Riding in a Group
The greatest minds of our time are perpetually asking the question: can motorcycle riding be more fun? The answer is sadly, no, motorcycling is simply as much fun as you can have on the road. But the question lingers, and perhaps there is a way to take riding to the next level. Of course we’re riding donuts around the idea of group riding! Yes, that classic formation you’ve seen zoom down freeways is just about the only thing that can improve upon a solo experience. So strap on your leathers, hop in the saddle, and get ready for a thrilling ride! Just remember to call a few friends first.
At Powder Keg Harley-Davidson®, we’re more than just a dealership — we’re Harley® riders too! So we know how important group riding can be to those living the Harley® lifestyle.
In that spirit we’ve put together this short list of tips to riding as a group. While the extra effort and coordination can be difficult to master, group riding adds a new dimension to riding. Read on for more information or head into our Mason, Ohio showroom. We proudly serve Franklin, Lebanon, Loveland, and Springboro, Ohio.
No grand adventure is going to turn out well without a bit of preparation, and group riding is as grand as things get. Forgetting something or holding up the rest of the group while you run into a store or head to the dealer for a part is going to put a serious hamper on the fun. That includes making sure you’re full on gas, your bike has passed a pre-ride check, and any other time-sensitive issues that can be taken care of far in advance of the day of the ride.
Plan Your Route
Like any planned riding, having a route laid out can make the difference between hitting your mile marks and taking a wrong turn that ends up wasting time. You also want to make sure your squadron has the same understand of where you’re going and how you’re getting there. Taking care of these logistical problems beforehand makes sure you don’t have to pull over and figure something out while on the road. Go over other riding issues too, making sure the length of the trip and road conditions are suitable for everyone’s level of comfort and experience. There’s likely to be varying levels of skill in any given riding group, so it’s best to keep that in mind. Push your group too hard for too long or at too high of a speed and you could leave one or more riders sputtering in the dust. Group riding isn’t a competition, after all, so don’t let these issues get between your group and a good ride.
Having the right riding formation is important for keeping a steady pace and staying together on a long journey. The most effective configuration involves two alternating lines. Your group’s riding profile will be more compressed, so it’s important to ride safely and pay attention to spacing. Ideally, you want to be one second behind the closest rider and two seconds behind the rider directly in front of you. You’ll also gain the great benefit of riding in each others’ drafts, increasing fuel efficiency, just like a flock of birds!
Side-by-side riding is legal in Ohio, but it’s illegal in many states, so even if you don’t plan on regularly adopting the alternating formation it’s good to know how it works in case you want to cross into a neighboring state and remain within the realm of legality.
Learn the Lingo
Electronic communication gear has become more and more common as the years go on, but it’s still important to learn a few if not all the hand signals associated with group riding. Of course there are enough signals to fill up multiple articles, but a few important ones are: identifying hazards on the road, stopping, turning, and a pull off signal. Whatever you go with, make sure everyone in your group understands what’s expected.
With some of the basics under your belt, you’re ready to get out there and practice the real thing. Form up and roll out! If you’re still after some group riding tips, or just after a look at some great new and used Harley® motorcycles, head into Powder Keg Harley-Davidson® in Mason, Ohio, serving Franklin, Lebanon, Loveland, and Springboro. Come in today and speak with our team of dedicated and courteous Harley® experts who are more than happy to answer all your questions and help you find the bike of your dream!