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Tips for a pillion passenger

My Friend Adele is a veteran pillion and has put together some tips for people that are going to be on the back of a bike

Trust your rider

You have no business getting on the back of a bike if you have no trust. You don’t want to be a distraction to them that could potentially cause an accident

Lean with your rider

Make sure you don’t fight it and lean the opposite way because you could cause an issue especially going around tight corners. Relax your body and just go with it. You don’t want to be the reason you end up in an accident.
Your failure to lean with the bike could result in preventing it not taking the corner which means tipping the bike completely. Also don’t “over-lean” because that could also result in problems, just go with the flow.

Don’t fidget

Moving around or fidgeting can distract the rider. If you need to adjust yourself on your seat save it until you’re on a straight. Discuss signals with your rider; if you need to stop, then communicate that with them.
Set yourself up before you set off, make sure you’re comfortable and sorted.

Use your pegs

Yes they are more than just a decoration to rest your feet on. Use them to brace yourself going over dips and bumps (trust me it’ll save your back), when you’re going down hills and when the rider is braking etc.

Watch where you’re going

By all means, enjoy the countryside and sights but don’t lose focus on the road ahead. Anticipate those corners and bumps in the road. Also great when you’re riding in a group to watch the bike in front of you, especially prepares you for any big bumps you’re about to hit.


This is key because if you’re not comfortable, not enjoying it, need a break your rider needs to know all of this. Great if you have the advantage of having Bluetooth helmets but otherwise come up with some hand signals before you set off.

My own thoughts as a Rider taking a pillion,

Some advice is relative to which bike you’re on, My last pillion was 5 foot 7 and Thic, but we’re also on a 350kg Harley Davidson, so its relative that the extra person isn’t going to make as much difference to a heavier bike as much as it would against a sports bike where the pillion makes more of a percentage of the overall mass while also being higher on the bike and more-so changing the center of gravity

Low speed turns and starting off are where the most effects are felt. Roundabouts, T sections things like that. If your pillion knows to push into the peg and follow your lead then you should be ok, but that’s where its going to make the most difference.

Crusing and higher speed turns that take less body input the effects of the extra rider are less noticeable. It might be worth doing some laps of the carpark with a new pillion to make sure they understand what their role is in the balance of the bike.

Hope this helps! be safe out there

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Empire motoring Journalist, Vlogger and general larakin. Pro food and lifting heavy things.

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