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OK here goes.
(snip)...
I wasn't going to write this much but it kept pouring out as I went along. I hope some of these ideas are helpful.
Now that right there is just about everything you need to know about about 2-up touring!
BTW, my wife gets on first. Bike on the side stand, me holding the bars, and providing a little sidestand-stress-relieving counter balance. She gets into my seat and then slides back and I get on with the standard Kung-Fu/Rockettes quarter-turn lunge maneuver.

My wife is one of those who loves the higher pillion on the stock GTL seat. She hated being "stuck behind me" on my connie, and finds the view much better on the GTL.
 

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Upside Down
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Here is my opinion or should I say suggestion?
.Take short rides with your partner and then as you both feel a bit more comfortable going a little further and longer rides. Talk to each other about what the issues each of you are having such as getting on or off the bike and when it is safe to do so, who gets on first and what you do after the first person is on the bike if any riding positions work better than another such as where your screen needs to be when riding. How she leans with you or against you and that effect it has. You can answer all your own concerns this way, it will be a bonus for both of you and make the riding together experience so much nicer. While we all may suggest that you use this screen or that one and wear this helmet or that one, they might work for the person suggesting those options but they may not apply to you and your partner. I understand this may not be what you wanted to hear but to me, it makes a lot of sense to work out what really works for you as your been riding long enough to know the good points and bad points of riding. I wish both of you all the best, with many, many long enjoyable trips and experiences together.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
My suggestion would be, if possible, can the one piece GTL and go with the 2 piece GT seat. Passenger ride height is much less and so is the spacing between rider/passenger.

Duane
The RDL seat for the Exclusive includes the coverings on the arms and backrest. That would get a bit too involved in trying to keep things in sync.
 
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Discussion Starter #25
OK here goes.
Make sure she has the latest in riding gear which includes cold weather, hot weather and wet weather. Jackets, pants, boots and gloves. A full face (preferably modular) helmet will help with the buffeting. Intercom system. If she likes different music than you make sure that can be accomplished. The Sena 50S should work well as you can talk and still listen to the music. Purchasing from a dealer that carries a full compliment of gear is a must. Cycle Gear has been a good outlet for us to let my wife try on everything before purchasing. Don't scrimp on cost, "Happy passenger, happy driver"
Also hearing protection.

Fortunately you already have arm rests on your Exclusive. Create a cup holder for her.

Start from home with a full tank of gas. My wife hates it if I have to stop before getting out of town to fill up.
When starting out from home allow LOTS of time for her to get ready. Be patient and don't be all geared up and ready to ride. Us long time riders can usually go out to the bike and be on the road in 5-10 minutes. Not so with my wife. The anxiety of the ride has her debating on which coat and gloves to wear, where to put her purse (have her get a small purse just for the motorcycle). She needs to get the music going, trips back in the house several times etc. etc. etc. Now this is a woman who has been riding with me for 51 years.

My wife is not very heavy and has a long inseam so it's pretty easy for her to climb on after I'm on and steading the bike. The reverse for getting off. I purchased floor boards for her immediately after purchasing my first K1600. She likes them a lot.

If you can take some day rides with other couples, especially seasoned ones, that will help a lot. The other ladies will take her under their wing and give her tips. They won't be the same tips you would give her so keep quiet and let her try theirs first. If you don't know this, women think differently then men.

No shenanigans while riding. Speed limits should be adhered to especially in the mountains on twisty roads. No dragging metal when leaning over on curves. Only pass cars when there is plenty of room. No sudden stops, anticipate stop lights early. Hopefully, after she gets used to riding a motorcycle, she will let you know what is fun for her and what is not. Engage in those conversations.

Don't do long days unless she says it's OK. Be aware she may say it's OK just to please you so cut it short anyway. On that note stay at the nicer motels and take her out to decent restaurants. These things will be part of her overall "motorcycle experience".

She needs to learn how to "lean". Have her just do what you do. I had a friend who's wife would lean the wrong way which actually caused them to run off the road once. Notice the word "once". She never road with him again.

The one thing my wife doesn't like is the fact that she is staring at the back of my helmet. Even though I tell her she can lean over and look ahead she says she doesn't want to adversely effect the handling of the bike and this is after 51 years of riding. If your girl likes to take pictures that is a nice way to give her something to do back there and to show at the end of the day. Start a photo album of each trip. Let her pick some destinations or stopping places.

