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Topic: Riding Two Up - a Compendium.  (Read 88697 times)

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black hills
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« Reply #60 on: April 07, 2009, 09:40:38 pm »

Excellent!!!  I prefer to ride alone, but I do enjoy a nice ride with beautiful woman. My wife likes it to, it makes her, well, she likes it Embarassment.  One of my most memorable was when she was working in Cody a couple summers ago:

   Saturday morning dawns bright and beautiful. It will be the perfect day for a ride. The plan is for the three of us to ride the eastern side of Yellowstone, then through Cooke City and the Bear Tooth Pass to Red Lodge, MT.  Not a lot of miles, but a great ride. Shawna is very impressed with the extra cargo capacity of Jeff’s FJR, she can’t believe she can take more than what fits in the half a tank bag I allow her! We manage to stay ahead of an approaching weather system for the day, while still stopping to look at the natural beauty of the park. How much better can a day get??
   As we head up the Bear Tooth Highway I see him, approaching at a high rate of speed, his headlight growing larger by the minute. We’re stuck behind two slow moving Harleys, not knowing if we can actually see the entire road ahead to pass them safely. In an instant the approaching rider flashes by in a red blur leaving only the fading sound of a boxer twin. Shawna taps me on the shoulder and say’s “That was an old guy.”
   Immediately I get that all too familiar feeling. I don’t know if it is simply my competitive spirit or something more sinister? There is no choice, how dare he herd that Bavarian contraption past me and my technologically superior machine! I will pass him! I feel Shawna’s legs tighten on my hips as I click it down a couple gears, by this point in our relationship she knows exactly what is about to happen. It takes longer than expected but we finally catch up to the crazy old man on his BMW. I follow him for several corners waiting for the opportunity to pass. I see him checking his mirror at the exit of every turn, a little smirk on his face. I’m pushing it hard, far too close to the limit with a passenger.
   Then something happens, I begin to notice how much debris is on the road, how much his rear tire is sliding, how unforgiving the side of the road is. Suddenly I no longer feel the need to pass him, or even keep up. I roll off the throttle and return to a more reasonable pace. Jeff catches back up as Shawna makes a comment about how fast we were going, I nod in agreement.
   Before long we find our BMW rider at an overlook. He approaches with a grin and compliments us on our ability, “Pretty Damn fast for two up.”  We talk to him for a while, the mutual respect obvious in our remarks. Then we are on our way.
   Later that night while having a few beers at Sam’s Tap Room I think back to our few moments at the limit. Was it dangerous? Foolish? Crazy? Irresponsible? Illegal? Yea, I imagine it was. But for those few minutes on that mountain road Shawna and I were one, One with the road, one with the bike, and one with each other. Two bodies, a hundred and thirty five horsepower, a pair on Dunlop Qualifiers, and some wonderful asphalt all combined in perfect harmony.  I’m not sure how it all works out, but in some strange equation two riders, a passenger, two very different bikes, an ego problem and a common road somehow combine to create a moment in time where a simple rider somehow feels like a god. Well, at least it does for me.

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Zerosum
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« Reply #61 on: April 26, 2009, 02:52:14 pm »

I just took my first passenger for a ride yesterday.  I've been riding since '03, put about ~25K miles on 4 bikes.  I was never really interested in carrying a passenger, and I never had anyone who was interested in going for a ride before.  But a friend of mine has been thinking about getting a bike, so I offered.  He had never been on a motorcycle before... probably wasn't smart, but oh well.  Smile  I've read a bunch on the basics of 2-up riding, and I made sure he was ATGATT, at least.  I decided to take my V-Strom, since it has grab-bars and my VFR doesn't.  

Man, having two grown men on a V-Strom 650 takes some getting used to!  Total passenger weight was probably north of 370lbs.  Crazy  I had to max out the preload on the shock and forks, just to get the bike to handle AT ALL.  The forks were like a pogo stick at first.    It also utterly murders the Wee Strom's power output.  Good god.  No more snappy torque, and the friction point is way higher.  I really had my doubts about the whole passenger thing at first, when we first took off and did a few test-loops around the neighborhood.  The extra weight really felt alien to me, especially when he wasn't moving with me exactly.   I'm glad I didn't opt for the VFR.  I'd have had more power, but less leverage on the handlebars, which was crucial for the first few miles while I was figuring all of this out...

But, after he got the hang of shifting his weight with me, and I got used to having this giant lump with a mind of its own on board, things went pretty well.  I took him through some rural backroads north of Baltimore and did my best not to scare him while also providing a fun ride.  Aside from the 50% reduction in power, I hardly knew he was back there.  He had fun, and hopefully this whetted his appetite for getting a bike of his own one day.

I do think that if I carry anymore grown men as passengers, I'll have to take the VFR.  You just need 90+ horsepower for that, IMO.  Putting all that weight on my Wee Strom just felt too abusive to me.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2009, 03:00:53 pm by Zerosum » Logged

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« Reply #62 on: December 14, 2009, 02:48:24 am »

Nothing to it.

