My advice to you is to listen to me. I was there, man. I know the bloody hell a loving spouse can rain down upon you. I have a custom Softail-a nice, hotrod ride with detachable saddlebags and a cool taildragger rear fender, quite seatless. Cleverly tucked into a saddlebag at all times was a suction-cup-style rear pad, which I figured would let me keep that manly solo-ride thing going on, while instantly providing an adequate cushion for the wife, bless her crabby black heart. The bike was built to be a hard-charging barhopper-all muscle and not much else, so comfort wasn't a big part of the painstakingly prepared design plan. I hear she's got a new husband now, with a big, fat seat, and maybe arm handles and a vibrating butt massager, too.
One way to avoid the bitter sting of the pussywhip is to think with the head that holds up your helmet. Motorcycling is not supposed to be about a clash of male/female egos or caveman chest pounding or weirdo melon-twisting ultimatums and power plays. It's supposed to be about fun, dammit. There are methods to keep momma happy and get your way, too, believe it or not.
First off, if you ignore the comfort of your passenger, you're going to pay and it will hurt. It will be a bone of constant contention that will leave you both insane and exhausted. Behaviorist Felice Goff suggests we consider all the variables, not the least of which is what kind of riding buddy do you have? Is your passenger the high-heel and mini-skirt type that digs the freaky feeling of some shake and rattle through a micro pillion, or is he or she more of the steel-toe hiker boots, big bubble butt stuffed into Kevlar-reinforced jeans, demands a Barcalounger-type of rear seat travel companion? Sissybar, or no sissybar? Intercom, or the tranquil Zen of riding without ceaseless chitchat? Pain delivered by a seat as hard as a church pew, or a plug-in back and butt massager?
Choosing the right bike, the right seat, the right foot support, the right back support, and the right damn passenger can mean the difference between lasting fun and happiness, or irreversible misery and terribleness. Felice advises us to think carefully about our partner and what his or her comfort level is, and put that consideration into your customizing or buying decisions. This isn't to say you actually need to compromise. "Couples tend to think compromise is what turns the wheels of a relationship, but that leaves something lacking; neither of you ever really get what you want. This can and often leads to resentment and conflict. Instead, negotiate. If you are modifying your motorcycle, maybe one can pick the seat, the other the footpegs or floorboards. It's important you both feel a part of the decisions that affect your riding experience."
A cushy passenger place is nice, but one long-legged beauty made this unexpected point: "There's no whining in motorcycling," said Stacy, who is new to biking and enjoys life from the pillion. "You can be as sexy as you want to be, dress how you like even if that means wearing almost nothing, which I like to do in summer. But be prepared for unforeseen unpleasantness," she added. "I wear a chrome, bullet-shaped pillbox necklace that I keep aspirin or whatever in. Take one before the scoot, one during, maybe a couple after. It can put the joy back into the rear ride. It doesn't take a lot of experience to know weather and temperatures can swing suddenly. That's why there are saddlebags and backpacks. You can squeeze a lot of warm clothes into a small space. Take what you may need, and take some personal responsibility. Even though you may be riding together, it's really only up to you to provide for your own comfort. Don't blame your partner for a rough ride or a bad day."