Riding behind a
rider that is not Motorcycle Safety
Foundation trained, could be dangerous. The rider may think they know what to do in an
emergency, but do they really? Your life is in the rider's knowledge.
Holding this seminar is two fold; one is for you to have a better understanding of what
is happening during the ride. The other is for you to push your rider into taking an MSF
course themselves, for both of your sakes. It is a great idea for you also to take the
beginners MSF course. This would teach you to know what the rider is supposed to be doing
in front of you.
Motorcycle Orientation: You as the co-rider should read the Owner's
Manual, you'd be surprised how many riders never do. You might even learn
that if he says he can't hear you, all that might be necessary is turn
up the intercom
dial. Have your rider show you all the different controls and explain how
they work. Have the rider put the motorcycle on the center stand and go through the
motions. Make sure he tells you not to trust the green light that says the motorcycle is
in neutral. Especially learn how to use the Engine Cut-Off Switch. It uses
engine braking and does not lock the wheels. Understand what the various gauges are
for, as well as the levers - which one is the brake, which one is the clutch. Know
how to use the CB. Do you know that Channel 19 or what ever channel the truckers use in
your area, is a better channel to use than 9 when you need help? Not all areas monitor
Channel 9. Do you know how to change stations? Are you aware that if either of you press
the talk button on the CB, that anything either of you are saying will then be broadcast
over the air? Have the rider show you how to change the air pressure, so that you can put
your feet on the ground if you have to be the rider. Make sure you know how to release a
Getting on the motorcycle: Make sure that you are not near the motorcycle while
the rider is mounting it. If they drop it, you will be blamed, if it falls over. In
most instances, the rider should hold the front brake when either of you are mounting or
dismounting. You should never do either without first informing the rider first. Remember
that in most cases the rider is holding the motorcycle up with their legs, so be gentle.
You should also stay plugged into the intercom until you are off the motorcycle so that
you still communicate with the rider. The parking brake is leaving the bike in gear or
with the reverse engaged.
During the ride: Keep your legs "in" at all times. If
you want to stretch or shake your leg, tell the rider first. For comfort sake, the thigh
should be level with the ground. Observe the road ahead and look over the
in the direction of the turn. You don't have to lean, just look. You will actually be
sitting straight up, which is what you're supposed to do. You should never lean opposite
the lean of the rider. The rider and co-rider
should communicate with each other at all times. The co-rider should practice keeping their head and eyes level with the
horizon. When you look down, you tend to pull your body weight with it and force the
motorcycle in that direction. Remember, the motorcycle will go where you look! In
addition, it will maintain your balance and may also prevent dizziness.
Something just happened to the rider, What do I do now? If the
rider does not
feel well before the ride, don't go. It is your responsibility to keep
an ailing rider
home. If the rider feels ill during the ride, stop as soon as possible.
If the rider slumps over while riding, get control of the motorcycle. You must reach the
handle bars. You should practice this at home while the motorcycle is on the center stand.
Push the rider forward if possible, stand up if necessary. Engage the Engine Cut-Off
Switch. Try to remain calm. Talk to the rider, if possible, to get
information and calm them, if they are conscious. When you have control of the motorcycle,
steer away from the group. If possible steer the motorcycle to a soft place to
fall over. You will be falling over! Let the motorcycle fall over at the
slowest possible speed. Even though you will have a natural tendency to put your feet out,
keep your legs in until after you fall over and stop. Once you are stopped, try
to remove yourselves from the motorcycle. Give your rider CPR if necessary and have someone call an ambulance.
Don't remove the rider's helmet, let the
medics do that.
Can this happen to you? You better bet it can!
If the co-rider is a little person, do not tie them to the rear seat. Don't give
someone a ride if you have any doubts about them staying in the rear seat.
To end this seminar, let us assure you that the co-rider is a very important and unique
part of the riding team. They deserve our respect.