Don’t ever sit on another rider’s bike

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.Kids children Don’t ever sit on another rider’s bike Jump Start
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

 Don’t ever sit on another rider’s bike Jump Start
Jump Start rookie gets a thrill

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.

In fact, don’t even look at it!


  1. i find most people are good even to the point of asking permission before
    photographing either the bike or myself. But you always seem to have
    a few who know no boundries. If I was to hop into their car and start fiddling with
    everything in sight .i am sure they would quickly call the police. And just because
    i may resemble a kindly old grandfather figure does’nt mean i want their snotty
    sticky fingered brats wiping themselves all over my motorcycle anymore than they would like me to take a piss in their car…..Ask

  2. I let kids sit on my bikes because I believe they need the freedom to explore and experience the universe. They don’t need people saying “No” to everything they want to do (which unfortunately is something we as adults now have to endure since the nanny state mentality has become so prevalent). But, only when I am standing right there to make sure that the bike doesn’t fall over, and I always explain to them, “Never climb on a motorbike unless and adult is there. It could fall over and break your leg.”

  3. Funny article, I can relate, but the one thing I will do is to let kids sit on my bike as long as their parents or teachers are around to lift them on and off AND they listen to my instructions to avoid the hot exhaust and don’t play with the instruments.

    If someone wanted to sit on my bike I would probably let them but it would depend on why, for example a rider considering buying the same bike, then yes, a non-rider…, in fact, hell no. In the 15 months I have had my current bike I have only allowed one friend to ride my machine as I think he is a better rider then me anyway.

  4. I let anyone who wants to sit on my bike. Always have. Figure they’ll spot bikes on the road if they or their kids get a thrill out of it

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