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Discussion Starter #1
Just started riding 2 up. I have read and searched through a lot of material but did not see a reference to my question. My wife likes to let go of me all the time. She is quick to grab back of if I start to alter the ride at all. Be that leaning, braking, or accelerating. Is it safe for her to let go or is it dumb to expect her to hold onto me the entire ride?
 

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Well is there anything for her to lean her back against. There is nothing worse then being on the back of a bike with the feeling that you might slide back words. Get her a backrest and I guarantee she will not hold onto you, and you will forget that she is back there.

Don't believe me, hop on the back of someone bike and let them drive you around. It can be scary.

Because the two of you are "beginner" 2Up riding I suggest take it very easy with her and make sure that she understands how the bike accelerates, brakes, and turns and don't hit anything fast, curvy, etc for a while till she gets used to the bike, and you get used to the bike with a passenger on.

If you scare her now, she will never get back on the bike and you will have lost a riding partner.

What I did with my passenger, took the bike to a empty parking lot as she followed me in my car and plopped a borrowed helmet on her and basically gave her a 30 min class on what to expect with the bike even before we got on it. I made sure that she would lean with the bike, and that if she was going to hold on, to hold on at my waist, how and when to get on and off the bike (when I tell her to, and always from the left side).

Long story short is now every time I grab my helmet, she is ready to go 5 min after that. I kind of miss riding the bike by my self. I still take it easy with her and I pride my self with smooth take offs, turns, and braking. She will let me know if something bothers her (too fast or taking a turn too quickly) and I adjust as needed.

There is nothing wrong with her holding on, just not on the shoulders. My passenger knows that during a hard stop to put both of her hands in the center of my back to keep from falling into me. This way her force is equal on both my arms. This is something we went over when we started out.

By the way.. other then getting on and off the bike, and hard stops, she never holds on me. Get a back rest or a top case with a back cushin. I got a Dan Vessel passenger backrest (Google it) for her and it was the best $125 addition to the bike.. well other then the center stand.

In regards to her sitting back there and not holding on, there is nothing wrong as long as you are not going fast enough to have the wind blow her off.
 

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One other secret for passengers, learned from experience. There's not much worse than feeling your daughter's helmet lay against your back & realize she's fallen asleep back there. At that point a slap on the leg is not enough of a solution - the ride is over until something changes. Stop for food NOW - or what always works for me and a kid will accept happily - Mountain Dew. Only time I let her touch it -
it works!
 

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Forget everything you might hear that is offered as advice.

Remember only this: your wife has mass and will follow Newton's first law.

When's the last time you fell off the bike while leaning it into a corner?

The only time I had "passenger issues" was when I accelerated at full throttle on my big red bike (it had 200+hp (or more to the point, 150 lbs of torque) and a shortened swingarm, and the girl weighed 180+lbs).

There's no way you need your wife to hold on to you (or require a backrest which are very dangerous in case of a crash), under normal riding conditions.

I sometimes carry my wife (200 some lbs) and sometimes my girlfriend (110 lbs in full gear, and wet). The only time either of them needs to hold/brace themselves is if I'm stopping really hard (the rear wheel comes up and if they're not holding with their knees, my balls hurt).

I like to tap them on the knee before accelerating hard so I can feel boobies on my back, buit there's no need for them to do anything for corners. All the acceleration forces are distributed along the vertical axis of the bike; that's why it's so much more comfortable to corner on a bike than in a car.

I still prefer the car for whipping around a curve (fun-factor) because it can corner at over 2 gees and the 6 point harness keeps me in, but the bike is definitely more comfy.
 

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With a securely mounted top box and side cases installed my daughter routinely falls asleep on the back of the bike. I know she's out when I feel her helmet bouncing against the back of mine. I know she can't go anywhere and I'm certain she's not holding on. I'm more amused than concerned. I know what an effort it is to climb up on that thing with the side cases on. Without the luggage it would be a totally different story.
 

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The Suzuki VStrom Stealth® Backrest from Pirates' Lair at 828.628.7093 EST

My wife wouldn't ride without a backrest. I don't know if she holds on or not but she doesn't hang onto me (not sayin' she can't, she just doesn't). Suzuki puts big ol' grab bars next to the psgr area so those can be used.

In ANOTHER THREAD, I'd like to see hard data on backrests being dangerous in an accident. I kinda figure everything is dangerous in an accident. :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the advice. I forgot to mention I DO have a top box with backrest. I don't think she would want to take her hands off if that were not there. Not that I ride crazy but she would just be scared. I gave her the regular safety talk before we started riding. Mount and dismount only when I say. Feet on pegs at all times. Look over my shoulder so as not to counter lean. Wave at bikers and small children. etc. :D
 

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My wife rarely holds onto me when we are riding two up. We are both experienced motorcyclists and she tells me she feels just fine back there. Now take the passenger backrest away and she doesn't like the ride. In fact, after riding the Strom with me, she told me that we would have to get a backrest or hard box before she would ride that bike again two up. The back rest is on order and should be in next week. It was that or I couldn't sell the big Honda.
 

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I sometimes carry my wife (200 some lbs) and sometimes my girlfriend (110 lbs in full gear, and wet). ......................................

my balls hurt).
Dude,

I hope you don't mind, but I so had to pass your information on to my friend, Sarah Rosenbloom. She's Talent Coordinator for The Jerry Springer show.

