Drama in the 2-up world, but divorce seems extreme...help needed!

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by succubusface, May 21, 2018.

  1. succubusface

    succubusface n00b

    Aug 22, 2014
    SOS! In desperate need of 2up assistance.

    Motorcycle: KTM 990
    Rider: 190#, 5’11”, 30” inseam male
    Pillion: 135# 5’10”, 34” inseam female who has just about had it.

    Pillion here, dying of discomfort when my katoom loving man decides to take me on class 4 dirt. Disclaimer: I don’t LOVE motorcycles. I like them just fine, but after three plus hours I’m bored and sleepy, but I love my guy, and I love the places his big orange beast can take us. The idea of arriving at an epic, low access hiking spot after an hour or two of forest roads sounds heavenly, EXCEPT I think my legs are going to fall off from the 1.5 hours of dirt today.

    The issue: I feel like I’m on a bucking bronco with no saddle, no reins, no stirrups and no visibility. On pavement I’m ok...but the leg position kinda sucks ‘cause my legs are way too long for stock passenger pegs. In an effort to appease me, hubby bought a (used) custom, 2-up stepped seat designed for a 5’9” passenger, which theoretically should have lifted me, and maybe it did a little, but I still can’t see through my nobble driver which makes it a little difficult to anticipate changing road conditions, and my legs are still so folded that I get major thigh burn after 15 minutes of trying to brace myself on dirt. Did I mention I can’t see ahead??? How are you 5’3” women on the back of 990’s seeing down the road?? I'm 5'10" and all I see is an Aerostitch logo!

    He’s got a modified, hard bodied pelican case screwed to the topcase platform so every time I get thrown up (ie with every bump and rock in the road) I land with my sacrum meeting hard plastic. I think it’s gotta go. I’ve asked about the suspension and, forgive me because I don’t speak-a-the-language, he reports it’s about 50% between sport and full payload, “which should be appropriate for our needs”.

    Though he isn’t aware (I know, I know, communication is key), sometimes I stand during the washboards and drops just to give my back and legs a break, which feels so much more comfortable. When we’re sitting I have a hard time getting my arms all the way around him (my full face, peaked helmet makes it uncomfortable for me to get that close, and his armoured jacked makes me feel like my life raft is a 50 gallon drum - try holding on to one of those on a bouldery, steeply pitched, downhill incline with a bucking bronco between your legs) so most of the time I brace against the foot pegs and reach back around the top case to the crash bars on the side.

    The hubby is a super experienced ADV rider. The bike has over 70,000 miles on it from Vermont to the Arctic Circle, Alaska to Baja and everywhere between. He does his own tearing apart and putting back together and only needs my smaller hands once in a blue moon to fish something out of somewhere, or retrieve ice for a broken nose (those tire irons will get ya!). I have full confidence in his riding ability. I’m never scared when I’m on the back.

    I am not an experienced pillion - maybe 10 rides over the past year. I am athletic and fit with a high tolerance for intense physical demands, and though I know it’s not the same, I have done a fair amount of horseback riding. I learn easily and I have excellent body awareness so I feel like this should be easier!

    Please! Weigh in! Are there aftermarket passenger pegs for better placement?? A seat that will put me above him? What am I doing wrong?? I know to stay loose and move with the bike. But unlike on a horse I feel like I'm never really "in" the seat. help.

    PS. I get the sense he think's I'm being a tad dramatic. Anyone in NM wanna come give him a ride on the back of his bucking orange bronco :) This would be your view...

    Pre thigh burner dirt. (I got creative during the de-logo sesh last week.)
    phreakingeek and Hi-De-Ho like this.
  2. Aj Mick

    Aj Mick Long timer

    Aug 31, 2012
    Phuket, Thailand
    Forget the pillion seat and pegs on his motorcycle....... Get a second motorcycle for her.
  3. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Welp

    Aug 6, 2009

    1) there are ways to lower the passenger pegs. I haven't looked into it on a 990...but they are out there.

