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Rode in a group for the first time yesterday. We rode about 150 miles down to Straved Rock State Park (Illinois). This is going to sound weird, but when I was in the middle of the pac... it was easier to keep up. When I was in the back... I could barely keep up. At times... had the X1300 up to 80 and realized hey this is nuts and figured I would catch up soon or later.
 

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Ridning in a group is like flying in formation. It isn't a thing you learn in one ride, it takes practice. The thing most do is get focused on the bike right in front of them, and that's bad. You should always be looking a couple of bikes ahead to watch for the sudden slow downs or turns. It can be dangerous like a NASCAR race when a guy checks up and the guys following have to brake harder and harder until the 3rd or 4th guy can't stop in time. If you're new to group riding it is far better to ride the back of the pack with an experienced rider as a wingman to get you comfortable. 8)
 

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If you're new to a group, the best place to ride is second to the "captain". The hardest place is in the back end of a big group.

Basically they are a pain, more about being social than riding...

For me, 2 or 3 bikes is just right.
 

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We like to ride to the very back, that way we can see everything going on and its more fun to watch the bikes from that position. It always seemed to be the safest position to us especially if you are riding with a group that hasn't rode together before.
 

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I'm a RC in my group, I always request the new rider(s) up front with me. I will set the pace to a what they are comfortalbe with and keep a close eye on them. But for some reason they always want to be in the back and we often don't have a tailgunner.

I really hate group rides, especially the large groups. But it's a must in a club.
 

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Lmore said:
Rode in a group for the first time yesterday. We rode about 150 miles down to Straved Rock State Park (Illinois). This is going to sound weird, but when I was in the middle of the pac... it was easier to keep up. When I was in the back... I could barely keep up. At times... had the X1300 up to 80 and realized hey this is nuts and figured I would catch up soon or later.
What you experienced is called the "spring effect". As the leader speeds up, the group stretches, so each bike has to accelerate a little faster the further back in the group you are. This can be quite severe in a large group. We had over 100 bikes on a ride last fall, and when we went through a toll booth, it caused a lapse of about 5 minutes from front to back. I was leading and I had to ride at 45mph (on a 65mph highway) for 20 miles before everyone caught back up.
 

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I'm curious as to why you guys like to have the newbs ride in front. Seems to me the safest position would be in the back with an experienced tail gunner. If they go down seems like they would be less likely to take someone out with them from the back.

Brian
 

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VTeXan 1800 said:
I'm curious as to why you guys like to have the newbs ride in front. Seems to me the safest position would be in the back with an experienced tail gunner. If they go down seems like they would be less likely to take someone out with them from the back.

Brian
That is exactly why it is safer for everyone in back. They also learn from watching what is going on in front of them, you don't learn anything with nothing to look at. 8)
 
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How to Ride a Motorcycle With a Group
The highway is not the place to socialize. If you like to ride with others, do it in a way that promotes safety and doesn't interfere with the flow of traffic.


Steps:
1. Keep the group small - four or five motorcyclists at most. Small groups make it easier and safer for other motorists to get around you if they need to. And a small cluster isn't as easily separated by traffic or red lights, so riders won't always be hurrying to catch up to one another. Divide a large group into two or more smaller groups.

2. Note that the best way to keep close ranks and maintain an adequate space cushion is to ride in a staggered formation. Ride on the left side of the lane if you're the leader, stay a little behind on the right side if you're next in line. Take the left position two seconds behind the first if you're third in the pack, and maintain a three-second cushion behind and to the right if you're fourth. This configuration keeps everyone close without riding in tandem or reducing following distances.

3. Keep the group together and look ahead for changes when you're the lead bike. Let your riding partners know ahead of time when you're going to switch lanes or make a turn, and begin the change early so everyone has plenty of time.

4. Place inexperienced riders behind the leader where they can be watched and instructed.

5. Allow the tailender to set the pace. Use your mirrors to keep an eye on the biker behind you, and remember, if he or she falls back, everyone should slow down to keep the group together.

6. Make sure everyone knows the route so riders who get separated from the main group won't have to hurry for fear of taking a wrong turn or getting lost.

7. Keep close ranks, but maintain a safe distance from each other. Bear in mind, a close group is easier to see, takes up less road space and is less likely to separate.

8. Assume a single file formation during turns and when entering or leaving a highway.


Tips:
Pass other vehicles one at a time when riding in a staggered formation. Pull out and pass when it's safe to do so if you're in the lead. Then take the left lane position and get way ahead to open a gap for the next rider. If you're next, watch for a safe chance to get into the new lane, pass the vehicle and open a gap for the motorcyclist behind you.


Warnings:
Riding in tandem is dangerous because you might not be able to avoid an emergency on the road.

Wait until you're both stopped if you need to talk to another rider.

Overall Warnings:
Motorcycling is an inherently dangerous activity that can result in serious injury or death. Drive defensively, observe all traffic laws and avoid potential hazards. We recommend that you seek proper training and equipment before attempting this activity.


Tips from eHow Users:
Stop signs and turns by decker A.
When going through a stop sign, the entire group goes through as one. This helps keep the group together. When turning at an intersection, maintain your lane position through the turn. If you are in the left lane position, finish your turn in the left lane position. The same holds true for the right lane position.
 

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Chicago-Spike said:
[quote="VTeXan 1800":2x1q7pta]I'm curious as to why you guys like to have the newbs ride in front. Seems to me the safest position would be in the back with an experienced tail gunner. If they go down seems like they would be less likely to take someone out with them from the back.

