First two up on the Speedmaster - tips? - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
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First two up on the Speedmaster - tips?

Took my girl out for a spin on the (new to me) 2015 Speedy. Since its been forever since I had a passenger we were very careful.I made sure she was all geared up and understands the basics. Was a little shaky at first, it is definitely noticeable but easy enough to adjust to.

Didnt go too far but it was enough to know we both enjoyed it a lot and plan on doing more. A few things I noticed:

- Maybe this will get better over time but I was much more fatigued than when riding solo. Felt like I was more tense and almost a little cramped. Could have been just over compensating, talking to her about it afterwards she said she had plenty of room and could even have moved back. So I guess we both just need to get used to how much space we have.

- What is the trick to avoid knocking helmets? This might have had something to do with my extra fatigue, after the first few BONKS! I was consciously trying to avoid it so may have had some unnatural head placement.

- helmet comms are looking like a requirement - off to do some research! Any recommendations appreciated, I am starting from a position of complete ignorance on this one, its not something I ever considered before.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 11:00 AM
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My wife has her own bike, so itís rare that sheís on the back of mine. Usually just at bike events, so she can have a drink or two, and not worry. And when we know thatís going to happen, we take my bigger bike.
But last year, we took my Speedmaster out of town, and she was on the back after dropping hers at the hotel. The Speedmaster is a little bit of a challenge with the stock seat, and no back rest. If your wife is going to ride on the back, you definitely need to get her a more comfortable seat. And she can sit a little further back with the backrest, and feel secure. Should help the helmet bumping, something Iíve never experienced.
It takes time to get used to having a passenger. Not an issue on the highway, but a little more work in traffic.

Mike
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 11:01 AM
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If you're going to ride double much, you might want to invest in a backrest for the passenger. If they can lean back and relax it makes helmet-to-helmet contact much less likely.

As for the helmet comm, I use the Cardo Packtalk Bold which I've come to really like a lot. The guys I ride with all have them and we can talk from bike-to-bike like we're sitting in the same car together and a pillion passenger can join right in. Whatever brand you buy, be sure it is "mesh" enabled. Without mesh, if someone in the group goes out of range it breaks the group, but with mesh riders can seamlessly leave and re-join the group.

They do make intercom-type devices for talk only between a rider and pillion passenger and yeah, they're a lot less expensive, but the ability to talk from bike-to-bike REALLY makes riding with others a more enjoyable experience.

Pete

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 11:09 AM
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First off get a sissy bar and back rest, she will be much more comfortable and will lean back more which will help with the helmet knocking. You also need to (tactfully) explain that she needs to "ride" the bike as well as you. If she is looking forwards and reading the road she will be able to anticipate your breaking and this will help to eliminate the knocking helmets. My wife has been riding pillion on and off for years and we still knock helmets occasionally, but only when she is sightseeing!

Regarding the fatigue you are experiencing, that's normal at first, she is putting her life in your hands and you know it! but you have to learn to relax like you do when solo. You are understandably nervous that she enjoys the ride because you want her to come along more often. Try going out a few times solo but imagining she's on the back, do every manoeuvre a little more slowly and smoothly especially stating off accelerating and breaking, no jerky gear changes, it's a bit like riding on wet roads. Once you relax you will both enjoy it more.

Good luck

Steve
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 09:04 PM
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Thumbs up Pillioning can be fun

Just to offer some contrary advice given here by others already.

My wife is an excellent pillion on sports bikes and sports tourers I have owned.

I would not buy a sissy bar, back rest or seat unless your GF or wife really wants that.

My wife would never ride with me if I had any of those on my Sprint GT or any other bike of mine she has ridden with me.

What I do agree with is having a good reliable intercom system if you will be pillioning a lot with your partner, male female or what ever takes your fancy.

An intercom allows the rider to warn the pillion of any upcoming actions or even bad unavoidable road bumps. Also your pillion can assist with warnings about vehicles or some other issue you may have missed or not be easily visible for the rider. I've been riding for around 47 years at least 45 yrs on the road now and I love riding with my wife on the GT and on other previous machines of various types including a GSX R600 of many years.
My wife has spotted somethings a few times that I had missed or could not see so easily and this has contributed to our safe riding IMHO.

