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Thread: Taking a pillion - learning?

  1. #1
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    27th March 2017 - 11:33
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    Taking a pillion - learning?

    What's the best (ie, safe) way to learn to take a pillion when riding?

    I don't want to just throw someone on the back and hope for the best, for example, but I'm not sure how to break the task down in a way that will keep me, the bike, and the passenger safe during the learning period.

  2. #2
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    5th January 2007 - 14:58
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    If it's a virgin pillion, tell them to lean with you & not to put their feet down when you stop.
    Best to hit some mildly curvy roads you know well, rather than toddling around town.
    Also, have them sit still at intersections, a stationary bike can get quite unstable with a restless pillion.
    Clothing adjustments & nesacarry movements are better done while travelling.
    Also, have the pillion sit away from you, rather than humping you, so you can get on with the job of operating the motorcycle unhindered.
    I think it's the pillion that needs training more than the rider.

  3. #3
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    I believe the ride forever gold course covers pillion riding a bit, $50 for the day if you have the time.

  4. #4
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    Borrow a pillion that knows what to do, and learn with them.

    Lend your potential pillion to someone with experience, so they can be told what to do.

    I was fortunate, mine came pre-trained.
    Riding cheap crappy old bikes badly since 1987

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  5. #5
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    It takes a bit of time to get used to the weight. Also bike dependent if you have adjustable preload on the rear shock, add some.

    To start with grab somebody just to sit on the back but dont ride. Use this time to work out a get on procedure that works for you. Give the pillion instructions on this before you get started, nothing worse than a pillion trying to get on before you have your footing.

    Then do short carpark rides to get the feel of pulling away and stopping.

    Next step would be urban roads before open road.
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  6. #6
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    10th February 2017 - 15:01
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    Getting your pillion to relax and glide gently with you and the bike rather than doing their own thing (exaggerated over or counter leaning or sudden movements) makes a huge difference. 'I'll do the leaning', 'Flow with me' or even 'Don't lean' are all fairly neutral/harmless instructions.

    You'll feel their grip loosen and the bike will flow more naturally as they get more comfortable.

    If the grip loosens completely, check your mirrors.

    The extra weight affects the handling - obviously - but also acceleration, turning and stopping, so give yourself more space through better anticipation. If you need to stop sharply, the extra momentum will shift weight harder onto the front wheel and lift off the back, more than when solo, with entertaining results, especially in the wet. Or gravel. Or with dodgy brakes and flat, baldie tyres, on a bend teeming with tar snakes and dotted with slick-as highly polished manhole covers.

  7. #7
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    27th March 2017 - 11:33
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    Quote Originally Posted by GazzaH View Post
    If the grip loosens completely, check your mirrors.
    This seems like wise advice


    All: Great tips, thanks.
    Potential pillion has ridden before but doesn't have a bike now. I've neither ridden as nor taken a passenger before (ok, there was one time, for about 5 minutes, when I sat on the back and went for an urban cruise).

    Believe all the RF courses are OK with pillions if you normally take one (perhaps not recommended on bronze but I've seen the wording on silver). But, that's not "we'll teach you how to ride with a pillion", rather, "if you normally take a pillion you are welcome to bring them along for the day."

  8. #8
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    A human analogue made up of three bags of potatoes, eight packs of streaky bacon and four liters of full cream milk stuffed into a Fairydown sleeping bag.

  9. #9
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    14th June 2007 - 22:39
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    Anticipate where you will be stopping, you need to have secure footing to support the extra weight of your luggage at a standstill.

    Be extra smooth with throttle and brakes to avoid spitting them off the back or smacking you in the back of the helmet when slowing.

    Figure out what your pillion will hold onto, grab rail, side handles, you. If they instantly grab you like a scared baby monkey, consider another pillion.

    I ask newb pillions to stay relaxed and just look where the bike is going, no leaning. The stuffed sleeping bag is a good analogy, just sit there and go with the flow.

    I let my pillion know when I intend accelerating quicker than normal, usually an overtake, with a tap on the leg. Saves surprise wheelies as they flop back.

    Make sure you are happy with what your pillion is wearing... I've seen some nasty stuff after a pillion has been fired at the scenery.

    Speaking of wheelies, you can wheelie anything with a pillion. Even old shaft drives.
    Manopausal.

  10. #10
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    The best pillion is the reverse of the best sexual partner - just sit there like a sack of potatoes

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  11. #11
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    [QUOTE=Runty;1131116918]The best pillion is the reverse of the best sexual partner - just sit there like a sack of potatoes

    That's where I've been going wrong all my life.

    [Note to self: stop dating pillions.]

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by HEsch View Post
    What's the best (ie, safe) way to learn to take a pillion when riding?

    I don't want to just throw someone on the back and hope for the best, for example, but I'm not sure how to break the task down in a way that will keep me, the bike, and the passenger safe during the learning period.
    Take it slow with a new pillion ... and slower with one that has not been on the back of a motorcycle. Quiet back streets that are familiar to both of you. If they feel relaxed ... a few 70 km/hr open roads until they still feel relaxed. Include a few sweeping corners with a little lean to see how they react.

    A few simple hand signals might be a good idea (you giving thumbs up means: you are asking if they are ok ... etc)

    When YOU feel safe with them on the back ... you can start building up the speed and the leans.

    Scare the shit out of them and they won't have anything more to do with you.
    Sweat wipes off. Road-rash doesn't.

  13. #13
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    14th June 2007 - 22:39
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    Quote Originally Posted by FJRider View Post
    Take it slow with a new pillion ... and slower with one that has not been on the back of a motorcycle. Quiet back streets that are familiar to both of you. If they feel relaxed ... a few 70 km/hr open roads until they still feel relaxed. Include a few sweeping corners with a little lean to see how they react.

    A few simple hand signals might be a good idea (you giving thumbs up means: you are asking if they are ok ... etc)

    When YOU feel safe with them on the back ... you can start building up the speed and the leans.

    Scare the shit out of them and they won't have anything more to do with you.
    Sound advice.

    A positive pillioning experience led my G/F to getting her full licence. Double win.
    Manopausal.

  14. #14
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    5th January 2007 - 14:58
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    One thing that's extremely important to me when my pillion is mounting my very high fully loaded adventure bike is that I have a grip on both handgrips, as well as feet planted, legs straight supporting the bike upright against the seat with both inner thighs & handlebars held firm & straight.
    The pillion has to mount it like a horse, left foot on left peg, hoist up & swing a leg over the top box.
    Easily done & also easily fucked up if systems & communication aren't followed by both parties.

  15. #15
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    I use the same procedure for both the wing and the zzr, when ready for the pillion to get on I will have the side stand down, feet planted and legs supporting the bike and front brake held on, I also instruct the pillion to lean on me not the bike. as for riding, they are told on no uncertain terms that there is only one person in control and that's me so they are better off to relax and let me ride, that said, with anyone I haven't pillioned before I am very cautious until I know how they are going to behave. often the worst pillions are those that ride also

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