Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

New Riders Pillioning

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by HeavyNinja, Oct 8, 2016.

  1. Right so I won't profess to be expert, I remember some here berating me for pillioning my daughter the day I got my license, but I was confident in my ability and never once felt unsafe in what I was doing, plus my daughter acted like she had been on a bike forever. We are 6mnths in and I pillion my daughter and my partner all the time. Not once ever come close to grief or felt unsafe.

    Today I witnessed a guy on a 300 with his mrs on the back. His mrs was wearing leggings and sandles which meh their life. However I then witnessed his riding ability or lack there of, he cut through a carpark to avoid a roundabout, he was jerky in first, he pulled out of carpark at about 5kph wobbling about. Now I know we all gotta learn, but if your clearly not capable or confident then don't put your mrs at risk. Even worse at leadt make sure she is geared up incase the worst happens.

    Again I do not profess to be an expert, I am only 6mnths into my license, but I have pillioned since day dot and have pillioned at least 1500km now both adukts and kids. So I guess I feel confident enough to say if your not confident then don't do it.

  2. It wouldn't be the first time a learner rider took off their plates and put someone on the back without understanding that the weight, and load position, of a pillion changes the way the bike behaves in most situations and especially when things go pear shaped. Your centre of gravity changes, your brakes are less effective, you accelerate slower, you use up more of your available traction in turns, your steering geometry and travel changes (if you can't adjust the suspension to suit) ... it might as well be a lower, heavier bike with shittier performance, tyres, suspension, and brakes. PLUS you have taken someone's life and wellbeing in your hands and are trusting them to your risk management and anticipation skills on top of your bike control skills (that have effectively been learned on a different bike).
    I've had a passenger on and off since I started riding, including before I realised I shouldn't have had a passenger. Were I not wary by nature, and more so when riding two up, there's been a dozen or more times I could have been a widower by now if I'd ridden carelessly, or even taken the chances I usually get away with when riding solo.

  3. Yep. Riding with the added weight of a pillion and extra luggage basically turns my bike into a Harley... :p

    But being serious, I'm MUCH more careful when taking a pillion. All the gear and leave loads of extra braking room. Smooth as possible with braking and gear changes. No dragging pegs around corners! Their life is quite literally in your hands.
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Like you HeavyNinja a large chunk of my riding is 2up, so much so my partner has chosen my next bike and absolutely ripped into the salesrep at my local dealer for suggesting I needed a S1000RR :p
    See it all the time, some I suspect are learners judging by what and how they ride due to being a lams bike or a GSXR750 with chicken strips that even the kernel would approve of....Almost all the time the pillion is wearing no or little gear.
    I put the blame on both the rider and the pillion for putting themselves in such as situation when they know their safety is compromised. For the most part I avoid meddling with natural selection but have an open invitation for taking a partner of a new rider if they want to see him stack.

    Experience is one part of taking a pillion, if your going to make a stupid mistake don't kill your buddy. The heavier you are, especially on a smaller bike which you would be quickly approaching its maximum weight your lean angles are greatly reduced before you start bottoming out, braking is longer and general responsiveness of the bike is sloppier.
    The biggest factor I stress to people is the seat, don't expect your partner to sit on a seat the size of your hand which was sprayed on with a can. An unhappy pillion ruins both of your days.

    On more then one occasion I have acquired a pillion on a group ride, funniest was when I could see the wife of the friend beside me eyeing either my seat or my sexy behind as we were going to the freeway . Another time riding with a different group the rider thought it was a bright idea to pull a wheelie which went down like a lead balloon with her getting off at the next set of traffic lights.
    • Funny Funny x 2
  5. Do any of the ride day organisers still do pillion sessions at track days?

    It was quite a few years back, I still had my Honda Hornet 600, and I went out to Eastern Creek.

    I was there quite early and grabbed an empty garage.

    Arrives this small young bloke....did I mind him sharing "my" garage. No worries!

    We got chatting and it was his first track day.

    As I was running in the slow group, the first session I got him to follow me round for a couple of laps, just to show him where the track went.

    All well and good, but, at lunch time, the voice on the PA announced there would be a pillion session, and this young kid asked me if I'd take him round on the back of my bike.

    Since he was a lot smaller and lighter than me, I said OK, and off we went.

    Now, with a complete stranger on the back, I wasn't out to become a local hero, and concentrated on being neat and precise about my line round the track.

    Down the main straight, at maybe 160 or less, a bike blasts past me at warp speed........ the late Alan Hales, complete with his wife Adele on the back.

