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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Title says it all. What tips or advice, if any, do you have for convincing a nervous or otherwise disinterested girlfriend/significant other to go riding with you? Me and my girlfriend have been together for a long time, and we even work together, but she's not very interested in riding with me. Before I had a motorcycle, if we were going somewhere we would take my car. We would even carpool to work, but now that I have my cbr I would prefer to ride that, but I think it would be more fun if we rode together.
 

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She'll have to want to, especially if she's nervous, and pressuring her into it would probably be counter-productive. It goes without saying that it will come down to how much she trusts you so, if you do manage to persuade her to take a ride, for God's sake take it real easy, stay on quiet streets and make it short. If the first ride goes OK, then who knows, she might get to enjoy it. My wife loved it - fell asleep on the back a couple of times, but that was on big, comfy bikes with a back rest.

I have to say though, I don't the the 300 is a very good pillion bike. Low power, low weight and an itsy-bitsy pillion perch aren't ideal.
 
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Sometimes its healthy in a relationship to have things that you do by yourself. I call it 'me time'.
Most of the guys I ride with are the same, its their time out doing their thing with the boys.
Heck, I even removed my pillion pegs!
I'm no relationship expert tho and currently single, so take that with big rocks of salt... :laugh:
 

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A few year ago..well I guess about 20 I would take my wife on the back of the GSXR I had at the time. She sort of enjoyed the ride but would remark later that "I find it boring..no radio to listen to and we can't talk". So the rides together became less and less. As a passenger (pillion) I would imagine that it would take a while to get used to the fact that all of a sudden you are leaning right or left with no sense of control or anticipation of what is going to happen next.
The rider has milli seconds to adapt to sudden direction changes but the pillion does not. So with that in mind..perhaps the discussion of such.."Honey..would you like to take a motorcycle training course so that we can go together on 2 different motorcycles?" Now I am just throwing this idea out there but perhaps that may be an alternative idea to get her to accompany you.
But on the other hand perhaps it is like Kiwi mentioned about...just take the "me time" situation in hand..so to speak..:)
 

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If she is going to come around, she will have to do it on her own.

I think that when it comes to a sport bike, most are better off riding it themselves, as the passenger seats really aren't built for comfort.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the advice everyone. I think part of the hesitation is due to the fact that it's a sport bike. I've never been on the back of one, but it doesn't look that comfortable.

As far as "me time" that's what it is most of the time, or "guy time" if a few of us go out for a ride, but if we both have to go to work at the same time (we work together, and we live just a few miles from work), it would be fun to just hop on the bike.

I do plan on buying her full riding gear. Right now I have a spare helmet that fits her well, but I think she might be more comfortable if she had her own.

I figure I will start with just short trips around town until she gets comfortable, and I'll definitely take it easy.

Any advice for riding with a pillion as far as things you would do differently than if you are solo? Or things that I should coach her on pre-ride, other than "lean with me" or "try not to move around too much"?
 

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My wife always says to me that if our kids can't come along on it, then she's not coming either. :serious:

I called BS when it was her sister's wedding that we were "supposed" to attend and I told her that I'm not coming unless she sits and ride's with me on the bike. She did one round around the parking lot with me. She hasn't sat again ever since, but hey, I did it! :laugh:

5 star topic, btw. :D
 

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What ever you do, don't push the issue.

When I first got my CBR, I took my wife for a short ride around the block. While she wasn't opposed to it, she didn't have any burning desire to be a passenger on a bike. And I can appreciate that, as I have no desire to ride on the back of a motorcycle either, as I'm too accustomed to being the one in control.

I did realize something in that short ride around the block with a passenger... for me, this bike is just to small and light weight to inspire any amount of confidence for 2-up riding. To be honest, I found that it was more than a little bit scary having a 120 lb. passenger on a 250cc sport bike.
 

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Who is their right mind would want to sit on the back on a 300 for ANY period of time, let alone have someone lean against you the entire time you are riding. If she's not interested than consider yourself lucky that you get to experience motorcycling guilt free. The ONLY time its nice is when you want to go out for breakfast per say and have an easy time parking.


