Group Riding Tip's

Be Safe



 The  information compiled here has been provided by members and other sources.  They are offered as a reference only and are not intended to represent the best or only approach to any particular issue.  

Riders are responsible for their own safety and Fort Bragg H.O.G. assumes no responsibility or liability in connection with the use or misuse of any information.

   Group riding is one of the greatest parts of belonging to any HOG Chapter and our Fort Bragg Chapter is no exception. We love to ride and have many group rides throughout the year.

Here are some of the basic group riding techniques that we follow. 




MSF Group Riding PDF (Mar 2023)

MSF Group Riding Video (2016)


We obey all traffic rules. 

Before the Group Leaves...

  • Arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the advertised time and endure you attend the pre-ride briefing.
  • Riders that are unfamiliar with group riding techniques should advise the Road Captain and follow his/her instructions on where to ride with the group.
  • All riders are expected to be ready to depart the ride assembly point with a full tank of fuel, a full stomach, an empty bladder, be appropriately clothed, and be prepared to ride for at least one hour before the next stop.
  • A route map and/or route instructions will generally be provided at the beginning of the ride.  If you get separated from the group, make your way to the next stop and rejoin the group.
  • Safety is everyone’s responsibility. Do not consume alcohol or use any drugs or medication that could impair your judgment and ability to ride.
  • Any rider appearing to be impaired or observed using drugs or alcohol during the ride or at stops will be asked to leave the group.
  • Turn off passing lamps. Only your headlight should be on. This helps the Road Captain to spot the Trail rider at the back of the group.
  • Examine your motorcycle for mechanical and load problems prior to leaving the assembly point.
  • Ideally, large riding groups should be split into small groups of 6 to 8, each group led by a Road Captain and followed up by a Trail rider (Gunner). The groups will maintain a reasonable distance apart to allow room for other motorists to pass.
  • Large groups may be a road hazard so riders must be aware of other motorists wishing to enter or exit the roadway and provide space for them to pass through the group.

We ride in a staggered formation,

         The safe riding distance is 2 seconds from the bike directly in front of you, stay in your lane, but make sure you ride to your skill level.

  • When traveling behind a trike, position yourself behind the bike that is in front of the trike. A trike normally travels in L2. If the bike in front of the trike is in L1, you should be in L1.
  • We fill in gaps, such as when a rider leaves a ride returning home, based on the situation.
  • If a stop will be coming soon, the gap can be maintained until that stop. At that stop, riders move forward to fill the gap, then the group leaves the stop in the normal staggered fashion.
  • If there is no imminent stop we follow MSF guidelines, meaning the rest of the group should re-form the staggered formation by crisscrossing into the next vacant position.
  • Neither MSF nor Fort Bragg HOG recommends passing another rider within a lane because it is risky.
  • When making a turn or passing, check your mirrors. Both of them.
  • We always use our turn signals.
  • We also use hand signals and these will be described by the road captains prior to the ride.
  • Check your mirrors often! If you notice the person behind you is missing, then please wait at a safe and visible location at the next turn to help that person find us.
  • NOTE: We NEVER leave anyone behind. If you pull off, one of the road captains will pull off and stay with you.


While on the Road

  1. The group will stop for all traffic signals and obey all traffic laws. Do not speed, run stop signs, or violate traffic laws to catch up to the group.
  2. The staggered formation is the norm on most roads. Single file formation is normal for twisty roads, Interstate entrance and exit ramps, and construction areas. Watch for Road Captain signals.
  3. Watch for signals from the Road Captain. Turning, staggered/single file, slowing and hazard signals are to be passed back through the group.
  4. Ideally, in staggered formation, you should follow the bike directly ahead by 2 seconds and the bike in the other left or right lane position by 1 seconds according to the MSF as of March 2023 MSFGroup Riding PDF. This is not always possible.  Be aware of the bikes behind you when the single file signal is given. If all bikes move to a single file at once and begin to slow, the stopping distance for everyone is reduced considerably.
  5. The entire width of the lane belongs to you or the other riders so do not ride beside another rider. Allow room to swerve in case of an emergency or road hazard.
  6. If at any time you feel the riding intensity is beyond your current skill level you should drop out of the group ride. Trying to keep up with the group may be hazardous to you and other riders in the group.
  7. Less experienced group riders should ride near the rear of the group. This minimizes the rubber band effect and aids the Road Captain in adjusting the pace of the ride.
  8. Less experienced group riders should attempt to ride in the lane position closest to the road centerline. This provides a larger space cushion and better visibility around curves.
  9. Only official Police escorts may block intersections.
  10. Watch for traffic signal changes and be prepared. Safely bunch up approaching intersections to shorten the group length. Do not run caution or red lights.
  11. PRIME DIRECTIVE: Don’t hit the bike in front of you…or any other bike either!
  12. Maintain your location within the group and do not pass. If you need to change location in the group wait until the next stop then change your position when the ride starts again.
  13. If a staggered riding position becomes vacant the following rider(s)cross over to fill the vacated position.
  14. Maintain a constant speed within the group. Do not accelerate past another rider or brake late and pass another rider.
  15. Check your riding position by checking the rider’s mirror ahead of you. If you cannot see the rider’s face in their mirror you are too close or too far.
  16. When riding single file on twisty roads and in curves look well ahead and don’t focus on the bike in front of you. Use the SLOW, LOOK, LEAN, and ROLL techniques.

CAUTION: Ride single file on entrance and exit ramps to interstate highways. SLOW DOWN, bunch up, and select a safe turning speed with a slight throttle roll-on. Use the entire merge lane for safety.

  1. Accelerate or Depart from Stopped Position Slowly
    1. Accelerate over 35 mph Only after the last bike has departed
    2. Talk to riders lagging behind in the middle of Group
    3. Don’t let the Group get spread out, this Causes delays for everyone and Is not safe for the Group and it Causes the Group to get separated
  • Traffic Light Activation
    • Three activation lines in the pavement

    • Single Rider to stop on the middle line

    • Double Riders stop on the outside line