Author Topic: My wife loved riding pillion  (Read 9856 times)

Offline Old Steve

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My wife loved riding pillion
« on: April 28, 2014, 01:58:14 PM »
Rented a Harley Road King for a day while away on holiday last week, and took my wife for a small ride up the tropical coast of Queensland from Cairns to Port Douglas. Took if very gently, and when it was time to come home she turned down a ride in the car that had followed us and clImbed up on the bike again and came back with me.

That was a fantastic road to take her on, just gentle curves all the way which I took at the posted speed, not leaning too far, and she just sat on the back and I hardly knew she was there.

I am still buzzing, she enjoyed her rides and is looking forward to doing it again. WOW!!! It was only about 120 km, but I'm the happiest guy in the world.

That night, over a couple of glasses of wine, she said it was a pity we didn't have the bike the next day so we could do the longer loop through the tablelands.

Only problem was the bloody Harley key fob!  Useless piece of electronic s*#t.  Thought I'd left it on the seat after starting the bike and had ridden off without it, eventually found it in a safe pocket in my riding jacket where I couldn't fel it.

I'll work out how to lower the ST1100 so I have a better stance when stopped.  I'll probably lower the head down the front forks, move the rear suspension to a softer setting, and have a shave taken out of the seat foam.  Will also look at putting a back pad on the top box for her to lean back against.
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Offline Brock

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Re: My wife loved riding pillion
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2014, 02:48:09 PM »
Dont lower the head down the forks, that will bugger up the handling. The only effective way to get your feet flatter on the ground, is to have your seat modified. Folk on the US site have tried all sorts of triks to lower the bike, but it didnt work.

Your local motor trimmer should be able to rework your seat to suit your leg length, and improve long distance comfort at the same time. There are specialist seat modification places around, but they can be expensive.

Another option is to find some riding boots with a thicker sole, effectively lengthening your leg,
Brock
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Offline Diesel

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Re: My wife loved riding pillion
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2014, 02:52:52 PM »
Great news Steve. We ALL know to go easy when the 'other half' is getting on the bike for the first time - always look after the SWAMBO!     :rofl


Glad to hear you both had a great time in some fantastic riding country.


I always have to tell my missus to tuck her feet in now so they don't touch the road in hairpin country! The thought of scuffing nice looking boots is all too much!      :spank              :crackup


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Offline ST2UP

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Re: My wife loved riding pillion
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2014, 03:39:06 PM »
That's great Steve.....and little steps are the answer  ;-*
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Offline Marcus

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Re: My wife loved riding pillion
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2014, 04:26:41 PM »
Wait had she not been on your bike before? or was it just the Harley?
 

Offline Old Steve

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Re: My wife loved riding pillion
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2014, 05:18:02 PM »
Never been on A bike before.  Finally got to try it and she loved it.

I'm thinking about taking trips together now, but I want to get my feet flat on the ground first.
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Offline Bikebear

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Re: My wife loved riding pillion
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2014, 05:48:15 PM »
Hmmmm.. visited Cairns and didn't even bother to let me know so I could catch up. Hmph I feel unloved... bwahahahaha... :crackup  :rofl
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Offline Marcus

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Re: My wife loved riding pillion
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2014, 06:48:08 PM »
Never been on A bike before.  Finally got to try it and she loved it.

I'm thinking about taking trips together now, but I want to get my feet flat on the ground first.

Mate once your better half starts enjoying the ride as much as you you will soon find out it's tough to get away by yourself :D
I wouldn't worry about flat footing too much once you get used to the extra weight, it become second nature.

 

Offline Sicman

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Re: My wife loved riding pillion
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2014, 10:01:04 PM »
Good result Steve. There was a lady with a professionally lowered red ST1300 at the Ulysses Maryborough AGM last year so there must be options out there for it to be done  :thumb
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Offline West Aussie Glen

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Re: My wife loved riding pillion
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2014, 11:54:42 PM »
Steve,
If the budget allows it follow my example, save the ST for solo and get this for 2 up
http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/windsor/motorcycles/honda-goldwing-50th-anniversary-model-/1042757243
So much nicer then a Harley
Glen
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Offline Old Steve

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Re: My wife loved riding pillion
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2014, 09:15:38 AM »
Hmmmm.. visited Cairns and didn't even bother to let me know so I could catch up. Hmph I feel unloved...

