Group Motorcycle Riding Tips

Although there are no specific rules or regulation under the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario governing Motorcycle group riding size, if you are going to be doing regular Club rides with large groups of riders, you may want to consider the following safety tips.

Have a group/riders meeting ahead of time and set the ground rules for the day of your ride. (Note: This riders meeting should be done by someone with considerable group riding experience)

Some suggestions may include:

  1. Divide the large group of riders into several smaller groups. Have them leave at staggered times to the same destination. This will be less intimidating to novice riders and safer for other road users as well.
  2. No passing within the lane.
  3. Ride only in a staggered formation.
  4. Safe and proper following distance between motorcycles.
  5. Show and standardize a few basic hand signals for slow down, debris on the road, etc.
  6. Identify the Ride Captain and Group Leader(s) to all riders and have them wear a reflective vest (i.e. orange safety vest). Have novice riders in the group put a large "X" on their back with contrasting tape to warn experienced riders to be more patient and cautious around them. They may also wish to wear a different coloured vest from the lead riders.
  7. Circulate maps to your destination before the ride starts. In the event that riders get lost or separated, they can still find the destination at their own pace.
  8. Ensure that lead riders are experienced and know where they are going. They should also know how many bikes are in their group and who the last M/C is in that group before leaving.
  9. Consider having the last group be the more mature/experienced riders with novice riders mixed together to keep their speeds and skill levels more equal.
  10. Have each rider wait for the rider behind them at intersections where there is a direction change. If a rider has fallen back out of site, they may miss the turn.
  11. Consider some basic helmet "Rider to Rider Communicators" for long term club purchase and use for group rides by the "Lead and Tail Gunner" riders.
  12. In advance of the ride, designate a "Ride Emergency Contact Person" for the day of the ride. This way, family members know how to get in contact with someone participating in the group ride incase of family emergencies. This contact person would closely monitor that cell phone at all times the day of the ride.
  13. If you are an organized riders club and hold a Club Constitution to have elected officials, etc. Also consider seeking legal advice as to where the Club stands when you sanction a large club ride and assumed liability incase of accidents (i.e. Club insurance for rides, etc.?).

These are just some suggestions to assist you with your group rides and should not be limited to these alone. Hopefully some of these ideas will help you and your fellow riders have a safe and long riding season.