Most bikers I know who have moved on from riding pillion to riding their own bikes don’t enjoy it when they have to later ride as a pillion for whatever reason.
This is something which I am positively grateful not to have experienced.
I was introduced to biking by riding pillion on a Ducati 748, a pretty classic sporty number, and I caught the bug quickly (as some of you know, my first big bike was then a Ducati 600SS).
The thrill of leaning deep into corners together, knowing exactly when your rider is going to overtake or accelerate sharply and then tucking down flat behind them at the right instance as they do the same, and feeling the sheer force created by the speed tug you backwards will never escape me. Maybe its because I had complete faith in the rider’s abilities (a trip around the mountain route at the TT cemented this 😉 ), or maybe its because I have travelled faster as a pillion than I will probably ever dare to do as a rider, I have simply always enjoyed it.
Don’t get me wrong, I love riding my Triumph, but the other day I had cause to go pillion again … and it was great fun.
This time it was on the new BMW F800GS and wow what a difference! Now, admittedly there is no excitement factor like there is with the sportsbikes, but there is an additional fun factor involved. You feel as if the bike can be literally thrown around any corner or bend with ease, and regardless of the road surface it’s a pretty smooth ride. The view is incredible – you are seated high up, and therefore feels very safe – like the feeling when you get in a 4×4 or van and you can see over the roofs of the hatchbacks around you. The seat isn’t half bad either, although that has never really been an issue for me – I am not a girl that Freddy Mercury would have described as making the rockin’ world go round – and I only ever took up half of the pillion seat on the 748 (we managed to fit me plus a tent on that seat for a trip to Ireland)!
So I have decided to count myself as pretty lucky … I love riding … full stop … as rider, as pillion, whatever.
Which means my dream, which I thought I may have to revise if I had felt like those in my opening paragraph, remains to ride pillion round a track with JT or Rossi. Sad, maybe, but I just know it would be amazing.