    It was stunning to watch Alan pitching the bike into Turn 1, hanging off the side, scraping the knee at maybe 170 or 180, with Adele apparently painted onto his back.
    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Yeah I took a virgin pillion out yesterday. Rigged her out in PSYKCPSYKC 's spare full leathers, boots, gloves and lid. She loved it, I think we have a convert.
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  7. You mean like this....

    • Like Like x 2
    • Funny Funny x 1
  8. Had a knobend tailgating me about that close the other day. Fuq I hate tailgaters!
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  9. I think I am lucky. My daughter obviously weighs stuff all and moves with the bike so I can ride like no one is there (to a point). My mrs is the same and we have been through corners low and the bike doesn't react any different or feel any heavier than if she were not there. I think having a pillion who does exactly as they are meant to is also key.

    There is two times my mrs been in trouble, once on 15 degree incline at a stop sign, she decided her ass was not comfy so wriggled and I very nearly dropped the bike as her weight shift lifted my foot off the ground and started to tip bike opposite way. Another time she did it while riding. It is hard and uncomfortable to sit on a tiny little seat.
  10. Mate that close to you is not a tailgater, it's a tailgunner!
  11. Yeah I'm quite lucky (?) that the combined weight of my wife and I is less than some people weigh themselves. Still it's very noticeable the difference in handling, braking and accelerating that occurs on my bike which isn't all that powerful to begin with. Plus any added movement from the pillion upsetting the balance.

    I've also found having a Bluetooth communication unit a real pillion riding game changer.
  12. Yup.

    When my wife drove me to the bike shop to collect my new (then) Triumph Street Triple, she looked at the pillion seat, laughed, and told me "no way".

    I have to admit, it did look like it was only suitable for a fit and bendy 12-year old schoolgirl.

    So, being reasonable, I took that as a mandate to buy a wife-carrying bike as well. :)

    That was how I got the BMW R850R with its generous pillion seat and room for legs and knees and stuff.

    Funnily enough, I still have the Beemer, but have sold the Striple a while back.
  13. I'll stick my hand up here and confess that if I haven't pillioned someone for a while (think months) then the first couple of k's can be a bit 'wobbly' until I get used to it again. Then I have to remember that they are there - she who must be obeyed reminds me quite forcefully if I go too far.....
  14. Meh, pretty sure I recall heading straight over to the girlfriends house on the day i got my first bike, and racking up a couple of hours 2 up.
    • Funny Funny x 1
  15. ^^^ wow that sounded sexual when I read my own post
    • Funny Funny x 1
  16. Not a new rider but I've never had much call to do any pillioning. Managed to coax Mrs FB onto the pillion seat a few weeks ago for the first time. She's 45 kg wringing wet with all the gear on and doesn't make a big difference. Had a very pleasant little cruise down to Long Jetty for lunch and back. Must be the first time since I did my driving test thirty years ago, that I have actually observed the speed limit the whole trip. When I got the VFR she was adamant that she wouldn't be pillioning. It was one of the reasons I didn't get the GSX1250FA, didn't need the extra capacity for two up touring. So far so good though. The last pillion I carried was my ex wife's father, who weighed about 130 kg, that made a very noticeable difference to the handling of my XT250 !!
    • Funny Funny x 1
  17. At 130Kg he'd be near the capacity of that bike on his own! Ouch!
  18. I ride with my wife pillion a lot. My air cooled Multistrada has been set up for it suspension wise. She is a really experienced pillion. we have ridden together all over Europe and Oz. In the twisty stuff she knows what I'm about to do by reading my body language and prepares herself for when we are going to chase down a solo sport bikeo_O She knows how to lean and position herself. The old multi handles superbly 2 up and all that torque makes it lots of fun. She has really good gear too which is really importasnt for a pillion. I'm lucky in that she likes corners. We are riding down to the island for the gp, via the coast over 2 days and we are both really looking forward to it. Luckily I have the Superlight for solo duties!

    But my advice if you are new to it is crank your rear preload up, take it easy and give yourself plenty of space. Keep it as smooth as possible, clutchless upshifts help with this and dont scare the crap out of your pillion otherwise she will never ride with you again! Wait until she is comfortable and tells you to go faster. The stop go stuff, commuting and straight line highway stuff can be just as boring for a pillion. Find some corners, keep it smooth and before you know it your partner will be hassling you to ride as much as you want to.
    • Like Like x 2