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Discussion Starter #1
My wife is a very tiny lady. About 100lbs, 4'9" in height. I've never had a passenger on a m/c. What specific rules are out there for handling a bike with a passenger? I have a 99LT.
Any feedback greatly appreciated.
EL
 

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First question is how long have you been riding the LT? If the answer is 6 months or 6,000 miles then you are ready.


Second question. Has she ever riden on the back of a bike? If not then some education is in order so she understands not to fight the lean. Even as small as she is if she makes the wrong move at the wrong time it can be a handling handfull. Especially at low speeds.

I am sure others will chime in.

OK. I just read your other post - you have a few years on me but not much. Still a good idea to become intimate with the LT before adding the distraction of a passenger. Enjoy the ride she is a great one.
 

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+1 on what John said.
 

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EddieLo said:
My wife is a very tiny lady. About 100lbs, 4'9" in height. I've never had a passenger on a m/c. What specific rules are out there for handling a bike with a passenger? I have a 99LT.
Any feedback greatly appreciated.
EL
my wife is similar, been chauffeuring her around since we met, told her to stay directly behind me even when leaning in a corner, she always made sure I drove responsibly by sucker punching me in the kidneys should I get overly enthusiastic
 

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Don't be afraid to ride with your wife. My wife is not quite as petite and rode but a few times with me over the years, mostly on middle-weight sport bikes. The first time I got on an LT was when I took delivery of it. My wife was with me and we got on the bike and rode it home 1200 miles. You have lots of riding experience and should have no problem with your little lady on the back.

I much prefer the wife on the back of the LT than on the back of the Moto Guzzi, Ducati or R1100S's I had. Or even the Dyna Wide Glide I rode for a very short while. I presume the extra weight of the LT makes it less sensitive to the weight of a passenger compared to those sportier bikes. The way to get your wife used to the bike is to tell her to hold on to you. Get her to wrap her arms around you. That way she has to move with you and won't feel that she has to counter. Once she gets used to riding she'll probably prefer to lean back against the backrest and fall asleep like my wife do.

The LT is heavy, but once you have your feet up it becomes a ballerina. I like the way it handles and don't have a problem at low speed. And with the Corbin seat I also have to move forward to flat-foot.

Hope you enjoy your new motorcycle!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
jzeiler said:
First question is how long have you been riding the LT? If the answer is 6 months or 6,000 miles then you are ready.


Second question. Has she ever riden on the back of a bike? If not then some education is in order so she understands not to fight the lean. Even as small as she is if she makes the wrong move at the wrong time it can be a handling handfull. Especially at low speeds.

I am sure others will chime in.

OK. I just read your other post - you have a few years on me but not much. Still a good idea to become intimate with the LT before adding the distraction of a passenger. Enjoy the ride she is a great one.
Thanks John. Good ideas. Although I do have many years of m/c driving, I've never had a passenger on board. I guess it's because I've never owned a touring bike. I think I like your 6/6 rule. Sounds reasonable to me. Thanks again for your input.
EL
 

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When I got the LT, I took a motorcycle refresher course with the Missus. She has been on board for 90% of the miles on the bike (currently 80k)
Here are a few tips the instructor gave us:
The passenger must confirm with the driver before embarking or disembarking,
The passenger must stay upright when riding (snoozing is optional) except for hard low speed turns when she can lean outboard smoothly to help the bike lean into the curve (needs to be practised)
When coming to a stop, the passenger should stay upright or look over the right shoulder of the driver, helping him to put his left foot on the ground. She should not lean left particularly on a LT. The driver should also keep the steering straight but that is another story...
Enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
andres said:
Don't be afraid to ride with your wife. My wife is not quite as petite and rode but a few times with me over the years, mostly on middle-weight sport bikes. The first time I got on an LT was when I took delivery of it. My wife was with me and we got on the bike and rode it home 1200 miles. You have lots of riding experience and should have no problem with your little lady on the back.

