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  (#1)
Happiness Consultant
 
EduardoSuave's Avatar
 
Posts: 7,231
Join Date: August 31, 2003
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April 22, 2004, 02:55 PM

Coming from a cruiser background, I've had to learn a lot during the last 1 1/2 years or so once I made the switch to Sportbikes. I've learned quite a bit from the early rides this season and especially from the many many discussions at the TWTs and social events during the winter. I just wanted to take this part of the post to say:

Thanks to all the guys who've taken the time to ride with me and those who've shared their knowledge in our talks and the many posts on this board.

Hopefully I can spread some knowledge with this post and receive some feedback as well.

Recently(last night) I had the opportunity for another learning experience, that of riding two-up on a Sportbike. For the newbs reading this, riding two-up is riding with a passenger; just as its name implies.

Just as I normally would, I geared up and then turned around and geared her up as well. Having been down before, I know the importance of wearing your gear. Luckily my extra helmet and gloves fit her fine. We're talking riding gloves for those of you peanut gallery people. My jacket however engulfed her. But better to have a big jacket then none. (newbs - spend money on gear and wear it - possibly the best advice anyone will give you). After a quick checking of all the gear, I made sure she knew not to get on and off the bike from the muffler side and to never put her feet down when we stopped....and away we went.

My first thought was now I'm responsible for another person's well being. So I had to exercise a little self control and not take off like I normally would. I quickly noticed the difference in weight distribution as well, it certainly felt like doing a wheelie would be easy now that her weight was added to mine over the back wheel. Again, exercising self-control, I didn't wheelie...but I have yet to do a decent wheelie by myself.

Now with this awkward weight distribution, I quickly realized two things...

1) braking would have to start a lot sooner and used in conjunction with engine braking (at least I like to do this)
2) No Railing!

These may seem like common sense items, but until your behind the handlebars and in the situation, you really don't think about it.

I learned the first point when I came up over a hill right up to a stop sign on a road with Loudoun County's finest monitoring....so yeah...I had to stop...no yield, no California roll....STOP, thats right..., both brakes applied, downshifting on the gears, all forward motion ceases, and my foot hits the ground.

A couple minor problems. I had to really get on the brakes here because I started to brake when I normally would with just me on the bike and normally I'd have treated it like a yield sign but Loudoun's finest was watching. Luckily, my brakes are good and the engine braking helped. Unfortunately I wasn't prepared for her weight forcing me forward onto my tank. This resulted in a serious disagreement between said gas tank and my genitalia. Lesson learned, I remembered to slow down a lot sooner and to brace myself a lot more when I had to stop again.

The second point came on a few sweepers we hit. Not only did she start digging into my stomach and waist with her hands and arms, but a couple times I thought for sure her legs were gonna wrap around me and she was gonna climb up inside the back of my jacket (not that I would complain). As you can imagine, all this movement was somewhat distracting and took away from my ability to concentrate on the road a little. So I slowed it up and took it easy. Her reaction: she relaxed.

All in all a good riding experience. The only real problem I had was compensating for the extra weight and since I didn't want to scare her to the point she'd never ride with me again, I had to tone it wayyyyyyy down. We talked about it after the ride and apparently she couldn't see a whole lot. I'm not sure if it was because she was a little nerve-wrecked and didn't lift her head up, but mostly all she saw was my back and every now and then she'd turn her head and look at hillsides of Ashburn and Loudoun.

We'll be riding again soon, so if anyone wants to fill me in on some things I might want to try (riding-wise) I'll be sure to check back. I'm also willing to read any of the posts from those who've experienced being the 2 in 2-up and pass that knowledge on to my passenger.

word peeps. happy riding.



DBR
#135, #47, Vega
--
"Never contract friendship with a man that is not better than thyself." - Confucius

Will pay to see this
whatever henry's name is these days: jason, seriously, im going to kick your face in when I get back
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  (#2)
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April 22, 2004, 03:01 PM

ride naked.


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April 22, 2004, 03:04 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemsonJeeper
ride naked.


you fugger!


DBR
#135, #47, Vega
--
"Never contract friendship with a man that is not better than thyself." - Confucius

Will pay to see this
whatever henry's name is these days: jason, seriously, im going to kick your face in when I get back
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  (#4)
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April 22, 2004, 03:17 PM

The passenger needs to look over your shoulder through the turns.


'08 MARRC Expert Racer of the Year
2009 #3 Combined Overall Championship

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  (#5)
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April 22, 2004, 03:22 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVbadguy
The passenger needs to look over your shoulder through the turns.
Im gonna go out on a limb and guess that what you mean is, when I lean left, she looks over my left and when I lean right, she looks over my right. Cos it would be silly if she looked over my right while I leaned left and vice versa.

of course, I just need to figure out someway for her not to be scared to look over my shoulders.

thanks Travis

word.


DBR
#135, #47, Vega
--
"Never contract friendship with a man that is not better than thyself." - Confucius

Will pay to see this
whatever henry's name is these days: jason, seriously, im going to kick your face in when I get back
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April 22, 2004, 03:44 PM

I like to give passengers the option of 1) grab rails 2) gas tank 3) my hips (not waist, not chest) This will enable them to hold themselves up while braking while disturbing me less. the gas tank is difficult during starts and for short people though.

