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2up riding rules - for pillion and rider


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Thinking about doing some 2up riding with my new[to me lmao.gif] girlfriend and wanted some pointers on what she should/shouldn't do and what I should do/expect to happen.


Last time she was on a bike, she said she screamed all the way down the street dopeslap.gif So we will see what happens with a quick spin at first.


[Remember, she will probably read this - so be kind wave.gif]



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Shower grin.gif, OK jes kiddin.

Riding gear will make both of you more comfortable.

Plenty of discounted stuff out there that is excellent, just left over from the past season.

Practice the small stuff.

Stopping, getting your feet (yes feet) down so you have no balance issues. You can work on one footing it as you progress. Be sure to get in 1st before complete stop and be prepared if the road requires rear brake to do so.

Once stopped you can switch brakes from hand to foot just watch your balance points and impress on her that she doesn't need to HELP.

She needs to learn to sit quietly (body) and communicate if she is going to move.

She needs to learn to NOT move when you are entering an intersection, particularly if you are turning.

Once underway, practice braking. Use hand signals to indicate when. She should try to maintain foot pressue and put her hands where you indicate or keep them on grab bars.

She needs a lesson (off the bike) in steering/counter steering and an explanation of why and how you will be controlling the bike.

Her part in the process should be explained. At first, sit, look over your shoulder when you turn.

DO NOT try to HELP.

DO NOT lean away from turn.

Eventually she can participate more by leaning with you.

Beth will now add pressure to a footpeg, or with a knee, or shift body when we turn. I use the intercom to communicate if I want her to do so.

An intercom would be a good investment.

Make the first rides about riding safely, and her.

Make the first destinations someplace she will enjoy going to, and not too far.

Food and window shopping are good choices. smirk.gif

Eventuallay longer rides to and from destinations can happen by picking a destination farther away, or varying the route.

Do not try and impress her on the bike.

Do not try and impress her on the bike.

Getting where you want to go and returning safely will make the best impression. thumbsup.gif

Find another couple to ride with on occasion. Girl talk and all that.

Make the experience one she looks forward to.

Best wishes. wave.gif


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The only thing I'd like to add to that is a lesson on how to get a passenger on and off the bike. It's not really apparent to someone new at being a passenger. I usually stand beside the bike and MOCK these simple instructions to them, so they know exactly how to do it.

The technique I use is

> Best to move the bike where a level passenger get-on is most easily accomplished.

> I pick a good "get-on" spot before I let my passenger on. They may have to walk a few feet till I'm satisfied of the location.

> Once satisfied with your get-on location, sit or stand with both feet planted firmly on the ground while on your bike. Lock the brakes, or if the bike is off, put in gear.

> Then I have them put their left hand on my left shoulder, then their left foot on the left passenger peg, and stand up on it (heres where you gotta hold the bike real steady)

> then they throw the right leg over and sit down,

> once they find the sweet spot sitting i make them tap me with both hands, or tap me on the head 2 times to let me know they are settled and ready to go.

> I start the bike and away we go. SLOWLY.

>> Getting off (no snickering) is the reverse of this, but very important is your place where you choose to do it. Choose your get on and get off spots carefuly. Not any old place will do (at first anyway)



oh, and forgive me for stating the obvious if I've done so, but it really is my specialty. lmao.gif

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Can't overstress enough the prior planning for getting on and getting off. I had no idea how lucky I was that with my short legs on an RT that my then girlfriend now wife could throw her right leg over the top case and all the way over the other side of the bike (1" taller than me and pretty flexible) and didn't mount the bike like a horse. I had other passengers eventually who had to stand on left peg and step over and when I was new to having a passenger we would have probably ended up on the ground.

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Thinking about doing some 2up riding with my new[to me lmao.gif] girlfriend and wanted some pointers on what she should/shouldn't do and what I should do/expect to happen.


Last time she was on a bike, she said she screamed all the way down the street dopeslap.gif So we will see what happens with a quick spin at first.


[Remember, she will probably read this - so be kind wave.gif]




All good points made by others, but I believe they can all be boiled down to "communication..."


To have a successful two up experience, communication is the utmost objective. You should talk about the ride; how to get on/off, where to put hands, feet, etc....the first rides should be gentle ones. Go short distances and acclimate your partner to riding. Remember, communication engenders trust, and trust may mean more two up riding!


Also, please remember your passenger has no control over their own fate, so ride accordingly. thumbsup.gif


Have Fun!


Steve and Jennifer "The Lovely Flame" (who has nearly 70,000 miles pillion experience with me) clap.gif

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oh, and forgive me for stating the obvious if I've done so, but it really is my specialty.

Nothing obvious to me - That is why I asked the question. dopeslap.gif


Liked all the suggestions so far [from everyone]thumbsup.gif


Little worried about the height of the Tiger, so I am borrowing my friends 2-up-Friendly-Tiger that is already lowered and has a trunk.


Hopefully, she will enjoy the experience.


