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Riding Tactics - Must read for group meets

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  • Riding Tactics - Must read for group meets

    Everyone attending any bike meet must read this and keep these points in mind . There was some dissatisfaction felt by some of us over the riding habits of some participants .

    Riding tactics :
    Staggered arrangement is best - military jets fly that way for a reason . That way , you can see ahead of you , you ge extra room to manoeuvre and you avoid the turbulent air caused by rider in front .

    Always ride in staggered formation ( two bikes diagonally wth 2-3 ft between handlebar tips and , keeping 50ft or more between two bikes )- this gives room for error and possible room for emergency manoeuvres , such as avoiding a patch of oil or debris , a rider in front may stray into your path .

    Always ride with even gaps , avoid riding in close groups unless in slow dense traffic . If you must speak to someone else , approach him slowly , keep speed low enough to hear properly , raise you visor .

    Safety first :
    Big vehicles are notorious for disregarding safety of smaller vehicles , especially bikes . Be ready to shift gears , brake ans swerve for unrelenting buses/trucks hell bent on overtaking even after you honk and flash your headlights . They may go to jail , but you may die or worse be permanently hurt .

    Overtaking :
    Always overtake leaving sufficient gap laterally between yourself and the vehicle you overtake ( to reduce effect or turbulence and have room for emergency manoeuvres ) , and after overtaking , join back in the left lane with plenty of room ahead of the overtaken vehicle .

    As a rule , do not overtake in corners where you can't see well ahead . Do not overtake over rises/crestsas you may not be able to see traffic across the crest . Do not overtake in thick traffic , you may misjudge speed/distance with no room for emergency manoeuvres .

    Do not overtake in close groups , but overtake either one at a time or if overtaking as group keep a gap of 50ft or more in order to make room for braking and error of judgement . Following someone closely can result in a crash if the front rider has misjudged the distance or time and brakes abruptly . Also , front rider judges distances and time for himself , not for you , so while he might overtake before opposing traffic reaches , the following rider may directly collide with oncoming traffic .

    Do not overtake fellow riders abruptly and closely , keep 3-4 ft gap between the tips of the handlebars/mirrors of the 2 bikes . Flash your light to signal your overtaking manouevre . Overtaking others too closely or too fast may surprise them and cause them to lose control , also the air around moving objects flows turbulently and may cause instability .

    This is India , the land of inattentive , careless truck and bus drivers and macho SUV drivers . Use horn liberally to awaken these sleeping giants and warn them of your presence while overtaking these behemoths and flash your headlights .

    Stopping :
    When stopping , signal your intention to stop by hand signals , and stop slowly , not braking hard . You may need to stop for various reasons other than scheduled stops , such as pee breaks , to attend a phone call , to deal with a possible bike problem such as puncture , to fill fuel , or mechanical breakdown .

    Avoid stopping alone , if someone else stops , preferably stop with him .

    Before any trip , plot out several stopping points if necessary . Do not take turns at junctions unless the riders behind can see you are taking a turn . else you may turn while the others proceed in wrong direction unaware that you have turned elsewhere .

    Tracking :
    Track your rider buddies in front and behind by mirror . If your follower does not appear for long intervals , say 2-5min , then slow down or stop and wait for him . If your follower rider(s) do not arrive after 10 min , inform other riders who have gone ahead of possible problem and return back to search for riders left behind .

    Object avoidance :

    You may be required to swerve suddenly to avoide obstacles such as oil patches , rocks , sand , gravel , potholes other road debris such as glass . Preferably , if possible safely , raise your left or right hand as applicable and point to it so that riders behind you see it in advance and can avoid it with less abrupt manoeuvres .

    Riding order :
    The first rider is called lead or leader , last rider is called drag or trailer . These two should be the most experienced riders preferably .

    Always ride at a speed the slowest bike/rider is comfortable with . Never put the slowest bikes last . Inexperienced riders or slower bikes should be kept in the middle so that those behind can track them and tell them their mistakes later and no one gets left behind .

    The 2 riders at the last should have mobile phones ,as any need to stop , they must be able to inform the others else they will get left behind . Anyone who does not have cell phone should be kept in the middle or front . The rider in front is responsible for setting the speed , so stay at a speed suitable for road and traffic conditions .

    Do not speak on the phone while riding !

    Hand signals :

    Use hand signals for stopping , slowing down , to indicate hazards , to show your intention make a turn , to either speed up or slow down as necessary .

    Turns :

    It is turns that makes bikes exciting , but caution pays dividends in terms of saved skin , blood , pain , hospital bills and ego . In roads you are not familiar with , do not speed into corners as they may hide objects such as stray rocks , sand , gravel , oil , potholes . Even good surfaces may hide irregularities that may destabilize your bike . Corners are notorious for tightening midway thru' a turn , forcing you to make abrupt moves .