I wasn't going to write this much but it kept pouring out as I went along. I hope some of these ideas are helpful.
Thanks for the riding lesson, actually she's a great passenger and is well equipped (no pun intended, or maybe there was). I'm competent enough not to do rookie riding errors with her on the bike. My ego is well under control and I've got nothing to prove to her or myself. Except for that Hellcat next me...
 
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For getting on the bike: Rider first then passenger, let her grab your shoulder while left feet on the foot peg and hob on the bike.
Riding: Well once you have passenger on the bike become heavy and harder to maneuver around, esp when bike is pannier is fully loaded. Important, when cornering at high speed the passenger should lean toward the same direction with the bike not against it, and make sure she doesn't fall a sleep on the bike. For slow maneuver, take a distance to U turn, bike is heavy now. If sth goes wrong, tell her to jump off first, because passenger could not see the front as rider.

Else,.. hotter passenger everything solve. hahaha

 

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I do things a bit different. Some of you after trying it may say to your self hey that is way easier. As for bike seats and screens it is really trial and error to find what works for the both of you if she’s not comfy and happy the ride will be a drag. Have to cater to them a bit. Don’t ride to many miles at first get her acclimated to this thing hopefully won’t cost you to much in seats the screen being able to raise and lower should be able to find a clean pocket of air in the cockpit no buffeting on her or air pushing against her back which some screens do but can sometimes be removed by lowering the screen a bit. May have to try different screens to achieve this. Now very important and not one of you has mentioned this technique .....I mount on the bike first I have done this with the center stand down but it takes a pretty good push to get it off most of the time no stand sometimes side stand down but not touching insurance incase passenger puts to much pressure down climbing on 😂. I tend to put a bit of weight on my feet lifting my butt just a tiny bit off the seat with front brake on and always eye contact with her to see how she is doing. Getting on is harder for us then off because off is a cake walk. I park the bike on the side stand I get off first lifting my right leg over the seat and to the ground usually I stand near the handlebar left hand on grip my wife throws her right leg over the seat ( without touching seat tank or boxes 😁 ) and slides right down to drivers seat with both legs now on side stand side and slides right off it is supper smooth I won’t do it any other way and when with other people see that I can see it in there face..... hey that was cool
 

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TarkusNY. I'll just say I've been riding with the wife on the bike for 1.5 years now, with a Calsci screen and Aerowings. I am about 8.5 inches taller than she, and she looks at the back of my head if we are in line. She does get some buffeting, but it is not bad. In front I get none. I use the "1-up + luggage" pre-load setting as I like it a bit cushier. In all, I just keep the bike straight at stops and make a little firmer stop versus gradual in order to keep the bike stable. I even took her out to a parking lot to practice emergency stops, in order to help both me and her get used to it. In all it wasn't bad with her on it.

My only minor gripe is that I tell her when we get slow to not "wiggle around". You will feel it on the GTL. At highway speeds, I told her she can do what she wants with the exception of jumping off.

Good luck!
 

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Pre-ride:
I have a protocol in place with my passenger:
Me thumbs up: Ready for you to get on the bike
She pat on my left shoulder: She is ready for take off
She squeeze me with her legs: Attention
Me thumbs up: Ready for you to get off the bike

I have the kickstand down until she sits comfortably and gives me the pat on shoulder. Kick stand up, gear in neutral, fire her up, first gear and off we go. And yes, an extra good look what the surface condition are under your left foot avoids a tip over........

Emergency maneuvers:
Exercised abrupt hard braking on a straight line, in fast sweepers and tighter turns. Important that she supports herself either grabbing the handrail or pushing herself upright with her hand on her thighs. The latter is easier as it does not require keeping her hands close to the grab rail. She understands that the last thing I need during an emergency action is her weight leaning on me.

General:
She tried to be a tough girls and almost collapsed from hypothermia after a few hours at 10 C and heavy rain. I asked her several times how she was doing and only heard OK. Minutes before our arrival she became almost unresponsive and we barely made it to the hotel. Took better part of the night to slowly warm her up. After that episode we changed gear and communication. If she feels a little cold, we stop for her to gear up.
 

