How much experience/miles before adding a passenger? - Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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Question How much experience/miles before adding a passenger?

Hey all, how much experience would you recommend before taking on a passenger? I have 267 miles under my belt which I know isn't a lot. My wife is anxious to jump on, but I want to be safe and smart. I know the 'best' answer is it depends on how skilled and comfortable you are becoming on the bike, but since that is hard to quantify... if you where to try to put it into terms of miles of riding what would you suggest. I do feel good on the bike, and am a pretty calm level headed guy, so... your thoughts/guidance?

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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 10:38 AM
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How much experience/miles before adding a passenger?

It really depends on your ability to learn. A guy could have 10,000 miles and still not feel comfortable enough to tote a passenger. It's really about how comfortable you are with it.

Maybe load up a tail bag with something heavy and give it a shot.

Your passenger also needs to know how to be a passenger. My wife would lean every time I went into a curve and it would really mess me up. Or it would feel like she was doing jumping jacks on the back every time I rolled up to a stop sign. You have to teach them to just sit there, be neutral and don't squirm around.


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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 10:40 AM
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As confidant as you may feel with 267 miles under your belt, I'd wait and become more familiar with your bike and how it handles. I was two years and about 10,000 miles back in the saddle before letting the wife ride with me. The dynamics totally change when you add the extra weight of a passenger. Not that 10,000 miles is a magical number, or that you should necessarily wait that long, just where I was when she took an interest. JMHO

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 10:46 AM
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I would say that time would be - perhaps - when you can sling that bike around like a rag doll and handle most emergencies.. I have 50? Thousand miles under my belt, not huge miles, but considerable, and I'm still not comfortable risking another on the back of my bike. So it IS when you are comfortable, and no, you can't really quantify that in miles. But if you find yourself in an emergency situation - and you will find yourself in an emergency situation - you need to be able to confidently handle that to a competent degree before risking another..

This is just my own opinion..

It doesn't come down to miles though. It comes down to a certain amount of skill-level, I would think.

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 10:57 AM
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I would suggest going out to a empty parking lot on the weekend and practice some maneuvers with your passenger. Start out simple like getting the feel for how the bike reacts with a passenger. Work your way up to starting, stopping, braking, emergency braking and turning. Also, practice slow speed maneuvering like very slow turns and taking off on an incline. Those especially will be much different with a passenger. This might sound stupid but you both need to practice having the passenger mount the bike. Also, inform your passenger about her responsibilities as a passenger on a motorcycle. Have her read this article: (you read it too)
How to Be a Motorcycle Passenger | Motorcycle Cruiser

If you've never done so, I wouldn't recommend going out on the roadways with a passenger without first logging-in some practice and then have a conversation with her about riding.
It's a big responsibility to ride a passenger, don't take it lightly. Her life will be in your hands and you want to do everything right so that neither one of you get's injured.

Good luck,
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 11:20 AM
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Well I'd say the popular awnser is correct. Your skill determine when you should let a passenger. I'd suggest when you feel ready take the wife for a low speed ride in the neighborhood so you can get a taste of the extra weight and she can get a feel of what it feels like and learns to ride on the back. The passenger can cause a accident just as easy as the operator. For example i can feel the bike reacting to my 9 year old grandson as he inadvertently leans or gets figety during a ride, he only weighs 80lbs.

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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the guidance everyone, I don't think I am nearly skilled enough yet, but since she keeps asking, it's been on my mind a lot.

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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by gunslinger_co View Post
Thanks for the guidance everyone, I don't think I am nearly skilled enough yet, but since she keeps asking, it's been on my mind a lot.
Get her to sign up for a MSF class(you to if you haven't taken it) let her learn how to ride while you also get more experience.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I took it. Big fan of BRC course, I'll take more.

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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by gunslinger_co View Post
Thanks for the guidance everyone, I don't think I am nearly skilled enough yet, but since she keeps asking, it's been on my mind a lot.


I rode for about a month before she got on with. As long as she knows what she is and isn't supposed to do, you should be fine. Start with her around the neighborhood or in large parking lot first. Expand out as you get more comfortable.

I still have trouble with slow speed maneuvers with her on with me. Mostly because I'm more cautious when she is riding with.

Take it slow and you will be fine.


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