American Legion Riders Post 17 ………… Take a ride through our information highway!

American Legion Riders | Pearce Keller Post 17 | 114 McCall Rd | Manhattan KS 66502

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Motorcycle Signals & Safety

Hand Signals

Motorcycle hand signals are important for all riders to know and understand but especially when riding in a group.  (When riding in a group the signals should be relayed back through the group.)

START ENGINES With your right or left arm extended, move your index finger in a circular motion.
LEFT TURN Raise your left arm horizontal with your elbow fully extended.
RIGHT TURN Raise your left arm horizontal with your elbow bent 90 degrees vertically.

HAZARD LEFT Extend your left arm at a 45 degree angle and point towards the hazard.


HAZARD RIGHT A Extend your right arm at a 45 degree angle and point towards the hazard.
HAZARD RIGHT B Extend your left arm upward at a 45 degree angle with your elbow bent to 90 degrees and point towards the hazard over your helmet.
SPEED UP Raise your left arm up and down with your index finger extended upward.  This indicates the leader wants to speed up.
SLOW DOWN Extend your left arm at a 45 degree angle and move your hand up and down.
STOP Extend your left arm at a 45 degree angle with the palm of your hand facing rearward.
SINGLE FILE Position your left hand over your helmet with your fingers extended upward.  This indicates the leader wants the group in a single file formation. Usually this is done for safety reasons.
STAGGERED   or  SIDE-BY-SIDE FORMATION Extend your left arm upward at a 45 degree angle with your index and pinkie finger extended. This indicate that it is safe to return to staggered formation.
TIGHTEN UP Raise your left arm and repeatedly move up and down in a pulling motion.  This indicates the leader wants the group to close ranks.

MOTORCYCLE SAFETY FOUNDATION – Motorcycle (Group) Rules & Observances Group motorcycle riding is a great experience when common sense, respect for others and safety prevail. Do not mix alcohol and motorcycle riding at any time, especially when riding in a group. Top up your gas tank before you begin a ride. Bikes with small gas tanks have to stop more often. Decide before you begin when and where you will stop. Inform every one of designated stops. Do a personal and bike safety check before beginning a ride. Bikes should be in good running condition before riding (anytime). 1. All riders taking part in a group ride must conform to Provincial or Municipal laws in effect where they are riding. 2. Group rides should use one lane in a staggered formation. The leader of the group (Road Captain) rides to the left side of the lane, while the second rider stays a little behind and to the right side of the lane, 1 (1) second behind the leader. The third rider will take a position to the left side of the lane, 2 (2) seconds behind the leader. The fourth rider would be to the right of the lane and two (2) seconds behind the second rider. (See illustration) 3. Novice and inexperienced riders should ride in the middle of the group so that there are experienced riders in front of them that they can observe.  There should also be experienced riders behind them to keep an eye on them and maybe give them some advice if needed when they come to a stop. 4. Motorcycles with sidecars should ride at the rear unless they are leading the group. Trikes should observe thesame rule. Reason being, when the Ride Captain looks in his/her rear view mirror he/she should have a clear view of those following. 5. The group should ride to their destination in formation. If a rider does not wish to stay with the group during the ride wait until all the bikes are parked and inform the Ride Captain before leaving. 6. If you leave your place in the group, re-enter at the rear, in front of the Rear Ride Captain (Tail Gunner). 7. In the case of a rider pulling over the Tail Gunner (last rider) will also pull over to assist. The remainder of the group will continue. If the tail gunner has a C.B. radio he will inform the Road Captain of the current status. If it is in the opinion of the Road Captain that the group should also pull over, they will do so at the first safe area. 8. It is every rider’s responsibility to be aware of potential hazards and notify other riders behind them by hand signals or tapping their brake lights. 9. At stop signs, lights, etc the staggered formation shall double up and proceed in pairs, then resume staggered formation thus limiting time lag and possible traffic hazards. 10. If a vehicle wants to break through the group on a multi-lane road, give them space to safely do so. Close formation once the vehicle exits the lane. If the vehicle does not move, cautiously and carefully pass to reform. Bikers do not own the road. Be considerate of other vehicles. Give them space. 11. When parking in a public lot, all bikes will be parked in such a manner as to cause as little inconvenience to the public as possible. Preferably angled and maintaining riding position within the group. 12. While group riding there are a series of standard hand signals given by the leader (Road Captain), which are used to denote various instructions to the riders. Each rider in succession is to repeat the hand signal for the benefit of the riders behind him. This will ensure all riders in the group see and understand the signals as given by the Road Captain.

  • Andrea Bell says:

    Good reminder! Ride often and Ride Safe!

  • L. Bachelor says:

    Love this. Good refresher for some and great new information for others. Be Safe!