Helpful or not so helpful passengers

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  • Helpful or not so helpful passengers

    When you are riding 2 up, what things does your passenger do that helps/hinders you? I've asked my passengers to simply sit still or lean in the direction the bike is going when negotiating a curve. Most of the time it's my wife who's riding with me and she gets a little uneasy not being able to see past me so she says "I just sit still and close my eyes!" I don't ride nearly as aggressive when I have a passenger. Those rides are more about enjoying the time and scenery with my wife. But I know there are others out there who have a co-pilot who just makes their flight look like poetry in motion. So what makes that poem pure magic or pure terror?
    Ron - Montrose, CO
    2018 Pearl White GL1800 DCT
    2012 Pearl White GL1800 Level 1 - Sold @ 63K miles
    I don't ride to make great time; I ride to have a great time!

  • #2
    I was always told by my flight instructor when starting to give friends rides in the airplane, to not do anything to scare your passenger. His attitude was make it a great experience. Since that time - long ago and far away - I have tried to do the same with people I take for a ride on my scoot. Give them some simple instructions as to what they need to do and NOT do and then just take it easy. I think too many times we forget the passenger sees and feels things that are uncomfortable to them, and if we persist in making them uncomfortable they not only don't enjoy the ride, but make it uncomfortable for us the driver. Hope this makes sense, everyone I have taken for rides has wanted to go again, and I - fortunately - have been blessed with really good passengers. Take care.

    Crabby Bob

    Retired and riding a Goldwing - Life is good!
    2001 Gl1800A - Illusion Red
    DS # 1258 - Double Darkside

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    • #3
      So what are your thoughts on riding a passenger...should they lean with you in a turn or stay still (straight up) I have heard it both ways.

      John
      John - Richmond 2013 GL1800, Level 3

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      • #4
        Originally posted by JGDJR View Post
        So what are your thoughts on riding a passenger...should they lean with you in a turn or stay still (straight up) I have heard it both ways.

        John

        I like riding my passenger, but only a few have let me!

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        • #5
          With rare exceptions my wife is a great passenger. I asked her to keep her back straight with the back of the seat. I'll decide whether or how much to lean the bike, and she's to stay straight with the seat regardless of whether it's upright or in a lean. That way she's leaning, or not, exactly the same degree as the seat. I have no idea if that's what is taught (never took a 2-up class), but it works for us.

          If she's going to make a major shift, she normally tells me in advance. She did convince me to go too slow in a tight parking lot turn once. Having to get off and help lift the bike back up stopped that from happening a second time.
          2008 Red GW1800 -- NRA Life Member - American Legion PUFL, American Legion Riders
          USMC 21 YRS/9 MO and when dead, a dead Marine.
          US Four Corner Ride https://clayusmcret.blogspot.com/
          2014 Mid-States Ride https://mid-states.blogspot.com/
          2015 NC to UT/NV Ride https://2015nvride.blogspot.com/

          50th State ridden on 19 Aug, 2016 DS #1584

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          • #6
            CAC...funny I should have written it another way...Ha Ha

            Well I have always asked the passenger to sit up straight...when in a turn...seems to have worked for me for many years ???

            John
            John - Richmond 2013 GL1800, Level 3

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            • #7
              Ohiowinger should weigh in on this. His passenger is a real pro at leaning into the curves; all the way to the point of touching the ground with her hand.
              Richard
              Darksider #390
              Murgie's FAQ

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              • #8
                Like the others I ask my passenger to just sit easy and straight and it seems to work. I also asked them if they are needing to move, stretch etc. to please give me a heads up. I have, as I said been lucky to have some really good passengers.

                Crabby Bob

                Retired and riding a Goldwing - Life is good!
                2001 Gl1800A - Illusion Red
                DS # 1258 - Double Darkside

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                • #9
                  My wife has always done well as a passenger. She seemed to just naturally know what to do and never does anything to adversely effect what I am doing with the bike. I think part of it stems from her being a quite accomplished equestrian.
                  She became an even better passenger after she took the motorcycle safety training, started riding herself and got a real world understanding of the physics involved in the handling of a motorcycle. I think all riders and passengers should take at least one of those courses.

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                  • #10
                    I tell any passenger that rides with me the same three things,

                    Do not try to get on unless you ask if I'm ready.
                    Do not try to get off unless you ask if I'm ready.
                    Do not lean to one side when stopped unless you tell me first.
                    The rest I can handle.


                    SBB

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                    • #11
                      I'm surprised no one quoted the standard "when we turn right look over my right shoulder; when we turn left look over my left shoulder. Don't worry about helmet bumps." Also, what SBB said. I always try to take them for a ride on my Sportster first so they hang onto, and lean into, me. When I'm confident they're not going to try to counterbalance in a turn they can ride on back of the Wing where they're more independent

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                      • #12
                        My wife has rode with me now for 35 years. I guess over time we have just gotten so used to each other. She is like glue on the bike when hitting the twisties, I do know that she as adapted so much over the years that she can feel what the bike does, I can have my hand on her left leg and start coming to a stop and her leg muscles automatically start tensing up as she presses on her foot pegs. Seems after so many years it just comes naturally to her. If your wife is new to riding or have not ridden many years, it would be a good practice to get her used to emergency braking. You don't want her shoving you forward, causing you to mess up on steering and even worse shove you plumb up into the windshield. Practice makes perfect, practice makes memory and over time she will sense the bike and what it is doing. No need for her to help in leans, tight stuff she should sit back and enjoy the ride. You do the work.

