The Rider Nation Blog
Riding your Motorcycle with a Group: How to Do It Safely
Group rides are a great time—not only are you doing something you love, you’re doing it with a group of equally passionate, like-minded peers and friends. With this in mind, it’s crucial that you follow the proper etiquette while you’re on this kind of ride.
Like any other ride, it all starts with the preparation.
How to Prepare the Group Before the Ride
There are a lot of steps that you should address before your group ride ever begins. It’s important that you meet with the group as a whole so that you can discuss the ride, planning the route and establishing the roles that different participants will have in the group. Likewise, everyone should be sure to do a full safety check before embarking—making sure that your ride is roadworthy, first of all, while also ensuring that everyone has all the necessary safety gear with them, such as the eye protection, proper helmets, and skid-resistant clothing. For a deeper dive on motorcycle preparedness, here’s our essential pre-ride checklist.
What to Do When You’re on the Road Together
Out on the ride itself, formation is important. Common wisdom dictates that newer riders should be kept in the middle of the pack, while anyone riding with sidecars should stick to the front or bring up the rear. Naturally, newer riders shouldn’t have passengers while riding in a group setting.
Beyond that, it is important that everyone remain staggered on the road, with a healthy distance kept in between the participating riders. This will help prevent one accident from dominoing into multiple, as would happen if your fellow riders are all bunched together. Every rider should have some awareness of where the others in the group are, and should always let the others on the road know their intentions through hand signals.
There should also be a plan of how to regroup if your group is to be separated. Those in front should be cognizant that people have fallen back and should focus on staying together to allow the rest to rejoin. Likewise, those in back should have a plan to join up and safely rejoin the rest of the group as soon as possible. Here are some more tips to keep safe on the road to keep in mind.
Respecting Others on the Road is Crucial
Finally, we need to discuss the others on the road, outside of your group. Those in passenger cars, trucks, what have you, they can all be intimidated by one motorcycle, never mind a large group of them. Doing whatever you can to keep from intimidating them—giving them space, clearly signaling your intentions, and riding respectfully—is critical, as is generally being cautious around them.
Likewise, if an accident does occur, it is important that your group knows to pull off to the side of the road and call for help. It doesn’t matter if it's your group members involved in the accident, or some other vehicle, you need to pull away. Otherwise, you’re increasing the risk of causing a bigger accident.
This is a very short list of group riding manners and safety precautions, mind you, but we want to ensure that you have a good grip on the basics. Please, don’t hesitate to add any of your own suggestions in the comments.