This is going to sound obvious -- but first and foremost, the operator of the motorcycle should be licensed and properly trained. (And has AT LEAST a year or two of experience.) I an attorney who specializes in motorcycle accidents, and I am still surprised at how many people get onto the bikes of people who have had their license for less than six months, or worse yet, don have a license at all. Just because some guy knows how to WORK a motorcycle, doesn mean he knows how to RIDE a motorcycle. Riding a motorcycle takes years to really master. And I not talking about riding on a track or in a parking lot -- I talking about dealing with a-holes who pull out in front of you, or turn left in front of you, etc. Riding with a passenger is FAR HARDER. The bike stops slower, responds slower, etc. Ditto everything Jim said. But first and foremost, for a passenger to be safe(r) on a bike, the rider needs to be experienced. If you as the rider really want to protect your passenger, Jim Murphy list is an excellent place to look. I would just like to expand on his his final point. The passenger can have a dramatic effect on the rider control - especially a nervous or inexperienced passenger. I would advise that until the rider is used to the passenger, and vice versa, keep out of heavy traffic areas and keep off high speed stretches like highways and freeways. Take several rides together on well known safer roads, and the driver must take special care to guide the passenger - especially an inexperienced one - in how to handle themselves. Slowly build up confidence in each other. Only when you are working well together should you start venturing into traffic and speed. Here is a volatile mix. A new motorcycle, an inexperienced rider and a first time passenger. Personally although I been riding for just under 50 years, whenever I get a new bike, I ride solo for at least three months, and get to know the idiosyncrasies of my new mount, before I start thinking about passengers.