You and your friends are planning your motorcycle club summer group ride. There are some things to be aware of before you start out:
- About 3% of all registered vehicles are motorcycles (2016 stats) in the US.
- Motorcycles have fewer safety features than cars.
- Motorcycle fatalities are 6% higher than for accidents involving cars.
Before You Start Your Group Ride
While riding a motorcycle solo can be an experience in itself. Riding in a group with friends and/or family adds a whole new meaning to motorcycling. Here are some tips to be worked out before the ride begins:
- Have a meeting with everyone going on the journey.
- Discuss the starting point, any stop offs, the route to be taken, and destination.
- Make sure everyone knows where the Group is riding too, what highways will be taken, and where the rest stops are.
- All group members should know the motorcycle hand signals as they allow for voiceless communication during the ride.
- Trace the route on a physical (paper) map and see that everyone gets a copy.
- Decide on a start time and date, the distance to be ridden each day, a rallying point at each daily destination.
- Have everyone meet at the starting point 15 to 20 minutes before departure.
- When packing for the group ride do not forget to bring along Waterproof Motorcycle Pants or your 4 Season Motorcycle Jacket.
Pick a Group Leader
During the pre-trip meetings decide who will lead the group ride, usually someone who has considerable road trip experience. If your group ride consists of more than 7 riders, it might be a good idea to form new groups of 5 to 7 riders for better road safety. If more than one group is formed, it is best to pick a leader for each Group and don’t forget the tail rider. A tail rider is an experienced rider who follows behind each Group to help anyone who breaks down and needs help.
Know Your Stuff
In preparing for the group ride, safety is paramount, make sure that at least one member of the Group carries a first aid kit. It is preferable that someone knows first aid, CPR, and that an extra toolbox is on hand as well. Someone in the Group who doesn’t ride can follow the Group in a pickup truck so broken down bikes can be hauled home.
Protocol: Once on the Road
Each Group, 5 to 7 riders, should ride in a staggered formation, lead rider in the left third of the lane, the second rider in the right third of the road. Each rider will continue this staggered formation allowing one to two seconds between motorcycles.
Passing other vehicles should be done one motorcycle at a time, leader first and so on with safety in mind, drive defensively. The last thing to keep in mind is that each rider should have motorcycle insurance, at minimum liability insurance, and at best full coverage. In most states motorcycle insurance is required, so don’t mess up a good thing by not being insured. Depending on the kind of motorcycle each member owns, it might be a good idea to obtain motorcycle theft insurance.
It is best to plan in advance for something like a group motorcycle ride, so remember:
- Pre-trip meeting.
- Pick a leader.
- Ride in groups using staggered formation.
- Know the motorcycle hand signals.
- Pass one motorcycle at a time.
- Motorcycle insurance is a must.
Before you leave on the motorcycle group ride log onto Wicked Stock and order that necessary gear such as Textile Motorcycle Jacket.
It is best not to post on social sites before you leave or during your ride as that gives thieves a heads up you are not home.