Motorcycle Forum banner

1 - 2 of 2 Posts

ZAMM Fanatic
2,730 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
When I ride with my frequent partner and I'm in the lead, I never turn right ONTO a thoroughfare UNLESS there's room for him to do so as well WITHOUT having to stop and look.

that ASSUMES a "California Stop" on his part as opposed to a FULL, foot-touching-the-ground stop, look both ways, and proceed....

I do something else I call "shadowing." if turning RIGHT, I will swing wide to the left so conceivably my riding partner can turn right INSIDE of my turn ASSURED he is in my "shadow" and there are no vehicles coming up fast to bite him.

Making a left turn, I'll swing to the right so he can similarly turn "inside."

When we are riding as a pair, or three, as we were this morning, and I am in the lead, if we are stretched out a bit approaching a green light I will roll off the throttle to "tighten up" the group a bit so I don't get a green, my partner a yellow, and the third guy a red.

Deliberately and consciously doing this reduces the # of times the lead rider(s) have to pull over and wait for the trail who got stopped at a red. Or encourage someone to RUN a yellow or red that they probably shouldn't!

If I'm riding trail, I'll always GUN the throttle a bit to catch up with the rider ahead approaching a light. Same theory, different position.

I GENERALLY don't change lanes (on a 6 lane Phoenix freeway) unless the rider(s) behind me can make the same change in front of the same vehicle.

In contrast, my riding partner frequently "splits" vehicles, with only slightly enough room between the driver ahead's rear bumper and the one in the next lane's front bumper that he pulls in front of. It makes it virtually impossible to stay with him in traffic and I often have to change lanes and then accelerate HARD to get back in "formation." Not only that, I personally believe it aggravates drivers to no end when anyone does this, on a bike OR in a car.

I rode with a guy who took pride in NEVER (actually: seldom) applying his brakes, instead rolling off the throttle or downshifting and engine braking. Well that's fine and dandy if no one is behind you. but NOT when you're riding in a group. SIGNALLING other riders that you're slowing with a tap of the brake lights is invaluable, especially if there are less experienced riders
in the group who may ram a rapidly decelerating rider who gave neither a hand signal nor lit up a brake light.

I'm certainly not a great, lifetime-experienced rider, however I DO consider myself a very proficient driver, and what that means to me, regardless of what I'm in/on is ANTICIPATING when someone is going to change lanes, cut me off, pull out, before they actually do it. Often they'll subtly "signal" their lane change by first drifting over a bit as they look in the mirror or glance over their shoulder.

Or they're tailgating the car in FRONT of them, clearly impatient, and I stay the hell out of their blind spot, even back off, knowing they're gonna shift lanes to try and get an additional 10' ahead at any moment. (And win the game!!!)

There are a lot of situations I see "developing" that never actually result in a crash, or a pile-up, that, for a few more feet or mph easily could have. I always back away, roll off the throttle rather than continue ahead at my same speed into what I percieve as...danger zones, another difference between myself and my frequent riding partner. Call me chicken, whatever you want, but I simply dONT have the riding, braking, panic, emergency skills to deal with these situations as well as better riders so my course of action is simply to back off and try and avoid them.

I also, ALWAYS encourage newer riders to RIDE THEIR OWN RIDE and not try and follow me or anyone else through a yellow light, etc. Or keep up with ME in the twisties.

So how about you. What do YOU do when riding with a partner or group to keep the group together, to make it EASY for other riders in the group to know "what's up" and to improve THEIR safety? Do any of you do the "shadow" thing so the rider behind doesn't have to visually clear the intersection before pulling out?

2,010 Posts
you are much more coordinated with how you do things.

when we rode cruisers a lot in LA, it was more individualistic. The leader basically focused on choosing the best route, making lane changes well ahead of time, and not going too fast. Everything else - the rest of the group had to deal with. So situations where cars would split our group - quite common. we would just burn the throttle and go around them. CA drivers are very "unplugged" about MC formations and often do not realize that a group of bikes are together. Heck, we are lucky if the drivers SEE any of the motorcycles at all.

Likewise, during the turns, it was mostly every man for himself. If the turn broke the formation, it was the job of the riders to catch up and re-form the formation.

The last guy in the formation - yeah he often has to burn some gas to keep up with the pack. But its also the preferred riding location. My best riding buddy would always choose to ride at the back. Why? Because basically he was using everyone else as guinea pigs. If there were any hazards up front, he wanted to let someone else take the risk. I know it sounds harsh - but it is what it is. Often I rode point, and he would trail. And there were others in between. But the point man takes more risk and has to stay alert to all of the dangers, because everyone else is just watching how he reacts to the road ahead. NOT following him - just using him as the guinea pig to test the dangers ahead. HAHAHA!!!!

1 - 2 of 2 Posts