The Ducati truck is steaming its way eastwards again, and we’ve stolen time with three bikes; the Streetfighter the Hypermotard 796 and (of course) the Multistrada 1200S. Unfortunately, I was testing the later while sick with the flu so I’m a bit upright in the photos. That’s not the bike’s fault, on road the Multistrada is phenomenal, but my being a mobile tribute to creative cold and cough pharmaceutical usage discouraged me from pushing to hard. It was all followed by a cold wet ride home as pillion on the Varadero as we returned from Kelowna to Vancouver, which has me thinking about passengers.
In my books, most passengers deserve a metal. Your view is composed of a helmet and what your peripheral vision can catch of the passing landscape. Your safety is utterly dependent on the rider’s judgment. You’re exposed to the elements, and unless there’s under-tail exhaust there’s no grip heaters to warm your hands. At least the pillion seat on the Varadero is quite comfortable, or as comfortable as I was likely to get with my “got the flu ache all over” body, which is better than most two-ups I see on sportbikes.
A few days back I spotted a Triumph Speed Triple, with a properly attired rider and a pillion dressed in the standard bargain bin and left over gear, which begs the question, “How much does the rider really like his wife or girlfriend?”
“Honey, let’s go for a ride?”
“Sure, what should I wear?”
“Oh, those pumps are fine and those Diesel jeans look great. I’ve got a leather jacket for you and a helmet a size two big, those will protect you.”
If you really love your pillion, share the real joy and offer them a chance to learn to ride or at least offer them the proper protection.