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#1 OrangevaleFJR

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 01:36 PM

In order to keep this thread as useful as possible, I will edit this original message with updates that are both valuable (and serious). If you find a hand signal reference that you think I should include with this original thread, please let me know via a Private Message (PM).

Take note, there seem to be signals that are counter to what many would consider safe riding. The two most obvious signals I can see are the signals for Speed Up and the other for Tighten Formation. In group riding, if the leader speeds up that is his choice, but ride your own ride. If you want to speed up to, that's up to you. Also, in group riding, adequate spacing is just as important for bikes as it is for cars. There should be approximately 3 seconds between bikes in ideal situations. Therefore, I wouldn't recommend the use of those two signals.

For group rides:

Motorcycle Hand Signals

Also:

Additional signals to be used


Add these signals that are not displayed:

1) Foot off peg means a road hazard on the side of the foot off peg
2) Tapping the helmet means LEO's in vicinity (coppers)
"Riding Moto-Bike is great fun, I want to hear the stories, I'll never come close to many of these wonderful accomplishments, but I love to hear the stories, I love to dream ...these extremes capture my imagination. Amazing feats." -- RenoJohn|We all live our amazing stories from our perspective and when I read a good story with a good feeling about a bike, I get it.|Watch your temper, I have cows! try me

#2 Rickster

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 06:58 PM

As long as everyone knows what they are before the ride starts -- any version works well.
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#3 Toecutter

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 08:24 PM

QUOTE(Rickster @ Dec 11 2006, 06:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
For group rides -- make sure you also have one that says -- let's stop (rest, fuel, whatever -- just we need to stop).
Also why I'm advocating the use of more two-way radios. Linkage
QUOTE
Another tip -- don't expect everyone to know what the hand-signals are -- go over them before the ride.
Definitely.


QUOTE
SPEED UP
Raise your left arm up and down with your index finger extended upward. This indicates the leader wants to speed up.

I won't be using this one. When I start to get farther away, that means I wanted to speed up. Brake lights lit up or me getting closer means I want to slow down. Follow accordingly.

#4 Bounce

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 08:41 PM

holding up all the fingers together is "single file" because a single index finger is harder to see. i've not seen it the way shown here:

but more like the whole hand upright (not the fingers bent 90° to the palm).

we've use the opposite of "show down" as "speed up" for years. arm extended out above the shoulder, palm up, and pump the arm upward. wrist motions are also hard where arm motions are easier. but that's a HOG site, so perhaps they're used to parade formations? anyone else notice that their helmets have the SMV decal on them?
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#5 Mike-H

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 08:46 PM

WTF?.....signals from the Ann Arbour Hog chapter! ohmy.gif ....those monkeys can't take their hands off the bars for fear of crashing above 5 mph.....Ok orangevale....fess up.....where did they really come from laugh.gif .......

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#6 OrangevaleFJR

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 11:57 PM

QUOTE(Mike-H @ Dec 11 2006, 08:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
WTF?.....signals from the Ann Arbour Hog chapter! ohmy.gif ....those monkeys can't take their hands off the bars for fear of crashing above 5 mph.....Ok orangevale....fess up.....where did they really come from laugh.gif .......


Okay, I changed the link

"Dedicated to the women who RIDE THEIR OWN motorcycles "

laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif

QUOTE(Rickster @ Dec 11 2006, 06:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
For group rides -- make sure you also have one that says -- let's stop (rest, fuel, whatever -- just we need to stop).

I don't know what's 'normal' for this -- but I've always used:

Add: Point at gas tank -- means next exit/stop, pull over.


-----------------------

Another tip -- don't expect everyone to know what the hand-signals are -- go over them before the ride.