    2) have him get a real top case, my wife certainly never complains about mine....and I put her through some shit back there, we have about 20,000 miles in the last year alone, including every prefecture in mainland Japan.
  4. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Harsh and colorful

    Dec 24, 2001
    Jax, FL
    Motorcycle. Buy one.
  5. Vince

    Vince Been here awhile

    Oct 1, 2006
    Maybe the bloke in front should FIX the issues. At the very least I bet it needs a harder rear spring and the sag set for 2 up, the seat modified, the rear pegs lowered some padding on the top box and the rider's ears cleared of wax if he hasn't heard you.
    DC2wheels, 250senuf, Hi-De-Ho and 2 others like this.
  6. succubusface

    succubusface n00b

    Aug 22, 2014
    Yes please! Is this where I tag him into the conversation?? JK, kinda. Guess if I wanna tag along, I'm going to have to do the mods myself! Sooo, walk me through changing the suspension? :rofl
  7. NorskieRider

    NorskieRider Been here awhile

    Mar 19, 2011
    Another vote for getting your own MC. The reasoning for this is that going offroad/fire road and avoiding getting pounding like you're riding a 'bucking bronco' involves standing up, and that's hard to do as a passenger.

    Then again, after a nice long hike you may be too pooped to do much standing. This is why I stopped riding to the trailheads ... after a hike I wanted to sit down in a comfy A/C controlled environment and drink my water.
  8. Chaostrophy

    Chaostrophy Been here awhile

    Oct 24, 2017
    Also, a different seat could help too, more comfortable, higher, and including a back rest. A Russell Day-Long would not be a bad choice. https://day-long.com/

    Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
    Hi-De-Ho likes this.
  9. blackseven

    blackseven Been here awhile

    Feb 23, 2015
    Defuniak Springs, FL
    You take the 990 he gets the 1290SA everybody is happy.

    KTM Makes the engine, chassis and suspension priority 1, everything else is an afterthought - including the seat. My 500 EXC is painful.

    I'll also second the suggestion for the day long saddle. I got my wife a Russell Day Long pillion saddle on the Super Tenere and she'll ride all day no problem, including some pretty decent washboard fireroads. It's the wings of the saddle and the foam cushion material that seem to make the difference.
    PeaceSells, Chaostrophy and Hi-De-Ho like this.
  10. Jarlaxle

    Jarlaxle Bregan D'Aerthe

    Nov 2, 2014
    New England
    Before dropping a fortune on a DayLong seat, maybe try a $100 Airhawk?
    Hi-De-Ho likes this.
  11. ozmoses

    ozmoses .

    Jul 3, 2009
    Bar None, TurTal, Aj Mick and 3 others like this.
  12. Hi-De-Ho

    Hi-De-Ho Mad Scientist

    Feb 6, 2016
    Darn it, @Chaostrophy beat me to it. After reading the well written post by @succubusface , my initial thought was...a RDL seat in the REAR section of the seat, for the pillion. RDL = Russell Day Long seats.....of which I have had 12 of them.

    Because the rider has a short inseam of 30", and the KTM 990 is already higher in the seat, so the rider can barely tippy toe, there is no way he will be able to handle an RDL seat in the front section, and still be able to put his feet down to the ground.

    BUT(t).....RDL can make that KTM seat with just the built-in suspension in the pillion position, which serves two purposes...it raises the pillion UP...and it gives a built-in suspension system for the pillion, which will make the rides a little easier for her.

    Yes, we can all say...get yer own motorcycle. My wife riders her own motorcycles, and she is only 5' tall.

    But(t)...again....not everyone is made out to ride their own motorcycle, or has the desire to ride their own bikes. In this case @succubusface has long enough legs that she could ride just about anything, even a worthless POS bike like a KTM 990 :jack, but if @succubusface has no desire to ride her own, then that puts an end to that equation.

    There are 1000 adventure motorcycles that are better suited to having a pillion ride in more comfort than a KTM 990....just sayin'.

    But if Mr. KTM 990 loves his motorcycle more than he does @succubusface , then he is going to keep the KTM 990, and tell his pillion to live with it, or stay home.

    Now, there are other ways to resolve this.....drop the pillion off at the start of the hard trails, and allow her to take her own walk through the woods, and seek out new adventures on her own, while Mr. KTM 990 is thrashing his bike through the terrain.

    Or....have @succubusface find her own method of adventure seeking...there are 1000 ways to do that.

    It is vitally important that the issue of the hard top box versus the sacrum of @succubusface ...that needs to be fixed NOW.

    It is an easy fix, as they make pillion pads that attach to the forward face of the Pelican box, so the pillion has a small pad that hits their back, rather than the hard case.

