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The Pillion’s View – What Motorcycle Passengers Look For

Journalist Bruce Wilson has just published an article that caught my eye. In MSL (May 2016) he and his wife Anna test ride the 2016 Rushmore Touring models from Harley-Davidson. The unfolding of their trip is fascinating but really the Harley commentary was my main interest. In particular Anna compares and contrasts a Street Glide, an Electra Glide and a Road King – from the pillion’s perspective. All in all it makes for a good round up of what to look for in a touring motorcycle as a passenger. In our considerable experience of motorcycle tours it is often the person on the back who books our holidays. Frankly we need to keep our pillions sweet!

Seating EG

So for a back seat summary:

Road King has a comfy, wide seat, back rest, good leg room and space between rider and passenger. Its smaller dashboard makes it harder for the pillion to check speed and time,  it doesn’t have a music system, is a bit more open to the elements, has supportive footboards but is most vibey.

Street Glide’s spacious seat slopes backwards but that’s helped by an optional backrest; footpegs transmit minimal vibration but give less stability. It’s easy to get on due to the low seat but has least legroom. The sound system is good with multiple speakers. (I’d actually say this is the ultimate touring luxury for a solo rider.)

Electra Glide’s seating is the most comfy with great armchair padded seat and it boasts an elbow rest. Seat height makes getting on and off a tad hard but makes for  great views. Sound system had passenger adjustable speakers and you’re protected from the wind with the larger fairing. (I’d say this was the ultimate touring luxury for a rider and passenger.)

In concluding Bruce says of the Harleys “They had proven themselves to be the perfect tools for the job at hand, effortlessly carrying us two up in complete comfort, with all the luxuries we could have wished for.”

If after reading this, you have been encouraged to tour on a Harley-Davidson why not try one of our guided tours, self-guided tours or rentals in the USA. Discover More!

David Grist

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