    Tree shadows may hide potholes and speedbreakers or other objects like rocks .

    And : NO STUNTS while riding together, especially when everyone is bunched up close . Shooting videos may look cool , but is dangerous . Even experienced stuntmen may lose control sometimes , and take someone else down with them .
    Save the stunts for safer location and eager audience .

    I also noticed that people were spilling onto the roads when Soulreaper and others were performing their stunts . People on the roads gives stunters less road to manoeuvre and decreases safety margin . Also there were too many stunters performing at the same time . This increases the chances of a collision and audience can only concentrate on one stunsman at a time !


    That is all I can compile for now . If anyone else having more ideas or additions , please add them .

    Live to ride , ride to live !
    Ricci Revhard

    Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on.

  • #2
    very usefull keep it up


    • #3
      well done m8...!

      BUNNY pls take a note of it ...
      being a G2G moderator u need to implement such rules fassssstttt...!
      vrrrooooooommm....BOOMMM...! Heard the sonic boom? Yeah, it was me...!


      • #4
        @ricci : hey gr8 work man
        @mods : plz make it a sticky topic
        @sachin : take note of..

        My little big blog


        • #5
          Nice post
          Infact it will be a nice post when ppl follow it !!!
          happy riding all !!
          jaan hain to jahan hain !!!


          • #6
            This topic was put up on 1st June... how come nobody noticed it??

            Btw, very well written Ricci....
            2007 Suzuki GSXR750
            2004 Suzuku GSX1300R Hayabusa


            • #7
              this topic can also be nominated for a Stickie post...!
              vrrrooooooommm....BOOMMM...! Heard the sonic boom? Yeah, it was me...!


              • #8
                That was just abt perfect. lotz of valid/practical points.
                The Sage


                • #9


                  • #10
                    good stuff man
                    very useful
                    bunny make it a sticky post
                    Happiness Is Treating Everything With Equal Care.
                    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _______________________________________
                    Asta La Vista,


                    • #11
                      To add to the above first post:

                      Here is some more:

                      Motorcycle Group Riding Techniques.

                      Ideally, you know and trust the people you ride with. However, there has to be a first time for any riding companion. A pre-ride discussion of your plans, preferences, and requirements helps everyone avoid surprises. Talk about a pace, signals, details like fuel stops and routes, and make sure everyone gets to offer something. If you ride with a club, it may have a fairly detailed set of rules for group rides, with procedures for a variety of situations.
                      On the road, use those signals liberally and be sure that other riders are aware of your intentions so that no one is caught by surprise, which can lead to a collision like the one described above.

                      The group's leader should signal early and slow gradually. Ideally he knows the route intimately and has a plan to get everyone safely along it without disrupting other traffic. But if it is his first time there, he may get surprised too and have to make a quick decision such as whether to turn abruptly or miss the turn and try to find a way to get everyone turned around safely on down the road.

                      It's always good to have an experienced rider at the back of the group to ride sweep and attend to those who have problems. He should have a cellphone to call for help.

                      If you aren't comfortable with the riders you end up riding with, give yourself plenty of margin until you discover your companions' habits. On one new model group ride, one rider consistently slowed and made lane changes into riders on his right. He didn't turn his head far enough to really see his blind spot and I think his glasses blocked his view. His loud pipes also drowned out the sounds of bikes near him. It wasn't long before this guy had a large buffer zone around him. He compounded the problem by getting upset and denying it when someone tried to point out the problem. He ended up riding -- and eating -- by himself.

                      If you aren't comfortable with what others in the group do, drop out before it causes trouble. A common problem is a speed differential. Slower riders often feel uncomfortable trying to maintain the pace of faster folks. They shouldn't try to. If the other riders complain that you are slowing them down, tell them to go ahead. You don't need the risk or the tickets. Problems can also arise when some group members have "a couple of beers" at a lunch stop or if they behave recklessly in other ways. Tell them to go ahead or go ahead yourself. Or take a side trip.

                      If you have an exhaust system that you think saves lives, other riders will probably be pleased if you deploy it at the back of the group, even if it means a loss of protection. Sidecars and trikes are also best at the back of the group or in a group of their own.

                      Keep It Together
                      When traveling with friends, you may be mutually dependent. For example, you might have one first-aid kit, one tire-repair kit, one set of good tools, and one cellular phone (to call for aid), each packed on a different bike. In this situation you probably want to stay together. The most certain way to do this is to make each rider responsible for the one behind him or her. If you don't see the rider behind you for a few minutes, signal the rider ahead if possible, then slow down or pull over and wait for the rider(s) behind you. If everyone in the group does this, you can avoid that 100 miles of back-tracking at night in the rain. However, it's still possible to get separated, such as when a rider who has fallen behind turns a different way than those ahead. To help your group get together again, use these three systems:

                      1. Give everyone an emergency phone number in writing to call (perhaps someone's answering machine which everyone knows the code for) or everyone's cell phone numbers. If you have just a single number, Murphy's Sixth Law of Communication says that phone's battery will be dead when the lost boys try to call it.

