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Offline pudder

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Pillion Comfort
« on: 16 September, 2019, 11:59:52 AM »
I've been trying to encourage my wife to ride pillion with me, and so far we've been out for a couple rides of up to an hour or so.
My ultimate goal is a European tour, so looking at working up to doing say 8 hours in the saddle.

She's getting used to leaning in corners, and generally enjoys it, but has complained of being uncomfortable afterwards.
The main complaint is a numb bum, though also muscle ache from trying to stop herself sliding on the seat.

My first thought is that it's just a case of getting used to it over time, but I'd like to explore anything that might improve her comfort.

Would be interested if anyone has suggestions, especially from those with experience touring long distances two-up.

Online af1-windy

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Re: Pillion Comfort
« Reply #1 on: 16 September, 2019, 12:23:47 PM »
I bought this from a forum member but I think it was an OE seat altered by Tony Archer.



The rear section is thicker and flatter so no sliding forward. My partner has a odd shaped coxis and the OE seat was too painful for her.

We haven't done much over 3 hours but she was ok with it.

In fairness, 8 hours in the saddle is gonna be hard work, even with some breaks..

There are other seat people, Digger seats seems to get good reviews, I use Tony Archer because he's just down the road.. he's also very good..

windy   :031:


Offline TCC

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Re: Pillion Comfort
« Reply #2 on: 16 September, 2019, 01:59:03 PM »
Allow me to share the two golden rules for taking a pillion.

*Originally Posted by pudder [+]
........She's getting used to leaning in corners,.......

Rule No. 1. Stop your pillion from leaning in corners. This is a major error. Any rider who encourages this is doing both rider and pillion a disservice. Pillions often feel they should lean with the bike however they have no idea when or how much to lean and when to stop leaning. You have no idea when or how much they're going to lean and when they're going to stop leaning. As a consequence when the bike leans, how much it leans and when it wants to stand up is out of your control.
Encourage your pillion to stay sitting in line with the bike and to convert their natural inclination to move in some way into a slight forward lean toward the rider. Works for turns in both directions. Satisfies the pillions natural instinct and has no influence on the lean dynamics you should have full control of.   

*Originally Posted by pudder [+]
......The main complaint is a numb bum, though also muscle ache from trying to stop herself sliding on the seat.......

Rule No. 2. Don't take a pillion on a bike you yourself have not ridden pillion on to see if it is passably comfortable. The single most important aspect of being comfortable on a bike is not the seat but the relationship of the pillion pegs to the pillion seat. The pillion pegs should be no further forward than the centre of the pillions bottom. Ideally just a little further back than the centre. If the pegs are forward of their "derrire centrale' they will be using their stomach muscles to avoid leaning back and this gets tiresome real quick. It's less important if you have a full dresser cruiser with a cossetting back rest such as a Gold Wing but anything less is just plain unpleasant. Top boxes are not back rests. If the pegs are too far forward the bike will never be comfortable for a pillion. And yes, that means most bikes.
« Last Edit: 16 September, 2019, 02:01:52 PM by TCC »

Online af1-windy

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Re: Pillion Comfort
« Reply #3 on: 16 September, 2019, 02:13:41 PM »
*Originally Posted by TCC [+]
Allow me to share the two golden rules for taking a pillion.

Rule No. 1. Stop your pillion from leaning in corners. This is a major error. Any rider who encourages this is doing both rider and pillion a disservice. Pillions often feel they should lean with the bike however they have no idea when or how much to lean and when to stop leaning. You have no idea when or how much they're going to lean and when they're going to stop leaning. As a consequence when the bike leans, how much it leans and when it wants to stand up is out of your control.
Encourage your pillion to stay sitting in line with the bike and to convert their natural inclination to move in some way into a slight forward lean toward the rider. Works for turns in both directions. Satisfies the pillions natural instinct and has no influence on the lean dynamics you should have full control of.   

Rule No. 2. Don't take a pillion on a bike you yourself have not ridden pillion on to see if it is passably comfortable. The single most important aspect of being comfortable on a bike is not the seat but the relationship of the pillion pegs to the pillion seat. The pillion pegs should be no further forward than the centre of the pillions bottom. Ideally just a little further back than the centre. If the pegs are forward of their "derrire centrale' they will be using their stomach muscles to avoid leaning back and this gets tiresome real quick. It's less important if you have a full dresser cruiser with a cossetting back rest such as a Gold Wing but anything less is just plain unpleasant. Top boxes are not back rests. If the pegs are too far forward the bike will never be comfortable for a pillion. And yes, that means most bikes.

I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure he means she's getting use to the bike leaning, as opposed to sitting in a car..  :300: :300: :300:..... :001:

And as for testing the pillion, err, what is good for one is not necessarily good for someone else.. best to stick on the back the person that is going to be on there..  :001:

Online seangee

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Re: Pillion Comfort
« Reply #4 on: 16 September, 2019, 05:36:49 PM »
*Originally Posted by TCC [+]
Rule No. 1. Stop your pillion from leaning in corners.
Agreed. The tip I always give pillions worked for me after I had a really bad off and recognised I was being an awful pillion. I felt sorry for the mate who used to give me a lift to uni and tried to find a way to force myself to behave like a sack of potatoes.

Tell them to hold on and close their eyes for the first few trips. If they don't know the corner is coming they won't try to help you get through it (or prevent you from getting through it)  :031:
Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

Online Paul2bikes

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Re: Pillion Comfort
« Reply #5 on: 16 September, 2019, 06:49:32 PM »
Before I took my missus on pillion, she was taught by her chums at work to stay in line with the bike. I never knew she was there.
The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.
Leonardo da Vinci

Offline colcol

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Re: Pillion Comfort
« Reply #6 on: 17 September, 2019, 07:43:45 AM »
I use and recomend using an Airhawk
My pillon and i will cover 700ks in a day with 2 stops for fuel and a feed

Offline pudder

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Re: Pillion Comfort
« Reply #7 on: 17 September, 2019, 09:55:42 AM »
Thanks for the replies everyone.
I'm surprised that pillion leaning with the bike is being advised against, especially as the motorcycle theory test recommends it.
Of course you don't want them throwing their weight around all over the place, but if they try to stay upright (wrt the ground), the bike is going to want to go straight on.
I've advised staying upright (wrt the centreline of the bike), and this has kept cornering predictable.

I'll take a look at the Airhawk, gel pads, and potentially reworking the seat if necessary.

Offline Kev51

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Re: Pillion Comfort
« Reply #8 on: 17 September, 2019, 10:00:57 AM »
I had any new pillions on my bike to simply peer over the left shoulder if we were approaching a left hand bend and right shoulder on a right hand bend. This way the majority of their upper body was inline with my body whilst their head was bending at the neck. Worked fine.

Online Paul2bikes

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Re: Pillion Comfort
« Reply #9 on: 17 September, 2019, 10:04:00 AM »
*Originally Posted by pudder [+]
I'm surprised that pillion leaning with the bike is being advised against

Who said that?
The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.
Leonardo da Vinci