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what tips would you give your passenger riding on your bike for the first time. Also whats the hardest part of riding someone on your bike
 

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what tips would you give your passenger riding on your bike for the first time. Also whats the hardest part of riding someone on your bike
Tips for passenger:

1. Pay attention to the road (not very likely, since they can't see over your head).

2. Pay attention to you (best accomplished by them holding onto your sides...NOT around your stomach)

3. Relax and don't lean. I know that may sound wrong on the surface, but it's pretty important that they don't lean before you do. By holding onto your waist, your passenger can match your movement by feel. If your passenger anticipates and moves first it can really mess up your line.

4. When slowing down, your passenger should squeeze her legs against your hips and press her hands into the small of your back. The higher she presses, the worse it is (see below).

Tips for you:

1. Factor in a significantly increased braking distance. Your passenger will likely be looking around at the scenery instead of the road (probably won't be able to see the road anyway). This means she won't be prepared for slow downs and stops, and she'll end up sliding forward on the pillion. This will press you into the tank and force you over the bars. This will make it feel like you're "going over," which will make you let up on the brakes and possibly overshoot your line. The higher on your back she presses, the more pronounced this is.

2. Communicate with your passenger whenever you can if she's doing something wrong. Something as simple as her sliding her butt forward to get more comfortable can have a major negative impact on your riding position and maneuverability.

3. Be patient. Even if she's looking around enjoying herself, eventually she'll learn to follow your movements and lean with you. Don't be hard on her, and just mind your pace until she adjusts.

4. Factor in the extra weight when accelerating and passing. A passenger won't affect you much down low, but at freeway speed at higher RPM's, a passenger will hinder the acceleration you're used to.

I'm sure others will chime in, but for me, those were the key points. Everything else seemed to fall into place once those bases were covered.
 

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Pin baller nailed a lot of it. A few things that I added to help my wife the first few times.
1) I secured a small duffle or roll on the back so she wouldn't feel like she would slide off the back. Nothing big and bulky. Just a piece of mind
2) for the first couple of rides, if I was going to do something out of the ordinary, I tapped her leg. She knew something was going to change.
For you:
1) you are going to clack helmets. Be ready for it.
2) take it easy for a couple of rides. They will pick it up. My riding style is completely different with her on with me.
3) she squeezes my hips when I start to go too fast in the turns for her. Find a signal that works for you. If they are scared they won't ride with you.
 

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Something i found that helps my lady feel safe and allows her to relax without feeling unsecure and keeps her from making me uncomfortable is the oxford ridergrips.
The thing is a belt that has a pair of vertical handles on it and straps around your waist/hips. The handles have some slack in them, so it seems to reduce the felt impact of her tugging (i don't feel it at all) and she's more comfortable because there's a good solid handhold that isn't going anywhere.

Also, +1 for she squeezes with her knees on stops. You squeeze the tank with your knees, she squeezes your hips with her knees, and your family jewels will thank you, especially if you still have a stock seat.
 

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Or take them on a smaller bike to start... The v-strom being top heavy is just too easy to dump, especially with an unsure nervous and/or unbalance passenger....
I've never thought the Vstrom was particularly top heavy.

My first bike was a 1983 GS550L, and one of the major things about my '03 Vee is that despite it's weight, it FEELS less top heavy to me.

I assume comparatively this is due to the lower relative engine placement(center of mass), the higher seat (less available tilt angle between the legs when standing), and perhaps the more upright seating position. Just my opinion though. (Not that it's worth much. I've had my Motorcycle license for less than 8 months, and perhaps 80% of my riding has been 2 up cruising around town)

Having said that, I've given my SOs mother a ride 3 or 4 times, and it's my assessment that passenger skill/experience accounts for the lions share of making 2 up easy. I could barely tell her mother, who weighs nearly twice what the the lady friend does, was even on the bike most of the time.
 

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* No moving around or adjusting when the bike is stopped or moving slowly.
*I ask pillions to hold their hands higher than my waist...I've had pillions fall asleep and not known it until they start leaning (or the dreaded helmet clack). So if their hands are normally held higher, when the hands start to go lower I know something is wrong.
* Decide on hand signals for stops...different signals for different reasons to stop, and different levels of urgency..
* Insist they take some kind of tutorial on shoulder rubbing..
 