Brian
That is exactly why it is safer for everyone in back. They also learn from watching what is going on in front of them, you don't learn anything with nothing to look at. 8)[/quote:2x1q7pta]

I'm not saying my POV is correct. Just curious as to the logic behind having them in front. Just trying to see from a different set of eyes.

Brian
 

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Ricstir said:
4. Place inexperienced riders behind the leader where they can be watched and instructed.
I would assume the Tail gunner would be in a better postion to "watch and instruct" but thanks for the post. It's very informative.

Brian
 

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Group riding looks impressive, especially if you're in a position to watch a
very large group of motorcycles pass by wherever you happen to be.

Personally, I have no interest in riding in a group, especially a large one.
The term "domino effect" comes to mind when I envision what could
happen if a mistake was made.

I'd feel trapped if I were in the middle, at the mercy of the skills of those
both in front and behind. And I wouldn't want to lead, because I'd be too
focused on my responsiblity for the group to enjoy the ride. I might ride
at the very end, where I'd have the most control.

I have a friend who got moderately busted up on a "poker run" when a
rider in front of him didn't react properly to a situation, forcing him to
chose between running into the guy or swerving into the soft shoulder of
a curve. He chose the soft shoulder, and went down. The other guy? He
was fine. My friend was laid up for weeks with some busted bones and
road rash.

He's ok now, but he won't ride in groups any more. When I asked him why,
he said "most people can't ride worth sh*t, and I don't want to have to
suffer for their stupid mistakes."

Me neither.
 

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Chicago-Spike said:
[quote="VTeXan 1800":39ldy79i]I'm curious as to why you guys like to have the newbs ride in front. Seems to me the safest position would be in the back with an experienced tail gunner. If they go down seems like they would be less likely to take someone out with them from the back.

Brian
That is exactly why it is safer for everyone in back. They also learn from watching what is going on in front of them, you don't learn anything with nothing to look at. 8)[/quote:39ldy79i]

NO!! The safest place for a newbie is in the front where the Road Captain can keep an eye on them and adjust the speed to their comfort level. In the back you have the slinky/yoyo effect and you need to continue play catchup and that's no place for an inexperienced rider!!!

Do a search on group riding and ever article will confirm this. HONEST!!
DeanX02
 

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I tend to like to be in the back, and if there are new riders with us, I tend to be the back. I would rather go around them if they wipe out, than have them hit me from behind. Seen that all too often. I had one dipshit that used to hit the throttle hard when he was in back and pass me in the same lane. There is just something about a rookie hitting your bars as he is accelerating by you at hiway speeds that just doesn't work. I won't ride with him any more. He is just wreckless! Don't need it.

Small groups are fun if you know how everyone rides. If I get in large groups, I like the tail end for some reason. Just feel more safe there. Just my 2 cents.
 

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thundering zephyr said:
Group riding looks impressive, especially if you're in a position to watch a
very large group of motorcycles pass by wherever you happen to be.

Personally, I have no interest in riding in a group, especially a large one.
The term "domino effect" comes to mind when I envision what could
happen if a mistake was made.

I'd feel trapped if I were in the middle, at the mercy of the skills of those
both in front and behind. And I wouldn't want to lead, because I'd be too
focused on my responsiblity for the group to enjoy the ride. I might ride
at the very end, where I'd have the most control.

I have a friend who got moderately busted up on a "poker run" when a
rider in front of him didn't react properly to a situation, forcing him to
chose between running into the guy or swerving into the soft shoulder of
a curve. He chose the soft shoulder, and went down. The other guy? He
was fine. My friend was laid up for weeks with some busted bones and
road rash.

He's ok now, but he won't ride in groups any more. When I asked him why,
he said "most people can't ride worth sh*t, and I don't want to have to
suffer for their stupid mistakes."

Me neither.
My thoughts exactly
 

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DeanX02 said:
Chicago-Spike said:
[quote="VTeXan 1800":329glytq]I'm curious as to why you guys like to have the newbs ride in front. Seems to me the safest position would be in the back with an experienced tail gunner. If they go down seems like they would be less likely to take someone out with them from the back.

Brian
That is exactly why it is safer for everyone in back. They also learn from watching what is going on in front of them, you don't learn anything with nothing to look at. 8)
NO!! The safest place for a newbie is in the front where the Road Captain can keep an eye on them and adjust the speed to their comfort level. In the back you have the slinky/yoyo effect and you need to continue play catchup and that's no place for an inexperienced rider!!!

Do a search on group riding and ever article will confirm this. HONEST!!
DeanX02[/quote:329glytq]
Ricster did post it, it says behind the Capt. If you have more than 1 experienced rider you put one in front and one in the back. The new guys ride in the back with the more experienced guys so they can see what is happening. I don't mean follow right behind, I mean the experienced guy and the new guy are lagging behind at a safe distance. You put them up front, they see nothing of group riding. 8)
 

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I want newbies in front of me, so I can keep an eye on them. If they're squirrelly, I give them more room. I don't want to be hit from behind.
 

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I guess I assume every one can hold their own on a group ride. I know dumb assumption. I don't ask how much experience one has riding. It's that persons sole respondsibility to pipe up and say they are new to group riding. Yes, even the inexperienced will admit that they are new in front of a large experienced group. They don't want to tense up and cause an accident, just as much as we don't want them to. The inexperienced goes behind the leader to learn from that person. Everyone behind is aware that they are new to group riding and follows the leader.
 

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Last year we 10,000 miles as a group no problems. We went Saturday and Sunday lots of newbies no problems. The tail gunner is in charge of them he can move them up or out of the pack all together if needed. The leader has no time for that riding watching no pulls out, where we are going. If they crash in the back less involved.
 
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