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I always get on first. I want the bike centered and steady with me just off the seat, if you let her get on first then you had better be good at picking great parking spots or you are just fighting physics. My wife checks with me before she gets on or off to make sure I am ready for her movement. My bike is lowered 1/2" using Gars lowering links and even in 2-up mode I have no problem keeping the bike steady (I am 5' 10" and my wife is 5' 7"). I use the same method as @joe-r (brake on, wife gets on from left side, etc). My wife also rides horses so this is a natural move for her.

Make sure she has good riding gear because a comfy SO is a happy SO. My wife says the best accessory I have purchased for her riding was the C3 pro helmet because it is quieter than her old one. Her favorite accessory she owns is probably all the Klim gear she has but she bought that herself.

Windscreen is a CAL SCI, my wife noticed the difference without me saying anything, enough said about that.

Other tips/thoughts;

Make sure you guys work out communications. Even though we have cardos, she knows how to get my attention and communicate without the cardos (just in case). Even though I have barred helmet slaps permanently I still receive the occasional one she says its her way of communicating.

Before I took her out for the first time on a bike I drilled her on leaning. She rides 4 legged money pits so she picked that part up right away, what she didn't know on our first long ride was that it was okay for her to stretch her legs. On our first big ride she got off after 6 hours and had a hard time walking, I sheepishly looked at the other riding couples and said 'I guess too much sex last night' which of course ended up with the opposite later on. Moral of the story, you may want to consider footboards for her, my wife's only complaint is foot position after 4 hours in the saddle. I also let her know it is okay to look around, she thought she had to sit frozen, probably after my over emphatic 'don't lean the opposite way, lean with me' speech. She pointed at our horse and said 'do you think I am stupid' but still took it to heart and I didn't find out until the end of the ride that she was afraid to move around a bit. Make sure she knows that she can move around a bit, look over your shoulder, stretch her leg (after letting you know she is going to do it), etc..

Give your wife/SO something to do, some responsibility.

My wife is in charge of the camera for obvious reasons even though I am the photographer, mostly because I am focused on riding and she can take a picture even from the back seat.

My wife is our spotter, she looks out for traffic issues, wildlife, and our friends in blue and notifies me. 99% of the time I am aware already but its important for her to have some control.

Involve your passenger with the ride plan, in detail, especially lunch and breaks. It gets her aligned to our destinations and since we started letting her control the stops she pushes the entire crew to get where we are supposed to go and when we are supposed to be there. I also always stop when she wants to spend a bit of extra time looking at 'that cute covered bridge' or whatever catches her eye. But... I have also informed her that the road between points b and c is a fun zone (you know, the one with the twisty bits) and we are not stopping in that area, otherwise its fair game. She overplayed that hand on our second trip forcing a lot of extra stops but has not done so since and she has become much more selective as she also controls the destination timing. Yes, I am sneaky that way, I made it all her decision, if she wants to stop for an extra 10 minutes, I have to make it up somewhere... hmmm, wonder how I will do that. Getting her involved at the planning level also has caused her to be the one to remind everyone to gas up the day prior to leaving.

Make sure she has control over what she packs. I give her the right side pannier and half the topbox. I take the left pannier. She fought this at first but now takes pride in the fact that everything fits with room to spare for even extended trips.

We have a clear understanding that if she wants to buy something on the trip that the little bit of spare space in the top box is it, if she wants something really bad she had better factor in shipping it because I don't want more weight on the bike. She respects that and its had the side benefit of making her a more prudent shopper.. (those deals don't sound like deals when you have to factor in shipping).
 

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Discussion Starter #31
TarkusNY. I'll just say I've been riding with the wife on the bike for 1.5 years now, with a Calsci screen and Aerowings. I am about 8.5 inches taller than she, and she looks at the back of my head if we are in line. She does get some buffeting, but it is not bad. In front I get none. I use the "1-up + luggage" pre-load setting as I like it a bit cushier. In all, I just keep the bike straight at stops and make a little firmer stop versus gradual in order to keep the bike stable. I even took her out to a parking lot to practice emergency stops, in order to help both me and her get used to it. In all it wasn't bad with her on it.

My only minor gripe is that I tell her when we get slow to not "wiggle around". You will feel it on the GTL. At highway speeds, I told her she can do what she wants with the exception of jumping off.

