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7 Group Riding Rules to Know Before Your First Fall Joyride

two motorcycles riding through fall foliage

Riding in a group is one of life’s great pleasures, particularly in the autumn when the leaves turn, the air is crisp, and the colors vibrant. Before heading out on your first group ride this fall, take note of some vital riding rules to ensure the experience is successful and safe. 

Prepare for the Ride

Before the day of the ride arrives, thoroughly inspect your motorcycle and your riding gear. Make sure you set out with a full tank of gas. Perform an additional pre-ride inspection on the day of the group ride to ensure your motorcycle is in proper working order and you have everything you need for the trip.

Hold a Meeting of the Group in Advance

Meet as a group ahead of time to establish the route and set the rules for the ride. Discuss in-group behavior, rest stops, fuel stops, and what happens if a rider has mechanical problems or gets lost from the group. A participant with group riding experience should run this meeting.

Assign Lead and Tail Riders

A rider with experience in group riding procedures should be assigned as the lead rider, and another should be designated as a sweep rider at the back of the group. Before the ride begins, the lead rider should become familiar with the skill levels of all riders in the group to monitor them throughout the ride. The lead rider should have excellent judgment and superior riding skills.

Maintain Safe Distances Between Riders

Maintaining enough distance for safety from the rider ahead and the rider beside you is important. Follow the two-second rule for the rider ahead to reduce the risk of a collision in case an obstacle makes it necessary to swerve or stop. Do not follow too far behind the rider ahead, as this could create a gap where other vehicle drivers may try to enter.

Know and Use Hand Signals

The group leader and the rest of the team must know the standard hand signals to alert the group of any hazards or decisions to stop, refuel, slow down, or warn of a road hazard.

Use Staggered Formation

With staggered formation, each following rider travels on the opposite side of the lane – right or left of center – from the rider ahead. This formation allows for maximum visibility and enough space for each rider to maneuver left or right within the lane. Cornering is the exception to the rule. Each rider selects a line, and the group may appear to be traveling single file while turning a corner.

Make Sure You Have the Right Motorcycle Insurance

Motorcycle insurance covers you and your motorcycle in case of a crash or theft. Your auto insurance will not cover your motorcycle unless you specifically add it to your policy. Types of motorcycle coverage available include liability, collision, comprehensive, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. You need at least the mandatory minimum liability coverage required by state law and protection in case of bodily injury and damage to your motorcycle in an accident. Our experienced agent can help you find the motorcycle insurance you need at the best available rates.

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