Biggest suggestions I've made so far is no tickling ooo.gif


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B-Man you sound like a man in love grin.gif let me be the first to offer best wishes to a long, happy and cozy two-up riding experience. remember protection at all times, be safe and start looking for a used LT. lmao.gif

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I'll add a few things on what you should expect. Depending what gear she's wearing she may slide into you when braking--not a hazard as much as a nuisance (for both of you), the added weight of a passenger will lower your bike quite a bit and soften the ride, and expect some helmet bumping. Enjoy the ride. Two-up riding can be a blast. wave.gif

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Use audible communication when mounting and dismounting.


Tell her: "Ready to mount"

She responds: "I'm mounting now"


Tell her: "o.k. to dismount"

She responds: "I'm dismounting now"

Or phrases similar, very much like pilots and co-pilots repeat commands and answers.


Don't use "Uh_huh" and Nuh-uh" crazy.gif


Use clear and concise statements.


Teach her to look over the shoulder you are turning towards (right turn=look over right shoulder).


Autocoms or similar communication devices are also a great help. You can hear her screams easier tongue.gif

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The other responders have given all very good advice. Just two things from me.


First, my wife is a little short in the straddle, so she is most comfortable getting on and off the high side of the bike. She goes to the side of the bike where the ground is closest to the seat. I stand the bike up (side stand still deployed) and plant both feet on the ground and tell her when I'm ready. She then grabs my upper arm firmly and uses it to help her mount the pax peg. She stands on the peg (floorboard on the LT) and steps over the seat and settles in. For the dismount, she taps my arm (we have an intercom, which is invaluable to us but is off when the ignition is off)on the side she intends to dismount from, and when I'm planted for the dismount, I tell her I'm ready and she again holds my upper arm while she stands and swings her leg over to the side she'd leaving from. This procedure is not too bad, and she's much more comfortable than when I had her always mount from the left, like it was a horse.


Second, here the MSF advanced rider course will let you bring your riding buddy and take the passenger course for free when you sign up for the AR course. We'll be going this summer for sure!


Most of all, be happy your S/O is willing to ride; it took my 23 years to get mine back into the mood again.

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Ok, a little off topic but I have to ask. Would she be better off on her own bike?


My wife and I have developed this theory. We are both comfortable riding on our own, and both terrified when riding pillion, in fact we just don't do it. This is not to say we think it is dangerous, we don't. It is that it seems dangerous: Lack of control, lack of vision, having to react to acceleration, deceleration, and turns after the fact, the feeling that you could slide off the back.


So here is our theory: The reason so many significant others are afraid of bikes is because their first, and maybe last experiences are riding pillion. They've never ridden on their own. Any thoughts on this theory?


Our advice: If you want to ride together, get her in the MSF basic rider course with no further commitments to be discussed until she is through.

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First, find out why she "screamed all the way down the street" on her first ride. If her first experience was due so someone riding very aggressively, assure her that won't happen with you.


I am presuming she wants to do this, but be sensitive to the fact that there is a big difference between her willingness and her readiness. Get her through both stages by talking with her first. Eventually, you might even get her to the eagerness stage. There are few things more rewarding than a nice ride with a loved one - the shared experience is awesome. So, I agree that pre-communication is key to her enjoyment. Have fun!

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Make her as comfortable as possible - it will allow her to trust you and the bike, and increase the pleasure of taking trips together.


My wife had never been on a bike until we met. At first I went out of my way to be slow, cautious and nonabrupt (word?) regarding maneuvering; avoided highways and congested areas, and never, ever made a sketchy move in traffic. After her initial apprehensions subsided, she began asking to take the bike on trips. Nothing better from my perspective!


As someone stated above - get a backrest for her. That is paramount for someone who has not cycle savvy. Either a topcase or a stand-alone backrest is good. Good luck and be safe. thumbsup.gif

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WEll ride didn't happen frown.gif She's getting used to a new diabetis medicine and she was up most of the night and never made my 8,8:30,8:45, and 9am wake upcalls. tongue.gif Its starting to get hot again, so I wanted her to be comfortable.


[she works at nights, so I know it can difficult to get up when her body tells her to sleep in tongue.gif]


Used the day to get help with my new tank bag for my Tiger - tried every comination concievible - but upside down was the best dopeslap.gif Very happy with the new placement thumbsup.gif


She called about noonish and we went out for lupper confused.gif [well if brunch is breakfast & lunch what else do call the time between lunch and supper dopeslap.gif]


My friend agreed to let me use his Tiger anytime, but may use his '80s Suzuki GS850 standard first, so I can get my legs first before using his Y2K+2 Tiger thumbsup.gif


Thanks to all for the great advice. Doubt there will be a 2nd bike purchase, as both our budgets are pretty streached bncry.gif Good idea though.


Will let you know what happens wave.gif

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Just want to throw one more thing out there. I did all the other stuff with my wife about vocalizing the getting on and off and how to handle turns yet completely overlooked this one simple thing. As she will be getting off before you make sure she doesn't set her helmet on her seat setting up a perfect place kick when you dismount. dopeslap.gif A swift heel to the helmet and the resulting 5 yard punt and 3 foot drop do wonders for a helmet!!

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