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Group riding guidelines
04-03-2008, 06:45 AM
Post: #1
Group riding guidelines
This is an article created from a compilation of various internet sources and general experience leading rides. It is only a suggestion towards safe group riding.

BMW Riders of Southern Maine Group Riding Guidelines

1. The Ride Leader should review the BMWRSM group riding basics with any riders new to BMWRSM group rides.

2. Each operator is responsible for the condition of his/her own machine.

3. No one shall be compelled to ride in a group if they feel they are at risk by doing so.

4. Riders should notify the Ride Leader if leaving a group before the group has reached its destination.

5. Riders should show up to a ride with a full tank of gas and an empty bladder 10-15 minutes before the posted departure time. Riders should keep an eye on the Ride Leader when nearing departure time and be ready to ride at the posted time unless otherwise advised.


1. As directed by the Ride Leader, group riders will ride in one of two formations, as follows:

A. Staggered: Riders will ride in staggered position, basically in the left and right car tire tracks, each rider a reasonable distance apart for the current speed of the rider directly in front of him/her and a safe distance for the given speed behind the rider to his/her side.

B. Single file: Riders will ride single file, each rider a reasonable distance apart for the current speed of the rider directly in front of him/her, keeping the headlight of the following rider in sight. Basically, if the road doesn't have a center stripe painted on it, riders should be in single file.

2. Riders should maintain their position within the group.

3. Riders in each group should stay close enough together to discourage other vehicles from cutting between riders. Groups should allow room for other vehicles to move between groups. If the driver of another vehicle insists on cutting between riders, riders should yield the right of way to ensure the safety of the group. When the group slows down, the gap between riders can be tightened, when speeding up the gap should be more so that a safe distance for any speed is maintained.

4. The Ride Leader should stay in the left part of the lane for the best view of the road ahead unless in the far-left lane of a divided highway, in which case leaders should be in the right part of the lane for the best view. Other riders in the group should adjust their position in the lane according to the rider in front of them (see staggered positioning, item 1A above).

5. The group should have a chase bike at the rear, responsible for keeping the group together. If a bike in the group breaks down, the Ride Leader should continue with the group until he/she can find a safe place to stop the group, the chase bike would stop with the disabled bike, see what the problem is, and go forward to the group to report if it takes more than a minute or two to fix the problem. The whole group should NOT stop if there is not a safe place to pull all bikes in the ride out of harms way.


The Ride Leader should point out hazards on the road. Following riders should repeat the gesture to warn riders behind them.


1. When it is necessary to change lanes, the Ride Leader will use his/her turn signal, giving adequate advance warning to the group. Each rider should repeat the signal.

2. The Ride Leader will check to make sure the group can safely change lanes, and then signal for the group to change lanes in unison. The other riders in the group should stay in their original position until the Ride Leader has signaled to change lanes.


If a group is separated by traffic signals or other causes, the delayed riders should continue straight when traffic permits until they catch up with their group. If the lead group makes a turn, the last rider in the group should make certain that the delayed riders see the turn.


It is advisable for Ride Leaders and chase bikes to have 2-way radios if possible. Ride Leaders and Chase Bikes have priority on the use of one selected frequency in the event of emergencies or problems.


Riders in the group should make every effort to minimize the need for lengthy or unplanned stops. The Ride Leader should keep in mind the shortest range of the motorcycles in the group and stop for gas accordingly. When the group stops for fuel, ALL RIDERS should fill their tanks and empty their bladders to minimize stops.


Riders arriving in a parking area should go to the far side of the chosen area to avoid creating a hazard for others entering the area. Riders should make efficient use of the spaces available.

The bottom line: Ride your own ride. Don't do things your aren't comfortable with, and ride safely.

Ride Safe,


2004 R1150GSA
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