Some Group riding etiquette tips for novice motorcyclists
We all are impressed by motorcycle groups and wonder how they are always so organized and well grouped. However maintaining a motorcycle group is very difficult and a very important task because how your group is formed and how well the communication amongst the members is determines the safety of the group and other vehicles on the road.
1.Assign a Group Leader
Consider this motorcycle group as any other group that you had to form in your school or elementary days; and what is a group without a leader? It is actually very important to assign a group leader because not only does it make you well organized but it also helps to maintain a safe and smooth communication amongst the group.
When choosing a group leader make sure they are someone who will be respected and listened to by everyone. Of course the group leader also has to have certain personality traits, such as:
- They should be unbiased and willing to listen to everyone
- They should have excellent communication and diplomatic skills
- They should be aware of all the rules of driving a motorcycle on the road
- They should be aware of how to maintain a motorcycle
- They should be able to handle the situation in case of an accident
- They should have the abilities to lead an entire group of motorcycle enthusiast
- They should have excellent navigational skills.
Such a leader who comprises all such traits will be highly respected and valued by group members.
2. Always Hold a meeting before taking trip
Remember how before every school trip your teacher would always hold a pre-meeting in which they would set and discuss all the important rules; well travelling in a motorcycle group is just like that. A pre-meeting before any trip will help you be more aware of the journey ahead and what your leader expects from you on the trip.
A pre-meeting will also help talk about the aim behind a trip, and also may help refresh certain rules of the road in case someone has forgotten. Such pre-meetings usually just make sure that everyone is on the same page and it ensures a safe and successful ride.
3. Understanding hand signals are the key to a safe trip
Knowing and understanding hand signals are extremely important because they basically ensure safety. Because of hand signals your leader will be able to warn and communicate with each and every member of the group without having the need to scream or shout at them. Hand signals also help the group become more connected and well organized.
Hand signals basically are used to warn the rest of the group of what lies ahead of the road and exactly what their next move should be. So if you want to avoid accidents and you want to stay on the same page as everyone else, then we suggest knowing all the hand signals beforehand.
4. Always make sure you are ready before a Trip
Try not to be like that one tardy student everyone hated at school! Trust us it’s still very annoying even years after in practical life. In order to make sure you are well prepared you can make sure:
- Your motorcycle is updated and well maintained
- Your motorcycle fuel is full
- You have all the important motorcycle tools and gears to ensure safety
- You are well aware of all the information needed for the following trip
- You are on time and not late for the journey
These tips will help you be appreciated by your entire group, and this will help build your reputation in the group as well.
5. Always structure your group in a staggered formation
A staggered formation is the standard formation that is followed and advised by every motorcycle enthusiast who is part of a group. A staggered formation means that you are placed in a zigzag type formation where every motorcyclist will be able to see the one other in front of them; however the leader is always advised to be positioned at the top left of the group to be able to see the oncoming traffic clearly.
Such a formation helps to:
- Maintain a safe distance from the other motorcyclists
- Be able to clearly see the leader and follow instructions
- Be able to hit the brakes from a safe distance
- Difficult to get lost or separated from the group
- Avoid overtaking other motorcyclists
6. Always keep an eye on the riders of the group
Other motorcyclists in the group are equally important and you should always be mindful of their presence. Here are some simple rules to follow to ensure that all your motorcyclists in the group are present and safe:
- Always check on the rider behind you to make sure they are present
- If a rider gets separated then set a procedure and maintain a safe speed so that the one left behind does not feel intimidated or pressured to speed up or struggle to catch up.
- In case a rider has to leave in between a ride then make sure you are able to safely regroup and modify the staggered formation again
7. Be respectful of other vehicles
Remember that motorcycle groups can be a little intimidating for other vehicles on the road because they are unaware of how your formation works and they might end up entering your group unintentionally. In such a scenario try to wait for the car to speed past you while you maintain a slow speed; otherwise carefully try to pass the vehicle and one by one go back into your staggered formation to ensure that the traffic keeps moving smoothly.
Do not try to unnecessarily overtake other vehicles because this may cause accidents.
8. Be prepared for accidents
Do not panic or lose control in case of an accident, because remember they can happen. Always discuss with the group how you want to handle the situation and follow the rules set by the leader calmly. You want to:
- Slowly drive and stop the motorcycle at the side of the road
- Call for help immediately
- And not overcrowd the fallen motorcyclist, give them space.