As an XC owner this should be rather instructional. Mine has been quite satisfactory two up in areas a little outside the manufacturers recommendations so far. Great you guys can add some real world testing and i get to ride vicariously from my armchair.
Love the bar risers. Would be keen to get more detail on your set up also. Good choice on soft luggage and a small girlfriend- I tried to shrink my wife in a river but only managed to fill the cylinders with water.!