I would agree with earlier comments that she would likely feel better hopping on a Harley as a passenger as opposed to a "sportbike" and that anyone who is timid about it should not hop on. Keep in mind as a passenger you are literally putting your life in their hands.
 

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Now that I think about it, I did have my Dad (60+ years old) sit behind me in the very beginning for a ride around the city... Now, that was a blast!

LoL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I don't think she's opposed to the idea, she's just never been on a bike before. She did ride on the back once, just across town, and since we're both small, it wasn't too uncomfortable, or difficult to control. She didn't scream in fear, and didn't say she wouldn't do it again, but she's not itching to jump back on.

I do plan on getting a larger bike before too long, something more comfortable for longer distances. Perhaps that will inspire a little more confidence.

While we're on the subject of passengers, does anyone have any interesting/funny passenger anecdotes?
 

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.......While we're on the subject of passengers, does anyone have any interesting/funny passenger anecdotes?
I find that the keys to successful two-up riding are mainly about the person up front, not the pillion. All the passenger has to do is move with the bike and most get the hang of that within a few minutes, then it's all about being smooooooth. Like smoother than a very smooth thing trying to be even smoother.

The thing is, the rider has handlebars to hang on to and also knows exactly when the throttle is going to be opened or the brakes squeezed. The pillion can only guess and might actually be idly watching a kangaroo bounce by in a paddock, not waiting for you to brake. It is easy therefore, if you're not smooth, for most of the ride to be spent banging helmets with your pillion. If you're not smooth with the throttle, he/she may also start to hang on to you too tightly, to avoid feeling like they're being jettisoned. Apart from throttle and brake, there is also gear changes. These should be accomplished under smooth (there's that word again) acceleration, and don't just suddenly roll off the throttle to grab another gear if the bike is pulling strongly - instead just ease off the throttle before changing gear.

The other thing worth thinking about is how the pillion gets on and off. Obviously, the rider must be on board first and it's easy for a novice passenger to just step heavily on to one peg and thus force the bike over sideways. In the worst cases, this can end up in an ungainly heap of bike and people on the garage forecourt....... It's worth practicing this. Tell your passenger to give you a tap on the shoulder before putting their weight on the peg, so that you can be ready for the lurch. Also tell them to do it gradually. It doesn't take long to get the hang of it.

I loved going out two-up with my wife. She's my best mate and our rides out for coffee and breakfast in the mountains were a joy. Sadly, my health has put an end to that now and I don't think the 300 is a good bike for two-up riding. Fine for giving a friend the odd lift I suppose, but not for fun and stay away from hills!

Pillion stories? We had ridden two-up for years before we bought our first rider/pillion intercom and it didn't work out very well. Whereas she'd previously been happy to just watch the scenery go by and daydream as we rode, and maybe give me a dig in the ribs if she wanted to point something out, with an intercom she was back to being a co-driver :-( She was now able to issue instructions.........

Luckily, it was a crappy intercom with lots of noise and an irregular signal, so all I got was, "Watch out for the shhhhhhhhhh. Be careful, I can sshhhhhhh bzzzzzzzzz. Slow down, it's bzzzzzz sshhhhhhhhh."

It was binned, and would you believe a decent one cost an absolute fortune? Thankfully, my wife did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Great post JNO. In my msf course the instructor said that some of the best times he ever had on a bike were riding with his wife, but he gave us the same warnings about the helmet intercom haha. Luckily I'm 5' 11" but only 160lbs, and she's a little 4'11" 95lbs so there's not a lot she can do back there to thwart my balance getting on and off, since I'm tall enough to firmly plant both feet on the ground while mounted
 

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My gf used to ride on the back of the Honda PCX150 lol she definitely won't have a problem riding the CBR!!
 

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My gf used to ride on the back of the Honda PCX150 lol she definitely won't have a problem riding the CBR!!
She'll see a massive difference in seat room - scooters have nice, wide seats. I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing the pegs would have been much lower on the scoot, too.
 

