pillion settings

thought i’d ping up a new thread as hambley’s one is getting a bit lengthy/a bit off topic

i know in theory that you should consider running more psi and adjusting suspension settings to take a pillion

now the thing is on my ducati it rode fine without adjustment (its a fairly hard ride anyway). when i finally get my r1 back i’m going to play with the suspension and try the recommended ones that were in Performance Bike a few months back as i think the back is potentially a bit soft?

however, can’t say I’ve ever really played with the settings before - could do as much harm as good

so basically how much adjustment do you make, how much do you vary it by weight (my girl is pretty light) and do you do this every time you ride (i.e. ride on one setting, adjust settings, pick the person up and then reverse it all when on your way back on your own?). i’ve not found the ride was a problem 2-up other than maybe the back is squatting a bit more?

i’ve often taken pillion into town and longer journeys and never adjusted suspension or anything. Seemed fine. Sounds like a lot of ponsing around if you ask me adjust this and adjust that, then adjust it all back again, but that only my view of course.

Your owners handbook will have the settings. My DRZ has them printed on the back mud guard which would be helpful if it wasnt for the fact that the seat is so bloody small it barely takes my fat arse!!

on my R6 i just nothced the spring up one click to make it a bit harder my R1 seems ok but then i havent really touched it suspension wise o wouldnt know where to start it corners like its on rails, ok sometimes i leave the seat if i hit a big enough bump but i only weigh 9.5, 10 if i have my wallet stone so thats probably why

Unless I have jo on the back my pillion settings are sit down, shut up and hold on.

the dealer helpfull hasn’t even supplied the owners manual yet

however, did get a pdf from a site in the states. the pressures do not vary according to weight oddly, same up to 443lb limit. there appear to be no recommendations for suspension settings - it just gives the range from soft to hard.

have to agree with you flats - i’m topping 14 1/2 stone and even with my lard the bike feels pretty good to me. then again, not having ridden it on other settings i suppose is difficult to know if it would be better - I do know that you can be happily riding the bike for miles, feels fine, stick some new rubber on it and you get the aggressive profile back and it feels like a new machine and the handling is transformed

Light weight, get 18 1/2 stone over two wheels then ya know how firm the suspension can really be.

If you’re taking a light pillion I wouldn’t bother too be honest - you shouldn’t be going fast enough for it to be a worry.

If you are taking a heavier pillion and you feel that the bike isn’t steering as it does without the pillion (usually steers wide in corners), you can increase the rear pre-load if you have a preload adjuster (again, I wouldn’t bother if you need to do it with a c-spanner). If the bike “bounces” around with a heavy pillion, and you have easily adjustable suspension, you can also increase the rear compression damping by 2 clicks and decrease rear rebound damping by 2 clicks (if your shock has done more than 20k miles since new/last service, don’t bother either).


The suspension is bound to need firming up all round due to the extra forces generated by the extra weight when accelerating, braking and turning. The steering geometry of the bike will be effected as it is going to be sitting lower than it normally would so more preload is needed, especially at the rear.
The amount of preload will depend on how much more the suspension sags two up as opposed to on your own, dial it in accordingly.
If i was to do one adjustment, this would be it.
More rebound and compression damping is often needed but youre best to do one thing at a time and try it (get the preload set first). Dont be afraid to experiment, adding half a turn of damping will not make a huge difference but you may well notice a difference, be it positive or negative.

Definitely worth the effort if you ask me. When you ride a well set up bike you`ll be happy.

The manufacturers recommended tyre pressures are normally set for all round use, this includes two up riding. Personally i would not raise them any more. On the road (without pillion) i run lower a few psi less than std recommendation.