Group Riding Hints, Tips & Etiquette

As we know Motorcycling is primarily a solo activity, but for some, riding as a group – whether with friends on a Sunday morning ride, an ARNY Saturday morning post test ride or with an organized event like an ARNY social ride  – 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 tank of fuel, naturally POWDDERSS-S will help to make sure we are prepared.

  • Hold a riders’ meeting; ​Discuss things like the route, rest and fuel stops, mileage and destination etc. Establish who is the lead rider and possibly the sweep (tail) rider. Both should be experienced riders who are well-versed in group riding procedures. The leader should be aware of each rider's skill level before the ride and monitor the riders during the ride.

  • Keep the group to a manageable size​, ideally five to seven riders. If necessary, break the group into smaller sub-groups, separated by a few seconds, each with a lead and sweep rider.

  • Drop off system.​ Is it going to be used, if so make sure you are aware of how it works.

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

  • Ride in formation. ​The staggered riding formation allows a proper space cushion between motorcycles so that each rider has enough time and space to maneuver and to react to hazards. Where safe to do so stagger your ride behind the leader to allow the 2 second rule behind the rider in your path, remember its your own ride, if you find yourself in less than the optimum position compensate by adjusting your speed, gear etc.

  • 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.

  • Frequently check the riders following using your rear view mirrors. ​If you see a rider falling behind, slow down so they may catch up. If all the riders in the group use this procedure, 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​, safety first, try and stop in a safe place, make sure you are aware and able to adopt the group procedure use as the situation warrants, make sure your mobile is charged.

  • If a rider leaves ​during the ride, the rest of the group should re-form accordingly, try to make sure any early leavers have made the rest of the group aware they may be leaving.

  • Consideration​. Be considerate to other road users, motorcyclists often appear intimidating, certainly not the image we want to portray.