Whether you’re riding a Harley or you prefer sportier motorcycles, there’s no denying how convenient they are to drive, how easy they are to park, and how cheap they are when it comes to gas. Not to mention, motorcycles are a lot of fun to ride!
If you drive a motorcycle, chances are, you have friends who do too. When everyone gets together, it’s only natural that you would want to hit the road.
Riding in a group can be a lot of fun, but it also has the potential to be dangerous. Make sure everyone riding is safe by following these tips.
Wear a Helmet
You probably already understand the importance of wearing a helmet, as nearly 5,000 bikers are killed in crashes in the United States every year. Even knowing a statistic like that doesn’t convince bikers to wear a helmet. Many hit the road without one, especially when riding with a group. Not only is peer pressure a possibility, but many riders prefer not to wear helmets because it makes communicating with other riders difficult.
Even if wearing a helmet is inconvenient, you should wear one anyway. Find one that is comfortable and stylish so you are encouraged to wear it, and encourage the other riders in your group to wear helmets too.
Make Sure at Least One Rider Is Carrying a First Aid Kit
It’s easy for accidents to happen on the road. Scratches and burns aren’t all that uncommon. Someone might experience more serious injuries if there’s an accident. It always pays to have a first aid kit handy.
Not everyone has to have their own kit when riding in a group. Assemble a kit and ask one rider in your group to carry it. Items to include in your motorcycle first aid kit include:
- Antibiotic ointment
- Burn gel
- Hand sanitizer
- Plastic bags
- Pain killers
Position the Most Experienced Riders at the Front and Back
It’s always a good idea to plan ahead before you hop on your bikes and hit the road. That includes assigning someone the first aid kit, but it also includes deciding where exactly everyone is going to ride.
You don’t want to leave position up to chance, as the confusion over who should ride where can end up causing an accident. Assign an order for everyone to ride in, with special attention paid to who is going to lead and who is going to sweep at the back.
Placing the most experienced riders in these positions enables them to keep an eye on other, less experienced riders. It also ensures decisions about where to turn and what to avoid are left in the hands of those who can make confident decisions and keep everyone else in the group safe.
Create Subgroups if There Are More Than Seven Riders
Riding in a group makes you more visible to other drivers, but there does come a point where there is no longer safety in numbers.
Dealing with large groups of riders on the road can be frustrating for other drivers. Not to mention, it can be difficult to keep track of who goes where as soon as your group starts to get too big.
It’s much better to ride in smaller subgroups of seven or less riders if you are riding with many people. These smaller groups can keep an eye out for each other, and if one group gets separated from another, there’s no need to panic. The groups can simply meet up at their destination further on down the road.
Stagger Riders and Keep Your Distance
It’s important to give yourself plenty of room to swerve and brake, if you need to. One of the best ways to do this is to have one rider ride to the left of the road, while the next rides near the right hand side of the lane. That way, braking does not affect the person directly behind you.
You should also keep some distance between riders, even if you are staggered. That way, swerving doesn’t cause the whole group to go down.
If conditions change, you may want to rethink your formation. For example, If there’s poor visibility, a single file line with increased distance between riders is a good idea.
Riding a motorcycle with a group can be a lot of fun! Just do your best to make sure it doesn’t end in disaster. Avoid a potential accident or injury by following these tips.