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Thread: Pillion: Ever piloted one?

  1. #1
    Stronger, Faster, Tougher iRene's Avatar
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    Pillion: Ever piloted one?

    Lots of us started out as pillion riders, many of us are now riders in our own right.
    My hat goes off to my husband, BlackFly, who hauled me around two up with camping gear on
    a K75S for a few years until I went solo. That was many years and many pounds ago (ahem.)

    I never really appreciated it until I had an odd chance to ride a fellow Yankee Beemer
    to the offsite showers at Paonia a few years ago, and he insisted that he'd ride in back.
    As much as I appreciated his confidence in me, JimBud is fit man about 6 feet tall,
    and I was on my R1150R. The whole riding dynamic changed, it was heavy and steering was encumbered.
    And JimBud is a very experienced rider, not a wiggler!
    I dreaded having to stop at the one stop sign en route!
    It was the skeeeeriest thing I've done so far.

    I'd be interested to hear from any who have piloted or currently DO pilot adult or adult-size passengers.
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  2. #2
    Intermediate Adventurer Newstar's Avatar
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    I, too, rode with my husband for several years before learning to ride on my own. I've never carried a passenger and I don't think I would have the confidence to try. I'm interested in hearing what others have to say on this topic.

    On another note, now that I do ride on my own, I find I am a very nervous passenger even with the most experienced of pilots. The other night, I rode two-up with my husband on his GS for a total of 8 miles and I was a wreck! I need my own two wheels beneath me!

  3. #3
    Registered User ladybmer's Avatar
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    Yes, riding with a passenger can be a little unsettling.. especially at slower speeds. I have had 'adult' size passengers ride on most of bikes in the past 28 yrs.. both riders and non riders. I always go over the 'rules' before anyone gets on the back of my bike.

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    ABC,AMA(LIFE),MOA,RA,IBMW MANICMECHANIC's Avatar
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    Dear ladies and kind sirs, this is not an attempt at one-upmanship. I along with many others work as volunteer motorcycle operators for Ironman Triathlons. Carrying officials for the bicycle portions is usually pretty easy. However, carrying a network cameraman, perhaps sitting backwards, with his big camera, and leaning off to one side with the camera down about axle level while trying to maintain station on an athlete you have to know where they are but can't quite see, can be pretty exciting. Now doing that at about 30 mph for the bike portion is fine enough, but then try it at the end of the day while pacing the athletes during the marathon.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is carrying a passenger is not that bad, as long as you make them understand what the rules of being a passenger are. Usually the worst is having the passenger bump helmets with you durig braking.
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  5. #5
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    Depends on the bike

    I think the bike makes a big difference. We've been two up for a couple years on my '01 R11RT and actually made our first national, and first camping trip, this last year. Very unstable at lower speeds. I would think a cruiser style bike with the lower center of gravity is easier to handle two up. But not as much fun in the twisties.

    She now has her own F650GS Dakar and loves it. I love the companionship with her on the back, but the bike sure handles better with just me on the back.

  6. #6
    BUBBAZANETTI
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    last summer i gave (albeit relatively short) rides to roughly 40-50 new passengers every week, most of them having never been on a bike before. this went on for 5 or so months, so i gave about 1000 people rides last summer. i was teaching lessons full time at the time.

    this was with 6'5" me on a kawasaki 125, i think my record for height was 6'8" and weight about 325 (yes, that's 525lbs on a 125cc bike). picture that cruising down the streets of brooklyn.

    it's all very doable. if they ever asked what to to do, all i said was "do like i do and don't move around a lot" always worked just fine.

  7. #7
    Rally Rat
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    Haven't done it. Don't plan on doing it. Solo seat says it all.....except in emergencies, of course.

  8. #8
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
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    Interesting discussion. Mary and I have always been riding two up (Mary as pillion or, as she prefers, Co Pilot). She is 4'11" and 115 lbs. I put one 'cruiser peg' on the left side because the climb up and over the K1100 was a bit of a stretch. Anyway, to the point; Mary wanted to ride but found just about every bike to be too tall to begin with. Add to this that she never did learn to ride a bicycle or use a clutch and things started looking a bit disappointing for her. (we went through all the drills for intro bicycle riding, intro clutch, intro balance, intro riding classes etc) So now she remains committed to her two Mustang cars and riding pillion.... as co-pilot. At 59 she figures that there are lots of other adventurous things to do without riding two wheels (.... I can almost hear the roar of a three wheel Spyder coming into the drive!)

