HOG Safety Article for web
Please, always wear some form of eye protection, glasses, goggles, shields, etc., to protect your eyes against dirt, insects, water, wind, or other flying particles you may encounter while riding. The eye wear should fit properly and fasten securely. They should be safety approved or plastic, shatter proof, scratch free, etc. and it is best if they are anti-fogging. You also need to remember to have a pair of clear lenses. Try not to ride at night with sunglasses or tinted lenses. Make sure any passenger also wears proper eye protection, especially children!! Get them good eye protection (not the 99 cent jobbers) and make sure you tell them how cool they look!!
Since we always acquire new riders every season, here are some safety essentials for the rider & passengers for two up riding, especially if the passenger has never ridden before.
1) Wear proper protective gear that fits. Wear a helmet (DOT approved), eye protection, sturdy boots or shoes, long pants, long-sleeve shirt or jacket, and sunscreen.
2) Make sure the passenger knows where the hot things are on the bike, e.g. header pipes and mufflers, and of course don’t touch!
3) Getting on & off. Instruct the passenger not to get on the motorcycle until you give the go-ahead, only after you are solidly on board and have started the engine. Same thing for getting off, make sure you are on solid ground and give the go-ahead to the passenger.
4) Cornering. The passenger should not have to consciously do any leaning. With proper turning technique the lean will happened naturally as the bike enters a curve. The passenger should look over your shoulder in the direction of the turn and not shift weight to over lean or fight against the lean and try to remain vertical.
5) Stopping and starting. As much as possible, try to let your passenger know when you are about to stop or decelerate quickly, so they can brace themselves and lean back slightly in order to avoid sliding forward into your back. The passenger should keep both feet firmly on the foot pegs/boards when you stop. It’s very important for the passenger to understand the bike is actually less stable when stopped than when it is at speed.
6) Bumps. Always warn your passenger (if possible) when you are about to hit a bump in the road, small pothole, or railroad tracks. The passenger may shift their weight from their seat to their feet in such situations, and use their legs to absorb some of the impact.
7) Holding on. Generally, the passenger should hold on to without crowding the rider at the hips, shoulders, or the waist, rather than the motorcycle and sit as far forward as possible with crowding the rider. This facilitates better handling if the rider and passenger move as one with the motorcycle. Depending on your style of bike you may have good seats with back rests and holding on to the rider may not be necessary but moving with the rider and avoiding sudden moves makes it easier for the rider to handle the bike.
8) Take along a map, water, cell phone, emergency numbers, credit card, sunscreen, and a small first aid kit.
9) Relax & enjoy – it’s not a race and it’s not the time to demo your bike’s capabilities at red line. Taking your time and enjoying the ride is what it’s all about.
10) If you are riding ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure they are still there.
Remember, ride with a good attitude and watch out for those darn cars!!