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I recently traded by 250 for a 750 Magna (my first bike that big) and want to get ready to take my wife along for rides. Before I do, I want to be sure I'm ready to handle the bike and her together. I'm strong enough to upright the bike from the ground, but not strong enough to keep the bike from going down with a passenger if it tips too far. If it matters, we're both "medium" size - 180 pounds for me and about 150 for her.

So, beyond the obvious (practice, practice) could I please get advice on getting ready and riding 2 up?

In particular: thought I might strap about 100 pounds of free weights together *really* well with cargo straps and then strap them *snug* onto the passenger seat to give me a chance to practice riding with extra weight but without the risk of scuffing my pretty (and slightly skittish) wife. Is this idea crazy?

Thanks much for any help!
 

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it doesn't sound like you've got enough experience on your 750 yet. not nearly enough. my strong advice is to get a lot more riding time on the bike ... before taking a passenger.

definitely I would advise against strapping all kinds of strange weight to the bike. you could wind up loading it in some way that is not normal. when it's time to ride 2-up - and you've got a lot of experience - you'll know. you'll be confident and you'll just know.

here's a real-life story for you.
i've got a riding buddy who is very experienced. he was riding with his wife a couple of years ago ... out near Laughlin, NV. He has a big Yamaha cruiser. It was evening and they were doing about 60-70 mph on the freeway. There was an obstruction on the road ... but it was impossible to see because it was a large piece of steel. So it was dark in color and invisible in the evening light. My friend didn't see it until it was very close to his bike. If he had attempted a wild swerve, while riding at those speeds and a passenger on the back, I am 99% positive he would have gone down. Think about the consequences. Instead, he went over the top of the obstacle and rode out the impact. It was a big impact ... it flipped the front wheel well up into the air ... but he did ride it out and keep the bike upright - with a passenger on the back!!!


I'm not saying you should just ride over everything. It's a judgment call. But I am saying you've literally only got instants of time to see a danger and make the right decision about how to handle it.

that kind of outcome is only possible with a lot of riding experience, some very cool nerves, and some very strong trust in your own riding abilities. even so .... his wife quit riding for at least 2 years after that incident. :)

dT
 

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Yes, that is a crazy idea for practicing. I can picture the load going all over the place and nothing good coming out of it.

You need to practice on that 750 by yourself until you feel very comfortable doing everything, and handling that bike in many different situations (slow maneuvers, parking lots, turning, stopping, quick-stopping, etc). IIRC, I didn't feel that level of comfort to carry a loved one until about 2000 miles on my first bike, but those 2000 miles came fast.

Once you feel very comfortable with your bike and slow maneuvers, and are ready to take on a passenger, keep in mind that you will need to give yourself more time to stop (the extra weight will absolutely make a difference in stopping distance), keep a greater distance between you and the traffic ahead, and turns and slow maneuvering will feel very different from what you're used to. Tell them not to move or shift in their seat while slowing down, in parking lots and during turns.So take it easy at first, practice with the passenger in a lone parking lot to feel how the bike responds.

When mounting, you should get on the bike first, kickstand up, and hold the bike straight up with feet planted firmly on the ground and handlebars straight. Same goes for dismounting. Then the passenger gets on or off, this way, you are always ready for the shift in weight and balance as they get on or off.

Basic rules I have:
1. The passenger never gets on unless I give them the OK.
2. The passenger never gets off unless I give them the OK.
3. In turns, slowing down, or in parking lots, passenger should not fidget or shift in the seat, they should stay calm and still (them moving even a little bit has a big impact on stability when going slow).
4. I never tell them to lean with me - inexperienced passengers can do more harm than good if they lean. I tell them, in turns and curves, that I will lean, and to just look over my shoulder in the direction of the turn. This causes them to lean naturally slightly without them even having to think about it, and makes for nice smooth turns.

But first, get lots of practice on that bike by yourself, and feel very comfortable yourself in different situations, manuevers, etc.

It's a great, great feeling riding with your wife, just be sure and do it right so you can both enjoy it. Get good first on your own, keep the above in mind, and she'll think you're a stud when she rides with you and everything's cool and smooth :). Then she'll want her own bike ;-)
 

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two up

First ride your bike more and practice the MSF course,, I did when I moved from my 250 from the course and owned for a year to my present 1100. I had prior experience with 500's and 750's before taking the MSF course with my wife. I DID LEARN a lot from the course.

Make sure your passenger KNOWS not to lean into turns, but stay upright behind you. The bike leans, you to stay up on the bike. Unless you are racing you don't really lean.

Also have signals from her to you. "look over there!", "DANGER!" "Let's stop soon" and "Lets stop NOW!" Also if she is navigating the trip where to turn.

Take here to a safe parking lot and practice your slow speed turns and then speed up.
 

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Strapping stuff to the back isn't going to be anything like having a passenger. The weight position and balance (??) are completely different. I ride with my wife or daughter almost everyday spring through fall but when I was forced to strap the wheel and tire of my car to the back of my motorcycle and ride for 20 miles to get it filled up it was completely different. It was far more difficult and wouldn't help prepare you for 2up anyway.
 

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Strapping stuff to the back isn't going to be anything like having a passenger. The weight position and balance (??) are completely different. I ride with my wife or daughter almost everyday spring through fall but when I was forced to strap the wheel and tire of my car to the back of my motorcycle and ride for 20 miles to get it filled up it was completely different. It was far more difficult and wouldn't help prepare you for 2up anyway.
I agree. The live passenger is much easier to ride with than with
dead weight on the back. I agree one hundred percent.
 
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