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Group Riding: 17 Tips To Ensure Everybody Has A Great Day


Riding a motorcycle is one thing. Riding a motorcycle in a group is another thing altogether.  These are 17 great tips on riding in groups from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF)


1.         Organize the ride. This can be as informal as standing around in a parking lot, or as formal as a special meeting to hand out maps and cellphone numbers.


2.         Ride your own ride, and don't go any faster than you feel comfortable going. Remember that riding in a group does not mean you surrender any decision-making when it comes to your safety.


3.         If the group is riding faster than you are comfortable with, let the tailgunner know you're dropping out and ride at your own pace. So you may reach your destination a few seconds behind the others, but you will get there, and that's what's important. Keep in mind; it's all about fun.


4.         Consider the stamina, the experience of all the riders, and the limits of the motorcycles in the group, when picking your route and the stops you'll make along it, Remember, these are your friends. If it's going to be a long ride, be sure to take a few breaks along the way.


5.         Make sure everyone knows the Hand Signals you'll use, to communicate while on the ride


6.         In formation, it's wise to have your experienced riders at the lead and running sweep. Consider positioning the less-experienced riders immediately behind the leader. This allows the front rider to adjust the pace if necessary.


7.         Ideally, the tailgunner will have a cellphone to call for help if a motorcycle is disabled, or if there has been an accident.


8.         Only go at the pace of the least-experienced rider, if the goal of the ride is to keep the group together.


9.         Don't fixate on the motorcycle in front of you. Instead, look well through the turn to where you want to go.


10.      You responsible for making sure your motorcycles is mechanically up to the task. Before you even meet up with the group, make sure you've got plenty of fuel in the tank, and that you've taken care of all those maintenance issues. Not sure what to check? Use T-CLOCKS. You really don't want to be the reason for stopping the group for something mechanical you could have prevented.


11.      Consider establishing a buddy system among the riders, or divide the group into smaller five- or seven-rider packs. That way, if something goes wrong, you don't have 25 motorcycles sitting on the side of a busy highway. Also, smaller groups can more easily navigate through city streets.


12.      Motorcyclists should have at least a 2-second cushion in front and behind them. To keep the group tight, we use a staggered formation. Leave enough room per lane so each rider can maneuver side-to-side if need be. We do not do side-by-side formations as they shrink your space cushion.


13.      Trikes and sidecars should stay in the center of the lane, and should be given the same amount of cushion as if they were a car.


14.      Move back to a single file formation when entering or exiting a highway, at tollbooths, or when roads are narrow or have a rough or questionable surface.


15.      Tighten the formation to side-by-side to take up less space, when coming to a stop.  As the light turns green, or when traffic opens up, the bike on the left proceeds through the intersection first.


16.      it is against the law to block an intersection. Remember we share the road with many other vehicles, and


17.      When parking, try to get the group off the roadway as quickly as possible. If you can, arrange in advance to have pull-through parking at your destination, or at the very least, make sure there is ample parking for your size group.

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