An X of mine who i am still very good freinds with loves to ride bitch and i noticed she started to use her legs. instead of gripping me for dear life with her hands, she squeezes my hips/legs with her legs. it helps her keep her balance, it helps keep her helmet from bashing into mine when braking, and helps her not slide off the back during starts.
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April 22, 2004, 03:54 PM

word splyn. thanks for the advice.

keep it coming peeps. odd that none of the women have added their two cents yet....ladies??


word


DBR
#135, #47, Vega
--
"Never contract friendship with a man that is not better than thyself." - Confucius

Will pay to see this
whatever henry's name is these days: jason, seriously, im going to kick your face in when I get back
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  (#8)
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April 22, 2004, 03:57 PM

Ed Just from my experience I think you got to do some "Passenger Training" before you ride. Figure out a good way for them to hold on and talk about curves and going with you on in the lean. Not fighting it. I have had passengers kind of freak out in curves and the bike will almost stand back up from the lean or go in a straight line. Other thing is many of these bikes are not really designed with a passenger in mind. My last bike for instance handled great with just me but when I put a passenger on it the thing was scary. My current main ride the FZ1 goes with a passenger like its nothing to it. I have had people that I refused to ride on the bike again. They were just scary to have moving around back there.

Just my 2cents.


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  (#9)
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April 22, 2004, 04:03 PM

Good recommendations sofar. I've got a few others:

[for simplities sake, the passenger is a she]

- when first learning to ride two-up, start with a lightweight passenger to get used to the handling & braking change

- she should mount the bike from the LEFT side (left foot on left peg first, then smoothly swing leg over bike and sit)

- she should ALWAYS stay on the bike until you signal her to get off

- she should readjust/move while the bike is MOVING, and should remain still at stops, unless they've notified you they're going to move (e.g. bike still, body still)

- under braking, if her arms are long enough, she should move her hands to the tank and hold her own weight (her triceps will get buff after awhile)

- you should make smooth shifts (preload the shifter with your toe before shifting)

Items to practice when not two up:

- downshift and engage the clutch for every gear (perhaps excluding 1st) when coming to a stop. That way you're always in gear if need be (green light, errant car coming at you, etc). Don't EVER be in neutral unless traffic is stopped around you. (In this long run, this will make you smoother on downshifts) Make this a habit.


-- Chris
BMW R1100s
(previous rides: '82 KTM250, '95 CBR600F3, '98 Buell S3T, 2000 Hayabusa, 2008 R1200R)

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -- Arthur C. Clarke
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April 22, 2004, 04:05 PM

I don't know if I can explain this well but here goes. I have really only ridden 1 passenger consistently and she is very comfortable riding now. She started out just with hands on the gas tank when braking and around my waist when accelerating. But her hands were always in front of me. The only prob for me was turning. Had to go allot slower cause I couldn't lean off the bike with her arm in the way. As she has gotten real comfortable on the back we have learned something new. As I come into turn she now takes her inside hand out from in front of me and kinda places it on my back lightly. Allows me to lean off the bike on the inside now. Feels a lot better and I am more comfortable in the turns while riding 2 up. We still need more practice at this cause we just learned it. But I can definitely feel improvement.


Work is for people who don't know how to ride.
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April 22, 2004, 04:11 PM

I just reread your post a little slower this time. If you trying to get a passenger over their nerves of riding just take it way easy. I never stepped it up a notch until I asked her how she felt. Little by little. Just be safe.


Work is for people who don't know how to ride.
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April 22, 2004, 04:50 PM

few things I have the passenger do:

Hold on to me LIGHTLY. If I am going to gun it I will warn you well in advance with a tap on the knee....and I won't hit that gas until I've felt you clamp on. But for normal riding, don't squeeze me to death.

If we are coming up to an obvious stop like a light or a stop sign, let go of me and put your hands on the tank to keep your weight from crushing the nads.

look over my shoulder in turns is a good one....but at the very least, tell the passenger never to lean away from a turn. If they aren't comfortable moving a bit with you, just sit still then. in line with the bike. Don't move around when turning.

And I don't have to worry bout pointing out hot mufflers anymore....they're under the seat
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April 22, 2004, 06:20 PM

You might also want to add a few clicks of preload to the rear shock to help compensate for the extra weight. And work out some sort of system to communicate. Hand signals, taps, whatever so she can tell you how she's doing, whether you are going too fast, too slow, need to pee, let's wheelie , etc. Will give her a bit more control and make her feel more comfortable.

You could also get a passenger intercom system like the Collett, if you think you'll be doing a lot of riding together.
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  (#14)
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April 23, 2004, 09:44 AM

Good points, good points said here. One thing I'd like to add...
Sportbikes have a much more cramped passenger position and my passenger likes to stretch her legs every once in a while (if you're on a long ride). I suggest that if your passenger wants to MOVE around to be comfier, that she/he does it when you're not in a turn.
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April 23, 2004, 10:01 AM

I suggest not trying this but my passenger hangs off the side of the bike with me. Would say that she almost drags a knee when we hit a turn. It's just easier for me and weight transfer. Bodies parallel is a good point. Tell the passenger to not move around if they can help it because they have some control over the bike as well. This is just my input and doesn't need to be executed.


Ride Hard or Put it Away. Trickn is life.
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