Two Up Riding - Hints, Secrets, Things to do or not to do

From: "s brown Date: Mon, 02 Aug 1999 12:40:14 PDT

I am a female rider who rode many happy miles as a passenger prior to buying my first bike 10+ years ago. I still like an occasional two-up ride to dinner (get to hold tight to my guy plus I get to drink wine with dinner if I want). My comments for the fellow who asked for advice on how to be a good host for a two-up ride:

a) provide the passenger with good gear. Borrow if you have to. Make sure the helmet fits, that they are warm enough, etc.
b) discuss riding first. talk about the physics of why the bike will be leaned over, and talk about where you want their weight, eg should they hold on to you or onto a grabrail, etc. A backrest is a good thing if you are doing long miles.
c) tell passenger to always get an OK from rider prior to getting on/off the bike. agree on a slow down/stop signal.
d) go somewhere scenic for the first ride, and stop at the overlooks. pack a lunch. make one more stop for restrooms than you think you need to. point out cool stuff as you pass it. pinch her knee once in a while and ask if she's having fun. head home if she's not. if she's a good passenger, tell her so.
e)don't ride like it's a race and don't lane split. As a passenger I always feel that my kneecaps will be ripped off by the rear fender of a car. much scarier than when I'm driving. SB

__________________________________________________________________________ From: "Jeffery Harth Date: Tue, 3 Aug 1999 08:35:56 -0400

Hi there. OK, here are my $.03 worth... I think the most important thing for a new pillion rider to know is that this ride is going to be all for them. They know my intention is for them to have a really great time and for the ride to be safe.
1. I let them know clearly that I am not interested in showing off what I, or the bike, can do. That can come later if they want. They mostly have control over my speed. If I am going too fast then they put a hand over my shoulder and motion with the palm down. If I can safely slow down, I will. A thumbs down and I pull over and stop. I always carry cab fare. The same motion, palm up, I will go faster.
2. Of course, telling them where to put their feet, looking over my inside shoulder, how best to hold on, don't bang the helmets and if they do just laugh about it (they are always more important that my bike or my gear), that dropping the helmet is the one exception to the previous rule, and no you can't ride on my bike with a bikini top and shorts.

I find that putting them at ease at having some control over how I ride makes a big difference. Without exception, they always motion with the palm up after about 15 minutes. After 30 minutes I am riding my usual riding style ( 7 on a scale of 10 for aggressiveness) and they are loving it. Of the 12 people I have taken for a first time ride, 8 have gone on to get their mc liscence (all women) through the MSF program, 2 are waiting for the next course (both women), and the last 2 keep bugging me for a second ride (both women, of course). Oh, did I mention dinner, dancing, and a scenic overlook as a key part of the first ride? 8-) Jeff Harth Philly

__________________________________________________________________________ From: "Jane Loyless Date: Wed, 04 Aug 1999 11:13:26 -0400

I couldn't reach the tank on my husband's K11RS. I usually rode with my hands on his hips, and that seemed to work fine for me (I assume it worked fine for him - he never told me to do anything else). I only went to sleep once - it was a cool, sunny fall afternoon, and I had on a warm, black jacket. I drifted off just as he braked for a red light... Thank goodness there was a backrest! He yelled at me for a while, and I never did it again.

One thing I haven't seen mentioned... Besides riding within your own limits minus a few clicks, be sure to ride within you passenger's limits as well. You don't want to scare them half to death while they're back there. A scared passenger is more likely to do something that will screw up the rider. This is so true. The first time my husband took me out on his motorcycle, we just slowly rode along little back roads for about 15-30 minutes. No traffic, no sudden movements, no extreme lean angles, nothing to spook me, and just enough time riding to whet my appetite for the next ride. Took me about 6 months to decide I wanted my own bike. Jane F650ST

__________________________________________________________________________ From: "Mark Novitz Date: Wed, 04 Aug 1999 16:39:08 -0400

The ever-so lovely TLJ has been getting snippets of our two-up conversation, forwarded by me. (I've been particularly pointed about the "passenger feet ALWAYS on the pegs", which TLJ has a tendency to omit at her leg-stretching convenience.) Anyway, Janey has a few thoughts of her own that she'd like to share. Mind you, she's travelled somewhere in the vicinity of 20,000 miles on the back of my motorcycle over the last 4 years or, I'd think she knows what she's talking about... TLJ's Passenger-Side Words Of Wisdom
1. Your passenger gets "butt burn" long before you do.
2. Little gifts every seventy miles make the ride that much more enjoyable.
3. Keep your passenger well-hydrated, you don't realise how dehydrated you're getting back there, doing nothing.
4. Assure her it is all right to sleep when she gets really bored. (Corollary: Backrest is a pre-requisite for long trips.)
5. She WILL bonk the back of your head at some point, so don't be alarmed when it happens.
6. If you ever break down, lie about how long it will take to get a bike tow.
7. She doesn't wear that heavy helmet as often as you do, so frequent neck and shoulder massages are recommended if you want her to ride with you again.
8. Tell her she looks great when she has severe helmet head.
9. Try to gas up before you pick her up.
10. Break her in before you take her to her first rally. ...from Jane, the back half of Mark Novitz NYC

__________________________________________________________________________ From: "Rob Nye Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 19:23:33 -0500

A few ideas. Get her a camelbak Work out hand signals in advance. Touch me here I do this, etc. Try to convince her to wear earplugs. On the first day get her to take an Advil or aspirin before you leave. Make absolutely sure her helmet fits right. You didn't mention what she would be wearing on her feet. This is important, get her boots and convince her to wear them.

Make sure she knows how to get on and off the bike. For the long rides make sure she is involved in what is going on. Have her be prepared for stops and convince her that having you helmets bump is a BAD thing. It seems to annoy the driver much more than the passenger. Take her out in a parking lot and show her what it is like when the ABS engages. Rear brake is plenty for the purposes of this demonstration. Show her what a swerve is like.

Practice tight turns, figure eights and the like in the parking lot. This one session will build her confidence that you can handle the bike with her on it and she will not freak if you need to make quick adjustments underway. Have fun and most of all listen to her and look for signs that her fun meter is falling. HTH, Rob Nye


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