I added another link that contains the type of signal you asked for, and a few more
"Riding Moto-Bike is great fun, I want to hear the stories, I'll never come close to many of these wonderful accomplishments, but I love to hear the stories, I love to dream ...these extremes capture my imagination. Amazing feats." -- RenoJohn|We all live our amazing stories from our perspective and when I read a good story with a good feeling about a bike, I get it.|Watch your temper, I have cows! try me

#7 Bounce

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 03:47 PM

This link is the best to date:

http://ninja250.king...t/hand_signals/
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#8 radman

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 05:58 PM

QUOTE(Bounce @ Dec 12 2006, 05:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This link is the best to date:

http://ninja250.king...t/hand_signals/



Here I find out I've been doin it right all along. Who knew.
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#9 Bugman

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 12:26 PM

Here is the MSF Group Guide that has the recommended hand signals for motorcycles

MSF Hand Signals and Group Guide

Some more useful info is at the MSF library website here:

MSF Library of free resources

Edited by Bugman, 22 September 2012 - 12:27 PM.


#10 Bugman

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 07:49 PM

Hand Signals and Group Riding.

As an old Harley rider I'm familiar with group riding. Say what you will about Harley riders they have group riding down pretty good. Unlike the solo high mileage riders, Harley club riders tend to go on a lot of group organized rides. They seldom ride solo. I've gone through a few of the handouts and whatnot that I've been given on group riding over the years so here is some of it. Let's start with a short video:

MSF Group Ride Video

Now on to the copied stuff. None of this is original from me.

The following are a few common sense guidelines when riding in a group. Some are extremely basic but may be useful for the first time group rider or even for some of the more experienced riders who have simply not had an opportunity to give it much thought until now or do not ride in groups. Most of the following discussion is intended for group rides of around ten bikes or less. Larger groups may necessitate some modification and/or additions. Whenever possible it is best to match the skills, machines and riding/speed preferences of the group even if it requires splitting the main group into two or more sub-groups.

1) Your first priority must be safety. The fact that you are now riding in a formation should not increase your risk or that of others. For that reason everyone must ride their own ride in a manner that keeps them in their comfort zone. Never exceed your capability or comfort zone just to keep up. If the pace is too quick for you - back off until you feel comfortable. The group will eventually slow to your pace. There is no need to rush to avoid becoming lost or separated from the group.

If you do get separated, do what hikers do, go to the last fork or intersection where you saw the group and wait. The group will backtrack their route and the sweep will pick you up. If the riders have radios then use them to get information. Do not simply keep going to try to catch the pack. If you are on the wrong path, take a wrong turn or shot past a turnoff you will be riding away from the group and even at a slow clip they will never catch you since you are riding away from them. Get a buddy. It is a good idea for each rider to have a “buddy” in the group to ride with and who can notify the leader if he has a problem along the route.

2) Discipline is essential. When riding in a group, you automatically forfeit some personal autonomy. You should normally maintain your relative position within the group unless doing so would compromise safety. Randomly changing positions is an indication of an undisciplined rider, increases risk for everyone else and should not be condoned. There may be times when changing your position in the formation is the safe thing to do. But before you do, you should have a good reason and it shouldn't be frequent.

3) Trust your leader. This is a two-way deal. You should trust your leader and he must be competent to lead. A good leader will always take into account the equipment, experience and skill level of each rider. He needs to tailor his riding accordingly. A common practice I would like to see more of is a concise briefing by the leader just before the ride. Depending on the nature of the ride and the familiarity of those within the group, this briefing may only take a minute or two. As a minimum, the leader should outline the route and establish the overall tone for the ride. Questions should be addressed before the helmets go on.

The leader or organizer has complete responsibility for the riders following in their wake, and not taking that position seriously is a disservice to fellow riders and dangerous in the bargain. The leader is tasked with monitoring the group for problems and communicating unsafe conditions to everyone on the ride. The role doesn’t mean you have to be the best or fastest rider. Taking your fellow riders outside their comfort zone is irresponsible, and should you find yourself on a ride where that’s the case, get out of the group ASAP. Unless you signed up for one, a day spent trying to peel the “chicken strips” off your tires could prove disastrous to you and others in the group.

