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Can you Ride with a Pet on your Motorcycle?

By General Posts

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.

Passenger Preparation:

  • 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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