Riding a motorcycle solo can be a very therapeutic experience. All the stress of work or thoughts about the week just drift away mile after mile. But riding your motorcycle in a group can be an even more exhilarating experience.
Whether you’re headed out for a weekend road trip or just a fun day ride to your favorite lunch spot, there is nothing quite like spending the day on two wheels with a group of friends. Here are a few tips for riding in a group.
Communication is key
- Before you start your engines it’s a good idea to gage everyone’s riding style in the group. If there are different riding levels mixed in the group then you want to take note of that. If the group has both very experienced riders and beginners, it would be smart to make sure that all the riders are good with riding at beginner level pace. If not, we suggest splitting the group up so that everyone can enjoy their experience. It’s easy to set meet-up destinations along the way and regroup when you get there.
- If you live in a state in which lane-splitting is legal, definitely double check to ensure all riders are ok with it. Not everyone is comfortable with this so it’s a good idea to ask.
- Checking everyone’s gas tank size is another key point. Whoever has smallest gas tank determines how many miles until you stop for gas.
Establish a leader
- If everyone is down to ride at the same pace the next step would be to establish the lead rider, as well as who plans on riding sweep. Having experienced riders at the front and rear helps to keep the group together and keep everyone safe.
- If you have Bluetooth communication devices that’s even better, as it makes the navigation so much easier and allows you to chat between the lead and sweep rider.
- The lead rider has a very important job. Not only does she set the pace for the group, but she’s in charge of navigation, choosing the correct lanes and signaling throughout the ride. Even if her turn signals and tail lights are perfectly functioning we still recommend using hand signals to alert the group when you are turning or slowing down. If you’re the lead rider, one of the things to remember is that you have to set aside the way you normally ride on your own and make sure you’re riding for the group. Stay safe and don’t make any sudden moves that can put the other riders in danger.
Establish a sweep
- Riding sweep is just as important as riding lead. It’s ideal if both the sweep rider and the lead rider know the directions to the destination and can easily navigate in case some riders get separated from the group.
Keep your distance
- One of the biggest tips we can recommend is that you keep your distance between riders. While you may see groups of riders riding very close together out on the road that doesn’t mean that’s how you should be riding, especially if you’re riding with a new group. Two bike lengths distance between you and the rider in front of you and a staggered formation gives everyone the space they need.
Keep your pace
- Riding at your own pace is always important. If the group is riding faster than you’re comfortable with do not try and keep up. If you fall behind don’t worry about it. Lets face it, we all have cell phones with Google Maps so you’ll be able to find your way if you get left behind. Riding above your skill level or outside of your comfort zone puts the whole group at risk. It is much easier to just hold your line and stay at the speed you like riding.
Riding in a group is not for everyone. Some people like to ride motorcycles for the independence and freedom. If you like to ride fast and make quick maneuvers then riding in a group is not for you. You can just meet your group at the destination, that way you can ride the way you want to and not put anyone else in danger.
Being able to experience your favorite roads and destinations with a group will create fast friends and provide you with incredible memories that will last a lifetime. So grab some friends and saddle up!
Written by Anya Violet of Babes Ride Out