4) Pay attention and don't assume. This is so basic and elementary that it should not need to be addressed. However, far too many accidents have occurred during group rides where someone just stopped paying attention for a split second and ran into the person in front of them. Be aware of your spacing behind the rider in front in terms of time. Know your own reaction time and stopping capability and don't ride any closer in point of time. Never assume the rider in front will continue at his current pace and never look away for any longer than an instant.
When accelerating from a stop, especially in conjunction with a turn, don't assume the rider in front will continue to accelerate just because his brake light went out and he started to roll. He could subsequently see something that causes him to stop while you are looking over your shoulder for traffic and run into him. Unfortunately, this scenario has also played out all too often.

5) Each rider is directly responsible for the rider behind them. This enhances mutual support. If the rider behind you starts to fall back, so should you. If you lose sight of the person behind you, slow down for a while. If that doesn't work after a period of time - turn around. Something has obviously happened and he probably could use your help. As you can see, if the last person in the formation had his engine quit (ran out of gas) or crashed eventually the entire group would be at his aid. For larger groups the leader should identify smaller units that would stay together for such situations. If it is necessary to stop or if you decide to take a different route, it is essential that someone in the group knows where you are.

6) Type of formation (staggered, trail, line abreast) and spacing. This depends on your environment (weather, road type and condition, speed, congestion, etc.), and your mission. One extreme would be in heavy stop and go rush-hour traffic at very slow speeds. A close staggered formation with no less than nose/tail clearance (unless stopped) might be the smartest formation. In city traffic a closely spaced formation will discourage cars from "cutting" in. Leave them room and they may be tempted to cut-in. Better to tighten up the spacing a bit so cars perceive the group as a homogeneous unit.

The other extreme would be a "spirited" ride out in the hill country on a twisty open road with no traffic. Here the smart formation might be an extended trail just keeping the guy in front and in back of you in sight.
Side by side or line abreast is strictly a "show" formation suitable for funerals, processions and such and has no place in an informal group ride. It diminishes your margin of error and increases risk of a collision. However, when pulling up to a stop, stopping two abreast is probably a good idea.

Unless briefed otherwise, during the course of a typical informal group ride your position (formation and spacing) should be fluid and dictated by the overall situation. You might find yourself going from a close staggered to an extended trail formation and back again all in a relative short amount of time.
At times you may want to have increased spacing to avoid road hazards like rock chips while at the same time desire to keep the formation relatively tight. Two bikes riding close staggered in trail with other groups of two works well in this case.

Sometimes when on a two-lane road riding staggered and you find yourself on the left track it is a good idea to move over to the right momentarily when on-coming traffic passes. This is especially true for larger vehicles like 18-wheelers. This is to have a little more distance and time in case something falls off; he veers towards you, or throws a "grit blast" in his wake.

7) Establishing the spacing. Because there are so many variables that could dictate the optimum spacing, number two in the formation should normally set the spacing for the group. Nobody else is in a position to logically set or change the spacing in a fluid environment. As such, the number two rider should be experienced and have a solid understanding of group ride dynamics. In city traffic you may need to frequently make minor deviations to the group spacing to avoid running in the blind-spots of other vehicles.

Although you may be number five and can't see number two, you would only need to maintain the spacing that number four has on three. In other words, set your own spacing based on the spacing taken by the guy in front of you. Don't exceed your comfort level in order to maintain spacing.

8) Speed and lanes. It depends. The leader initially sets the pace but the slowest rider should normally determine it. If everyone follows the guidelines above then speed will take care of itself. A modification to this might be on country rides where there is a pre-ride agreement that the faster riders will be in the front of the group and the slower riders in the rear, and that the faster group will wait at all turn-decision points until the second group catches up. A common misconception is that going slower is always safer. Not true. On the superslabs, going slower can get you killed.

