Carrying the Perfect Pillion
Pillion usage has been a recurring topic in the MCE office over the last few weeks, from the guys in sales to the people in claims; it seems to be a divisive topic. There are motorcycle aficionados who regularly take a passenger and others who prefer a more solitary experience. There is evidently no clear cut answer as to which camp is correct, however something they can both surely agree on is it's a debate that is not going away any time soon.
This is a guide to pillion usage - with the goal of making the experience an enjoyable, yet more importantly safer activity for all involved.
First of all, remember that you do not need a licence to ride pillion, however experienced you are in handling a motorcycle, it doesn't mean the person behind you is. Be patient and considerate with them - you want them to get back on a motorcycle, possibly one of their own, one day!
Scream if you want to go faster does not apply - communication is inevitably key, before setting out discuss your journey and ways in which you can talk without necessarily talking. If they feel nervous or at risk they need to be able to tell you that clearly and quickly, if not they may panic and subsequently cause an accident.
As previously said you could be the most accomplished rider out there, but if you have gotten to grips with your bike and how it handles around corners on solitary rides, it will be difficult to adjust to another body sitting over your back wheel. For your own sake when setting out, take it slowly and come to terms with how different your bike feels and how your riding position will need to adapt when cornering or even coming to a complete stop.
Don't show off - we've all been there, when you get your full licence it's a great day and you want to tell everyone and furthermore show everyone what's so great about biking. We understand. However, they sadly don't teach how to carry a passenger properly in the test, so don't be too hasty in setting out with your girlfriend on the back before you develop further as a rider.
Make sure they have the proper gear - Compare the leathers and top end helmet you're wearing with that of your pillion, if they're wearing your cast-offs, ask yourself did you replace them for a reason?
And finally, enjoy yourselves and relax. Your passenger will feed off you, if you're apprehensive about taking them on the back, they inevitably will be as well.
With all of these factors considered, it should be a pleasant and safe journey, and you may even convert someone into, as we all know, the amazing world of biking.