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Discussion Starter #1
In a Group ride, riding staggered with the Leader in the left tire track and the second cycle/scooter 1 second back in the right tire track, 3rd should be 2 seconds (minimum) behind the leader in the left track. And alternately on back, though groups should be limited to about 6 to 8 bikes so not to block other traffic.

But, when riding as a pair - 2 bikes/scooters, how do you ride. If leading, I'd be in the left tire track. But, if you're the second bike what position do you take?

My contention is that I'm like the tail gunner on a group ride, to protect and make sure that we are seen. An as such, I will follow also in the left track, but about 4 seconds back. That way if a vehicle is trying to pass an on-coming car they should be able to see two cycles approaching rather than 1 if I happened to be in the right track.

The same applies so that a vehicle trying to pass us going in the same direction can also see two cycles one ahead of the other. However, to help a vehicle get around us, I'll go to the right track and close up so that he/she can get around us quickly.

What's your thoughts?
 

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Riding in a pair, I'd stagger the same way on straight road. But if we are doing spirited riding on curvy roads (often the case), I allow more distance and use the whole lane. This allows both of us to pick our best line through the curves. The dumbest scenario is the "Harley" side by side riding - unfortunately you still see that sometimes.
 

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If I am following you, both riders in line ? I have to disagree.. Take it for what it's worth I ride alone anyway. If I were with another bike I would want them behind to the left or right . Drivers in both directions are more likely to see two bikes side by side, then one in front of another.
I have nothing against group rides, except my necessity there has to be rules- I prefer to ride my own ride.
Two bikes out for a ride stay close enough so a cage can not cut them off, but each rider is responsible only to them self's and uses the other rider to improve there overall safety
Just my thinking . :)
 

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If I am sharing the same lane with one other biker I treat it as if I and she were "needing" the whole lane. I will "encroach" upon a stop light, but never pull up even. If she is in front of me I let her go and then pull "biker tailgate duties."

If I am going first I make sure that a. - I am not an impediment,
and b. - I choose the correct lane for our shared velocity.
 

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When following, I normally take the opposite track (staggered) to allow the vehicles behind us a clear view of both motorcycles. If the person in front is riding the middle of the lane or switching tracks often, I'll take the inside track.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
billmeek said:
When following, I normally take the opposite track (staggered) to allow the vehicles behind us a clear view of both motorcycles. If the person in front is riding the middle of the lane or switching tracks often, I'll take the inside track.
Middle track - Grease strip - not recommended and usually the most likely place to pick up a nail or screew causing a flat.

Being staggered Left - leader, 2nd - Right track (1 - 2 seconds back).
If there is a car following you at reasonable distance and another vehicle tries to pass the one immediately behind, they would not be able to see the 2nd bike in the Right Track. If they had to pull in quickly due to on-coming vehicles could possibly force you off the road because of not knowing you were there.

That's why I usually follow in trail - I like to set up my turns and curves starting left handers in the right track and right handers in the left track. You can see farther into a curve and usually pick up the apex of the curve in this manner. Or start establishing a "rolling apex" if it's a long sweeper.
 

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Yupper said:
Middle track - Grease strip
In town, I'd agree. On the open road, the middle track is sometimes the best.... depends on road conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
billmeek said:
Yupper said:
Middle track - Grease strip
In town, I'd agree. On the open road, the middle track is sometimes the best.... depends on road conditions.
Maybe not as greasy, but usually the most likely area to pick up a nail or whatever, most debris tends to get into the center.

Also, you are more apt to be seen by a drive of a vehicle ahead of you if in the left track, as the interion rear view mirror is usually canted for the driver to see. Unless doing duty for make-up and etc :) .
 

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Yupper said:
Also, you are more apt to be seen by a drive of a vehicle ahead of you if in the left track, as the interion rear view mirror is usually canted for the driver to see.
... directly behind them. I've never seen a mirror set to look off to the left of center. I'm less concerned by the cages I'm following noticing me. It's my job to watch them and respond accordingly.

It's the fools behind and those pulling out you have to watch for. The major advantage I see in using the left lane is to put myself (and more importantly my taillights) directly in front of the vehicle behind me. If a vehicle is about to pass the one behind me, being in the left track also makes it more likely that the passing vehicle will notice a bike ahead. The tradeoff is obscuring the view of the bike in front of me. If they decide not to use the left lane, I certainly will. You have to ride your own ride.
 

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staggered riding

Yupper said:
billmeek said:
Being staggered Left - leader, 2nd - Right track (1 - 2 seconds back).
If there is a car following you at reasonable distance and another vehicle tries to pass the one immediately behind, they would not be able to see the 2nd bike in the Right Track. If they had to pull in quickly due to on-coming vehicles could possibly force you off the road because of not knowing you were there.

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The reason for "leader left track" and staggered 2nd rider right track is that each rider can be ( when not in the twisties) approx one second apart which is close enough cages won't tend to pull in between them and the leader being in the left track keeps a passing vehicle from pulling in to soon as they might do if the leader were in the right track.
This infomation comes from the Oklahoma DMV and Southern Cruisers Riding Club. :lol:
 

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rear view mirror

billmeek said:
... directly behind them. I've never seen a mirror set to look off to the left of center. I'm less concerned by the cages I'm following noticing me. It's my job to watch them and respond accordingly.

