Don’t take it lightly or bother if you have a biker friend who acts a little (or a lot) Swedish when you talk about ‘going for a ride’. Being a motorcycle co-pilot requires knowledge, some skills and, above all, a lot of responsibility like yourmotobro.com. It is not a fairground attraction and goes far beyond the ‘enjoy the wind in your face’.
What we propose today is that, before getting on anyone’s bike or going on the road as a passenger, you read and put into practice these 8 tips. With them you will be on the way to being the perfect motorcycle co-pilot.
- Never ride a motorcycle without the minimum riding equipment
Here the advice is very easy. You have to be equipped like the pilot who, we understand, will at least wear a helmet, jacket, gloves and biker’s boots. It doesn’t matter if the trip is short or long, if you have arranged to go to the office or if you are planning your first route as a couple for this summer. Safety comes first. You can’t, we repeat, you can’t even consider riding a motorcycle if you don’t have the basic clothing.
The best way to shop is to get advice. Later on we will see that, in more than one way, the rider will be for you a mirror in which to look at yourself. In terms of equipment, it can be literally. Ask him what he is wearing, buy with him and ask him for advice. There is nothing a biker (or biker woman, of course) likes more than to talk about biker clothes.
- Don’t get distracted from the road – your role is critical!
Calling biker co-pilots packages has always been a bit ugly. Firstly because they are not inanimate packages and secondly because we run the risk that they think they can abstract from what is going on around them and simply be transported from one place to another.
This is a huge mistake because, as a motorcycle co-pilot, your role is fundamental. It is true that the motorcycle is driven by someone else, but do not forget that the relationship of forces changes completely and that everything has an influence, from how you ride, how you move, how you communicate, how you get off and so on.
As initial advice, you should maintain the same tension (understood as alert, not as fear), concentration and attention as the person riding. This involves being aware of curves, weather, obstacles, traffic jams or the behavior of other road users, among others.
- Make the pilot’s life easy without telling him all the time how he should drive
We all know the typical car co-pilot who is worse than a pain because he is all the time directing and correcting: ‘Slowly’, ‘Turn’, ‘Watch out’, ‘You almost hit it’, ‘Brake’. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
On a motorcycle, things get complicated because communication can be more difficult. In any case, your place is well defined: you can make the rider’s life easier, but it’s better not to tell him what to do every time. For that, buy your own bike, right?
- Don’t cut yourself and ask how things are done
They say that it is often better to look like a fool than to be clever. Believing that you know, underestimating the risks or taking something for granted is the best recipe for disaster. If you don’t know how to ride a motorcycle, it’s okay. The best thing is to be humble and ask how things are done.
For example, the most frequent doubts among novice motorcycle co-pilots are: How do I get on and off the bike? Where do I stand? and Can I move?
These may seem like silly questions, but asking them in time can prevent many discussions, accidents and unpleasant experiences. Let’s take it one step at a time.
- Hug the rider? Better not
It is usually one of the most common mistakes among first-time motorcycle co-pilots, especially if there is also a very close emotional relationship with the pilot.
Hugging the rider is not a good idea because you are going to subtract his ability to move. If we add that the first few times you will be a little nervous, surely you will push more than you should. Grabbing him by the shoulders is not a good idea either.
The ideal is that your feet are on the footrests and your hands on the handles, the tail or on the fuel tank. At best, if it makes you feel safer, hug the rider with your knees, but don’t exert excessive pressure.
- Counteract your early fears and nerves with knowledge of riding
We know people who have gotten off their motorcycles with muscular pains only from the accumulated tension and have given up a new trip.
Riding as a co-pilot on a motorcycle without a minimum of knowledge can generate nerves, fear or insecurity. To avoid this, you don’t need to know how to ride, but here are some useful tips that will help you on your first routes.
- Ensures communication with your own code or with intercoms
Depending on the length and frequency of your trips as a motorcycle co-pilot, you will have to sit down with your ‘host’ to agree on your own code to help you communicate on the road. The noise will prevent you from talking normally and, if you don’t do it beforehand, it will be difficult to understand you.
For short trips, it will probably be enough with a system of signals with which both of you have clear if everything is going well or there is a problem. Do not hit or shout because they are useless in any situation. They only create nerves and lack of control.
For long trips, we recommend that you use an intercom. The truth is that, once you try it, you will not conceive of the routes without them. Being connected at all times, listening to music together or commenting on each stage of the journey is, without a doubt, a luxury.
If you have doubts about what type of intercom is the most appropriate, we invite you to read our special on this motorcycle accessory.
- Don’t forget that the perfect co-pilot is not born, it is made
The perfect co-pilot, just like the perfect pilot, is not born, but made. As in everything, experience is a degree, so don’t despair and go slowly.
A great idea is for you to consider longer and longer journeys. If the first time you go as a package on a Bilbao-Cádiz route, you will probably get obsessed with the bike and the driver. Start with small trips around your city, try short weekend routes and you will gain confidence and ease. Both of you will win.