                        You don't want them to just sit back there like a sack of potatoes, untied to the bike. You ever have to stop it fast, you will have that sack of potatoes all up in your back, hitting your helmet with hers, then your trying to stop the bike with another persons full weight pressing on your shoulders etc etc etc. Better get her used to consciously putting her brakes on when she feels the bike stopping or slowing down.

                        I suggest one more thing to you guys. Jump in the back seat of wing with one of your buddys and go for a ride, experience what it is like to be sitting back there and learn how wild it is to be putting your whole trust into the one driving the bike, it is a wild and very eye opening up experience. And don't just go around the block, go for a 20 mile or so ride! It will make you appreciate your passenger and you will learn how you have no control.
                        """""""Darksider #10 It's been said by many people, that I am still only 16 years old inside my head!! LOL!!
                        I have never thrown a leg over any make or model of motorcycle and had nothing but a good time!!"""""""

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                        • #13
                          My wife rides with me we have been riding about 20 years now there are times i don't even know she's back there. Over the years we just adapted and she helps me a lot looking for the crazes out there. Thank god we have never had any serious problems a couple of close calls. We should do some practice runs on stopping can't hurt. As far as being a passenger not sure i could sit back there sounds like a good idea just haven't found the right driver yet.
                          2018 DCT non tour, Pearl Stallion Brown, Double Darksider #856, Live To Ride, Love my Wing, IBA Member# 63744 Yellowbird Alias Coppertone

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 1096dad View Post
                            I've asked my passengers to simply sit still or lean in the direction the bike is going when negotiating a curve.
                            I have asked my wife to simply sit still and stay relaxed. Especially when leaned over in a curve, and not to "help" during cornering.

                            GL1800 8A - TRIUMPH SCRAMBLER 900

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                            • #15
                              My wife has been riding with me for 47 years. She used to ride her own 450 Honda. She is a very good passenger.
                              2008 GL1800 Titanium (cleanest color)
                              2012 750 Shadow Aero (My scooter)

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                              • #16
                                My wife is an excellent passenger. She knows to ask if I'm ready before she mounts the bike. She knows to wait for me to get off the bike before she attempts to get off. She sits up straight against the backrest, and looks where she wants the bike to go. If she needs to stretch, or move around, she knows to let me know. She's also a rider herself, so she understands the concepts well. When I ride with her on the back, I sometimes forget I'm carrying a passenger.
                                Costa Mesa, CA
                                2012 RED GL1800

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                                • #17
                                  Your passenger needs to look around you, it helps them prepare for turns and braking. My wife is always looking to one side of my helmet or the other, especially through the corners, the extra set of eyes is very helpful. When I am hanging off, she leans her upper body into the corners with me sometimes touching the ground. I usually don't feel anything if she does it in a smooth motion but I do notice the extra ground clearance,lol. Pure magic or terror, they have to completely trust you and have a similar riding comfort level. If I rode slow my wife would get bored pretty quick. Practice, practice, practice.

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                                  • #18
                                    All good advice. Ever since I bought the F6B my wife is asking me to take her with me. I can barely get any solo rides in but I enjoy her company and hardly notice that she is on the back. One funny thing is if I have the tunes playing she is playing guitar on my ribs. Most of my previous bikes she would only ask to go for a ride occasionally. I also find that she grips me harder if I'm heavy on the throttle passing a cage.
                                    2013 Black F6B

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by SBB View Post
                                      I tell any passenger that rides with me the same three things,

                                      Do not try to get on unless you ask if I'm ready.
                                      Do not try to get off unless you ask if I'm ready.
                                      Do not lean to one side when stopped unless you tell me first.
                                      The rest I can handle.


                                      SBB

                                      +1 to this.
                                      Ron
                                      2002 GL1800A Darksider #1312
                                      Experience is the hardest teacher because she gives the test first,
                                      and the lesson afterward ~ Vernon Sanders Law

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by OhioWinger View Post
                                        Your passenger needs to look around you, it helps them prepare for turns and braking. My wife is always looking to one side of my helmet or the other, especially through the corners, the extra set of eyes is very helpful. When I am hanging off, she leans her upper body into the corners with me sometimes touching the ground. I usually don't feel anything if she does it in a smooth motion but I do notice the extra ground clearance,lol. Pure magic or terror, they have to completely trust you and have a similar riding comfort level. If I rode slow my wife would get bored pretty quick. Practice, practice, practice.
                                        Don and Amy have this down to a science.
                                        My wife rides against me so I can feel where she is at all times. She leans with me and the bike and has the wherewithal to lean the appropriate amount and has compensated a number of times if I am out of position adding or reducing the amount of lean. We trust each other completely and she has absolute veto power as to speed (which she rarely exercises) and passing etc. She is my second set of eyes calling out road issues and wildlife when she sees them. She also watches for cars with blue lights, though she failed last week and only saw them after they came on. There is noticeable extra ground clearance when we are in sync with each other, and she contributes greatly to the ride.

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