One of the things in that book that really jumped out at me was the riders with LESS than six months experience were SIGNIFICANTLY less dangerous with riders with more than six months, but less than (I think) two years experience. Basically, don't get overconfident. Learn new things, push yourself a little, improve your skills. BUT, don't push yourself into dangerous situations, and keep that head on a swivel! I firmly believe that the reason for that statistic is that 6-24 month riders are confident in their abilities, and thus are no longer looking for extra stopping distance and watching side streets like a hawk (when they were less confident in their braking and such). Remember your very first time on a public road? BUT, those riders have not yet had a 'pucker' moment to remind them that, even though they've started to hone their skills, they STILL have to keep their head on a swivel! Better to slow down and yield to a driver who you can tell isn't going to stop (because you were looking for such a thing), than to have to practice your maximum-effort stop with a couple tons of steel stuck in the road in front of you!
And Scott, I gotcha beat! I too have been riding for a year, but I put 15,000 on my bike this year
That is probably a good idea, got to know how to handle it by your self before you add another on it. Also if they are interested in riding with you (I have my wife the same speech) tell them to sit against the sissy bar and move with it. I am driving this bike and I do not need your help in doing so, so do lean for or against me. Keep your feet on the peg and your butt still. If you need to move ya butt or feet let me know first and I will tell you when it is ok. After a while you will be in tune with each other and it will become easier. Just don't make the passenger uneasy or tense you will be able to tell in the handling of the bike.
I take my 4 year old up the road and back but its just literally up a 1 lane dead end county back road and I am the next to last house on it.
+1. I AM a newbie (though I have more miles than some 10 year veterans I've known!), but I still firmly believe that if you cannot control the bike unless your passenger leans a certain way, or you won't be able to negotiate a curve if a passenger goofs and leans their body or shifts in their seat, then you do not have enough control of the bike to handle a passenger yet. I give the same speech to my passengers, but in the event that they screw up, it's still MY machine to control, and because I've practiced counter-steering techniques and I lean the bike with the bars, not manhandle it with my weight, I can easily overcome the weight of a mis-placed passenger. Once my wife was on the back and we went around a corner, and for some reason her foot slipped on the peg and she got scared and 'instinctively' leaned the opposite direction. I wasn't happy about that and told her so, but I was able to press harder on the bars and keep the bike going where I needed it to. The fact is, passengers can, will, and do make mistakes. If you are relying on them for your safety, and if you have to have them do something in order to remain in control of the bike (yes, I recognize certain things make it safer and easier, but they do screw up sometimes!) then you aren't in control enough for a passenger yet!