Carrying a Pillion or a Load

The Legal Requirements

The rider must hold a full licence for the bike being ridden. Both rider and pillion must wear proper helmet. The bike must have a proper pillion seat and foot pegs.

Mechanical Adjustments

Because of the extra weight you may have to adjust the rear suspension and the tyre pressures to the manufacturer’s recommendation. You may also need to alter the headlight aim and possibly the mirrors.

Clothing And Equipment

You should advise your pillion to wear warm, waterproof and protective clothing, preferably something fluorescent in the daytime with a reflective strip for night time riding. They should wear proper boots and gloves and must wear a proper helmet that is correctly fastened. They should also ensure there are no loose items such as scarves, bootlaces, etc which may get tangled up in the moving parts.

The Riding Style/Technique

Because of the extra weight the bike will be top heavy. This can make low speed balance difficult. If the pillions is not briefed to lean with the bike into corners and bends, the bike will run wide. It will take longer to stop so the breaking distance should be increased. Acceleration will also be affected, and more time and power will be needed when pulling away from junctions, lights, etc. Because of the extra weight you may have to put both feet on the ground when you have stopped to assist with stabilising the bike whilst stationary.

Advice For New Pillion Rider

Sit on the bike facing forwards. Take a light but firm grip around the riders waist or on to the grab rail. Keep your feet on the foot pegs at all times until you are about to get off the bike. Don’t fidget, wave, or give any hand signals. When the bike comes to a corner or bend lean with the bike.