I much prefer the wife on the back of the LT than on the back of the Moto Guzzi, Ducati or R1100S's I had. Or even the Dyna Wide Glide I rode for a very short while. I presume the extra weight of the LT makes it less sensitive to the weight of a passenger compared to those sportier bikes. The way to get your wife used to the bike is to tell her to hold on to you. Get her to wrap her arms around you. That way she has to move with you and won't feel that she has to counter. Once she gets used to riding she'll probably prefer to lean back against the backrest and fall asleep like my wife do.

The LT is heavy, but once you have your feet up it becomes a ballerina. I like the way it handles and don't have a problem at low speed. And with the Corbin seat I also have to move forward to flat-foot.

Hope you enjoy your new motorcycle!
Good points Andre. However, falling asleep is remarkable. I think it will take many miles before my wife will attempt that.
Thanks for you input.
EL
 

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Its really easy, only three rules: Sit down, hang on, and shut up!

This does not work in real life.

It is ok for the passenger to either sit straight up in turns or to follow the driver. It is not ok for her to
change her mind in the middle of a turn.

One of the quickest ways to drop these things to have the passenger swing their leg wide when they climb on behind you. Keep that swinging leg close to the bike.

I read with amusement the comments about the jabs in the side. Even with a comm system they seem to like to jab
 

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I would remind your wife to hold the hand grips while riding through intersections. A sudden stop on your part can easily launch her forward (don't ask me how I know). And along those lines, it's easy for the passenger to get lulled into sightseeing and not paying attention to what's going on. So be prepared to remind her to hold on if you anticipate a need to quickly change direction or decelerate.



I love this caption - 20 years of marriage and she's holding me tighter then ever.

Greg
 

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I usually tell my passenger (when she's climbing aboard) to try and keep her body close to the bike. It helps minimize my need to hold the machine vertical when she's mounting it.
 

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All good advice so far, my wife has been my passenger for over a hundred thousand miles,
quite a accomplishment considering she had never been on a motorcycle before she met me.

One of the best things I ever added to my bike was the intercom system,
it made our time on the bike together more intimate and enjoyable,
it also provided her with opportunities to tell me how not to drive to fast,
where she wants to shop, eat or stop for bathroom breaks :)
It's all worth it to have her with me.

When we depart, I get seated on the bike with both of my hands on the handlebars,
I give her the go ahead, she climbs on, grabs the handles on both sides and we ride away,

same thing dismounting, I will usually deploy the centerstand while we are both still seated,
then I give her the go ahead, she dismounts first, then I do.

The only thing I would like to add to that is stop often and make sure it is nothing but enjoyable for her.

I'll give you an example,
when I was single I would do as many BMW rallies as my schedule allowed,

When we were dating, I took my wife to the north Georgia rally,
(her first camping and rally experience)
it rained for three days, we left early and went to a motel,
it took almost two days to get all our gear dried out,

because of that she doesn't camp or go to motorcycle rallies,
if I want to go I go alone.
 

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Here is the MSF's tip sheet on passengers. Good info to start with.
http://www.msf-usa.org/downloads/Passenger_Tip_Sheet.pdf

Develop a communication plan with your passenger, either verbal or non-verbal. That will go a long way to having a safe and fun ride.

I would say the top tip is the passenger should not do anything before informing the pilot.
 

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SilverBuffalo said:
All good advice so far, my wife has been my passenger for over a hundred thousand miles,
quite a accomplishment considering she had never been on a motorcycle before she met me.

One of the best things I ever added to my bike was the intercom system,
it made our time on the bike together more intimate and enjoyable,
it also provided her with opportunities to tell me how not to drive to fast,
where she wants to shop, eat or stop for bathroom breaks :)
It's all worth it to have her with me.

When we depart, I get seated on the bike with both of my hands on the handlebars,
I give her the go ahead, she climbs on, grabs the handles on both sides and we ride away,

same thing dismounting, I will usually deploy the centerstand while we are both still seated,
then I give her the go ahead, she dismounts first, then I do.

The only thing I would like to add to that is stop often and make sure it is nothing but enjoyable for her.