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« Reply #63 on: January 05, 2010, 09:10:55 pm »

ATGATT 35:12-14
"And Atgatt courted Motgatt, and took her for a wife.
And lo, he compromised with Atgmott, and verily she conceived,
and did bear a son, Notgatt. And Notgatt roamed naked,
and did bequeath his skin to the roads. And he was a wild ass and an outcast,
and was hated through all the land. And his forehead was branded, and he did become a sign and a warning to all the people."

This is sheer genius!
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black hills
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« Reply #64 on: January 08, 2010, 04:24:25 pm »


Nothing to it.




 Thumbsup
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« Reply #65 on: April 23, 2010, 04:29:35 pm »



The last time I rode a female passenger I said whoa Lady... that is not
a hand hold but don't stop squeezing...
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« Reply #66 on: July 08, 2010, 07:00:19 pm »

Somebody over on VFRD posted up asking for advice on two-up riding in the twisties, and I wrote up a reply detailing the technique my wife and I have worked out.  I thought it might make for a good addition to this thread, as well.  This is more of a "how to haul ass with an experienced pillion" post, rather then instructions for people who are new to two-up riding.  Also, this is what we have worked out that works best for us, on my bike... some of what we do might not work for other people of different sizes and abilities on different bikes.  Only experimentation and seat time will really help you figure out what works for you and your passenger.  Anyways...


The holding-on-with-her-legs thing is exaclty what my wife does while under braking or acceleration.  She also braces herself on the gas tank for braking, though she doesn't need to really hold on to me for acceleration--if done smoothly and predictably, all she should have to do is lean forward closer to you and hold on with her legs.  And yes, if you do either of these sharply, without warning, she will come piling into you and smash your balls on the tank, or feel like she's going to go toppling backwards.  Hard, aggressive accel/braking shouldn't be a problem; sharp, sudden and unexpected accel/braking is.

Taking corners at a quick pace, I hang off the bike completely normally, just as I would if by myself.  Whether she is on the back or not makes absolutely no difference to my body positioning.  She is braced against the outside of the bike with her outside leg, and her outside arm on the gas tank.  Her butt stays pretty much planted, but her inside leg swings out to give me room, and she leans way off to the inside... as with more relaxed street riding, her goal is to be looking over my inside shoulder.  This also causes her to weight the inside peg, making the bike easier to turn.  Her inside arm is completely unused... usually resting on her knee or my hip, although sometimes she tries to pick wildflowers from the inside of the turn.

It took us a while to figure out and practice how to make it work.    The first few times she was hesitant to swing her outside leg out, and I would be shoving her out of the way.  Now, I just start to shift to the inside while approaching the turn, and that slight pressure on her leg tells her which way we're turning, and to loosen her leg and swing it out.  If I'm still braking while getting into position, her outside arm wrapped around me to the gas tank is what takes the braking loads.

Also, as evidenced by Seb's video above (link), make sure that she knows to tell you if she starts touching her toes down.  That is a sign that you need to either slow down or start hanging off more.  I got lazy with my body positioning once, and her toe dragged hard enough that her foot came off the peg, and she fell forwards into me... in the middle of a hairpin turn.  We saved it, but it was a scary moment.

Outside hand braced on the tank, inside arm free
http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i147/sckego/MSRC%206-26%206-27-10/IMG_24471.jpg

http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i147/sckego/MSRC%206-26%206-27-10/IMG_24059.jpg

Butt planted in the seat, but leaning off into the turn and weighting the inside peg
http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i147/sckego/MSRC%206-26%206-27-10/IMG_24534.jpg

No matter how far I'm hanging off... she's still looking over my inside shoulder.
http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i147/sckego/MSRC%206-26%206-27-10/IMG_24305.jpg
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« Reply #67 on: November 22, 2010, 09:39:09 am »

this is a valuable thread you got going there bmw-k...

and for the 2up photos connick... yeeeeeehaaaaaaaa...

i have found that rider to passenger intercom is a vital component of 2up riding... perhaps not convenient if barbie wants a thrill... butt essential for a frequent passenger... im thinking communicating what the rider is seeing n doing n why engages the passenger and its easier to spot donkeys...

j o
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« Reply #68 on: November 22, 2010, 01:50:09 pm »

This is an excellent thread. I'll take some hints from it for many future two-up rides with HipGnosis, but I have to agree with this comment the most  "Between riding my own bike, and riding as a pillion, I'll take pillion almost any day."  Inlove

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« Reply #69 on: November 23, 2010, 02:14:55 am »

On the subject of communication, it's a good idea to have a signal that means "bump coming up."  That alerts the pillion to be ready to lift her weight off the seat as the rider does.  A tap on her thigh is our signal.
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« Reply #70 on: January 16, 2011, 11:09:30 pm »


On the subject of communication, it's a good idea to have a signal that means "bump coming up."  That alerts the pillion to be ready to lift her weight off the seat as the rider does.  A tap on her thigh is our signal.