    I am so used to her being on with me and carrying the load associated with travel that it really is second nature. However, if my 200 lb 6ft4" son gets on, all of my usual two up habits are back to square one... and he rides Maybe it all comes down to what you get used to whether it's a person or all that gear required for living on the road for a year.

    Another point that Mary brought up is: we never like travelling in a group of any sort (I was always a solo traveller prior to meeting Mary). She says that having two bikes would not only be more expensive but it would likely feel like group riding for us and having to be concerned where the 'other bike' is or 'what happened to the other bike' or potential for accident (deer, cars) or whatever.

    Above all though: the sharing is such a wonderful bonus See y'all at the Two Up Long Distance Award again in Redmond - Bob
    Bob Weber
    saltyfogriders@gmail.com
    Larry's River, Nova Scotia, CANADA

  9. #9
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    I'll wager that just about everyone who rides got their introduction to riding as a back seater. My first rides were on the back of a Norton Atlas. The raw power of that bike hooked me for life. My wife rode for many years on the pillion, but a few years ago she decided without prompting to ride on her own. That decision has changed much in our lives. Motorcycling is now a major part of our lives and will be a big part of our upcoming retirement. In this case the change in seating has fundamentally changed two lives.
    Kevin Huddy
    The Outpost, Silver City, Montana

  10. #10
    Rally Rat CATHDEAC's Avatar
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    my wife knows "how to ride"... so that should I become incapacitated, she "could" go for help... maybe...as long as she doesn't have to pick up the LT.

  11. #11
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cathdeac View Post
    my wife knows "how to ride"... so that should I become incapacitated, she "could" go for help... maybe...as long as she doesn't have to pick up the LT.
    that's some of the same thought that we ran through. We came to the conclusion though that a cell phone (as long as the area had coverage of course) would be much more appropriate. Oh well, it really is impossible to factor in all the bits and pieces that the Gods can thrust upon us. -Bob
    Bob Weber
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    Larry's River, Nova Scotia, CANADA

  12. #12
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cathdeac View Post
    my wife knows "how to ride"... so that should I become incapacitated, she "could" go for help... maybe...as long as she doesn't have to pick up the LT.
    I dunno. Any time I've ever had a tipover, people come out of the woodwork to help right the bike.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014 And DRAT! Missed the last one in 2015!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  13. #13
    Rally Rat CATHDEAC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommcgee View Post
    I dunno. Any time I've ever had a tipover, people come out of the woodwork to help right the bike.
    ...Or take pics!!! haha..

  14. #14
    Registered User PHMARVIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manicmechanic View Post
    Dear ladies and kind sirs, this is not an attempt at one-upmanship. I along with many others work as volunteer motorcycle operators for Ironman Triathlons. Carrying officials for the bicycle portions is usually pretty easy. However, carrying a network cameraman, perhaps sitting backwards, with his big camera, and leaning off to one side with the camera down about axle level while trying to maintain station on an athlete you have to know where they are but can't quite see, can be pretty exciting. Now doing that at about 30 mph for the bike portion is fine enough, but then try it at the end of the day while pacing the athletes during the marathon.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is carrying a passenger is not that bad, as long as you make them understand what the rules of being a passenger are. Usually the worst is having the passenger bump helmets with you durig braking.
    +1
    Back when I rode an '84 R100RS, I carried an ESPN cameraman during a cross-border race in El Paso/Cd. Juarez. It was interesting, to say the least, especially when the locomotive engineer pulled his train across the road in between the race leaders and stopped, then when we explained what was happening, refused to move to open the road for another 10 minutes (Thank you, Union Pacific).
    Ride Safe,
    Phil Marvin - El Paso, TX
    '94 K75A/3
    '95 K75RTP

  15. #15
    Stronger, Faster, Tougher iRene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cathdeac View Post
    ...Or take pics!!! haha..

    I just snorted coffee out of my nose...
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