Riding with a passenger

easterncoyote

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I have agreed to take a woman I met for a ride this weekend, at her request. I am feeling kind of nervous about it, because I haven’t ridden with a passenger in 35 years ( I just got back into riding again 3 years ago). How does the NC handle with a passenger? Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks!

Ian
 

potter0o

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This probably makes sense but the bike handles heavier. More input to turn and takes longer to slow down. I have inexpensive gear for my spouse as it doesn't get used often.
 

Rapturee

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Also goes without sayin', but just sayin'... be just a little more cautious, allow more space between vehicles while in traffic, allowing yourself more time to stop/avoid vehicles, Keep a good eye around you plus look 10-20 vehicles ahead, have her lean with you and not against you. Tell her to hang on to you(haha),.. and you both enjoy the days ride!! and hey, take her out for some PIE!!
:{)
 

Griff

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Ramp up the rear spring preload to the max. Otherwise the bike will squat in the rear and that will slow the steering. This is not a big deal but it will make the experience that bit more pleasant. I find that with the Wife on the rear of my Strom my riding style changes considerably as in being much less agressive on throttle and brakes and riding smoother to avoid Her being rocked back and forward.
 

davidc83

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Ensure the passenger has ridden before and stress to the passenger to never make any sudden moves back there. Any sudden moves the passenger makes can cause you to lose balance (even at speeds) and you dont want to wobble into a different lane. Any moves the passenger makes should be at a stop with both of your feet on the ground.
 

MZ5

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Agree with advice already given. She needs to lean with you, and the bike does well 2-up (I’m 185 and my wife is about 130, so if you’re way off that maybe your experience will differ some).

Things you probably remember:
Make it a point to be smoother than normal with throttle & clutch inputs (_you_ know you’re about to close the throttle and shift, but she doesn’t, so be smooth and gentle about it), start slowing much earlier than you may be accustomed to, and increase the shock preload if you can.

One thing my wife struggled with at first was squirming. She doesn’t like to be still, so she’d squirm around some. For me, that is worst at a stop when I just have one foot down and am about at the bike’s balance point. So I told her I need her to always go straight up onto both feet equally if she needs to move or re-position a little. Before I did that she thought that sort of scooting one side at a time would be less disruptive. For me that unbalanced me a whole lot more than if she’ll just move straight up and back.

It’s a good idea to work out a couple basic signals ahead of time if you don’t have headset communicators. She needs a way to signal that she wants to stop, for example.

I hope you have a great time!
 
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Chabon

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Yes, make sure she mimics your leaning. Had a friend take a passenger, when he leaned/turned right she leaned left. Net result - bike went straight!
 

poconochuck

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smooth and steady inputs,leave your self extra braking time and distance and tell your passenger to ALWAYS look over the inside(lower)shoulder in a turn that will keep them leaning with the curve, other wise enjoy the ride
 

easterncoyote

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Thank you. That’s an interesting idea, I haven’t heard that before.

The ride went well, and we both had a good time. Luckily we got the best weather we’ve had in weeks! She was squirming and moving around a bit, though I had instructed her to keep still, which was unsettling. I will remind her again next time. Had a scary moment backing out of a parking spot when the bike came heart-stoppingly close to the tipping point. Thankfully I was able to recover.
Thanks again to everyone for the support!
 

dduelin

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I chimed in too late for this ride but all good stuff. My one comment to add to all is to instruct the passenger to not touch me above the waist, to hold onto my waist or the grab rails below the seat. My wife used to forget and grab my shoulders which feeds steering inputs directly to the bars.
 

Olythom

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The ride went well, and we both had a good time. Luckily we got the best weather we’ve had in weeks! She was squirming and moving around a bit, though I had instructed her to keep still, which was unsettling. I will remind her again next time. Had a scary moment backing out of a parking spot when the bike came heart-stoppingly close to the tipping point. Thankfully I was able to recover.
Thanks again to everyone for the support!
That's ONE! (I know. It's an old joke)
 

anglachel

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Yes, make sure she mimics your leaning. Had a friend take a passenger, when he leaned/turned right she leaned left. Net result - bike went straight!
My first time riding with my wife, I gave her the instructions from the MSF course... "if I turn right, look over my right shoulder, if I turn left, look over my left shoulder."

She heard "when I go right, look right, when I go left, look left."

I went left, she looked left, saw the ground getting closer, and leaned right... I leaned more, she leaned more.....

We made it through the corner.
Then I stopped and we had some conversation.........

She rarely rides with me, and now when she mostly sits still.
 
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Had a scary moment backing out of a parking spot when the bike came heart-stoppingly close to the tipping point. Thankfully I was able to recover.
Thanks again to everyone for the support!
As a point of reference, I tend to do the backing of the bike without a passenger on, then have her hop on when we're ready to move forwards. Much easier to keep upright that way.
 
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