    Ultimately, the KTM 990 is NOT a pillion friendly bike...period ! Choices need to be made on both ends...the rider and the pillion.

    If Mr. KTM 990 insists that this is THEE bike for him, then he will have to ride alone, and @succubusface will have to find adventures on her own, so that she is happy. If Mr. KTM 990 is willing to have his pillion be happier, safer, enjoy the ride...then he will have to look at some of the 1000 other bikes out there that offer more comfort to the pillion.

    I will end this pontification by making a very serious statement........The KTM 990 is NOT the greatest bike in the world. There are 1000 other motorcycles out there that can do the SAME job as the KTM 990, and allow both the rider and the pillion to be more comfortable.

    In the end....it is the SKILL of the rider that dictates how well a motorcycle performs, and not the HP or suspension of the motorcycle that dictates how well the rider performs.

    Zubb, Alexander B, bigdog99 and 4 others like this.
  13. bodine003

    bodine003 Been here awhile

    Jun 18, 2015
    Melbourne Florida
    Get your own motorbike
    Bar None likes this.
  14. little foot

    little foot Super Mediator

    Jul 21, 2008
    The Springs, Oklahoma
    Nicely written post, just remember most riders know that when they get a bike for long distant riding they know the elements will be against them. But most are ok with the discomforts riding brings. It isn't for everyone and no amount of money or adjusting is going to make it like riding in a SUV with the A/C going. So the challenge here seems to be are riding for you or your guy?
  15. Emmett

    Emmett Been here awhile

    Mar 9, 2017
    New Orleans
    Suggestions above are all good. One more from me, remove the visor off your helmet if you’re going to ride on the pillion.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Hi-De-Ho likes this.
  16. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority

    Oct 29, 2007
    Omicron Persei 8
    Sidecar top of Echo Camp.jpg

    We love this set up and have done routes like the CDR & HOW with it. We have the GPS mounted in the sidecar and SWMBO does the navigation on those type of rides. It keeps her engaged and make the trips much more interesting from a passenger point of view.

    Otherwise he needs to spend time, money, and effort on getting your ergonomics correct for you on the bike. Custom seat, lowered pegs or whatever else is needed so you fit the bike correctly.
    el Pete, Chaostrophy and Hi-De-Ho like this.
  17. NickW1

    NickW1 Been here awhile

    May 28, 2010
    Virginia, USA
    Sounds like you guys are riding on tougher stuff than just simple fire roads. No matter what you do you’re going to get beaten up back there. I see you have three choices, Get your own bike, live with it or stay at home.
    bikemoto and Aj Mick like this.
  18. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

    Aug 19, 2008
    New(er) Mexico
    34" inseam as a pillion? Damn. I have a 34" inseam and I have trouble finding a motorcycle to RIDE that isn't too short/cramped. I'd have my knees in my face on most pillion perches.
    Hi-De-Ho and Chaostrophy like this.
  19. tomdubz

    tomdubz getting there

    Jun 29, 2010
    4 Cornerstan
    I'm the idiot here.

    So here's some stuff for the pondering:
    - We do have the RDL and it does have the built up pillion bit. [​IMG]

    - Pretty sure there are no aftermarket solutions for lowering passenger pegs on a 9x0 Adventure. Please slap me and link me here if I'm wrong. Maybe I'll try fabbing something but the right side looks like it'll be a challenge.

    - Suspension has been superplushed and revalved for 220lb + 60lbs of luggage. Thanks for the adjust sag suggestion - I should do that. Shouldn't need a stiffer spring.

    - I need to remove the topcase entirely if we're doing rough road.

    - I should probably stay off rough road with her. Washboard fire roads are not rough roads.

    - The bill is removed on her peak.

    - My inseam is actually 32" and I do just fine with both the aforementioned RDL and the Seat Concepts Tall when alone, thank you.

    - Once upon a time I had a sidecar - never again.

    - I do try to listen but rough and fun roads make me stupid.
    TT RDHS, Endorphin, nk14zp and 4 others like this.
  20. GeneralGarden

    GeneralGarden Long timer

    Jul 29, 2014
    Emmerich, Germany
    dear lord, I hope you're not trying to build something with that office chair.

    But if you do, make videos.
    240ADV, scot_douglas, nk14zp and 3 others like this.