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Can I ride with my pet on a motorcycle?

Follow these instructions before you take your pet on a ride.

Can I ride with my pet on a motorcycle?

Many pet owners are inseparable from their best friends. They want to be able to take their pets anywhere at any time. 

If you're one of these people, and you also own a motorcycle, it may have crossed your mind whether or not you can take your pet out for a ride. Rest assured, there are ways to make this possible, but you have to take extra steps to make it so.

Secure your pet before taking it on a ride

Dog sidecar

You can't just put your pet on the back of your bike and expect it to stay put. No, riding on a motorcycle can be a terrifying experience for animals, especially if it's their first time. Not all pets can be taken on a bike, either. Rodents, cats, and small to medium dogs are perfect candidates for a motorcycle ride, but you need a way to secure them.

There are pet carriers that you can purchase to make riding with your pet possible. Many models attach to the rear mount where a top box would usually sit. These are secure containers that prevent a pet from moving around when the bike is in motion. 

No worries, though, as these types of carriers come with cut-outs so your pet can breathe and even see you ride. If you go this route, consider getting your furry friend a pair of goggles if that's something it would be comfortable wearing.

Dog sidecar

Sidecars are another option, but they come with a host of additional steps. First, you have to have a bike that's powerful enough to take the sidecar. An engine below 800cc could be too weak and may not be sufficient to handle the added weight. Low-displacement scooters and commuter motorcycles can't get the job done. Ideally, a high-powered touring bike like the Harley-Davidson Road King would be the most capable of taking a sidecar.

Of course, most sidecars would have to be bolted onto a motorcycle, so you may have to go to a professional to do this. You may also have to purchase specialized tires or risk wearing out your current rubber pretty fast. Nonetheless, if riding with your pet matters to you that much, then these extra steps should not be much of a problem.

What to do if you can't secure your pet on a motorcycle

Dog sidecar

If you don't own a carrier or sidecar or if your dog is too large to fit on a bike, then there's not much else you can do. What you should do instead is find alternative means of transportation.

Dogs and cats, in particular, would feel much more comfortable riding on four wheels. The safety that a car's enclosed space provides is invaluable for pets. If you don't own a car, see if you can rent or borrow one.

You could also take a cab or call a car with your phone. Whatever you do, make the responsible decision and avoid exposing your pet to unnecessary risk.


Riding with your pet on a motorcycle is doable if, and only if, you put the necessary safety precautions in place. Never ride with a pet without a carrier or sidecar. Remember, there's another life at risk, and your pet deserves the same level of safety that you would give another human.

Going for a ride with your cat or dog can be an enjoyable experience, as long as you're a responsible motorcyclist. Follow our advice and take extra precautionary measures, so you and your pet can make memories you won't soon forget.

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