If motorcycle is how you travel to work everyday then being a skilled rider is a must for you. Mastering balance and control is needed to ride efficiently in congested/crowded areas. You need to be even more skilled if you are traveling with a passenger.
As an experienced rider, you need to do your bit to assure that passenger is comfortable and secured. After all, the pillion is entrusting you and your riding skills with his/her safety. Firstly, check that you have the ‘right’ bike, which can take the weight of pillion. You can adjust the preload on the rear shock absorber to make up for the extra passenger weight. Check the bike manual online of your two-wheelers for rent to understand the correct tyre pressure. Yank out the footrest for your passenger. Now that you have a pillion at the back, you might need to fine-tune the mirror to ensure it is not out of line. Always always always park the bike without them.
There are no training sessions for pillion but there are these golden rules that should be adhered to for a safe ride. You must make your passenger aware of this set of guidelines before you take him/her along for a bike ride.
PRELIMINARY RULES: MOUNTING/DISMOUNTING THE BIKE
Pillion should never get on and off the bike before confirming with the rider. The rider has to be on the bike and in a steady position with both feet rooted to the ground balancing the bike. Only once he/she is in full control of the bike is when the passenger must mount or dismount it.
It’s important to know how to get on the bike. The passenger should always get on from the left-hand side swinging the right leg over the bike and onto the footrest. Once the left leg is up as well, make sure both feet are on the respective footrests and he or she is comfortably seated.
COMMUNICATION: USE CUSTOMIZED SIGNALS
‘While my friend was riding a bike, I had to literally scream my lungs out to get his attention.” – Not only was I doing the wrong thing but it was also very confusing and unsafe for both the rider and me.
The right way is to use customized signals such as 3 taps on shoulder to get the rider to stop the bike or 2 taps on the side of the shoulder that they want the rider to look. Talking excitedly and nonchalantly about a movie you guys just watched together can wait till the bike ride is over. The rider always needs to be alert and attentive to what is going on around him or her. While riding communication at most times should be thus restricted to urgent or emergency messages.
A STRONG GRIP ON THE RAILS OR RIDER
During the ride, they should always hold on tightly to the rider and not just the rider’s jacket or clothes. They should either clutch on to the rails behind them (if your bike has it) or hold the rider. This will ensure that pillion doesn’t slam into you during braking or stopping. It can also make them scared when you accelerate, as they will feel like they are about to slip off. A scared pillion is not a good option especially on long journeys or driving through congested roads.
THE MUST-FOLLOW PREREQUISITES
Similar to a rider, passenger should wear necessary gears during the ride. The helmet is a must along with a jacket. They deserve the same kind of protection as you do.
The pillion is being driven and has no ‘specific’ responsibility as such. However, it is advisable to not use their phone or keep their hands occupied with phone etc. As mentioned above, they must always keep their hands free to hold on to the rider.
FAMILIARITY WITH THE VARIOUS RIDING STYLES
The styles such as cornering, turning or braking should be made familiar to pillion. Leave no surprises there.
The pillion should not flung himself/herself on your back whenever you use the brakes. To avoid this he or she should be alert, aware and anticipate these actions. Being alert and holding on to the rail or the rider at all times will help in avoiding ‘jerky’ movements and keep the pillion in place.
Riding with pillion can be a lot of fun – as long as these rules are adhered to. Whether you are going for long journeys or to work teaming up and riding together can make your everyday commute more enjoyable on your first bike on rent. Ontrack, a monthly bike rental company, provides two wheelers for rent on a monthly basis. Connect with us to know more about our bike hire services.