The first thing we have to think when riding pillion is the kind of ride we’ll do. It’s not the same moving through the city than a medium or long distance. And as in everything in life, judgement and common sense.
We start by the clothing. As we explained in another post, it must be adequate for the season and also with some protection elements, the same as with the shoes. Maybe these premises are more difficult to achieve in short or urban travels but we assure you it’s the right thing to do. Riding a motorbike you never know where danger can be hidden to frighten you.
If the person that will go pillion in the motorbike doesn’t have experience as such, they must understand that there are certain limitations of movement and that even some of them can be dangerous for the rider.
Before mounting the motorbike we have to wait until the rider gives us the OK to the movement. They must be firmly awaiting for the action that is advisable to do on the left, because if the rider has put the support leg it will avoid the unbalance and the fall.
Another detail to take into account is a little sign code to understand if you don’t have intercoms (even having them, in case the signal failed), gestures like a little hit in the side to stop or something similar to mark a sudden indisposition are important, especially if we do more or less long rides.
The position must be as comfortable as possible in the limitations of shape and space. But caution! Comfortable doesn’t mean carefree. You have to adopt a certain mimicry with the rider, strength in the legs to press the seat and the view to the front as if you were riding.
It’s absolutely forbidden to grab the back, the neck or the arms of the rider. As utmost and in some exceptional cases we can grab the waist if both have agreed. For that, motorbikes have some side handles that are designed for the co-pilot to hold.
We must imitate the movement of inclination in the same way that the rider. We must not do brusque movements and we have to remain as still as possible, paying attention to what’s going on each moment.
If a risk situation is produced we must imitate the gesture of the pilot, because if we do a manoeuvre by ourselves we’ll only contribute to damaging the balance and the saveable situation can become an unsolvable situation.
In the motorbikes, there’s an element that, as pillion, is our enemy: the exhaust pipe. Be careful because its high temperature can cause burns, special care of not touching it, although it’s protected, we must never trust it.
And one last tip, when an urban ride is done it’s frequent to brake and accelerate again, try to keep the firmness of the neck so your helmet doesn’t hit constantly the one of the rider, something that is very annoying and that compromises the attention.
And when you’re told to ride as pillion, do so, act like a good pillion and don’t contribute to the chaos surrounding you.