Good luck!
Al I think I might like a little wiggle around...

Ok, enough of that silliness.
Guys stop looking!
It's a H-D...
I wonder if her feet on the the rear pegs?
147166
 

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Lots of good info here, so I'm not going to repeat it, but I'll chime in regarding the windshield as I spent some time trying to get something she liked in terms of wind control. I found that the 7Jurock windshield worked best for us. That "flip" or recurve design at the top of the shield directed the air over both of our heads, without having to raise it up so much that I'd have to look through it, so I'm still able to maintain my over the shield sight lines and keep the wind down. I have that paired with the regular and mini wings. I tried a few shields with her on the back and this is what we were both happy with. YMMV
 
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The ultimate 6/4 and pick em question. In my experience ladies love to communicate, understatement of the day, and therefore, for me at least, a reliable and clear intercom is essential. I went the Schuberth C4 Pro route with their SC1(A)'s. They work well, especially having added an additional mic sock to deaden wind noise at speed and individual remotes front and rear. RC4 and RC3 which, again work reliably and well.

I'm 6'5" and 300lbs, she is 5'2" and 110lbs. I hardly notice she's aboard from a weight point of view. The higher pillion seat works for us, she can hide behind me when the going gets tough and still see the scenery when she wants. To combat buffeting for both of us I went the CalSci extra everything route which works very well. Seat comfort is courtesy of RDL with one addition for her. A velcro'd on inflatable camping pillow at the bottom of the backrest where the seat and backrest join, gives her additional lumbar support assisted by OEM armrests. The GTL's backrest leans far to reward for her, causing back pain.

Getting on and off has been problematic during the learning curve. We have settled on me on first, her off first, but only when instructed, allowing me time to secure my footing and the bike. She is incredibly badly co-ordinated and so even though she's a featherweight, this can make remaining upright an issue if not well braced.

Clothing is another essential and if serious cannot be skimped on. Klim Gortex Ladies jacket (she loves the colours and fit), Rukka Gortex Pro Ladies trousers, BMW Gortex boots and layer, layers, layers underneath as needed, complimented by a battery powered heated Gilet that she absolutely loves both on and off the bike.

And lastly that famous attitude some, if not all of us guys are prone to forget, 'Consideration'. Ladies on the whole do not do well when uncomfortable and have a lower threshold for it. I stop every hour or so for 5 minutes, stretch the legs and of course visit the powder room, check What Apps and apply a touch up or two to the essentially 'lippy'. Full to empty fill up with gas and repeat are an absolute no, no, if harmony and therefore pleasure is to be assured. Ditto a smoooooooth riding style and as soft as possible suspension settings. If she head butts me from behind, that my friends is entirely the fault of the pilot, accepting that sometimes, when avoiding blind car drivers, it is inevitable.

Whilst still enjoying solo monster mile rides, trips two up are equally pleasurable if, a few basic 'rules' are observed. Mostly give.... and a little take is required, nothing new there, learning the lessons as suit along the way. Enjoy......
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Gee guys and gals, this certainly has turned into an Dr. Phil session. Per my original posting, all I asked for was advise on how to help her get on the bike and mitigate the wind and noise issue. While I do appreciate the advise, it's completely unnecessary for me. Perhaps someone else may be able use it, trust me when I tell you I can make tight figure 8s with her on back, and provide a very smooth riding experience. I do hope we're still talking about motorcycling, that last sentence could be a double entendre. We have SENAs, good protective gear and aren't afraid to talk to each other. Believe me if she doesn't like something I'll hear about it right there and then, and if she likes something I'll hear about it later after it's done. That was a double entendre!
 
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Well the old saying "graceful like a Gazelle" doesn't apply here. My wife has been riding with me for a year now and she still has issues getting on and off the bike. I grab her left leg when she dismounts that way it keeps her more stable though maybe it's not necessary but she has slipped once so we try to avoid that . She has floor boards so that is also help with more planting of her foot when getting on/off the bike. Really not much else you can do. I do lean forward and grab the brake as well.
 

