ASK A TROOPER: “Motorcycle Riding Dog”
by Ryan Janke from https://kfgo.com/
Question: Can someone with a motorcycle permit have their small dog riding on the motorcycle or would that be considered a passenger? We have already purchased a helmet and leather jacket for this lucky pup! Thank you for your response.
Answer: First of all, where will this dog be seated and how? I see less issues if you are talking about a motorcycle side car or a motorcycle trailer equipped with a kennel. But if you are talking about on the actual motorcycle with you, I don’t think this would be very safe for you or your pet.
If you are going to carry a passenger, there are a few key items to keep in mind:
Equip and Adjust Your Motorcycle:
- A passenger seat and footrests are required by law.
- Adjust tire pressure and suspension settings for the additional weight. (Do not exceed weight limitations specified in the owner’s manual.)
- Readjust mirrors.
- Provide protective riding gear: eye protection, a DOT-approved helmet, boots, gloves, long riding pants and a high-visibility motorcycle jacket.
- Passengers under age 18 are required by law to wear a DOT-approved helmet.
- Small children are required by law to be able to reach both footrests with their feet while sitting on the passenger seat.
Getting On and Off the Motorcycle:
- Start the engine before the passenger gets on.
- Squeeze the front brake while the passenger gets on or off the bike.
- Passengers should get off the bike before the operator.
Passenger Safety Tips:
- Hold operator’s waist or hips, or motorcycle’s passenger hand-holds.
- Keep feet on footrests at all times, including while stopped.
- Keep hands and feet away from hot or moving parts.
- When turning, look over the operator’s shoulder in the direction of the turn.
- Avoid turning around or making sudden moves that might affect operation.
- If crossing an obstacle, rise off the seat keeping your feet on the foot pegs with knees slightly bent and allow legs to absorb the shock upon impact.
Operator Safety Tips:
- A passenger will affect handling due to extra weight and independent motion.
- Braking sooner with greater pressure may be necessary.
- Use extra caution in a corner.
- Allow more time and space for passing.
- Be ready to counter the effects of wind.
- Avoid extreme speeds and dramatic lean angles.
If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205. (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW).
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