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Hello! I have been riding my 2004 sv650S for a year, and this morning my wife told me she wants to go on a long trip with me (Long meaning a 600 KM trip through the mountains and back, 1200 KM total). I have never ridden with a passenger, so I think we will start with some smaller trips and work our way up. Now, I have some questions about my bikes capability. Can the rear shock handle the load? I weight 200 lbs, my wife weighs 120 lbs, and our gear would not exeed 50 lbs. I likely would have to max out the preload, but would it work? Also, is there any way to fit a sissy bar or backrest for my passenger? I couldn't find any info on that. Granted, it would look ridiculous but I want my wife to be able to rest her back a little if we are planning on going on long trips. Last thing, I find the front to be woefully undersprung even for my weight, the brake dive on a hard stop is intense. What solution would you recommend for this issue? Any other thoughts that could be helpful? Thank you for any help you can give.
 

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I don't know where you live, so I have no idea what terrain "the mountains" describes. You are asking a lot of a bike not optimized for that task.
Weight: If you're riding on your stock shock/spring, you have two concerns. The first is GVW. Check your manual. Tare + fuel +~400lbs may be pushing the limit (885 lbs appears to be GVW limit. You'd be right there)
The second is that your SV is lightly sprung from OEM(the Conventional Wisdom is it's sprung for a single 140lb rider). You've ridden that shock for a dozen years, so it could very well be shot. Does your budget have room for a new/reused shock/spring upgrade?
Backrest There are luggage top cases that have backpads. More expensive than a set of saddlebags, and usually require hard installations (a little more weight) but kill two birds (comfort and storage) with one stone. Look through the Sport/Touring threads for shots of Mal Daniel's or Dan B's bikes. Mal often toured with a passenger.
Front suspension: What can be said for the rear is true for the front. The SV has a lovely little engine, but Suzuki skimped on the suspension. You can upgrade springs and oil (cheap) go for emulators (more expensive) do a front end swap (expensive and time-consuming). Each step has a distinct advantage over the one below.
Two up riding: By all means get your wife accustomed to riding pillion. She needs to know how to help with weight transfer and not upset your handling. Two-up riding feels different, and the SV responds to inputs differently when loaded, but it's not all that hard to get the hang of.
Ride well and be happy.
 

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I didn't want to be THAT obvious. The man is dealing with his wife. Let it be her idea, dummy! ;D
This has to be the best advice I've heard on SVR yet...

:eek:ccasion14:
 

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1Step 1, take her for some rides on the SV, and get her to realize you need a new bike. Step 2, get her convinced to get her own bike. Step 3, ? Step 4, profit.
 

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+1 to guys above.

Definitely take her for a few test rides to get comfortable with her on the back. She seems to be light so at least you have that going for you. Best idea for a long trip like that would be to have her get her own bike!
 

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The SV platform is FAR from ideal for two up....especially long distance riding. The absolute worst thing you can do is subject your pillion to hours on hours of torture. While some women seem to tolerate riding on the back of an SV OK...they're few and far between IMHO. The V-Strom's seem to be a lot more accommodating for a pillion and you'll notice that the aftermarket has tons more options for them....which should be a tip-off that they are much more popular for two-up riding.

I took the rear pegs off of my SV just because I felt it totally unacceptable for any poor soul to hang on back there.:) What your wife it telling you: get another bike! Yay!!! She might not understand that is what she's telling you...but it is. She'll get the message after her first few hours hanging like a monkey on the back if you take her for a brief local tour as a sales incentive.
 

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Go to AdvRider and lurk in the WeeStrom forum for awhile. Get one of those and you're ready to roll.

The SV will do it, but it won't be pleasant without suspension upgrades. Stock front spring rate is less than 70, you need at least 90-95. The rear spring isn't a problem, but its shock is really wimpy!

Two up riding: By all means get your wife accustomed to riding pillion. She needs to know how to help with weight transfer and not upset your handling. Two-up riding feels different, and the SV responds to inputs differently
You and she both have a lot to learn, but it's worth it!
 