Oh Craig, sorry mate.  I did think of getting in touch but I just spent so much time drinking fine reds and catching up with a cousin that I hadn't seen in ten years.  And drinking more fine red.  She doesn't drink red, and her late husband left an investment cellar which is mainly reds.  It was a hard job to reduce the stock to a manageable level, but I looked on it as an honourable thing to do.

Next time ...
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Offline Chatty

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Re: My wife loved riding pillion
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2014, 09:52:05 AM »
G'day Steve - I hope you don't mind a piece of advice about seat height and leg length...

I used to be a Ridersafe instructor here in South Oz and we would get a regular stream of older riders who were finally getting legal, but having ridden for years they were very set in their habits.  One of the noticeable bad habits was a tendency to put both feet down when coming to a stop.

Now, the first thing this does is take the rear brake out of play - not a good thing as you lose at least 30% of your braking effort, maybe more if you have a Honda with linked brakes.  It also makes the bike difficult to control if you are stopped on a slope, because you are relying on trying to control the throttle and front brake at the same time with the one hand - it just ain't gonna work...

But the other thing it does is it effectively shortens your legs, because you are trying to get both feet on the ground - spreading your hips across the seat, which gives you shorter legs.  It also means that with the bike dead upright, it is in its tallest position.
If you stop with just your left leg on the ground, the bike has to lean over, which shortens the vertical distance from the seat to the ground.  It also enables you to shift your backside slightly so you're not trying to spread your legs across the seat.  You are forming the most stable structure known to man - a tripod - between the wheels and your foot.

I am over 6' tall, but struggle getting both feet down on the ST - but the left foot down only stance is very comfortable for me.  It has the added benefit of enabling full control of the bike when stopped, by using the rear brake.  And you know what?  It costs nothing!

As others have said, don't drop the front through the forks - it changes the steering geometry and could make the bike unstable.  Softening the rear suspension will mean you will bottom out more (especially two up) again leading to instability, especially if you fit a bump mid-corner.

Chatty
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Offline ST2UP

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Re: My wife loved riding pillion
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2014, 10:30:50 AM »
Great advise  :clap  :clap

The knowledge and willingness to impart these lessons learnt as always is impressive in this place  :-++  :-++


The other to consider is the STead will sit down just a little with the bride on the back.....load up in the shed on a flat surface and have a play before the seat gets attacked.....Oh and if you go the platform shoes...."We want Pics"   Wot thuh  Wot thuh


 :beer


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Offline alans1100

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Re: My wife loved riding pillion
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2014, 11:21:34 AM »


Now, the first thing this does is take the rear brake out of play - not a good thing as you lose at least 30% of your braking effort, maybe more if you have a Honda with linked brakes.  

The linked system (at least on the 1100) is designed so that there is braking on both wheels regardless of using foot or hand.
If anything you gain by using both foot and hand brakes together. The foot brake alone is capable of stopping the bike under normal braking conditions. The front alone is better than the back but not something I would normally do unless within the last 3 or 4 metres when coming to a stop.
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Offline Chatty

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Re: My wife loved riding pillion
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2014, 11:37:00 AM »


Now, the first thing this does is take the rear brake out of play - not a good thing as you lose at least 30% of your braking effort, maybe more if you have a Honda with linked brakes.  

The linked system (at least on the 1100) is designed so that there is braking on both wheels regardless of using foot or hand.
If anything you gain by using both foot and hand brakes together. The foot brake alone is capable of stopping the bike under normal braking conditions. The front alone is better than the back but not something I would normally do unless within the last 3 or 4 metres when coming to a stop.

My point exactly.

One of the biggest things we struggled with as instructors was convincing riders of the importance of the rear brake and that proper use of the rear brake decreases braking distance by around 30%.  I have had a number of (younger know-it-alls) tell me that the front brake does everything and that you don't need to ever use the rear brake.

I haven't got actual figures for the contribution of the rear pedal to braking on the ST, but my gut feeling on my 1300 is that the rear pedal contributes more than 30% to overall braking effort.  Note that I haven't said rear brake because of the linked system.

I have to admit that when I first started riding the ST I struggled a bit to get my head around the braking set up - especially the front dipping when I applied just the rear pedal to settle the back end down into a corner - but now I'm used to it I love it!