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What they said key words SHE and HER, don't ride nut to but with another dude, not cool. Tap their leg or something to make sure they know before you do any aggressive, accelerate to turn, seen people flip off the back because they rolled on the throttle and passenger wasn't ready for it. but most importantly make sure they lean WITH you in turns, we all know how important it is to lean into turns if you lean and they don't your center of gravity will be off. Had a buddy whose GF was scared to lean into a turn and would lean away to try and stay upright almost caused him to crash a couple times. she wouldn't learn so he quit riding with her.
 

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I've never thought the Vstrom was particularly top heavy.
Maybe, but many here will disagree with your statement... I have had many, many bikes... Mostly sport tours ....I even had a Versys 650s which are in the same category as the v-strom... My point is that all my other bikes had a lower centre of gravity than my 650 V-strom (which by the way I have owned 3 of them)....

Here is my list of my most recent bikes ( I have had many more prior)
Versys 650 (2 of them)
Bandit 1250
FZ6 (2 of them)
Triumph Tiger 1050
FJR 1300
SV650
FZ1

All less top heavy than my current 650 V-strom
 

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Most folks have been talking about the actual riding part and it's all accurate info. However, you also need to develop and be prepared for mounting and dismounting. Do you have panniers and a top box that may interfere? Swinging legs over without seriously rocking the boat takes practice. I get on first and balance the load, then tell her when I'm ready. We're each 140# so I'm holding up a 400# bike and balancing it for when she gets on. Then she steps on the left peg with her weight over the seat area and swings her leg over with her left hand on my shoulder. She DOES NOT grab me and pull herself on. We do the same when dismounting. We've been doing this for about 10 years now and it works very well for us. Find what works best for you two. My wife has fallen asleep on the back several times. Be prepared for that too. Plan your acceleration and deceleration accordingly. Easy on the clutch and brakes whenever possible. If I have to suddenly hit the brakes I lean forward so her helmet doesn't slam into mine. $500 Shoei's :) Bluetooth works great for communicating if you can afford it. Ask her to enjoy the scenery but remain attentive to the riding and the road :) After all that you can wean her into doing some maintenance :)
 

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If this is going to be a frequent thing, have the passenger take the basic MSF safety course. It made my GF a much better passenger.

Ask them to keep their feet on the pegs. I'll control the bike in slow maneuvers, and will yell "HELP!!" if I need it.
 

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Agree that mounting/dismounting is a maneuver that offers lots of opportunities to topple over. Think I'm going to start a new thread on that topic alone, since there are many variations and opinions.
 

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Agree that mounting/dismounting is a maneuver that offers lots of opportunities to topple over. Think I'm going to start a new thread on that topic alone, since there are many variations and opinions.
Yup. This took some experimentation and practice for Mrs. HuntWhenever and I to get right. One instance during our experimental phase found the V-Strom on its side in a restaurant parking lot :crying2:
 

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I'll control the bike in slow maneuvers, and will yell "HELP!!" if I need it.
I tried that once before on my ST1300. I pulled in to a photo op spot to take a picture, went to put my left foot down and it was 6 inches too low. As the 800 pound bike, 150 pound driver and 150 pound pillion were listing heavily to port I was yelling "put your leg down!!!" which she never heard nor did as she rode the bike to the ground with her feet still on the pegs. It took me 2 tries to lift that behemoth as I was sucking wind, and was one of the major primary reasons I sold it for the Vstrom. ½ the weight is ½ the effort :)
 

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Lots of good info in this thread....a couple of thoughts:

Crank up the pre-load adjustment, increase air pressure in rear tire.

Balance is everything, especially at lower speeds and stops. I continue the practice of left foot down at stops, right foot on brake, bike in first gear and ready to go. If your passenger turns their head at this point, it may be all you can do to stay upright! Gently remind them of the need for stillness at low speed or stopped until it is a habit for them.

With my wife riding pillion we have ridden a couple of thousand miles so far and the addition of communication (was a great X-mas gift from her) has opened up a whole new world but we still rely on simple tap on knee or squeeze hips with knees for some things like "okay to mount/dismount" or "heads up".
 

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I bought bluetooth communicators. The ability to speak with my wife as we ride has dramatically improved her skill at being a passenger.

Having said that, we still clack helmets every once in a while. That's just part of the experience, I suppose. ;-)
 
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