Riding as a group can add some safety as well as some risk to a motorcycle ride depending on how you do it and who you do it with. It’s a little like sex that way. At some point in the trip planning the subject of group ride formation should be mentioned. Hopefully sex is not a topic of group planning (although that could be fun too – Editor). The main safety aspect of group riding is that you are more visible as a group in staggered formation or in two-abreast configuration than as a single motorcyclist. Car drivers lost in their music or stressed about work are more likely to take notice of you. The main risk of group riding is that you are counting on the riding skills of your fellow group members and for them to be aware of the other bikes, road hazards and traffic to keep themselves and you safe.
Having ridden in groups with riding styles ranging from military drill team precision riding formation down to some total free-for-alls, I have had the opportunity to look at many aspects of group riding and develop some preferences. The classic question for group riding is how tight and crisply is your group going to ride. The sub-questions are how safe do you want to be and what level of focus and reaction time are the riders comfortable with.
The three types of Motorcycle Group Ride Formations we’ll look at are Military Precision, Free For All, and Compromise.