I've got the Caribou, Pelican 3 pack. Most of my passengers prefer having the side cases on in addition to the default topcase. They use the handles on the side cases to avoid awkward personal contact with me. I recently learned that my homemade backrest pad would be a welcome re-introduction.

I like to have a good pre-ride briefing, as well as a brief debriefing at each stop. The briefing and brief debriefing serve to import valuable information to the passenger regarding leaning when I lean and to not be alarmed by my frequent-accident avoidance weaving and also to allow the passenger to provide the wave-back count tally divided into the five main motorcycle classifications.
 

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Half the fun is having your girlfriend's arms round your waist and her head on your shoulder.

I don't have a backrest or the top box on usually when pillioning and my daughter (19, petite) is quite happy sitting with her hands in her lap and we generally ride at a fair pace on twisty roads.
 

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As I mentioned in a previous post my wife won't ride on the back of the DL650. She rode with me all the time with my DR650. She, at first, just said she wasn't interested any longer on riding motorcycles. Then I got a 94 CB1000 that has a great suspension and she now wants to ride constantly. That's when I found out that riding on the back on my DL650 is very bouncy and she didn't like it.
 

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Lee Parks' book, Total Control, High Performance Street Riding Techniques, has a very good chapter on passenger riding for safety and performance. The book has many excellent points -- highly recommended.
 

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As I mentioned in a previous post my wife won't ride on the back of the DL650. She rode with me all the time with my DR650. She, at first, just said she wasn't interested any longer on riding motorcycles. Then I got a 94 CB1000 that has a great suspension and she now wants to ride constantly. That's when I found out that riding on the back on my DL650 is very bouncy and she didn't like it.
My wife loves riding with me on the VStrom. I get tired or sore before she does. With the top box in place she feels very secure and generally occupies her time by picture taking.

Bouncing sensation? Maybe time to evaluate the rear shock? Mine has around 60000 mi on it now and I sense the rebound damping is getting a bit soft. When I get some $$ I'll Sasquatch it.

The bike I had before the VStrom was an old Virago 1100. A great ol bike, but with both of us on it with a little gear...maybe an inch of travel in the rear. It just killed her. I thought I was going to have to fly her home on one trip.
 

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My wife loves riding with me on the VStrom. I get tired or sore before she does. With the top box in place she feels very secure and generally occupies her time by picture taking.

Bouncing sensation? Maybe time to evaluate the rear shock? Mine has around 60000 mi on it now and I sense the rebound damping is getting a bit soft. When I get some $$ I'll Sasquatch it.

The bike I had before the VStrom was an old Virago 1100. A great ol bike, but with both of us on it with a little gear...maybe an inch of travel in the rear. It just killed her. I thought I was going to have to fly her home on one trip.
I was looking at one of those new 465 progressive shocks at Murphs. As I think about I may consider either keeping both bikes (getting the 465 shock) or selling the Strom as it sits. The problem is the other thing I love about the CB1000 is it's centered on my position like a dirt bike, like the DR650. The Strom always makes me feel like I'm setting about a foot back too far when I turn. I've never really cared for that
 

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My wife insists on a backrest of some sort, but doesn't hang on.

As a graduate of the Lee Parks TCRC, I'm usually hanging off pretty well in the twisties in order to make her more comfortable with the lean angle. She prefers to sit upright, usually with her hands on her thighs. So basically, I'm moving around while she sits still.

Here we are on the Dragon last month... I'm in the yellow helmet on my Vee, she's in the light blue jacket:
‪nc2011p1.wmv‬‏ - YouTube
 

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One of the best ways to make both of you more comfortable is to practice smooth shifting. Either the Lee Parks book or Reg Pridmore's Riding Smoothly will give you some great practice tips. She's less likely to grab you if she isn't constantly worried about bumping helmets during shifts.

That and telling her to look over the shoulder in the direction your turning makes for less weight shifting surprises from the passenger. I HATE when passengers bump my helmet. I constantly practice smooth shifting techniques. Moving to the Vee has me redefining my technique. My other bike has carbs and it took some practice to get the shifts as smooth on the Vee (for me anyway).
 

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My wife insists on a backrest of some sort, but doesn't hang on.

As a graduate of the Lee Parks TCRC, I'm usually hanging off pretty well in the twisties in order to make her more comfortable with the lean angle. She prefers to sit upright, usually with her hands on her thighs. So basically, I'm moving around while she sits still.

Here we are on the Dragon last month... I'm in the yellow helmet on my Vee, she's in the light blue jacket:
‪nc2011p1.wmv‬‏ - YouTube
Yup. Perfect. Your wife passengers exactly the way I prefer. Keeping the backrest on the middle of her back without changing position. She doesn't appear to "help you" lean the bike which prevents any surprise weight shifts. You can tell nothing unexpected is going on because you are taking the corners nice and smooth without mid-corner corrections. As far as the pilot is concerned, there is just extra weight on the bike and it isn't shifting around.
 

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don't forget to crank the rear shock preload when you have a passenger :wink5:
Don't forget to send your shamefully weak stock shock off to Sasquatch first for a rebuild, revalve, and a proper spring... :mrgreen:
 
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