Good Advice for a Pillion

I looked all over for advice on how to ride on the back of the Motorcycle, and this is the best I’ve found so far.

How to be a good Pillion

Of course by the best I mean what I agree with.

I thought I would Copy it over as well just in case the original url died.

So here it is if you were lazy with the above link or if it went away somehow.

The Guide to being a Good Pillion

The secret to being a good pillion is to almost mimic the rider, relax and enjoy the ride. Riding with your partner or a mate can be one of the most fun things you can do, but it can be that much more enjoyable if you follow a few standard rules. The guide is all you need to become the perfect pillion ride

  • ALWAYS wear a helmet that is securely fastened and fits properly. A helmet should be a snug fit; it should not be possible to twist it around on your head. The strap should be pulled as tight as you can get it. This is even more important on a pillion ride.
  •  Wear protective clothing (Read my page on pillion gear for more detail)
  • Always ask your rider how they want you to get on the bike. Common practice is to extend your right leg over the seat, and then slide gently up onto the seat. Put your feet on the foot pegs and you are ready to ride!
  • Straddle the bike facing forward, don’t try sitting side saddle or backwards
  • Keep your feet on the foot peddles at all times. (Foot peddles are crucial to a comfortable pillion ride.)
  • Always hold onto either the rider (waist strap or around their waist) or onto the grab rails.
  • Do not hold on to the rider’s shoulders or arms, which can interfere with their control, and especially do not try to use any strap that may be attached to the seat. This will not be a steady grip for you and it will affect the motorcycle’s stability.
  • If you are holding on to the rider during acceleration then it is easier to steady yourself.
  • Keep your body inline with the rider – find synergy with their movements to become the ultimate pillion rider.
  • Try and stay as neutral as possible when leaning into corners, mimicking your driver’s position. It is important to not shift your weight suddenly in the corner. If the motorcycle is turning right, look over the rider’s right shoulder; if it is turning left, look over the rider’s left shoulder.
  • If you do want to look behind you make sure you only move from the waist up, twisting your legs can make the bike unstable and difficult to control.
  • Wear the right protective clothing.
  • Only get on and off the motorcycle when the rider says so.
  • Do not give hand signals to other drivers.
  • Try not to fidget at low or high speeds.
  • Expect the unexpected. Watch the road so your can anticipate acceleration or braking. Also act as another pair of eyes for the rider. This really can make the difference in being invited again to enjoy a pillion ride.
  • If you are doing long distance riders make sure that you have upper and lower pillion pegs to rest your feet on.
  • It is best not to move around too much as a passenger but sometimes after sitting still it is impossible not to. I find that the best time for a pillion to do so for the rider is when you’re on a straight as this is when the bike is most stable. You can also move once the bike has come to a stand still in traffic but the rider might not be ready for it and lose their footing. Do not ever move when cornering, going around a bend or when slowing down.

If you are serious about becoming a pillion rider, I would recommend reading “Motorcycle Roadcraft: The Police Rider’s Handbook”, used by U.K. motorcycle police for training. The narration forces the rider to observe what is happening, because, as the book says “if you do not know something is there, you cannot react to it.”


About MotoCynic

I started riding motorcycles in 2006, and there is no going back. I've ridden more than 100,000 miles, most of it on a Ducati Monster, and despite setbacks and murderous BMW's I'm loving every mile.
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3 Responses to Good Advice for a Pillion

  1. Pingback: Riding a Motorcycle with a Passenger | Motorcycles and the Cynic

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