When riding as a group, the Lead Road Captain wearing a Hi Viz vest (normally orange) will take up a central position within the lane. The second man immediately behind the Lead Road Captain should take a position to his right, and two motorcycle’s lengths clear. The third man takes up a position to the Road Captain’s left and four motorcycle ‘s lengths back from the front and so on. So that you are at least two motorcycle’s lengths clear of the nearest bike to you.
The reasons for riding in staggered formation are –
The group take up less space on the road when staggered, than in a single line.
The Lead Road Captain has better visibility in his/her mirrors of how the group is staying together.
If someone has to brake suddenly, the rider behind is not directly behind and has a bigger braking distance.
Rule – when a second man drop has been executed, riders are NOT to change lanes but remain in their position. This will prevent the group from crossing into other motorcycles and potential incidents.
Single File Formation
Group Riding - Overtaking:
When traveling on two-lane roads it may become necessary to pass a vehicle. The decision to pass is at the sole discretion of the Lead Road Captain. To initiate the pass, the Lead Road Captain will accelerate to passing speed but keeping within the posted speed limit, pass the slower moving vehicle and maintain passing speed until all members of the group have passed the slower moving vehicle. Each member of the group should maintain passing speed after passing the slower moving vehicle along with the Lead Road Captain. Once all members of the group have passed the slower moving vehicle the Lead Road Captain will decelerate to normal cruising speed.
Group Riding - Filling a Gap:
The entire width of the lane belongs to you. When a gap (excessive space) occurs in the formation due to a bike leaving the formation, you simply change your position in the lane. ALWAYS make a safety check (look over your shoulder) before initiating a manoeuvre. Your mirror view or what you saw just a second ago is no substitute for your own eyes or judgment.
Gaps (excessive space) in the group not only make the group take-up more of the road, they also invite motorists travelling at higher speeds to cut into the formation and run up on the motorcycle in-front of the gap. When a gap develops in the stagger, each member of the group must work together to protect the others.
Group Riding – Road Speed:
With regards to the H.O.G. Disclaimer, a rider will never be asked to exceed a posted road speed limit, or to ride beyond the limits of their own riding ability. However, during the ride each rider should consider the group as a whole and try to maintain the pace of the ride and progress wherever possible.
Group Riding – Road Awareness
Be aware of the position of all members on the ride
Look beyond the rear of the bike in front of you
Use your mirrors frequently
The Golden Rules in Group Riding: Before you move, REMEMBER to LOOK, SIGNAL, MANOEUVRE:
LOOK to the front and rear of your bike to see who is close to you
SIGNAL to all, your intention of moving from your original position
MANOEUVRE into your new position only when safe to do so
If a bike develops mechanical problems (breaks-down) during a ride, the rider should stop on the side of the road or in a safe area as soon as possible. The Sweep Road Captain will also stop to render assistance. All other motorcycles in the Group will continue on the ride. The Sweep Road Captain will notify the Lead Road Captain by radio or mobile telephone as soon as possible.
If a motorcycle is involved in an accident during a ride, all riders behind the affected bike should stop to render assistance and provide witness statements as needed. The Sweep Rider will call 999 for emergency assistance and notify the Lead Road Captain by radio or mobile telephone as soon as possible.