Hello All,

I don't often post back on this thread, so I really want to thank all those who have added comments and suggestions.  There are hundreds of thousands of collective experience in here that are worth drawing on and all the points are appreciated.

Yeppers!  The question of "communication at speed" is certainly one worth a lot of, err, well, talking about.   Lol

Communication goes two ways:  Pilot to Pillion and Pillion to Pilot.  It's critical that both riders understand each other and what each non-verbal communicae mean.  The best way to do this is to review the language well before you ride together.

Admittedly, comm. equipment have made this process much easier, but there are times that you just can't reach up and spend the couple seconds to press that big knob on the Sena and start talking.  

Here are some of my wife's and my communications.

Pilot to Pillion
1.  Tap her left knee, pulling it in close to me:  "get ready, squeeze me and hang on".
2.  Rub the back of her calf:  "Love you Dear" or, more commonly "are you ok?" after a rather nasty bump.  
3.  The ever popular,  Thumbsup Thumbsdown

Pillion to Pilot
1.  Double knee squeeze (squeeze my legs/butt):  "I'm ok" or "I'm having fun"
2.  Navigation commands:  Tap once/twice on inside right bicep - "Get over right, turn coming up".  
3.  Tap inside right bicep repeatedly - "Take this exit".  Side note, this works great to signify a potty break, etc.  Can be used to get you to pull over for a gear adjustment, etc.
4.  Repeated slaps to the back of the helmet "You're going too fast and you're scaring me!"  /sigh...


You get the idea!  Make up some language signs - keep the pillion engaged, and above all, have fun!






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"And Atgatt courted Motgatt, and took her for a wife.
And lo, he compromised with Atgmott, and verily she conceived, and did bear a son, Notgatt. And Notgatt roamed naked, 
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« Reply #71 on: February 07, 2011, 10:40:53 pm »

As a newbie this is a great resource. I will definitely keep these points in mind for future 2 ups. Awesome job!  Thumbsup
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« Reply #72 on: May 30, 2011, 07:21:14 pm »

Amazing read!  I've never had a pillion but a STn search brought me here, and I'm glad it did.  Thx for the advice...my pillion is being forwarded this topic right meow  Bigsmile
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« Reply #73 on: July 28, 2013, 04:37:37 pm »


As a newbie this is a great resource. I will definitely keep these points in mind for future 2 ups. Awesome job!  Thumbsup


For sure!
My wife and I were just discussing working out some signs for when we're riding.  She was yelling at me she wanted to pee for about 20 mins before she finally started tapping my arm non-stop so I could pull over.

I explained I can't hear much when cruising at 60+ ; these signals are great ideas.  We plan to incorporate them into our riding.
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« Reply #74 on: July 28, 2013, 06:09:29 pm »

 I find it curious that GTSrider has not chimed in here. He's faster 2-up than many are solo.

 I've done a bit of 2-up riding with a few different pillions. viffergyrl is a good pillion. She knows what to do, and when. My son (13 6' 190!) can tend to be a bit squirrely at times. I have to remind him not to shift his weight at the wrong time, and pay attention. I almost dumped him off the back of the VFR once passing traffic when he was daydreaming. Communication is important.

 It's also important to understand how the extra weight affects your suspension, and braking. Most bikes (even tourers) are undersprung/overdamped in stock form. The additional weight of a pillion can make some bikes downright dangerous in mid-corner bumps i.e. touching down hard parts, and suspension bottoming/packing. That is your signal to back off. Interestingly I've had more problems with the RT touching down than the VFR.

http://i598.photobucket.com/albums/tt70/MBrane/_DSC7125-Edit.jpg

http://i598.photobucket.com/albums/tt70/MBrane/RTPalomarFull.jpg
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« Reply #75 on: December 26, 2013, 09:00:09 pm »

All this makes me think of something I saw one time while I was stranded beside an interstate with a locked-up two cycle, somewhere back in the 1960s.  A Goldwing went by, he operating and she riding pillion.  He was sort of hunched over.   His posture somehow suggested misery -- I don't know how, it just did.  She was a very tall, skinny women.  The Interstate was flat and straight for a long distance there.  As they passed me she was jesticulating broadly with both hands, elbows in the wind, hands all aflutter.  On they went; on she went.  As they grew too small to see any more, she was still at it.

"Poor b-----d,' I thought . . . .
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« Reply #76 on: December 30, 2013, 02:25:24 pm »

Gotta find time to read this whole thing. My wife and I have ridden about 50k miles together, but we're still both learning.
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« Reply #77 on: December 30, 2013, 02:32:04 pm »


somewhere back in the 1960s.  A Goldwing went by,


 Musta been some good drugs. The Goldwing was introduced in 1975.
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« Reply #78 on: June 23, 2016, 10:14:25 pm »

This was wrote long ago, but is still valuable information. Thank you for the share. Thumbsup
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