on to him.
Handles down by your side are another hold on option for you
On the move:
When it comes to braking you should resist from swinging forward, mostly with your legs. It’s not very nice on your arms to resist braking that way. Try to sit straight up. It’s easier on your back for bumps and gives you less chance of swinging back and forth, head-butting the biker.
Turning is a very important point as well. You should just roll with it. Don’t resist the leaning of the bike. During turning, lean along with the leaning posture of the bike. Instead of leaning, if you try too hard to sit straight up, you’ll cause the biker to be pushed towards the ground with your weight or you’ll force the biker to run wide and possibly into object or traffic.
If you find yourself thinking about it and having a lot of trouble just rolling along with it just go for keeping your shoulders in line with the biker’s shoulders and make your movements calm and sensible. Sharp movements are bad for control tends to distract the riders attentions. If you do find yourself incapable of following leaning aspect then hold on to the rider by the waist as your way of holding on, then you can’t go wrong. But again, please ask for permission to hold on from the biker.
One very important point- If you do get uncomfortable at any point during your ride and thus need to shift position, make sure you do not do it at a turn. Wait until you’re on the straight road. Never make any sudden jerks or shift your weight quickly to one side without reason, you don’t want to upset the balance of the bike…
There’s no denying that motorcycles are cool, fun and fuel-efficient. But it’s also true that riding a motorcycle is more risky than driving a car.
The reality is, a crash as a motorcyclist is about 30 times more likely to be fatal than as a motorist.
There are plenty of dedicated riders who are able to steer clear of accidents and enjoy their bikes without incident – but their success comes from following basic motorcycle safety practices. To make sure you stay on the safe side of riding, here are ten ways to keep your rides incident-free.
- Gear up.
Contrary to popular belief, looking cool is not the top priority when getting on your bike. You should always be in proper riding attire. Glasses or goggles are a must if you have an open-faced helmet and to protect your hands, you should always wear gloves. And, it should go without saying, never ride without helmet. It doesn’t matter if you look silly because it will help keep you alive.
- Stay in the comfort zone.
Know your abilities and make sure that neither your chosen route nor motorcycle is more than you can handle. Your bike should fit you; that means that your feet should be able to rest flat on the ground when seated – no tiptoes. And if the bike feels too heavy for you, it probably is.
You want to be able to easily get on and off your motorcycle and the handlebars and controls should be easy for you to reach. The more familiar you are with your route, the easier it will be for you to focus on safety instead of not missing a turn.
- Inspect your ride.
Give your bike a good once-over before hitting the road. Things you should check out every time you get on your motorcycle include tire pressure, mirrors and lights. Taking a quick walk around your bike will give you an idea if there are any loose bolts, leaks or other potential mechanical hazards.
You also need to be diligent about regular care and maintenance. Don’t delay fixing something that needs attention, conduct all recommended regular maintenance including oil changes, chain and suspension adjustments, and stay on top of brake pad and tire wear.
- Use your head.
While mirrors are there for a reason, you can’t solely rely on them to remain aware of what is in your immediate riding space. To keep cognizant of your surroundings and your position in relationship to those around you, you need to use your head.
Experienced riders know that it’s important to keep your head and eyes up while rounding corners and that the safest way to change lanes is to actually turn and look over your shoulder to make sure you are clear. You will also be able to get a feeling for whether other drivers are paying attention to you.
- Watch the road.
As a motorcyclist, you need to pay attention to the road you are riding on. Err on the side of caution when going into curves; be vigilant for potential gravel or other unstable road conditions. Be careful when crossing rail road tracks because the paint can be slippery – the same goes for the white lines at stoplights.
- Find your happy place.
One of the biggest dangers to a rider is getting on your bike in the wrong state of mind. Riding angry, drowsy or distracted can be a recipe for disaster. Remember, when you’re on a motorcycle you are ultimately the only one on the road looking out for you. If your mind and emotions are anywhere other than the road ahead, you are susceptible to making rookie mistakes that can end in a crash, injuries or worse.
- Brake for motorcycles.
Just because you’re on a motorcycle doesn’t make it any easier for you to see other motorcycles. Always double-check when changing lanes or turning. You also need to practice braking in all sorts of conditions.
To make sure that a quick stop won’t result in tragedy, always give extra space to the vehicles in front of you.
- Spread the love
There’s no denying that motorcycles are often overlooked or regarded as the second-class citizens of the road. As a rider, you have the chance to help make that different. When you’re on the road, always drive as if you are an ambassador for motorcyclists everywhere.
Ride with courtesy, care and awareness that you are representing motorcycles for those around you. Don’t let an urge to prove a point or retaliate against an inconsiderate driver overwhelm your better judgment. When all is said and done it boils down to this: wear your gear, know your bike and know your abilities.