Riding motorcycles in a group can be an exciting and enjoyable experience. However, careful planning and coordination are essential to ensure everyone’s safety.
Here are some tips that can help you whether you’re a new or an experienced rider:
1. Schedule a pre-ride meeting.
Group rides provide a pleasant social experience for riders, and there are always opportunities to invite other riders to join you. While your motto could be “the more the merrier,” it’s important to realize that riding skills could vary significantly. By holding a pre-ride meeting, riders can introduce themselves and share their skill level. This can help create camaraderie and a safe riding plan. This also allows you the ability to select a leader and a follower. These riders should be experienced and responsible.
2. Inspect your motorcycle.
Before each ride, it’s a good idea to inspect your motorcycle. It’s even more important if you’re going on a long group ride. Click below for a detailed inspection checklist created by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
3. Learn and use hand signals.
When riding in a group, there are a variety of hand signals that can aid in communication and prevent injuries. Some hand signals include:
- Single file
- Slow down
- Speed up
- Hazard in the roadway
- Follow me
- Pull off
For additional signals, click here. If you ride with a group regularly, consider purchasing a motorcycle intercom/Bluetooth headset.
4. Ride in a staggered formation.
If you’re used to riding alone, riding in a group can be fun but stressful. It’s not as simple as riding single file. When riding in a group, a staggered formation should be used. This allows other riders to react should a hazard present itself. Always be ready to use avoidance maneuvers.
5. Avoid sudden lane changes.
If you’re leading the group ride, watching the group in your mirrors is essential. If a lane change is necessary, wait for a large enough space so the entire group can move. This ensures that the group stays together and helps avoid hasty decisions by riders who may get left behind.
6. Take breaks.
Riding a motorcycle is exhilarating, but it can also be exhausting. Weather, mileage rode, and the type of motorcycle can have an impact. Be sure to take group breaks so riders can recharge.
7. Carry extra food and water.
Keep water and snack foods like energy bars, nuts, and raisins in your travel bag. Again, riding a motorcycle exerts more energy than driving a car.
8. Carry a first aid kit and tools.
Ensure that at least one rider has a first aid kit in case of an injury.
9. Respect your motorcycle.
Poor split-second decisions can have deadly consequences. Treat your motorcycle with respect. Never feel pressured to drive outside your ability level.
For additional information, check out the links below.
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