- Table of Contents
- 1. Pre-Ride Checking and Preparation
- 2. Gather at a Place to Conduct a Pre-Ride Meeting
- 3. Keep the Group Small
- 4. Decide Who the Leader Will Be
- 5. Learn What Hand Signals Mean
- 6. The Tail Rider
- 7. Keep a Safe Distance
- 8. Position Yourself in the Zig-Zag Manner
- 9. Drive Safely and Follow Traffic Rules
- 10. How to Overtake When Riding in a Group
- 11. Stay Aware
- 12. Avoid Sudden Braking
- 13. Always Have a Plan if a Rider Goes Missing
- 14. Help Each Other
- 15. Make Stops after Intervals
- 16. Takeaway
Riding a motorcycle is always fun if you are a motorcycle enthusiast. Many people prefer traveling by motorbike over a car because they get to experience the open air and adventure. It also helps that motorcycles are cheaper than cars. Though the latest motorcycles are being manufactured with advanced riding assistance and safety features, motorcycle riders should still be careful on the roads. Safety should always come first, so it is important to wear a helmet and follow traffic laws.
Motorcycle enthusiasts worldwide love riding motorcycles in a group, either with their friends, family, or motorcycle club members. Riding a motorcycle in a group requires extra caution to ensure everyone’s safety on the road. This article discusses the 15 essential tips for motorcycle group riding.
1. Pre-Ride Checking and Preparation
It is important to check that your motorcycle is ready and that there are no mechanical issues before you go on a motorcycle group ride. Check to see if the vehicle requires maintenance or if the fuel tank is full to avoid any hassle.
Make sure that you do not forget your mobile phone as it can help you call for help in an emergency or access navigation. Also, you should carry a first-aid kit, a water bottle, sunblock, and a raincoat.
2. Gather at a Place to Conduct a Pre-Ride Meeting
Before setting out on a motorcycle group ride, make sure that all group members gather at a designated place and conduct a pre-ride meeting. A pre-ride meeting gives an opportunity to make sure everyone is present and for each rider to get to know each other. Also, the group members can decide the route, stops, and destinations so that everybody knows every step of the ride.
3. Keep the Group Small
It is important to keep the group small because a large number of motorcycle riders sharing the road can cause havoc and make riding conditions less safe. A large number of group members riding together can distract the other riders and can disrupt the flow of traffic. A group of five less experienced members is considered safe; if there are experienced riders among the group, then eight members can ride together.
Photo Credit: @goldcoastharley
4. Decide Who the Leader Will Be
Another pre-ride tip is to decide during the meeting who the leader should be throughout the ride. The leader should be the most experienced and active person in the group. Everyone in the group should follow the leader, watching him/her and the direction he/she is going.
5. Learn What Hand Signals Mean
Communication while riding in a group is done using hand signals. A rider should also know how and when to use hand signals and what they mean.
5.1 Motorcycle Hand Signals
6. The Tail Rider
The tail rider is the one who stays at the back of the group. He/she should be an experienced rider because he/she has the responsibility to communicate with the riders ahead and to keep a track of every member so that nobody separates from the group.
7. Keep a Safe Distance
Always maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you; this will give you and others enough time to apply the brakes if the vehicle ahead of you suddenly stops. Riding in a group does not mean that group members should be closely packed while riding. If the roads are curvy, riders should maintain more distance between each other.
Photo Credit: @wikipedia
8. Position Yourself in the Zig-Zag Formation
According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), the riders should position themselves in a zig-zag formation. This means that if the leader is riding on the left side of the lane, the second rider should be on the right side, the third rider on the left, and so on. This will give every rider extra buffer space between each other.
8.1 Motorcycle Group Riding Positions
9. Drive Safely and Follow Traffic Rules
Riding in a group is not about racing each other or performing stunts. Every rider is expected to follow traffic laws and drive safely.
10. How to Overtake a Vehicle When Riding in a Group
Overtaking a vehicle is not that easy when riding in a group because doing so risks group members getting separated. To overtake other vehicles safely, a few members should move at a time rather than the whole group. Wait until it is safe and there is are fast-moving vehicles coming from the other side. It is not a hard and fast rule that group members have to ride in a chain for the entire ride.
11. Be Aware
Everyone should be aware of the other riders and constantly check the side mirrors to make sure that the riders behind them are not missing. If everybody constantly checks on the other riders’ positions, nobody will get separated. Also, everyone should keep an eye on the leader so that nobody misses his/her hand signals.
12. Avoid Sudden Braking
Suddenly braking is dangerous if riders do not maintain a safe distance from the vehicles in front or behind. Suddenly braking could be dangerous as it disrupts the flow of traffic and increases the likelihood of a collision. If you are driving at a moderate speed and are far enough away from the vehicle ahead, you have time to slow down before applying the brakes.
13. Always Have a Plan if a Rider Goes Missing
Make sure to decide at the pre-ride meeting what should be done if someone goes missing or becomes separated during the ride. The group should stop at a safe rendezvous point and wait for the missing rider or try to contact him/her to check if there is an emergency.
If the group continues riding without waiting for the missing member to catch up, it will pressurize the rider who is left behind and he/she may start to ride faster and more recklessly to catch up with the group.
14. Help Each Other
If a fellow rider’s bike suffers mechanical issues or runs out of fuel, make sure that you lend a hand so that he/she does not feel left out.
15. Take Breaks in Intervals
Riders should take breaks every once in a while to avoid becoming fatigued. Also, breaks give you the opportunity to eat, drink, and take pictures with other group members.
Motorcycle group riding is fun if you are a social person and following these tips will help you ensure that your group riding experience goes well. You get to learn different things from the more experienced riders in the group.
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