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Pre-ride:
I have a protocol in place with my passenger:
Me thumbs up: Ready for you to get on the bike
She pat on my left shoulder: She is ready for take off
She squeeze me with her legs: Attention
Me thumbs up: Ready for you to get off the bike
This is almost exactly our protocol too. Our only real add is in Pre-ride. I make sure the helmets are paired and can communicate before we get on the bike. My wife likes to talk, and it makes for a bad start if I have to make a special stop to fix the comms. We'll use the comm for me to communicate when I'm ready for her to mount the bike, and for her to communicate when she's ready for take off. We also have a similar signaling system for when she doesn't want to speak to me. :)

It's been interesting reading here how some passengers get on first. It obviously works, but I don't trust the mounting process without me ensuring that the bike is steady. That means me being on first with both feet firmly planted on the ground.
 

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My perspective is with a 2020 GTL with a 6'1" short torso driver and 5'7" pillion. 99% of my riding is with a pillion.

Get passenger floorboards - ideally OEM floorboards. The side & top cases don't make it easy for the pillion to get on/off. It might be even tighter for you if you have the arm rests. In addition to being more comfortable while riding, the floorboards help with getting on/off.

My partner gets on/off while I am standing as far forward, straddling/steading the upright bike with hand brake or hill assist activated. She uses my shoulder as support. We tried a couple times having her mount while the bike was on the side stand, but the bike felt like it was at risk of tipping over. The few times she has ridden with just jeans, she can slide her right leg/foot through without much trouble. But when wearing proper riding pants with all the pads and riding boots, the extra weight and slightly restricted movement makes it very difficult for her foot to clear the seat. It is easy to leave permanent seat scuffs from shoes/boots - don't ask how we found that out. A non-slip pad on the seat prevents seat scuffs. But recently, we are now setting a ~2" thick rubber block on the left floorboard when she mounts or dismounts. The block makes a world of difference with her getting on/off with full gear on. She stashes the block in a small side slung bag while we are riding. In time, she might not need the block.

As for windscreens. I personally think you are just going to have to see how your current screen works for both of you, then figure out where to go from there. Too much personal preference and it is a function of how tall each of you sit, which can be impacted by seat height too. As a personal reference point... The stock screen worked perfectly for me as the driver, but left my partner's head buffeting around significantly at highway speeds unless she ducked her head down a couple inches, even when the screen was fully up. A definite no for her. I got a 7Jurock style-A screen with a flip top that was 2" taller than what came with the bike. In the higher positions, my partner was fully in the quiet still air, but it did not work for me at all - I was struggling to see over it, especially as the top 2" have distortion. I ordered a second 7Jurock style-A screen with a flip top that was 2" shorter (same height as what came with the bike), and that has worked out as a good compromise for both of us. My partner only feels some slight buffeting at higher highway speeds, but is otherwise in good quiet air, and I can see through and over it well enough. I explained this so you can get a sense that it could take some trial and error to find the right screen for the two of you.
 

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Pillion mounting alternative: with the bike on its center or side stand, have your pillion mount onto your saddle position, then slide back to her position; then you mount up. This is the technique we use when my wife is too tired to swing her leg over the top of the bike.

Communication is key to my wife's comfort. She uses the comms to alert me to every fucking thing around us. I use the comms to practice ignoring the unnecessary noise and concentration on my task.

Air management; no opinion.

Ride planning; This is also an area in which to include your pillion. I can say that having had the "where do you want to go" conversation more than once I can predict with certainty what she will suggest, so I mentally prepare for shopping. Now, getting to the shopping is all up to me.
 

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My passenger also has her motorcycle license, so she knows what to do/what not to do.
Mount/Dismount: I stand up, both hands on the handlebars: she steps on the passenger peg and places her leg over. Same with getting off.

I have found that, despite the fact that she's not a big girl (5'4" 120 pounds) she is MUCH higher up than on my Harley or even on my K1200. This places a significant amount of weight up very high on the bike and moves the Center of Gravity way up. By comparison, my K1200 looks big, but it's all plastic from about 2' up, with the exception of the gas tank when full. The rider and passenger are lower and at approximately the same level.

I guess my point is that, while she makes virtually no difference to cornering or maneuvering on my Harley, it's a BIG difference on my K1600GTL and probably the major reason I'm going to sell the bike next spring. I've been riding for 50 years, starting with my first mini-bike at age 7, and this is the first time I've ever been genuinely nervous on a bike. I feel like I would need to re-learn how to ride to overcome this.

So, be prepared for a difference.
 
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