Chatty
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Offline Brock

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Re: My wife loved riding pillion
« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2014, 12:41:28 PM »
When braking, and coming to a stop, I usually try to release the front brake as its embarrassing to lock the front wheel, cause it to kick over and dump you on the road...

Not that it ever happened o:) o:) o:)
Brock
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Offline Marcus

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Re: My wife loved riding pillion
« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2014, 12:49:19 PM »
I usually go both at the same time. But back only on gravel or parking
 

Offline Brock

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Re: My wife loved riding pillion
« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2014, 01:02:01 PM »
I start with both, but ease up on the front when getting very slow.
Brock
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Offline ST2UP

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Re: My wife loved riding pillion
« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2014, 05:03:06 PM »
I get Pockey to drag a foot on the back wheel like you use to do on your BMX.....no point wasting expensive brake pads  :whistle
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Offline West Aussie Glen

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Re: My wife loved riding pillion
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2014, 07:19:06 PM »
Some interesting thoughts above.
I would have thought that by the time you are about to put your foot on the ground all the braking is really over.
The combined braking system on the GL1500 Goldwings is:-
Hand Lever - Front Left hand Disc
Foot Lever - Rear Disc and Front Right hand Disc. very different from the ST1300
Note the GL1500s also have antidive on the front brakes.
I regularly use hand brake and throttle, the reason I stopped wearing mittens in the winter. Mittens are a lot warmer then gloves.
I like to stop with the bike in neutral, probably a no no for some people so therefore I normally stop with my right foot on the ground. Lots of roads have a slope to the left therefore the ground is closer to my right foot and if I am close to a centre island the ground is even closer.
Glen
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Offline Chatty

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Re: My wife loved riding pillion
« Reply #20 on: April 29, 2014, 07:46:59 PM »

I like to stop with the bike in neutral, probably a no no for some people so therefore I normally stop with my right foot on the ground.

As instructors we used to advise against that practice as it removes your ability to move off quickly to prevent being hit from behind, should a following vehicle not stop.  I know for me, staying in gear has saved me twice from being hit from behind by a vehicle whose driver had not seen both myself stopped on the bike and the red light that I was stopped for.  In one of those incidents being able to move off quickly saved me from being hit from behind by a fully loaded ute traveling at about 70 km/h.

I have also been hit from behind once because I was in neutral and the light turned green and I was a bit slow getting into gear - the driver behind me expected me to take off as soon as we got the green light so she put her foot down...

Now, I always stay in gear.
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Offline Nigel

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Re: My wife loved riding pillion
« Reply #21 on: April 29, 2014, 08:16:08 PM »
Hi All, My thoughts are that you may have moved off topic with Old Steve. I am sort of in the same boat trying to get my lovely lady to ride with me. Since moving to 2 up it has been a slow learning curve that we are getting to grips with.  It is on both sides a confidence issue at the moment rather that a skills issue. Although both mostly with moi. I think he maybe looking for ways to make his wife as comfortable with the experience of riding as he is.  Not trying to put words into any bodies mouth of course. Just some thoughts.  :wink1 :wht11
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Offline Brock

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Re: My wife loved riding pillion
« Reply #22 on: April 29, 2014, 08:26:25 PM »
Not uncommon to drift off topic, and you are correct.

Back on track Guys :well :well :well

Cant get my wife to try out the bike.... She will ride on the back in Thailand but.. Go figure..
Brock
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Offline Pocket STocker

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Re: My wife loved riding pillion
« Reply #23 on: April 29, 2014, 10:38:48 PM »
That's fantastic news Steve  :runyay you will have to bring your lovely wife a cuppa and a chair to the computer and have a read through the Ladies and Pillion section.

 See if that section answers some questions for her and perhaps even ask some of her own.  :think1

The way you went about introducing your pillion to riding is the real secret, many fail to make safety and security the most import goal, only then can your pillion enjoy the experience and wish to hopefully seek more time on the bike.....funny how in the passenger seat of even a comfy car I have had enough after 2 hrs but can do many many hours longer than that on the ST.


Pockey  ;-*
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Offline Pezzz

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Re: My wife loved riding pillion
« Reply #24 on: April 29, 2014, 11:58:52 PM »
I get Pockey to drag a foot on the back wheel like you use to do on your BMX.....no point wasting expensive brake pads  :whistle
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