DOU­BLE TROU­BLE?

Small bike goes two-up

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage - RIDER Si­mon Brown. Been rid­ing 20 years, has a Scram­bler FT in the garage at home. HEIGHT 5ft 9in WEIGHT 70kg si­mon.brown@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

YAMAHA MT-03 £4499 FUEL 14 litres @ 68mpg = 209 miles WEIGHT 168kg SEAT 780mm POWER 41.4bhp TORQUE 21.8ftlb

Strictly speak­ing any bike fit­ted with a pil­lion seat and as­so­ci­ated foot­pegs ought to be just fine two-up. But there’s a big dif­fer­ence be­tween ‘just fine’ and en­joy­able, and some­times tak­ing a pil­lion on a ma­chine with bud­get sus­pen­sion can be down­right grim.

So it was with some trep­i­da­tion that I called up my bik­ing mate (also called Si­mon) and asked if he fan­cied a go on the back of the MT. Si­mon’s bik­ing his­tory in­cludes a Suzuki SV650S and a Tri­umph Day­tona 650 but he’s cur­rently re­stricted to four wheels with spare cash swal­lowed up by a cou­ple of house moves.

The MT’S shock is ad­justable for preload but I left it stan­dard be­cause it’s a faff reach­ing for a C-span­ner ev­ery time you want to take a pas­sen­ger. So, with the pil­lion foot­pegs de­ployed, it was time for the other Si­mon to climb aboard on the back.

Things felt slightly top-heavy be­fore we got un­der­way, but not too bad and the Yamaha’s low seat means I can have both feet planted when Si­mon gets safely on and off.

Head­ing out, with a bit of clutch

slip to fa­cil­i­tate a smooth get­away, the MT seems slower than usual but not dra­mat­i­cally so. It prob­a­bly helps that Si­mon is a com­pact 5ft 6in and nine stone.

Out of the vil­lage and onto the dual carriageway there’s no prob­lem get­ting up to an in­di­cated 70mph and a bit more. It takes longer than when rid­ing solo, but it’s ac­cept­able and the soft-but-smooth ac­cel­er­a­tion makes for a re­laxed pas­sen­ger.

Brak­ing isn’t quite as happy. The MT’S stop­ping dis­tances def­i­nitely feel longer and I’m more-than-ever on the alert for any haz­ards that might ne­ces­si­tate a rapid stop.

And the pil­lion view? Si­mon said that com­fort was fine for the du­ra­tion of our short ride­out and the grabrails are gen­er­ous but slightly on the flimsy side.

It wasn’t the most dy­namic ex­pe­ri­ence for ei­ther of us, but it was bet­ter than fine and we’ll prob­a­bly re­peat the ex­er­cise on a sunny week­end (un­til I can con­vince Si to buy him­self another bike, that is).

Pint of or­ange, glass of coke and a bot­tle of semi-synth, please

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