A Confused.com guide to going two-up on two wheels
It might sound romantic - just you, your bike and the open road, but it could also be a bit lonely. Even Ewan McGregor asked a mate to tag along when he rode ‘The Long Way Round’ the world.
But what happens if your travelling companion can’t ride? Put them in a pillion seat – that’s what!
Confused.com has the guide to the world’s best motorbikes for two.
1) Honda GL1800 Goldwing Deluxe
Surely there’s no better way to travel two-up than on a Honda Goldwing? Boasting the kind of spec sheet you’d expect to find on a BMW 5-series, the Wing offers cruise control, GPS navigation, airbags, ABS, a radio and speakers – and even a reverse gear. Who wouldn’t want to perch themselves on the sumptuous leather throne of this pillion seat? It’s so soft and comfortable it will swallow you whole.
However, sitting in the lofty insurance group of 15 will drive up the cost of your motorbike insurance. A credit-crunch defying price tag of £21,451 accounts for the pricey insurance premium - you might require a loan for this one!
Honda GL1800 Goldwing Deluxe
||1,832cc, 12-Valve, flat-six|
2) BMW R1200RT
BMW’s twin-cylinder, super-tourer is lighter, cheaper and four insurance groups lower than the mighty Goldwing – but by no means is it the budget option, even if your motorbike insurance says otherwise. The R1200RT offers a decent touring spec with a CD player, a deafening set of treble-toned speakers, ABS, heated-grips, electric windscreen and cavernous in-built luggage space.
Unfortunately your pillion won’t be treated to such decadent comfort as the Honda provides, but fit the optional top-box and it doubles as a nifty backrest.
3) Harley-Davidson FLHTCU Electra Glide Ultra Classic
The Electra Glide is the cheeseburger-chomping Elvis Presley of the bike world - large, loud, brash and 100 per cent American. What’s more, your passenger will be treated to lashings of camp, cruiser chrome and tasselled leather.
Like the Goldwing, the Harley-Davidson sits at the top of the motorbike insurance food chain, so fitting an alarm and chaining the bike to a ground anchor – even inside your garage, could help lower premiums.
Harley-Davidson FLHTCU Electra Glide Ultra Classic
||1,584cc, air-cooled, V-twin|
||65 bhp approx|
4) Triumph Sprint ST ABS
Unlike our other bikes, the Triumph is a serious sports-tourer, capable of doubling the national speed limit without breaking a sweat. However, despite the razor sharp handling, alloy frame, single-sided swingarm and sporty three-cylinder engine, the Sprint ST makes for a very comfortable long-distance tourer.
It’s a pillion’s pleasure on the back, perfect for an Autobahn blast during your next European tour (see Confused.com’s Guide to Biking in Europe). Unfortunately, the Sprint ST’s Superbike performance figures account for its high motorbike insurance group of 15 - age and a decent no-claims bonus are the best remedies for this.
Triumph Sprint ST ABS
||1,050cc, in-line triple|
5) Piaggio XEvo 400
Stylish, nippy and comfortable, the Piaggio XEvo is the quickest way to get around London… oh, and it’s a scooter! Not something you’ll cross-continents with, but it will get you, and your pillion passenger, to the shops 10-miles down the road in comfort and style.
An automatic, the Piaggio is fitted with a back support to increase confidence in nervous passengers. Sitting in insurance group six, it’s much cheaper to insure thanks to a 400cc engine, a modest power figure and a lower retail price.
But scooters are magnets for bike thieves, so invest in decent security before arranging your motorbike insurance – it could make a big difference to your premium.
Piaggio XEvo 400
||400cc, single-cylinder with automatic transmission|
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photo by markyweiss