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If you have an inexperienced pillion....the best advice you can give them is to hold on and do nothing else. I took a woman (who also rode) for a ride years back and she was constantly trying to lean before we got to the corner to 'help' us turn. Totally unneeded and it was really messing up my lines and where I wanted to place the bike.

Tried talking to her and said 'just close your eyes and you'll not even know we're cornering'...which is true if you are doing it right. The forces will be straight down so besides a slight downward push there should be no side force applied at all. Sadly...she just couldn't help herself hanging off early in every turn and I had to stop the rides. Perhaps on a bigger/heavier bike it wouldn't have been so bad, but on an RZ350 it was very sensitive to weight shifts unlike the later V-Max which didn't care much at all what you or the pillion did. It would try to kill you regardless of how you positioned yourself.:)
 

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Look through the Sport/Touring threads for shots of Mal Daniel's or Dan B's bikes. Mal often toured with a passenger.

Hey, welcome to SVrider. A helpful suggestion in the above Fatass post, but Mal Daniel goes by mg66 on here. Great guy! Here's a link for a post of his touring mods a few years back: http://www.svrider.com/forum/showpost.php?p=2269044&postcount=3

Smart to take a few shorter rides and see if she even likes it. She might not. She might want to get her own bike, or might push for mods to your SV, or for purchase of a better suited replacement machine.

Just loading the bike for a long solo trek makes it feel different. If you can, load it up for a solo trip first. Get comfortable with 2-up and work up to and even seek out the less-than-perfect situations. (rain, gravel, traffic, etc.) Then start adding the weight and bulk of baggage with 2-up.
 

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My wife can't stand more than 45 minutes on the back.

We talked beforehand about things she could do to help be a good passenger.

For example:
She can brace herself against the tank to help keep her weight off me under braking--she has since found it easier to squeeze her legs against my hips so she can sit more upright.
She should wait till we're moving before adjusting her seating position--not move around while we're stopped.
She should look over my inside shoulder before we start to turn and stay there through the turn.
She can signal me to slow or stop by patting my left leg and that I can go faster by patting my right leg.

Remember, you're both working together and she is putting a lot of trust in you. Don't abuse it. Be gentle, smooth, and predictable with all controls.
 

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Is your Dan B reference dan46n2 or somebody else? So hard to keep track of names around here. :headscratch:
I dunno. I was thinking of the guy who took his dark blue touring-kitted out 2d gen to the Rallys several times and recently went the lightweight (250cc) Chinese adventure-touring route.
 

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Sounds like a great excuse to get a new bike.
I didn't want to be THAT obvious. The man is dealing with his wife. Let it be her idea, dummy! ;D
Some years back, the wife wanted to go with me on a 4 day trip through Arkansas. We had previously done trips like that on a Kawasaki Concours, but I'd recently sold that bike. Been considering a V-Strom, but hadn't bought one.
Soooo, I suggest a 2-up trial run on the SV. 3 miles later, she's pounding on my helmet and yelling, "You need a new bike RIGHT NOW!" 4 hours later I had a brand new 650 V-Strom.
YMMV...:)
 

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Get a new bike and give her the SV650. It was her idea to tour with you, right? She obviously has interest in riding motorcycles. Skip the pillion stuff and get her into an MSF course to see if she likes it. (Don't pressure her, though) That's how I started riding... I was steering my bf's bike from the pillion. He pulled over and nagged me to stop back-seat-riding. I decided to take an MSF course and started riding on my own. Might as well skip the nagging part and ride 2 bikes. And don't get those intercom helmet communication devises. Less nagging, more enjoyable riding. (Couples advice all day, here!)
 

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1Step 1, take her for some rides on the SV, and get her to realize you need a new bike. Step 2, get her convinced to get her own bike. Step 3, ? Step 4, profit.
THIS ......................... I did this years ago, and my wife now has more than one bike of her own and does track days.
 
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