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Safety

 
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The Kenosha HOG Chapter is committed to rider safety.  We understand that riding a motorcycle takes more skill than driving a car and has more risks involved.  No matter how long you ride, there are skills you can improve and new tips you can learn to reduce the risk, and increase your enjoyment of the sport.  Bob Clampit is our Safety Officer, and he shares a safety tip at each chapter meeting.  Paul also holds group rides for new members frequently throughout the season, so they can learn the skills needed to safely experience the fun of riding with others.

This page includes some information you'll want to know if new to our chapter, or just want to brush up on your knowledge.  Featured Articles will change periodically so visit this page often.  If you have a topic you would like to see featured, or some information to share, we would love to hear from you. 

 

Group Riding

There is nothing like the feel of riding your Harley with a group of other bikers.  It's an awesome experience when you hear the rumble around you and bikes are lined up as far as you can see.   For many of our members, riding with a group of friends is one of the best parts of being in the chapter.  Whether we're out for a short dinner ride, or on a weekend overnight trip we want you and the rest of the group to get back safely.  Here are some things you should know before you come out for your first chapter Group Ride.

 

If you aren't a member you will need to sign a waiver before going on a chapter ride.  You also need to sign a release if you have a minor riding with you.  See the Membership page to print these forms, and bring them with you the day of the ride.

 

Always fill up with gas before you arrive, so your bike is ready to make it to the first gas stop without a problem.  Road Captains plan routes with rest and fuel stops, so you don't have to worry about running out if you start with a full tank.  Also make sure you have checked your bike over before leaving home, so it's ready for a day of riding.  Check your tire pressure, lights, look for leaks and check the fluid levels.

 

The Road Captain will hold a pre-ride meeting, to share directions, go over the planned stops and review safety information.  If you're new to riding in a group, let the Road Captain know so he or she can help you get off to a good start.  The schedule will show the time the ride will be leaving, so you should plan to arrive at least 30 minutes ahead so your bike is in position and you don't miss the meeting.

 

During group rides, we use a staggered riding formation.  This allows a proper space cushion between motorcycles, so that each rider has enough time and space to maneuver and to react to hazards.  Each rider stays at least one second behind the rider in the opposite third of the lane, and two seconds behind the rider in the same third of the lane.  An easy way to check your distance is to position yourself so that you can see the face of the rider in front of you in their rear view mirror.  As we come to a stop, pull up tight to the rider in front of you and stay in your third of the lane.  This allows us to take up less space, and set up the staggered formation as we pull away from the stop once again.  For this reason it is not necessary to switch places while riding if the formation changes when a rider leaves the group.  Just wait until the next stop and it will take care of itself, without each rider behind you trying to reposition themselves.

 

 

The Road Captain who is leading the ride will communicate with the group by using hand signals.  It is each riders responsibility to pass on the message to the riders behind them by using the signals as they are observed ahead of them.  The most common signals we use are demonstrated below. 

 

Group Riding Hand Signals

Start Engines

Speed Up

Slow Down

Stop

Single File

Left Turn

Right Turn

Hazard - Left

Hazard - Right

Staggered Formation

Graphics courtesy of Ann Arbor HOG Chapter

At the end of the group there will be another Road Captain or Assistant Road Captain assigned as the "Sweep".  His or her job is to help any rider that might have trouble, and contact the "Lead" if necessary.  If you have to leave the ride for any reason, give the sweep a thumbs up sign if you don't need their assistance.  If you plan on leaving the ride before it is over, let both the Lead and Sweep know and position yourself toward the back of the group.

When the group stops to rest, get fuel or have a bite to eat be aware of the time planned to leave, and be ready to go when the Road Captain's ready.  It makes sense to do "the important things" first as soon as you stop.  Get your bike filled up with gas, take your bathroom break or buy that bottle of water before you stop to visit with other members.  Also, keep in mind the amount of time you need to get suited up again, and consider leaving more of your gear on to save time.  The rest of the riders will appreciate not having to wait for you and the Road Captain will be able to stay on schedule.

Enjoy your Group Ride!

 

 

 

Safety Articles

Riding

 in the Rain

Not Riding in a Straight Line

Raising a Motorcycle Video

 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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