Touring on a motorcycle is more fun with a Pillion?
Touring on a motorcycle is more fun if there’s someone else along to share the experience. But whether it’s an afternoon ride or a week-long motorcycle trip, there’s more to carrying a passenger than just dusting off the back seat and flipping down the rear footpegs. A rider and passenger should work as a team, because even though only one of them is at the controls, whatever happens, good or bad, affects them both.
The bike you ride factors into whether your passenger is going to enjoy the ride, or endure it. Luxury tourer? No sweat, go for it. Mile-high adventure bike? Maybe, but your passenger should be adventurous, too. Cruiser? Depends on the size. What feels fine for an afternoon can easily turn into torture over the course of a few long days on the road, so make sure the bike you ride is really right for two-up riding.
Whatever you ride, a passenger will affect its performance. Handling changes, cornering limits come up earlier, braking distances go up and fuel economy goes down. Before you head off for on an adventure, you and your passenger should go on a shakedown ride or two to give your reflexes a chance to adjust to all this, let alone riding a bike load with both riders and pillions luggage.
Adjust the bike, too, specifically its suspension and tyre pressures. A loaded bike sits lower, so crank up the preload front and back to regain some cornering clearance. Air up the tyres to their maximum pressures and take a gauge with you to check them during the trip. Underinflated tyres heat up and wear out faster, so unless you want to burn a day or two of precious holiday time in the waiting room of a dealership getting new rubber, check your tyres and inspect your motorcycle for defective parts and don’t forgot those all important lights and brakes if you do this every morning you know that you can have a safe and enjoyable motorcycle trip.