Wife too scared for 2up

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by cedarbrook63, Nov 28, 2009.

  1. cedarbrook63

    cedarbrook63 Junior Member

    I'd appreciate any views or advice on this one:
    I got my first HD almost one year ago - a Sporty 883. I love it to bits and spend quite a lot of time riding/working on it. I know it is not a touring machine or ideal 2up scoot and that is not relevant to this thread.

    My wife was in an RTA a few years ago (passenger in a cage) which has left her with what I would best describe as Passenger Anxiety Issues. Many of you will know what I mean. I haven't persuaded her onto the bike for a little ride yet although I'm making a tiny bit of progress over time. Her dear old dad (a Norton man for many years) has been out with me and loved it.

    I'd like to know if there is any advice on overcoming this pillion-anxiety. I am fully aware that pressurizing or persuading someone to do what they don't want to do is the WRONG thing to do. I do not wish to be selfish either: just because I love to ride and find it a life enriching experience doesn't mean she will. I do feel, however, that it would be a great pleasure to enjoy together. If it's simply not her thing - that's fine, I'll just carry one doing my thing in my "solo" time as many do with e.g. golf, hunting or extreme stamp collecting :D.

    So if anyone has been in a similar situation and found a gentle way to overcome it, please share your experience. Thanks guys and girls.:D
  2. lionsm53

    lionsm53 Banned

    I think that a back rest would help for one, as if you don't have one on and she falls off on acceleration she will never ride with you again.
    After that, helmet, boots, coat, gloves, and glasses?
  3. kemo

    kemo R.I.P

    Like the man said a back rest would be the first feature of comfort both mentally and physically. The next would be the machine. My wife wouldn't ride my Buell but she loves our FLHT. Maybe you need a big touring rig.
  4. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

    I purchased a motorcycle safety Tips CD and played it for myself, but at the same time She was present in another room to hear it playing. The CD goes over dozens of way to avoid getting yourself into a mess. Before long she was sitting next to me watching. It gave Her a chance to see ways to stay out of trouble & what to look for in avoiding setting yourself up for an accident. Believe it or not, Her confidence in ME grew. Now I have to FORCE Her to wear a helmet. I am not kidding, She is braver than I am.

    Plus I learned a Lot of Great Tips!
  5. lowriderfrf

    lowriderfrf Member

    I agree with the comments suggesting a backrest and good riding gear. My wife has passenger anxiety too, but she is doing better now. Last summer, we went with several family members to Utah. My wife drove her cage. Once we got to Arches National Park, she lost her hesitation. She probably felt more secure on lower speed (40 - 50mph) straight forward roads. Two days later we went through Zion which included some mountain highways and higher speeds.

    She still is a little reluctant in city traffic or freeways, but take her somewhere scenic and she gets over it.

    Good luck.
  6. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    My wife like yours had serious issues with not being in control of the vehicle. Her ex husband had frightened her on a motorcycle and in a car. I rode for two years without her and like you spent a lot of time riding and working on the bike. She began asking questions about the bike and the rides I was taking, and I convinced her to look into the motorcycle safety course at the jr. college. I could see that she did have an interest in the bike and the fun I was having, so I began to get familar with two up riding by asking friends wives to ride with me so that when the time came I would be able to make her comfortable and not do anything stupid. After she took the course and she understood how and why a motorcycle did what they do, she began riding behind me and enjoying herself. After two years of two up with me, we bought her a small honda to ride around the neighborhood, and she moved up to a larger bike which she rode for a couple of years. She now is the owner of two trikes and rides with me everywhere I go on the weekends. My response to your question would be to take it slow and make sure you and your bike are ready for two up riding when she is.
  7. jimweaver

    jimweaver Member

    In my experience, when it comes to a nervous 2nd rider. It's best to ride in a group. Other couples, other women doing the same. Puts them at ease. Ride the two lane blacktop roads with less traffic about 50/55 mph. Stop often, gives the ladies time to do what ladies do, usually BS alot, female bonding. You'll have to ride easy, back off on the curves, watch your language, eat where you normally wouldn't, and limit yourself to one drink. But it's a small price to pay to get her out there sharing a ride with you.

    There's no such thing as a bad ride, some are just better then others.
  8. cedarbrook63

    cedarbrook63 Junior Member

    Thank you one and all for some valuable advice.

    I am intending to buy a sissy bar and rack and appreciate how that would add to her sense of security. Helmet, gloves, protective gear etc. are all a given. Don't ride without them myself.

    I like the point about co-watching the safety and control dvd - I'll have a look around and buy one.

    As to buying a bigger bike - if I can get her on the back of the Sporty, I should be then able to win her around to OUR need for that RK I have my beady eye on :s. I would regard that as a fringe benefit:D .
  9. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    I don't have many original ideas to add. Patience is the main thing. As you said, you simply cannot pressure someone into doing something they don't want to do and then expect them to enjoy it. It has to be HER idea to go for a ride now and then.

    You might try incorporating the ride into stuff that she really likes to do. Ride somewhere for a nice lunch on a beautiful day. Ride somewhere and then let her walk around and do a bit of shopping. Little strategies like this will let her associate pleasant experiences with being on the bike.

    In addition to the backrest for her comfort and security, be sure you ratchet your riding style down a bunch. I've never ridden on the pillion but I can only imagine what it's like to sit back there with someone riding like they're being chased by the devil. Take it slow and smooth and save the more exciting riding for when you're out solo.
  10. Delmar

    Delmar Active Member

    My wife (girlfriend at the time) and I did all our dating on a 1982 Yamaha Vision. When we got married we “temporarily” sold the bike to pay for the wedding expenses.

    It took me 23 years to replace the bike, life kept getting in the way. Mamma was adamant that she ain't ever getting on a bike again so I bought the small Sportster as my solo playtoy. I finally convinced here to take a slow puttputt around the neighborhood and her confidence returned, then we started serious riding again. Later she was the one nagging me to upgrade to a touring bike (gotta keep momma happy!). This year we took our 25th wedding anniversary ride through the Texas hill country even during the summer heat, and she loved every mile.

    Considering your master plan is to get the Road King, I strongly recommend starting by renting one from your local dealer and use it to introduce your wife to riding. The larger passenger saddle, backrest and footboards will make here feel more protected when compared to your little Sport. Start with a slow puttputt around an empty parking lot and gradually progress to riding on public streets. Best of luck to you and yours.