Guest Author - Nancy Brotherton
I get lots of questions about motorcycle etiquette and what are the dos and don’ts of motorcycle riding. To me it all boils down to respect and to treat other riders as you would have them treat you. That being said here is a list of common issues.
1. The most important is to “Ride your own Ride”. Don’t let others push you into going too fast or doing something you are not comfortable with.
2. Ride respectfully and wisely in urban areas. Noise pollution related to loud motorcycle pipes is a hot topic in the motorcycle arena. By riding wisely and going slower and using the clutch, we can bring less attention to the topic and hope it slowly fades away.
3. If another rider comes up behind you and wants to pass, as soon as it is safe, make room and let them pass. It is not worth the effort it takes to get worked up about it and besides, let them get the speeding ticket.
4. Doing wheelies down a major highway with other vehicles sharing the road is not very smart nor does it set a good example for other riders.
5. Swerving in and out quickly through slow traffic with or without turn signals is another sign you are not following the rules of motorcycle etiquette or the rules of the road. Unfortunately, the sins of one motorcycle rider are the sins of all motorcycle riders to the public.
6. A hand wave or nod is perfectly acceptable and respectable, (providing you wave with all fingers and not just one - hee hee) if you wish to acknowledge a fellow rider.
7. If riding two up, back up your bike and get it into position first, then have your passenger get on. Don’t back up with your passenger on your motorcycle because of limited visibility and stability issues.
8. Never, never, never touch or get on someone’s motorcycle that hasn’t given you permission.
9. If you smoke cigarettes while riding, be sure when you flick them that you aren’t flicking them at the rider behind you.
10. Don’t tailgate other riders or other vehicles. Leave yourself plenty of braking distance for unforeseen emergencies.
11. Stay out of a rider’s or vehicle’s blind spot. Make sure that they can always see you and your motorcycle.
12. Help a fellow rider in need. If you see a rider on the side of the road broke down or fallen, either call for help or if it is safe to stop, lend them a hand.
13. Mount your motorcycle on the side that is most comfortable for you. Common sense dictates that because the kickstand is on the left of the motorcycle, mounting from the right would be the wisest in case your leg catches, you or the motorcycle won’t be pushed over.
Here’s a question for you. You are out riding when you come up behind an unknown rider. The stoplight changes to red. The unknown rider is in the left-hand position of the lane, so do you pull up beside them and start chatting, pull up beside them and nod, stay in a staggered formation behind them, or pull directly behind them?
I would love to hear your responses. Just click on the forum link below and go to “Motorcycle Etiquette”. I would also love to help get answers to any other questions you may have as well as input on other dos and don’ts for motorcycle etiquette.
Until next week, ride safe.