How to Group Ride Safely

by Jim Thompson | Last Updated: January 11, 2021

While some riders prefer to take rides on their own, many motorcyclists prefer larger group trips. There’s nothing quite like a couple of buddies taking a road trip somewhere. With some proper planning, you can get out onto the road with a few friends and have a ball while traveling to your destination. Just make sure that you know how to ride with a group, and that you consider how you’ll get the most out of your group trip.

Prepare Accordingly

Before you head out on the trip, it’s a good idea to plan out the route and to make sure everyone knows it in case anyone gets separated from the group. You can also come up with a few meetup points to help the group stay together throughout the trip.

Figure out rest stops that you’ll take, as well as who is going to be the tail rider. The tail rider should always be one of the most experienced riders, and he or she should bring along a first aid kit and a cell phone to call for help and provide care if it’s needed.

Keep the Group Small

It’s a good idea to keep your group number at five people or less in most instances. Larger groups than this tend to break apart, and they are difficult to maintain. If more than five people want to travel together, it’s a good idea to form several different groups and to have these groups stick together instead of trying to keep dozens of motorcycles traveling in a pack. This helps to keep everyone safer while ensuring that nobody gets lost.

Ride Cautiously

While out on the road the members of your group should try to remain single file whenever possible. This gives each of the riders the time and space to swerve away from obstacles and to remain safe throughout the ride.

It’s also a good idea to put the weakest riders of the group into the middle. That way the strong riders can help everyone stay together in a tight group so that nobody gets lost on the way to the destination. Make sure that everyone stays about two seconds apart from one another, so each rider has the time necessary to stop fully.

Communicating with the Group

If you need to communicate with the group, one of the best ways to do so is with hand signals. They are easy to use, and riders ahead or behind the signaler shouldn’t have much trouble getting the point across when using one of the simple signals.

Rest Stop – to show you need to hit a rest stop, put out your arm with your fist clenched and move it up and down.

Hazard Ahead – Tell the other riders behind you about a hazard by putting out your right foot or your left hand to show the position of the hazard.

Food Stop – Keep your hand clenched and put it up to your mouth to signal you want to stop for food.

Fuel Stop – Put your arm out and then point to your fuel tank using one finger.

Traveling with a group can be a lot of fun and if you know what you’re doing, a safer way to travel long distances. Make sure that you take the time to learn how to ride around safely, and you can make the most out of that next group road trip.