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Group Riding

Here are some notes on riding in a group

First Timer Tips and Traps

The most important thing to remember is that you are responsible for your own safety while riding and the road rules for everyday riding also apply in group rides. Here is a list of some tips and traps while participating in a group ride:

  1. DO NOT blindly follow the leader, your first priority is your own safety, not staying with the pack. Many people follow the leader and do not look at what else is happening, for example they will follow someone through an intersection without looking for, or giving way to, oncoming traffic (this is very common!)
  2. DO NOT follow too close, you should maintain safe braking distance and do not be afraid to tell someone else to back off.
  3. DO make sure your tyres are pumped up and wheel nuts are tight! Also on long rides check periodically at petrol stops. Open road riding puts much more strain on these components compared to round town riding. A low pressure tyre is much more likely to get a puncture at high speeds.
  4. DO buddy up with a few other riders. A large group travels much more efficiently as a bunch of small groups(2-4 riders). This enables you to choose your own comfortable speed with riders of similar capabilities and you still have a bit of peer support without every individual incident holding up the entire group.
  5. DO NOT block traffic by not leaving gaps. Your speedo is 10-15km/hr out (i.e. you are going a lot slower than you think) and on the open road you are more exposed and therefore go slower. DO leave bigger than 8 car length gaps between small groups so a bunch of cars can easily pull in while passing and still be able to maintain a safe breaking distance behind scooters.
  6. DO NOT be overly passive, you have the right to the road and it is not a good idea to give car/truck drivers the idea they can force you (and everyone else) into the verge. DO maintain a constant eye on what is behind you, maintain a steady position on the road. If you are blocking a car/truck choose YOUR time when it is safe, pull to the left and wave the car/truck through, then return to your position. This will train car/truck drivers to respect all the group.
  7. DO ALWAYS rider with your hand ready to pull in clutch. Two-strokes are notorious for heat seizing and during a seize pulling in the clutch while disengage the engine. This will stop the rear wheel locking and minimise engine damage. Heat seizes are caused by the engine being too hot, one early sign is pinking (a.k.a. knock or detonation) and this sounds like a paint can being shaken. On a very hot day you may need to change your riding style to avoid pinking (i.e. slower or avoid certain throttle postilions). The heat seize itself feels like a sudden power loss (you may have time to clutch) followed by the rear wheel locking up.


Here are some random tips:

  • Pack your luggage so it supports your back
  • Windsheilds will reduce fatigue, increase top speed but may create more helmet noise
  • Get good tyres for highway use (see Tyres)
  • Carrry extra fuel
  • Spares to carry
    • Spare inner tube (or 2) and tools to change it. This will enable you to easily restore the spare wheel once it has been used.
    • Spark plug
    • Cables
    • Tools
    • Key (hidden somewhere)
    • Bulbs
    • Duct Tape
  • Look after your body
    • snacks
    • water (backpacks are good)
    • sunscreen
    • wipes
    • decent riding gear
    • ear plugs (optional)