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Rider Info 2018-02-05T05:47:41+00:00

Rider Hand Signals and Guidelines

General guidelines from a variety of resources.



Motorcycle Group Riding Safety Guidelines:

  • Riders meeting to be held before the start of the ride to discuss (at the minimum):

    • Who will ride Lead

    • Who will ride Sweep

    • The planned route

    • Gas stops

  • Every group ride shall have a designated Lead and Sweep

    • Both should be experienced riders who are well versed in group riding procedures

    • Both should talk to new riders joining a group ride for the first time to provide an orientation of the procedures and group riding etiquette

    • Both should be aware of each group rider’s skill level before the ride and monitor the riders during the ride

  • Do not pass the Lead unless he/she gives you a hand signal that it is ok to pass

    • After seeing the hand signal and passing the Lead, always stop at the next turn or at a reasonable distance ahead so that you can rejoin the group behind the Lead

  • Do not pass the rider in front of you if he/she is stuck behind a car

    • Note that at anytime he/she may be ready to pass the car

  • Do not pass the rider in front of you in corners

  • All riders must periodically check the riders following using their rear view mirrors

    • If you see the rider behind you wanting to pass, be courteous and move to right of the lane to allow for safe passing

    • To remove any surprises, wave/provide a hand signal to the rider behind you to let him/her know that it is ok for them to pass you

    • If you see a rider falling behind, slow down so they may catch up

    • If you see a rider go down, please stop, ride or walk back to help

  • Always ensure that you wait for the rider behind you at every turn or Y in the road

    • Check your rear view mirror:

      • If the rider behind you sees you than there is no need to stop

      • If you don’t see the rider behind you, than stop before the turn until they arrive

    • This process must be followed all the way until the Sweep makes the turn

  • Keep the group to a manageable size

    • If necessary, break the group into smaller sub-groups, each with a Lead and Sweep rider

    • The groups should rejoin at each stop to ensure everyone is ok and for socializing

  • A single-file formation with a minimum 2-second following distance is preferred on curvy roads

  • When riding in staggered formation, ensure that you are not riding in the center of lane to allow the riders behind to ride in the correct formation

  • If you notice other riders in the group are consistently passing you, please do not ride ahead or in the front section of the group after each stop

    • Please stay and maintain the position in front of the Sweep

  • If the group is riding faster than you are comfortable with, let the Sweep know you are dropping out and ride at your own pace behind the Sweep

    • If this occurs, the Sweep must wait for you at each turn

  • On multi-day tours, do not split the group to take different routes

    • If this can not be avoided, the split group needs to act as a brand new riding group and follow all of the group riding procedures

  • While riding, don’t fixate on the motorcycle in front of you

    • Instead, remember your basic training and look well through the turn to where you want to go

  • Do not show-off in group rides

  • Hold a riders meeting at the final stop of the ride to discuss how everything went, what can be improved or changed for the next ride

  • Please keep in mind that we ride as a group because we want to enjoy the company of our friends. Making sure we are all safe and taking care of each other during the ride is each of our responsibility.

  • Motorcycling is primarily a solo activity, but for many, riding as a group — whether with friends or with an organized motorcycle rally — is the epitome of the motorcycling experience. Here are some tips to help ensure a fun and safe group ride:

  • Arrive prepared. Arrive on time with a full gas tank.

  • Hold a riders’ meeting. Discuss things like the route, rest and fuel stops, and hand signals (see diagrams at right). Assign a lead and sweep (tail) rider. Both should be experienced riders who are well-versed in group riding procedures. The leader should assess everyone’s riding skills and the group’s riding style.

  • Keep the group to a manageable size, ideally five to seven riders.

  • If necessary, break the group into smaller sub-groups, each with a lead and sweep rider.

  • Ride prepared. At least one rider in each group should pack a cell phone, rst-aid kit, and full tool kit, so the group is prepared for any problem that they might encounter.

  • Ride in formation. The staggered riding formation (see diagram below) allows a proper space cushion between motorcycles so that each rider has enough time and space to maneuver and to react to hazards. The leader rides in the left third of the lane, while the next rider stays at least one second behind in the right third of the lane; the rest of the group follows the same pattern. A single- le formation is preferred on a curvy road, under conditions of poor visibility or poor road surfaces, entering/leaving highways, or other situations where an increased space cushion or maneuvering room is needed

  • Avoid side-by-side formations, as they reduce the space cushion. If you suddenly needed to swerve to avoid a hazard, you would not have room to do so. You don’t want handlebars to get entangled.

  • Periodically check the riders following in your rear view mirror. If you see a rider falling behind, slow down so they may catch up. If all the riders in the group use this technique, the group should be able to maintain a fairly steady speed without pressure to ride too fast to catch up.

  • If you’re separated from the group, don’t panic. Your group should have a pre- planned procedure in place to regroup. Don’t break the law or ride beyond your skills to catch up.

  • For mechanical or medical problems, use a cell phone to call for assistance as the situation warrants.