With few exceptions, the leader must tailor aggressiveness and average speed to the lowest level of capability in the group. Capability is defined and limited by skill, experience, machine or a combination of all three. Speed preferences should be discussed and agreed upon before the ride begins.

On multilane roads the group should strive to be in the same lane as the leader. However, don't compromise safety to get there. If a car cuts into the formation, analyze the best course of action to get back in formation. You might just want to ride it out behind the car for a while if other options aren't obvious.

Normally on superslabs the leader should be in what he considers to be the safest lane for conditions. Many times with modern bikes and competent riders this is the furthest left lane going just slightly faster than the general traffic flow. This limits, but doesn't negate your vulnerability from the rear by the hyper-speeders. Generally the right lane has the most hazards in the form of exiting and entering cars at sometimes drastically different speeds. A middle lane also has its hazards. In a middle lane, you are subject to “crazies” on both sides of you and it is difficult to “isolate" the threat.

Here is a link to the MSF guide for group riding showing hand signals.

MSF Hand Signals and Group Guide

Some more useful info is at the MSF library website here:

MSF Library of free resources


Group Riding Dynamics
Reprinted from the American Motorcycle Association.
From the August 2008 issue of American Motorcyclist.

You ask:
I often ride in groups of three to six motorcycles, and we’re often on freeways. Sometimes, when changing lanes, the lead rider will keep the same position in the lane (Generally, in the left wheeltrack), and sometimes, a different lead rider will change positions depending on which lane he’s in (left wheeltrack in the right lane, right wheeltrack in the left lane). My question is: Where should the lead rider be, and does it vary from lane-to-lane on a freeway? And should the rest of the riders re-stagger when and if the lead rider’s position changes?” – Simon Morris, AMA No. 807523, Winter Park, FL

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation Responds:
The whole group's formation should be dynamic, yet follow a few basic guidelines.
If the road is straight and there are no unusual traffic or surface conditions, the staggered riding formation allows a proper space cushion between motorcycles so that each rider has enough time and space to maneuver and to react to hazards, while keeping the group compact. The leader should ride in the left third of the lane, while the next rider stays at least one second behind in the right third of the lane; the rest of the group follows the same pattern. If the group is using this pattern, the leader should remain in the left position, even after the group changes lanes, so the other riders aren't continually changing their positions in response.
However, if the leader feels that the center third of right third of the lane is the best position for the road and traffic conditions, then the leader can signal the group to adjust to a single-fine formation, with a 2-second following distance throughout. A single-file formation should be used on a curvy road, under conditions of poor visibility or poor road surfaces, entering/leaving highways, or other situations where an increased space cushion or maneuvering room is needed.

Posted Image

The more we learn and talk about group riding the better off (and safer) we will be while riding in a group. Ride safe!

#11 FJRay

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 08:02 PM

I find it better to just avoid groups larger than four or five and only if they have similar skills.
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#12 Bugman

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 08:34 AM

I find it better to just avoid groups larger than four or five and only if they have similar skills.


I agree with that. The smaller the group the better IMHO.

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Edited by Bugman, 24 September 2012 - 08:36 AM.


#13 Bounce

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 05:24 AM

Zombie thread is zombie!
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#14 SacramentoMike

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 10:51 AM

Zombie thread for sure, but there are lots of new members who might not have seen it before. Still, the BEST one wasn't the list Jamie linked to--the good ol' head pat. That one may have helped me out coming down the coast in Oregon last week; saw it half a minute before I came to the top of the next rise where that state trooper was waiting. It was marginal--I wasn't over much, but nice to get the heads up. So thanks, unknown Harley guy.
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#15 Bounce

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 03:35 AM

The fact that it was originally a good thread it why it was pinned.
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#16 Bugman

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 11:20 AM

I heard some converstion about radios (Wow, some folks don't like em), group riding and communication between riders. Thought I could add a little more to this pinned discussion. Didn't mean to be anything but helpful...

Sorry.

Edited by Bugman, 26 September 2012 - 11:21 AM.