Hitting the open road 2 Up for the first time can be an Amazing Adventure or a full on Suckfest. It sets the tone for future fun or future "Oh shit, don't make me get on that bike with you..." kind of a thing. With a few simple tips (ok, well there are actually a lot of tips) it can ease any fears you may have and open the door (the garage door that is) to a vitality injection like no other! (Ok well there are similar vitality injections, but that is a different blog post all together)
Your job as a pillion is to Enjoy the Ride, Point Out Cool Stuff you see in a Calm & Controlled Manner and Be a Look Out for any road signs or landmarks that you are searching for. This is not a license to be a backseat driver. If you don't like how your driver drives - then you are SOL and just get on your own bike instead of bitching at them. It ruins the ride for both.
1. Only go 2Up if you trust your driver. Do they practice responsible behavior in all areas of their lives or are they the 'Hold My Beer & Watch This' kind of a person? This is super important! You are putting your life in their hands - choose wisely.
2. For your first ride, it is ideal to have some sort of back support or pannier behind you. If you are not used to the movements of a bike and since you do not have the gas or brake in your control (duh) - you will be reacting to varying speeds. You don't want to get pitched off the back on your first ride. It will hurt, you will look super stupid, and know that most likely, someone will be videoing it and you it will get plastered all over the internet for eternity. So have something back there.
3. Know that when you have a helmet on, it is darn near impossible to "hold on" to your driver well. It would pitch your head back and is super uncomfortable. Sit up straight at normal speeds and hold on to the racks below your tush. The fabric straps don't give me ANY feeling of safety at all so skip those.
4. Pending on your seat height situation, at high speeds or high winds, keep your head tilted down just a bit. This is so the wind does not catch your helmet (which may be higher than your driver) and attempt to rip it right off. This hurts like a mother...trust me.
5. Don't lean like a crazy person. You are not the driver, you need to be neutral and be a part of the bike. When you start throwing your body around, you are changing the dynamics of the weight of the bike. Not cool. Pending on the kind of riding you are doing and what speeds you are doing it, this will change, just be in communication with your driver. Off road trails, counter balance lean - this means shifting your weight in the opposite direction of your driver. This adds weight to the tire side that may be lifting off the ground therefore it gives more tire surface area to grip. On the road, you need to be the bike - so opposite of being in an off road situation.
6. At anytime your driver stands up for any reason, find a rack or something to hold onto. You lose your view, your leg hold and won't know if you are going to venture over some rocks, roots or mini ravines.
7. Dress in layers and ALWAYS Safety First. There is some great and pretty lightweight gear out there - no it may not look as cool as your skinny jeans, but roads eat jeans for breakfast and you don't want to be served up. www.Revzilla.com has a sweet selection and some of the best product review vids out there!
8. Know before you GO. What is your reason for the ride? Agree between the 2 of you, is it a sight seeing mission or are you trying to get somewhere by a certain time? This opens up the communication of "Hey, Stop Over There" without there being any weirdness.
1. Understand that when you stand up, your pillion only sees your ass and has no clue as to what is ahead. Be their eyes and stay in communication. This is true (minus the ass part) even when you are not standing. So let them know what is ahead.
2. If you clunk heads/helmets, know that it is your fault! You control the speeds, not them so don't be a douche bag about it and snap at them.
3. If you have an adjustable windshield, raise it when on the highway. The pillion gets whipped around more, A LOT MORE - kind of like sitting in the WAAAAY back of a station wagon, it can get crazy back there.
4. Invest in a bluetooth communication system for your helmets. Shouting to each other gets old and opens your mouth for whatever to fly in. Having a good helmet mounted comm system is priceless!
1. Protect your hearing, bikes and wind are LOUD!! We all know an old person who can't hear shit, don't become one of them. Repetitive loud sounds eat away at your hearing, so protect it with a high quality helmet and ear plugs. Check out our reviews of all that we have tried in the review section.
2. Water & snacks are not just for kindergartners. Staying hydrated & fueled keeps you alert which makes you a better driver. You need to be @ your best, because everyone else drives like shit.
More on this to come...
We are Trapper & Bethany - it is wickedly sweet to meet you! We are a ridiculously happy couple that broke the seal of our motorcycle virginity. Figuring out how to ride more and more has been a new goal. While learning the ins and outs of 2 upping it and how to adventure safely and awesomely, we hope you enjoy our lessons and journey as much as we do.