Texas Biker Network

Guidelines for Group Riding


The following guidelines were assembled from the Texas Motorcycle Driver's Handbook and the road rules of established motorcycle clubs.

These are to be considered basic GUIDELINES for general group riding. As situations arise you must use your own judgement to decide a safe course of action. Always ride within your limits and your comfort level. Allow sufficient following distance. Don't compromise safety just to maintain formation or keep the group together.

  1. Ride in a staggered formation:
    • The lead bike should be in the left side of the lane.
    • The next bike should be in the right side of the lane, one second behind the lead bike.
    • The third bike should be in the left side of the lane, two seconds directly behind the lead bike (one second behind the bike to the right).
    • The fourth bike should be in the right side of the lane, two seconds behind the bike directly ahead of him (one second behind the bike to the left).
    • And so on.
    • Distances given are minimums! Always ride according to the conditions.
  2. Maintain formation, keeping an even spacing between bikes.
    • Do not ride alongside or pass the next bike in line.
    • Do not pull up beside another bike except when stopping at an intersection; resume staggered formation once moving again.
    • Follow the lead bike; do not split the group or pull out of it (except in an emergency).
    • Inform the lead rider if you plan on leaving the group before the final destination.
  3. Split groups of more than 8-10 bikes into smaller sub-groups. Do not impede traffic flow. Keep enough space between sub-groups so that other vehicles may use the lane.
  4. Watch for and obey signals from the lead rider:
    • Approaching Turn -- Turn signal lights or standard turn signals given with the left hand.
    • Slow Down -- Brake lights or left palm held open below seat level and facing back.
    • Hazard in Road -- Either hand (or foot) pointed toward hazard.
    • Ride Single-File -- Left hand held high above head, fist closed except for index finger indicating "1". The lead bike might give this signal because of hazards or road conditions.
    • Resume Staggered Formation -- Left hand held high above head, fist completely closed.
    • Tighten Formation -- Left hand held high above head, repeatedly opening and closing fist.
  5. Pass all signals and point to hazards in the road to alert the riders behind you.
  6. In case of an accident or emergency, those riders not directly involved should continue to follow the lead bike to a safe place to pull out of the road. Do not create congestion or complicate the situation by immediately stopping.
  7. Ride Safely!

Additional guidelines for lane-changes, highway passing, and special riding situations (such as performance/sport riding and long-distance touring) are forthcoming.

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