Riding 2 up on a 500 - some good and bad
After reading a lot of mixed reviews on this board about the Rebel's ability to ride 2 up, I decided to gamble and installed the passenger kit last week. After a few practice runs around the neighborhood, the wife and I went out a few times this weekend to give it a real test.
Tale of the tape - I'm 5'9, she is 5'3. We're not swimsuit models, so the two of us combined are putting the Rebel pretty close to it's max weight limit.
I started out with 30psi in my rear tire, and felt like the back of the bike was dragging a bit around the corners. I added 5 more psi and the bike felt good going around curves and corners.
Overall, I was very surprised at how well the Rebel performed with two adults on it. Acceleration, braking, and handling all felt pretty good to me. I generally ride pretty conservative when I'm solo, so I didn't have to make much adjustment to my riding style. Brakes did not feel underpowered when stopping, just have to allow a few more seconds. We cruised at 65-70 MPH and the motor did not seem to be struggling at all. We hit a little stop-and-go traffic, and even a short burst of rain. No problems in handling at all.
Mounting and dismounting is easy for both the driver and passenger. Being that the passenger seat is so low, my wife was able to just throw a leg over and sit down.
Can the Rebel handle 2 adults? The short answer is yes, it can. That being said, there is room for improvement.
Seat comfort and height - Passenger seat is good for about 30 minutes before it gets uncomfortable. Being that the seat is low, your passenger will be looking at the back of your helmet most of the time. I will be upgrading the passenger seat, I've seen a few seats that actually mount on top of the stock one to lift up the passenger another few inches.
Passenger pegs - No complaints while riding, but when we got home my wife said her feet hurt a little where the she rested them on the pegs. Maybe an issue of footwear, but floorboards would probably be a better option.
Stock Suspension - I felt like the ride was decent. We hit a few bumps and crossed some railroad tracks, and no problems. A little more bounce, but it is manageable. Upgrading to a heavier-duty shock would be an improvement.
Wife's big complaint was that she wants a backrest, so I will be adding one asap.
My final answer: This Rebel is great if you want to take your significant other for a short ride around town, but for a longer trip it definitely needs some upgrades. Biketoberfest is only a few months away, and I would love to be able for us to take the 45 minute ride out to Daytona Beach for the day.