I'll give you an example,
when I was single I would do as many BMW rallies as my schedule allowed,

When we were dating, I took my wife to the north Georgia rally,
(her first camping and rally experience)
it rained for three days, we left early and went to a motel,
it took almost two days to get all our gear dried out,

because of that she doesn't camp or go to motorcycle rallies,
if I want to go I go alone.
Great points, Hans. I feel the same way about having my wife ride with me. She can be a PITA, but she is worth it. I have heard her say the same. Riding the LT is fun, riding the LT with my bride is even more fun because we share it.
 

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What? No one has said it yey?

"Get on, sit down, shut up, and hang on!"
 

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Explain to your rider that just like with airplanes, the most important time to not disturb the pilot is during take off or landing. :)
 

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Hi EddieLo and welcome,

I'm new here too so my welcome is like when the stewardess welcomes you to the city you just landed in even though she was there only 1/10 of a second before you.


I don't have the experience riding you do in years or miles. I have 25k miles on a sport touring bike (Triumph Sprint) and recently bought an 06 LT. I have approx 3k on it. But I had passenger experience with my other bike, so I wasn't overly concerned about having a passenger on the LT. On the maiden voyage, bringing the bike home I was surprised when my passenger told me she would sometimes move around, shift, stretch her legs, etc. I was completely unaware of her motion in the back. She is about 100lbs, and knew not to get too squirrelly, but in general, my perception is that its not a huge difference in bike control when she's on vs. when she's not.

I strongly agree with the "make a plan and stick to it" mentality. I've often compared riding my Sprint to the LT by saying that on my Sprint I don't hesitate at corners, driveways etc when rolling a turn. I can easily look opposite the way I'm turning while moving and, even if I end up seeing something that makes me stop, I can stop without fear or fuss. I rarely do that on the LT. When I'm on the LT approaching a stop I remind myself what the MSF class taught me "head and eyes up, etc, etc". I feel like a weenie for having to "go backwards" in terms of bike control, but the alternative most likely will be dumping the bike and I like that option less.

Overall, I find myself getting on the LT more than the Sprint now for things like going to the gym or grocery runs (snacks usually). So much so that I'm probably going to sell the Sprint - my first bike - which I've had about 10 years.

Bottom line - it's a great all around bike. Get comfortable on it and soon you'll be cruising around town soaking in the envious looks of guys who wonder who the super cool guy is who obviously is some sort of bike handling expert to be driving such a monster all over town so easily. Ok - maybe that's just what I tell myself. :D

Chris
 

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Just like a horse. She gets on and off from the left side only, and when I say so. That way we both expect the same thing every time with no surprises....
 

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SteveW said:
Explain to your rider that just like with airplanes, the most important time to not disturb the pilot is during take off or landing. :)
+1, this was the rule I gave my wife, when starting and stopping don't move a muscle. Also had to break her of the habit to lean over right to talk to me when stopped, almost dropped at an intersection on the ride home, left foot out holding bike, right on brake and she leaned over to the right to tell me to raise up the windshield, almost took us down.

On the LT I tell my hunny to just relax and lean back into the backrest, that way she stays aligned with the bike much more instinctively. On my R1200C she always wants to lean away from the turn no matter how much I tell her, on the LT this tendency does not occur, BMW designed in a cure for many passenger problems on the LT between the luxuriously wide seat to eliminate squirming, the ample backrest to relax into the natural movement of the bike, large pegs to comfortably hold feet steady, handles in a comfortable location and size, and no hot parts exposed to surprise the passenger on contact and cause a jerk reaction.

Make sure to add a little preload to the rear shock before you take her but I think an experienced rider such as yourself is going to find adding a passenger (esp on the LT) to be much ado about nothing. Once I got home, and rode the bike on some practice stuff in a parking lot, I grabbed my wife and put her on then went and practiced some low speed maneuvers without her first (so she could see what I was doing) and then put her on, to be honest I did not feel much of a difference. Soon enough she will be sawing logs on the queens throne behind you and you will have the benefit of a solo ride with the advantage of your sweetie along (there was a whole thread a couple months back about this passenger sleeping syndrome, apparently quite wide-spread).

If you don't have comm, get one of the bluetooth sets out there, increases the joy of riding by an immeasurable factor, if you ride with other riders it will be nice to be able to talk to them also, just make sure you get a compatible model to theirs.
 
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