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The scoots pillion pegs were about the same as the CBR. I do agree the seat was a little wider, but not by much. The PCX150 was pretty small. It could hold 63mph though. Niiiice
 

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whatevers in her mind about your motorcycle or pillioning on it
the idea is not necessarily a positive thought for most people..
i dont like it back there..

took my wife for a nice ride way back then thru blue mountains
on a quiet day [cb750/4] which for me was very enjoyable,
but she didnt have the same experience..

i took it nice and easy etc, but it didnt click with her..
she never went anywhere on the back again..
my children on the other hand [5] were always
begging to be taken for a ride, on the tank
or the pillion seat..

they had grown up with dad and his motorcycle
[even the dogs liked a ride on the tank]
so it was a natural and normal thing for them..

my wife on the other hand had no motorcycles
in her life, and i imagine from her parents
attitudes generally would if anything have
been negative to that as well..

who knows tho..
as members have hinted, it must be her initiative,
or she must be comfortable with the idea..
and it must start from the start..
ie, just mounting, should be the limit
of her into.. gaining confidence in that
will afford a good beginning for anything
to follow..

one factor back there is really lack of control..
its not easy to see ahead, and you must have
prepared her for that, where and how to place
her helmetted head relative to your body,
where to be looking [eg thru corner as for you]
where and how to hold, such as grab handles,
your pelvis/hip or around your waist, or
hands on your upper back or against tank
[such as for braking]..

she should be able to communicate basic things
to you and you to her thru movements and
signals, such as tapping her knee or
making signals to stop or turn etc..

the obvious isnt always so obvious
such as the need for her to 'become one'
with you, two bodies moving as one, etc..
with you doing the moving while she
for preference snuggles close simply
moving with your movements..

this is especially so for cornering
and when likely to make quick
movements such as in traffic
[to be avoided at first, obviously]
otherwise when cruising along
she can be a bit more independent
looking around and so on..

could be helpful to think of making it
an easy ride somewhere on a quiet
sunny sunday, rather than to work..

at least you would both start out with
similar states of mind and relaxation
rather than slotting into a timetable
along with the rest of the herd..

i have loved riding motorcycles for many
years, and yet dont like being pillioned..
with a very good and trusted rider
its better even enjoyable, but,
not many riders come into my
category of good, when it comes to
getting on the back with them...
different perspective..

anyway, the most important thing here
is as in other things to demonstrate to her
your consideration and appreciation of
her attitude or potential fears etc..

no amount of persuasion would convince
me to get on the back with you..
and ive got nothing to lose..
 

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OP: How experience are you as a rider? If not then I suggest no passenger. It is much harder to have a passenger then it is alone. You have to be very smooth at everything other wise you'll spend the whole time having turtle sex, which means you are not skilled enough yet to ride a passenger. The dynamics of an extra person requires so much more of everything. The risk factor is much higher too, it is a lot of responsibility to carry a passenger. Once you are smooth enough you can start carrying a passenger, but do it slowly in baby steps. Don't start under the stress of rush hour traffic. You'll know you are smooth by being very comfortable riding in the rain. Rain riding requires one to be smooth if not you'll very likely dump the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
OP: How experience are you as a rider? If not then I suggest no passenger. It is much harder to have a passenger then it is alone. You have to be very smooth at everything other wise you'll spend the whole time having turtle sex, which means you are not skilled enough yet to ride a passenger. The dynamics of an extra person requires so much more of everything. The risk factor is much higher too, it is a lot of responsibility to carry a passenger. Once you are smooth enough you can start carrying a passenger, but do it slowly in baby steps. Don't start under the stress of rush hour traffic. You'll know you are smooth by being very comfortable riding in the rain. Rain riding requires one to be smooth if not you'll very likely dump the bike.
I have been riding for a long time, and I understand the importance of baby steps. I've ridden with passengers before. I would have to get on the highway and drive for at least two hours before I got somewhere populated enough to even have rush hour traffic which is a good thing. I'm a very safety oriented rider, and anytime I'm on the bike, being smooth with rider input is my priority.
 
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