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Motorcycle safety

Riding in Groups

For many, riding as a group is the epitome of the motorcycling experience. Here are some tips from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation to help ensure a fun and safe group ride:

Arrive prepared: Be on time, with a full gas tank.

Hold a meeting:
Discuss the route, rest and fuel stops, and agree on hand signals you’ll use. Assign a lead and sweep (tail) rider. Both should be experienced riders, and the leader should assess everyone’s riding skills and the group’s riding style.

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

Ride prepared: At least one rider in each group should pack a cell phone, first-aid kit, and a full tool kit.

Ride in formation: The staggered formation allows riders enough time and space to maneuver and react to hazards: The leader rides in the left third of the lane, while the second rider stays at least one second behind in the right third of the lane; the rest of the group follows the same pattern. Avoid side-by-side formations, as they reduce the space "cushion."

Check those behind you. If you see a rider falling behind, slow down so he or she can catch up.

Don’t panic if you’re separated from the group. You should have a pre-planned procedure in place to regroup. Don’t ride beyond your skills to catch up.

For mechanical or medical problems, use a cell phone to call for assistance.


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