                      2. Agree on the next stop every time you all pause for gas, grub or sightseeing. Be precise, "the first gas station on the west side of town," for example.

                      3. Make sure everyone knows the evening's destination, preferably in writing.

                      The basic group riding formation is familiar to most riders. The lead rider rides to the left of the lane, with the second rider to the right and a few lengths back. The third rider is a similar distance behind the second, and so on. This staggered formation leaves room for each bike to swerve to the side and provides reaction time to brake. But you can't change speed and the side of the lane at the same time. Riding side by side limits escape routes when a threat arises. When overtaking and passing traffic, the second rider follows the first, and the third hangs back to let the second pull in to the left to make the pass.

                      When roads get twisty or narrow, you should open up into a single-file formation. When you come to a stop at an intersection, tighten up into a two-abreast configuration at the stop. If you all stay in a single lane at intersections with two or more lanes each way, it gives the traffic behind you a chance to pass. While it is tempting to block an intersection so your entire group can go through, it is against the law. So is going leaving in large bunches at a time from a four-way stop. More than two (you can each say you thought the other was waiting) is also a request for citation.
                      One common problem I see with large groups is a failure to provide gaps for other traffic. On a two-lane road, it may be impossible for overtaking traffic to safely pass a line of a dozen or more motorcycles. Some members of the group may get run off the road if a driver tries to pass and has to pull back into the right lane when oncoming traffic appears. On a multi-lane road like an interstate, a long double column of motorcycles may trap a car on one side of it, blocking it from reaching an exit. Some riders act as if permitting a car to cross their column of bikes is a violation of their religious and constitutional rights, and can make a driver already in a panic about missing his exit quite dangerous.

                      Do address this problem. It's best to ride in sub-groups of four to six bikes and provide a gap of four or more car lengths between each sub-group. These groups can also be responsible for each other, taking care of other members of their group so that the entire fleet of bikes doesn't end up trying to squeeze onto the shoulder, which can create a real hazard.
                      If the group is stopping, make sure that everyone gets completely off the road. If you are arriving at a destination with a large group, bikes at the front should keep moving to allow room for the one behind to pull off the road.

                      Stupid Passing Tricks
                      Motorcyclists riding in large groups consistently do a bad job of passing slower traffic on two-lane roads, which can create a dangerous situation. Typically they cut back in too close to the car they just passed and immediately slow down. This not only annoys the driver, it leaves little room for the next rider coming up behind. He or she has to wedge in even closer to the front of the car being passed. I have seen riders get locked out of the lane because those ahead left no space for them to pass. When passing a car on a road with only one lane going each direction, keep your speed up after you have completed the pass, and don't slow back down until there is a gap large enough for all the riders behind you to pull back in and safely decelerate. Stay aware of what the riders behind you are doing. If you are farther back in the group, don't begin your pass until there is a gap ahead of the car for you and the other riders in your sub-group.

                      Finally, though it isn't a safety consideration, there is an art to fuel stops, providing you are all willing to use one pump (Use more if it is a very large group or you use different grades of fuel) and figure out who owes what later. If one or more riders get out of line and man the nozzles, the rest can simply march through. The first riders through then get the pumpers' bikes and roll them through. This system takes about a third of the time required when each rider has to get off his or her bike and pick up the nozzle and maybe a sixth of that required if each rider pays independently. Nobody rides a motorcycle to spend time in gas stations. (If you want a record, someone can write down the total cost after every bike is filled.) Riders at the back of the line can go the restroom immediately (asking someone to push their bikes through), and riders at the front can go later after their bikes and the pump handler's are fueled and moved out of the way.

                      The social aspect of group riding has much to recommend it. You have someone to share your experiences and anticipation. There is also security in numbers when the unexpected happens. Pay attention to new riding companions; you may learn something. Working through initial adjustments to each other is worth it, because when you find someone you enjoy riding with, you have usually found a special friendship too.

                      Text was saved before Ressurection with: Nitin Gupta [LP]
                      A wing rider now....


                      • #12
                        Good info ..keep it up


                        • #13
                          very much informative..
                          I even play with my Scale Models

                          2006- HONDA DIO
                          2007- BAJAJ PLATINA (sold)
                          2008- YAMAHA YZF R15
                          201*- HONDA SBK (some day :D)


                          • #14
                            Very helpful.
                            One thing I would like to say is Always use your common sense while riding.
                            A professional candid photographer - 17000+ followers. Be in touch


                            • #15
                              Nice input man
                              B o D a C i O u S

                              Wander logue

                              Grand Southern Raid | Munnar | Yercaud | Ootacamund

                              The increase in performance is directly proportional to the size of the hole in your pocket :D