Do you take your girl on rides?
Is there such a thing as a "experienced passenger"!?
Yes there is. Here are a couple of images showing how much a passenger should affect your riding.
Solo, note the lean angle.
Now, Two-up, same corner.
You will notice with her additional weight, there is no change in lean angle nor speed through the corner. You as the pilot have to be patient and work with your passenger as far as sitting position, hand position, where to look, and how to hold on.
A couple of things to discuss with your passenger:
- Body position, in regards to fore/aft and left/right.
- Hand positions
- Inner thigh pressure
For body position, should be in alignment left/right with your hips and upper body. For the fore/aft, they should be close enough to have a full grip on your hips with their inner thighs. Hand position can be either on your sides, your thighs, or around you holding onto the tank. The hands are only really used to steady the passenger's shoulders and upper body. The inner thighs are what should be doing most of the stabilization. From the picture above, you can see her right hand is on my side while her left hand is on my thigh. This allowed her to lean with me, looking through the corner under me.
Another couple of gestures to discuss and practice are speed and alert gestures. You need to be able to give your passenger an ability to either speed up or slow down without having to scream over the wind noise. Everyone I have taught how to ride on the back can tell me to speed up by tapping on the right thigh, and to slow down, tap on the left. This is not distracting and help to build trust and comfort between both of you. From the pilot side, you can let your passenger know of anything sudden coming up you are planning for, by tapping their left thigh with your clutch hand before you make any sudden accelerations / decelerations.
Onto thigh position and tension. Your passenger should have enough contact area and tension between their inner thighs and your hips to hold them securely in any riding situation. Most of the time, I tell my passenger to try and crush my hips while riding. With the passenger locked to you, it help keep the mass majority of weight locked together, and stable.
These steps have helped me teach every passenger to be more comfortable and enjoy the ride. The best reward is feeling the squeeze and hearing the laughter. The pictures shown were taking durning one of the two special track days sessions with Reg Pridmore's ClassRides Two-up classes I have attended. The track used was the Streets course at Willow Springs. Here is one of the instructors trying to keep up with us through the same corner as above. You will notice very little difference between his lean angle and ours.
My Lady bought her seventh motorcycle, a 2012 CBR250R. She enjoys riding it and also riding on the back. It handles two-up riding quite well. Yes the suspension is not up to the same level as the VFR800, nor the KTM 625SMC. That can be fixed.
Not bad for a first post to this forum.