Motorcycle Safety: Group Riding 101

Who would have thought the term etiquette and motorcycle would be used in the same sentence? Well they go hand in hand when it comes to group motorcycle riding. Group riding actually requires a lot of rules, or as some call it, etiquette, to make sure that motorcyclists riding in groups do not endanger anyone else or interfere with traffic. Whether you are a first time group rider, or have ridden before with others, below are some useful and basic tips we think are helpful when riding as part of a group.

1. Communicating when riding in a group is a challenge. Everyone who has ridden in a group before knows that it is extremely difficult to communicate with other riders unless you have an intercom system, which is not always practical or affordable for some riders. Before you ride it’s a good idea to set a basic list of signals within the group that can easily convey issues ranging from the need to stop, warnings and, of course, direction changes.

2. When riding in a group, everyone should always ride in what is called a Staggered Formation with the most experienced rider as the leader in the front and the less experienced riders immediately behind the leader. The leader should remain in the left portion of the lane (blocking position). The next rider should remain one second behind the leader, in the right portion of the lane and the third rider in the left portion of the lane, two seconds behind the leader and one second behind the second rider. The forth rider should be two seconds behind the second rider. Avoid riding side by side; this is extremely dangerous and provides no exit strategy in case a hazard or accident occurs.

3. When crossing intersections riders should pair up to reduce the length of time crossing and keep the motorcycles together. Each rider is responsible to insure he or she can make a safe crossing before entering the intersection. When you come to a stop at an intersection, tighten the formation to side-by-side to take up less space. As the light turns green, or when traffic opens up, the bike on the left should proceed through the intersection first.

4. DO NOT pass other members riding in the group. If you are uncomfortable or do not like the position you are riding in, wait until the group stops to change it.

5. Most importantly, avoid anything that will irritate or jeopardize the safety of other riders in the group. If you choose to ride in a group than you must obey all rules discussed prior to the ride. Also, remember that it is your responsibility to make sure your motorcycle is in good running condition before you even meet up with the group, and make sure you have plenty of fuel in the tank. After all, you do not want to be the reason for stopping the group for something mechanical you could have prevented.

What are your tips on group riding? Drop us a line below!

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