Liz Hardy says all the best things come in pairs.
She’s the founder of an Australian website that’s helping women fall in love with motorcycling, and in particular celebrating the joy of riding pillion.
“Picking just one thing that sums up why you love Triumph isn’t something you do in seconds… unless you’re me,” says Liz, who counts the retro styling of the Bonneville, the powerful glide of the Thunderbird and the Speedmaster’s willingness to comfortably devour big miles as highlights of her ongoing love affair.
She adds: “For me, there’s one standout feature you can find on plenty of Triumph motorcycles… the pillion seat.
“It’s a simple addition that opens the door to a world of adventure. I’m working on changing the misconception that pillion is somehow a dirty word and have become a shameless evangelist on a motorcycling mission to show others the joy of riding pillion.
“For 23 years, I’ve climbed happily onto the back of a series of Triumphs with the hubby, our Triumph Sprint and Triumph Trophy perfect for the flat, brown dusty roads of the Australian outback.”
Everything is intense – from the journey itself, to the quality of the relaxation as you reach your destination.Liz Hardy
After several Triumphs Liz now lives in New Zealand where she and her husband roll through “a living painting” on their silver Triumph Thunderbird: “Whoever you are, whether you’re a guy or a girl, riding pillion changes you. It makes you feel brave. It makes you feel powerful. And it makes you smile so much your face hurts.”
10 Reasons to Ride Pillion
1. Free access
Swing your leg over that pillion seat for access to the wonderful world of motorcycling – right now, for free.
2. Revive the senses
Riding pillion makes you part of the landscape, no longer separate from the world but a moving part of the universe.
Riding in the city, you can almost taste 100 different dishes from the restaurants as you fly past. In the countryside, you smell fresh cut grass and the earthy reek of living, breathing cows.
Your senses have kicked in, and you remember there’s a whole world out there you never normally even recognise.
3. Adventure on demand
Save for months or years for a big, expensive holiday and be miserable as you hoard the pennies… or go anywhere – right now.
No need for months of planning or saving, you can take an overnight break this weekend and discover that life doesn’t have to be just endless routine.
4. Get comfy
Riding pillion is more comfortable than you think if you get the right pillion seat with a back rest. It makes all the difference in the world so an upgrade is a viable investment in your motorcycling life.
5. Feel the burn…in a good way
Work out while you’re sitting down, use muscles you never knew you had to stay in place, lean with the bike and brace for stopping and starting. It’s the perfect workout without going to the gym.
6. Get some perspective
After a day riding with your favourite person, everything seems less stressful because you’ve taken a break from the millions of overwhelming details you deal with every day. Sense of balance has returned.
7. Live in dog years
Riding pillion sends you into a time warp. Time passes differently on a motorcycle a bit like dog years. Two days away on a bike trip is the equivalent of a week away in normal time.
8. Go minimalist
For the girls, pillion riding will mess up your hair and probably smudge your makeup, so adopt a more minimalist approach to grooming.
Ditch Kardashian war paint and false eyelashes for pulled back hair, sunscreen, mascara and lipstick and you’re off. You’ll be smiling too much to worry about how you look, anyway.
If you’re a guy go with a friend and just enjoy the ride.
9. Go hell for leather
Always wanted to wear leather pants but not a rock star?
In motorcycle land, they’re legitimate safety gear, look great and offer a high level of protection.
What are you waiting for?
10. Relight the spark
Another takeaway in front of the telly or roar together through the world on your beautiful metal beast, creating new bonds.
You’re on a private adventure for two, your senses working overtime.
What could be better?
Everything is intense – from the journey itself, to the quality of the relaxation as you reach your destination.
As you can see, I do love talking about being a pillion but it does have one down side I didn’t see coming… it’s seriously, incurably addictive. But I can live with that!
Do you ride pillion? We need you! Send us a photo of you and your riding partner to firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured in our upcoming gallery.