For motorcycle riders, there’s nothing sweeter than hitting the open road with a group of your friends. No one knows that better than GEICO Motorcycle. But group trips can be chaotic, so having some guidelines to follow is important.
With that in mind, here are 10 top tips from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and the American Motorcyclists Association that will help ensure a safe group ride.
- Keep the group small; ideally 5-7 riders max. If your group is larger, consider splitting up into multiple groups with different lead and chase riders.
- Before hitting the road, hold a riders meeting to discuss the route and where you’ll be stopping for fuel and food.
- Pick a lead rider. He or she should have lots of experience, be good with directions and know the skill level of everyone in the group.
- Choose a chase rider who will bring up the rear and make sure people don’t fall too far behind.
- Go over basic hand signals. There’s nothing worse than trying to yell, “I’m on empty. Let’s pull over for some gas!” at 60 mph, while wearing a helmet.
- Make sure your bike is maintained in tip-top shape and the gas tank is full. You don’t want to be the person who derails a two-day trip on mile three. At least one person in the group should carry a first aid kit and basic tool kit, and everyone should have a cell phone.
- Don’t ride next to someone else. Instead, stagger yourselves within a lane. That will give you enough room to swerve around any obstacles or hazards. Keep at least two seconds of distance behind the rider directly in front of you. Avoid side-by-side formations, which reduce the amount of maneuvering space you each have and increases risks of getting your handlebars tangled up. When turns get sharp or visibility is bad, switch to single file.
- While riding, don’t become mesmerized by the bike in front of you. (That’s especially easy to do on long-distance trips.) Instead, keep your eyes on the road and remember your training.
- Keep eyes on each other by periodically checking your rear-view. Make sure everyone is able to keep pace and slow down if necessary.
- When the time comes to park, try to get everyone off the road as quickly as possible. And wherever you stop, make sure there’s enough space for your entire group. It’s no fun trying to cram 100 bikes into the parking lot of a small roadside diner.
Group riding is about teamwork and communication, so pay attention to the rules and everyone will be able to enjoy the ride. And review these important motorcycle safety tips to stay safe whenever you hit the open road.
Before you hit the road, make sure you have the right gear. Check out What to Look for in a Motorcycle Helmet.
GEICO takes motorcycle safety seriously and can provide top-notch insurance coverage for your bike.
Zach Potter says,
I like the lead rider and chase rider advice here. I wonder why I haven’t heard some of these tips before as they all seem really good. I will be sure to let some of my friends know some of these that I have found here and various other places after I have gotten my motorcycle serviced.
Raylin Sutter says,
Out of my friends who ride motorcycles there are two types of people. There is the person who shows off a lot and it’s really no surprise when they end up in an accident. Then there is the ones who still look cool but are really safety-conscience. I prefer to ride around with that latter type. Out of the ten tips that you list, which one is the most neglected by unsafe riders?