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Thread: Advice to a Potential New Pillion

  1. #1
    Stronger, Faster, Tougher iRene's Avatar
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    Advice to a Potential New Pillion

    A twentysomething friend at work hit me with a tough question.
    She is VERY valuable to me as the person who covers my three-week long July
    vacation to attend west-coast MOA nationals, you see. Her sweetie has suddenly
    announced that he wants to buy a YamaKawaZuki and learn to ride.
    She says he DOES plan to take the beginner MSF course, and her question to me is
    how long should she wait before she rides two-up with him?
    I hedged that he probably could not have a passenger while still on learner's permit,
    and perhaps not for the first year of full license (Any Mainers know the law on this?)
    I also explained the relative danger of riders new to the sport as well as experienced
    riders new to a specific machine (therefore making newbies an instant double whammy)
    let alone the additional unfamiliarity and physics of taking a pillion for the first times...
    anyway, I advised her not to be in a hurry, and even suggested she might take the
    MSF beginner's course as well. Her parents ride a trike, and she does have access to
    protective gear.


    Hey, all you experienced two-up riders-- could you offer any advice or insight?
    MOA Ambassador
    Sled Dog Touring Team | RSMaine | MOVermont
    '08 R1200GS | '60 R60

  2. #2
    karasek
    Guest
    Your right on about recommending your friend to take the MSF course with her sweetie. That way she knows just as much as he does from the beginning at least.

    I think waiting a year is a little extreme, but certainly not bad advice. Maybe not a choice in some states.

    When I started riding with a passenger it was in a parking lot to practice the slow stuff and get my passenger use to the bike. Also practiced some of the same drills as we did in MSF, just two-up. Then after that it was around a local park when not much traffic was expected. We would meet at the park, not ride down together. After about two or three meetings like such, we hit the roads.

    Personally, I could never be a pillion rider, and I'm amazed that my wife puts that much trust in me. Please don't take that as I'm a bad rider, riding a motorcycle to me is serious business because your so vulnerable and unstable, as they teach you in MSF class.

    A great thing about your pillion taking the MSF course is they have a good idea of whats going through your head while your riding. My wife was a good help to me by acting as a second set of eyes and ears for me, especially when I was first learning; and I'm always learning. Now a days she doesn't say much, I'm guessing that's because she's confident I have a good grasp on things.

  3. #3
    ian408
    Guest

    Re: Advice to a Potential New Pillion

    Originally posted by iRene
    Hey, all you experienced two-up riders-- could you offer any advice or insight?
    Why not suggest that after the class, they look at two bikes?

    As to how long after getting a license she should wait? Don't
    know. How well does the pilot ride?

    While riding on a permit, at least in California, you cannot
    carry a passenger.

    Ian

  4. #4
    GIZMO
    Guest
    Very good idea to take MSF. As far has how long before riding two-up, that is really an individual thing involving developing skill and comfort level. It could take a year, but I would suggest that is a rather long learning curve. I would also submit that rather than go by time ie. weeks, months a year go by mileage. I feel mileage is a more important and valuable parameter. I would say that they ought to wait until he at least gets 2500 to 3000 miles under his belt. After that point he needs to determine his comfort level with the motorcycle, ability to turn and stop quickly and start and stop on hills effectively. He might also consider after a few hundred miles of riding, packing a bag and increasing the wait to get some feel of handeling extra weight. When he takes the MSF course, perhaps the instructors might share some added light on this question. Worth asking.

  5. #5
    ABC,AMA(LIFE),MOA,RA,IBMW MANICMECHANIC's Avatar
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    Does anybody else remember, in the last "few" years, that there was a group that offered a course just for 2-up riding?

    Also a couple years ago I was taking the beginner's course (I do that periodically as a refresher) along with my step-daughter. She was of the opinion that the range was too small for real-world use. So coming back from lunch on the K11LT we proceeded to the range before class, and ran the entire sequence 2-up on the LT. She changed her opinion.

    The passenger taking the course is a great idea, as the passenger is also part of the handling of the bike. A little knowledge is a good thing.
    F.O.G.Rider, Rounder #6,
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  6. #6
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    CLASS offers a two up school. Tina and I ride together pretty well, but it would be interesting to really hone our co-riding skills on a race track.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  7. #7
    Motorad motorad's Avatar
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    There is no law that I am aware of in the state of Maine regarding a licensed rider taking a passenger for a ride. All though they must wear helmets by law for the first year. I like the idea of taking the MSF course with the boyfriend so that she knows what is going on with the bike. During the course she could ask some questions regarding riding two up. I believe there are some stats out there that state that a new rider gets a bit rambunciuos with about 3000 miles under their belt. So probably best to get a ride in at about mile 1506 or there abouts.

    james

  8. #8
    GIZMO
    Guest
    Originally posted by Motorad
    There is no law that I am aware of in the state of Maine regarding a licensed rider taking a passenger for a ride. All though they must wear helmets by law for the first year. I like the idea of taking the MSF course with the boyfriend so that she knows what is going on with the bike. During the course she could ask some questions regarding riding two up. I believe there are some stats out there that state that a new rider gets a bit rambunciuos with about 3000 miles under their belt. So probably best to get a ride in at about mile 1506 or there abouts.

    james
    Good idea but better watch out it could become infectious. I know a guy who had his SO take the course for the very reason you cited she got hooked and wound up with 3 awesome sport bikes several sets of racing leathers and he still has only one motorcycle and a leather jacket.

  9. #9
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Gizmo
    Good idea but better watch out it could become infectious. I know a guy who had his SO take the course for the very reason you cited she got hooked and wound up with 3 awesome sport bikes several sets of racing leathers and he still has only one motorcycle and a leather jacket.
    And the problem with this would be... ??
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison
    http://darryl.crafty-fox.com

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