I would also suggest your pillion needs a proper strong grab rail preferably on either side of the pillion, the Sprint GT's is damned near perfect and good and solid.

Riding with a good friend or partner can be a lot of fun, especially on a trip, it takes practice and different skills to be good at it, you need to work together, especially if you ride very fast in tight stuff, it's a team effort.

FYI we don't "bonk" on our bike

I hope that's helpful and encouraging

cheers
DaveM
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Last edited by DaveM; 04-06-2019 at 09:43 PM.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 08:36 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info everyone. I am looking into the Cardo systems, looks like a good fit for me.
Still kicking around ideas about the seating arrangement. I can see pros and cons to all of the ideas.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 09:49 AM
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A little more about helmet comm systems:

As I mentioned in my post above, I use the Cardo Packtalk Bold in my helmets and I like it a lot. My first comm system was a Sena SRL which I bought because it fit internally in my Shoei Neotec II, but that unit ultimately had to go due to one major reason: All the friends I ride with had Cardo Packtalks and while I could actually talk to them using the "Universal Pairing" feature, it was cumbersome, didn't work very well, and I caught a lot of grief from the guys I ride with. Even when paired with a group of other Sena headsets, if someone rode out of range it would break the group and we would have to re-pair when we got back together again; that, because my SRL and several of the other Senas didn't use Mesh technology.

So the first thing you need to consider when you're shopping for a helmet comm system is what your friends are using. Different brands of comm systems can usually connect with each other, but it never works as well as connecting with the same brand.

And don't buy one without Mesh networking. Most brands offer it in their newest models, but be aware that different brands have different Mesh systems and they typically don't interconnect very well either. But Mesh networking is the only way to go in this day-&-age and Cardo seems to have the best Mesh system going. There are 9 other Cardo comm units paired to my Packtalk and I don't have to do anything except turn my Packtalk on when I ride with one, several, or all of those guys: No re-pairing or anything. I turn my Packtalk on, say "can you hear me now?", and they're all there. With the Sena (not Mesh), there was always a frustrating group pairing session before each ride and that typically had to be re-done if someone rode out of range and then re-joined the group. Ugh!

So as the saying goes, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. In other words, if you ride with others and the majority of 'em use Sena comm systems, then you should probably buy Sena. Likewise with Cardo or other brands. But my own experience is the overwhelming majority of the people I either ride with or have met on the road use the Cardo system which is why I switched from Sena to Cardo. The fact that my Packtalk Bold just works better is a nice bonus too.

Pete
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PGR View Post
So as the saying goes, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. In other words, if you ride with others and the majority of 'em use Sena comm systems, then you should probably buy Sena. Likewise with Cardo or other brands. But my own experience is the overwhelming majority of the people I either ride with or have met on the road use the Cardo system which is why I switched from Sena to Cardo. The fact that my Packtalk Bold just works better is a nice bonus too.
Curiosity compelled me to post a poll about comm system popularity on another Triumph forum which supports polls and the results seem to go contrary to my personal observations: Sena outscores Cardo by more than 2:1 in the poll but the Cardo Packtalk dominates the comments. Another interesting point is the people who claim to have tried both prefer the Packtalk.

Regardless, there are probably more Sena than Cardo units on the road. I'm sticking with my Packtalk Bold, though.

Pete

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Last edited by PGR; 04-08-2019 at 08:30 AM.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, its getting better with practice Sometimes take offs are a bit rocky but am remembering what has been drilled into my head so many times - get those feet up ASAP! Really helps.

Also ordered the Cardo BOLD Duo so cant wait to try that out!
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 07:38 AM Thread Starter
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I got the Packtalk all set up in both helmets, have not had a chance to try them out actually riding because real life and weather (GRRRR!) but so far am pretty amazed at how good it sounds in the Shoei. There is a noticeable difference in my backup helmet which is a Sedici modular. Doesn't seem as loud/crisp/clear which is likely due to the better sealing properties and acoustics of the GT Air.

The intercom works great. One thing I am still trying to figure out is how to share audio from my phone to both devices. I can say "Hey Cardo Music On" and it starts playing in my helmet only, then if she says the same thing the stream stops in mine and starts on hers. Probably some quirk I am missing unless I am missing something. Although that is a minor concern, communication is the main goal here for now.
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