There are many good reasons why it is not appropriate to sit on another rider’s motorcycle, but above all, self-preservation is the ultimate reason.
This short clip from the TV series Sons of Anarchy shows why.
Reasons not to sit on another rider’s bike
You could drop the bike. It’s easy to do and a dropped bike can be expensive. In fact, it has been known that insurance companies will write off some bikes that have been dropped because they are too costly to repair.
Some modern motorcycles, such as most Harley-Davidsons have remote key fobs. If you sit on the bike without the key fob, it can set off a shrill alarm.
While every kid wants to sit on a bike, it’s not wise to allow kids to clamour all over a bike because they could burn themselves on a hot exhaust or engine. If you do ask permission and are allowed to let your kids sit on a bike for a photo, make sure they are aware of the heat of the engine and pipe.
People who sit on bikes usually like to play with the throttle. On old bikes this can cause the carbies to flood and make it difficult to start, leaving you madly kick-starting and getting hot and embarrassed.
Would you let your friends kiss your wife/husband? No. Then why would you let a complete stranger sit on your bike!
We can’t underestimate the thrill a non-rider gets from sitting on a motorcycle.
That’s why Harley-Davidson initiated its Jump Start program at festivals. It allows non riders to sit on a static bike, turn it on, let the clutch out and even change gears.
If someone asks nicely and you allow them to sit on your motorcycle, it might be advisable to sort out first who will pay for any damage.
Also, warn them to leave the controls alone.
Advise them that a big bike is very heavy and can easily be dropped. Maybe ask them leave it on the centre stand, although that doesn’t guarantee it won’t fall over, so tell them to leave both feet on the ground.
Also, make sure they don’t put their sweaty bottom on the seat. Or breathe on the shiny chrome.