i am thinking of taking my wife out on my bike but have never carried a pillion before. how is the best way to ride? do i get her to lean with the bike or just sit ridgid. i am just as nervous as she is so any advise very welcome, cheers
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Just get her to relax mate. If you dont have brab rails, the best way for her to hold on would be one arm around your waist, and the other around you but pushing on the tank for when you brake.
Take it easy, and try using the back brake a bit more that you would normally. This helps by not compressing the forks as much when you brake, thus giving her an easier time, rather than perching her forward.
She does not need to move around much on corners, just tell her to stay behind you and follow you into the bend. Stress to her that she should not lean in the opposite direction, as this is going to make the bike want to sit up, which wouldnt be good.
....... is for her to imagine she is your rucksack. In other words, just keep her spine in the same position as yours.
Hope this helps and as Fuzzrr says, use a little more rear brake and brake earlier.
Misses on the back
Tell her not to fidget, particularly when you're coming to a halt or travelling at very low speeds. Work out some sort of non-verbal communication - such as two quick squeezes with the legs means please pull over at the next opportunity, three means STOP RIGHT NOW! If she realises that she can control things, she'll feel a heck of a hot easier.
Also point out that she's a lot more in control on the back than in the passenger seat of a car - try and lean with you, and the ride will go a heck of a lot better. Make sure she understands _not_ to lean the wrong way (to stop the bike falling over, you know) when you're banking, or you're going to have a hard time controlling it.
I'll see if I can get the misses to get writing on here - she's never really been on the back before (apart from a few blasts back in the day), so it was all new to her too. And fair play, she did a bit of reading up on it in advance, which was a very pleasant surprise!
There was a good MCN article too - I'll see if I can dig it up.
Let us know how you get on. Above all - take it really easy to start off - she won't need any impressing at all, so no red-lining it, and try to avoid using full throttle too " />
Like slow learner says...
...tell her no fidgeting when you're setting off or especially slowing down to a stop, and using both your feet to keep the bike dead level may boost confidence to start with. Talk to her, gentle reminders to sit still when about to stop. If it's a sportsbike make sure she leans forward and using pegs for support, or it'll handle like a sledge.
For a quick try out it's not so critical to bump up the preload, but the bike will steer slow and dazzle aircraft with dipped beam...
double post - deleted text
Getting on and off...
One thing I forgot to mention - tell the old lady to grab hold of _you_, instead of the bike, to lever herself on and off. One thing inexperienced passengers are terrible about, is thinking they're getting on a bus or something and yanking the bar to hoist themselves on-board.
That can pull the unwary biker horizontal, or at least give them the most unpleasant experience in avoiding it. And then the tart who's just nearly pulled you both off rolls her eyes and wonders what your problem is.
But - ehem - we're talking about the misses. If she grabs _you_ instead of the bike to haul herself onboard, things will run much more smoothly. Same with getting off. She's not going to treat _you_ like a piece of railing, hopefully, and you'll be able to react and counter the forces.
Taking mates for a spin can be amazing, if they are good bikers myself. Adding my mate Jamie to the passenger manifest seems positively odd - I sometimes have to look behind to make sure he's still there. He's so good, you can't tell he's there at all.
Another amazing thing about such a good pillion rider, I was still waiting for him to get on when he gives me two slaps on the shoulder to confirm he's ready to take off. Didn't even notice the bastard get on or off the back. He's that good.
come on guy's
I can't believe you haven't mentioned the suspension,
Don't forget to change the preload on the suspension for the extra weight / check tyre pressures too.
Tell the wife not to use the exhaust as a step, best thing is to pull against the kerb ( will lower the bike by about 6 inches) and then have her climb aboard.
When riding I found rear brake first to get the bike to squat a little and then front, stops the pillion diving forward. Keep the bike upright at slow speeds, when cornering take them steady to start with until you get used to the extra weight.
When at a stop I prefer both feet down, for stability.
Hope this helps.
Spingy bits and tyres
I mentioned suspension, and so did the MCN link.
You should check tyre pressures anyway, but your manual may well tell your to run exactly the same pressures, pillion or no pillion, mine does.
Weight on back - tyre pressure
Points on Suspension / Tyre pressure etc. above...
Doesn't that all depend on how fat the misses is?
Added note for Steve... lucky you, being able to put down both feet for stability! Kidding aside, I've found I can flat-foot it even on my gsx650f when the misses is loaded onto the back, can't do that on my own.
You're absolutely right about using the back brake more with a pillion. Heck, new guy/gal on the back? Just yank on the front brake for a last-moment rapid halt. There's nothing better than being thrown forward _and_ down at the same time in sudden stops for boosting confidence in a nervous passenger .