Motorcycle Safety

Be Alert. Be Safe.

Left Turn Signal
Left Turn Signal

Raise your left arm horizontal with your elbow fully extended.

Right Turn Signal

Raise your left arm horizontal with your elbow bent 90 degrees.

Right Turn Signal
Slow Down Signal
Slow Down

Extend your left arm at a 45 degree angle and move your hand up and down.

Speed Up

Raise your left arm up and down with your index finger extended upward. This indicates the leader wants to speed up.

Speed Up Signal
Stop Signal

Extend your left arm at a 45 degree angle with the palm of your hand facing rearward.

Single File

Position your left hand over your helmet with your fingers extended upward. This indicates the leader wants the group in a single file formation. Usually this is done for safety reasons.

Speed Up Signal
Staggered Formation Signal

Left arm upward at a 45 degree angle with your index and pinkie finger extended. This indicates that it is safe to return to staggered  formation.

Safe Stopping at Intersections

When stopping as a group at an intersection, break stagger formation and pull up beside the bike in the adjacent lane. This will reduce the length of the group by half. Stay in this formation until you are through the intersection. Because the group is half as long it will take half the time to clear the intersection and increase the odds of keeping the group intact.

If you don’t make it through the intersection with the group, honk your horn and wait for the light. Don’t take a chance and run the red light. The Road Captain will either slow the group down or pull the group over to the side of the road and wait for you to catch up.

Riding Motorcycles in a Staggered Formation

Riding Staggered Formation

A group of motorcycles generally rides in a stagger formation for safety reasons. The minimum recommended spacing to the bike directly in front of you should not be less than two seconds (the two second rule). The bike in the lane to your left or right should not be less than one second ahead of you. You will find that two seconds is a long distance when riding at highway speeds. That is it’s a long distance when everything is going well.

When things go wrong, however, two seconds of distance is gone in the time it takes to figure out that your you are in trouble. The two second rule is a rule of thumb you should try to adhere to when ever possible. Especially at highway speeds. There are times, however, when it is best to squeeze together while on city streets and slowing for a stop. This will help prevent cars from entering the group. The Tail Gunner will ride in the middle of the two bike lanes with all head lights (Hi-Beam) and running lights on. This will help the Road Captain see them.

Safely Stopping at Intersections on a Motorcycle

Safely Changing Lanes

As a group, it can be difficult to change lanes to pass a slow moving car, or to enter into a faster or slower moving lane. This is especially true with moderate to heavy traffic. Often there is not enough room for the entire group to get between cars in the faster lane.

The way this is accomplish is as follows:

  • After the Road Captain signals which lane they want the group to move into. Each rider will turn on their turn signal and then pass the correct hand signal back to the Tail Gunner.
  • When its safe the Tail Gunner to pull over into that lane and hold it for the group.
  • Each rider will then move into that lane in front of the Tail Gunner or as the cars in front of the Tail Gunner passes them. Do not change lanes unless there is a bike already in that lane behind you.
  • Always fill the lane from the rear not from the Front, Middle or any other position unless otherwise directed by the Road Captain or the Tail Gunner.
Safely Changing Lanes