Two’s up | Rider and Pillion Racing

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Joerg Mitter / Red Bull Content Pool

We live in a world where anything is possible, particularly when it comes to motorsport. If you want to race your car, your bike or your lawnmower, you never have to go far to do it. It really is a brilliant time to be alive. And it’s not just ordinary ‘sportsbikes’ that you can race, oh no, you can race every type of bike you can imagine (and probably some you can’t imagine too). But one thing I‘ve never seen done, at least not in an official capacity anyway, is motorcycle two’s up ‘rider and pillion’ racing. And I think we’re missing a trick.

At select rounds of the MotoGP World Championship, if you’re trackside, you’ll get to watch the MotoE race. That’s the electric bike race. But I’m not sure how many people actually would want to watch that. That would probably be the time of day I went to find myself a cheeseburger, or to hunt Valentino Rossi down for an autograph and a selfie. It might be the future and the racing might be the best you’ve ever seen, but electric bikes just don’t make me hard. And I know I’m not the only one to suffer E-bike associated penile lethargy.

Two’s up

Gold & Goose / Red Bull Content Pool

Should the MotoE World Cup race be replaced with a ‘two’s up’ rider and pillion race, the cheeseburger (and Vale) would have to wait, because I’d be all over that. And I’d tune into it if I was at home, too.

I can only imagine it would be just as exciting for the spectators as it would be for the riders and passengers. Imagine twenty or thirty bikes going into turn one, with forty or sixty people on them. It would be absolutely bonkers.

But sometimes the most bonkers racing is the most exciting. Look at the bagger racing they have out in the states; that’s the kind of racing that most would probably say is a bad idea… but I think it’s a great one!

I’ve been lucky enough to do quite a few laps round race circuits, two’s up with a pillion on the back, so I know from experience you can actually go quite quick; probably faster than most people expect (certainly faster than a lot of my pillions expected, anyway). It would still be proper bike racing, and would definitely sound like proper bike racing (unlike that MotoE pish), but with an added twist. It’s bike racing, but as a team sport.


Some people might argue that the inherent risks involved in motorcycle racing are only acceptable when you’re putting yourself in danger, and that risking injury to a pillion is a step too far; you’re putting the pillions live in the riders hands, as well as his or her own. But if that was an argument, you wouldn’t have sidecar racing, or co-drivers in rally cars.

So I really don’t understand why two’s up bike racing isn’t a thing. As far as I can see, there are loads of reasons to make it happen… and not one reason not to.

Right then, let’s do it. Who fancies getting on the back of my race bike? Anyone?


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