Let’s face it; we all use hand signals when we are riding—some more appropriate than others. In addition to those, there’s a whole lexicon of hand signals that motorcycle riders use to communicate with each other when riding in groups. These signals can mean anything from “Hey, your blinker is on” to “Let’s stop at the next gas station”. Knowing your hand signals and what they mean to your fellow riders can make your next group ride significantly more enjoyable.
Universal hand signals are used silently to impart important information such as safety, speed, road conditions, and cops ahead. Here are a few hand signals you can use on your next group ride.
High Beams On—When a rider taps their head, it is usually to indicate that high beams are on. In some groups, it can be used to mean that there are cops ahead.
Debris on Road—If a rider shakes his leg, it is usually meant to tell the riders behind him that there is debris coming up ahead on that side of the road.
Turn Signal On—If a biker flashes his hands at you, it usually means that you’ve left your turn signal on.
Start Your Engines—Circling a finger overhead can mean two things. If you are not riding yet, it can mean start your engines. If you are already riding it can be used to indicate the need to turn around because you are going the wrong way or you’ve passed the exit.
Gas Station Stop—If a biker points at his or her tank, it usually means that he needs to stop at the next gas station.
Riding Single File—if riders need to ride in a single file line to avoid debris or obstacles, a rider will point his or her finger straight up in the air.
Riding Double Formation—When a group needs to get back into double formation, the lead rider will raise 2 fingers in the air.
Pass—if a biker in front of you swoops his arm forward, he or she is usually trying to tell you to pass them and get in front.
Speeding Up—if a biker wants you to speed up, he or she will extend an arm straight out with palm facing up.
Slow Down—if you need to slow down, a biker in front of you will extend his arm straight out with his palm facing down. His arm will then move down and back up.
Refreshment Break—when riders need to refuel their bodies, they will bring their thumb to their mouth with their fingers closed.
Comfort Stop—if a rider needs to stop at the nearest restroom, he or she will extend forearm with a fist clinched.
Before you head out for a group ride, it is important to know how to communicate silently with your fellow riders. This will make the ride more enjoyable and safe for you and your group.
At Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys®, we know why you ride—because we are motorcyclists too. We want you to ride safely and responsibly and that’s why we created BAM, a free roadside and legal assistance program. It’s also why we have dedicated our entire legal practice to helping injured motorcyclists obtain the help they need. To learn more about our practice or BAM, call us at 1-800-4-BIKERS or visit us on the web at Russbrown.com.