.
Those sources also say that you should (if your by yourself or the lead bike) be in the left track when stopping behind a vehicle because the driver in the vehicle ahead can see you both in his rear view and side mirrors. It also says that it can give you a place to go if the vehicle coming up behind is not stopping.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
by yourself or the lead bike) be in the left track when stopping behind a vehicle because the driver in the vehicle ahead can see you both in his rear view and side mirrors. It also says that it can give you a place to go if the vehicle coming up behind is not stopping.

Just make sure you are not right on the guy's bumper in front, leaving room to go to those avenues of escape if it looks like someone coming up from behind isn't stopping for whatever reason.

I haven't gotten into a vehicle (not mine) that I can remember whose inside rear view mirror wasn't angled to the left.
 

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Yupper said:
...Middle track - Grease strip - not recommended and usually the most likely place to pick up a nail or screew causing a flat.
The right shoulder is the most likely place to find debris, nails, etc. A passing truck can cause a gust to blow that debris into the right track of the right lane. (Have you ever noticed that in cars, right tires are more likely to go flat than left ones?)

When riding solo, I think the center of the road is generally the safest place to be, and when riding in groups of two or more, staggered with the lead in the left track is recommended.
 

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yes it says that too

Yupper said:
Just make sure you are not right on the guy's bumper in front, leaving room to go to those avenues of escape if it looks like someone coming up from behind isn't stopping for whatever reason.

I haven't gotten into a vehicle (not mine) that I can remember whose inside rear view mirror wasn't angled to the left.
You are correct, those sources also say not to stop too close. :wink:
It gives you room to move if you need to. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
"The right shoulder is the most likely place to find debris, nails, etc. A passing truck can cause a gust to blow that debris into the right track of the right lane."

Normally you wouldn't be riding on the right shoulder. The turbulence created under 4 wheelers (or bigger) tends to locate most debris in the center track.

Though you can usually spot a Newbie" (cycle or scooter) rider, as they will be hugging that right edge of the pavement - almost on the shoulder.. I think this if from lacking the confidence to establish their position in/on the lane of traffic. Or, they'll be in that center track. Just observe when you spot someone on an obviously new bike, you can usually tell an experienced rider from a newbie by where they are positioned.

I'll establish my position in the left tire track allowing a second for every 10 mph behind a vehicle that may be ahead, and maintain that unless
setting up for a left hander for which I'll move to the right track.
 

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Yupper said:
Brian said:
"The right shoulder is the most likely place to find debris, nails, etc. A passing truck can cause a gust to blow that debris into the right track of the right lane."
Normally you wouldn't be riding on the right shoulder. ....
Who said anything about riding on the right shoulder? Read my post again, please.

Yupper said:
The turbulence created under 4 wheelers (or bigger) tends to locate most debris in the center track.
I disagree. I stand by my post above.

Yupper said:
...allowing a second for every 10 mph behind a vehicle that may be ahead...
The usual rule isn't 1 second for every 10MPH, it's one second for every ten feet of vehicle length (with a 2 second minimum). Or one car length per 10MPH, but I prefer using seconds because it's easier to judge using landmarks.

If you're going by seconds, then the distance automatically increases as your speed increases. Think about it; how many feet will you travel in one second at 10MPH, and how many feet will you travel in 1 second at 60MPH?

2 - 3 seconds, regardless of speed, is a good rule of thumb for motorcycles and cars on dry pavement in good visibility.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Not to get into a P'ing contest with you Brian, but I'll ride the left track and you can ride the center and we'll see who has the first flat.

At 60 mph, I'd rather have 6 seconds between me and the vehicle ahead. I'll have to dig into Proficient Motorcycling or More Proficient Motorcycling to give you the stopping distance from 60 mph including reaction time - believe Dave Hough included it in one of his books. I believe reaction time average is 1.5 to 2 seconds, and at 60 how much distance is eaten up before brakes start in?
 

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I would have to agree with Brian (and my motorcycle safety instructors). As nice as it would be to maintain a 10th of a mile gap between vehicles at 60MPH (6 seconds) it isn't very realistic if there is any traffic on the road. People love to fill in the gaps and you would virtually come to a stop as folks pass you and shorten your stopping distance ahead of you.
While left tire track is nice, on a 2 lane highway (at freeway speeds of 70+MPH) I don't wish to be that close to oncoming traffic with nary but a double yellow/dashed line between me and their turbulance/cages.
I also agree that right track can have more gravel, dirt, debris 'sucked' onto the roadway off the right shoulder from trucks and other vehicles passing by (especially at higher speeds) and it is often blown back off but then back on again, rinse/repeat. Around here the tire tracks can be the roughest part of the road (in several places) with dips/ruts/ripples/etc.
I ride mostly in the center of the lane until I get into town (especially at intersections) and then i usually ride left track.
 

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Yupper said:
...At 60 mph, I'd rather have 6 seconds between me and the vehicle ahead. ...I believe reaction time average is 1.5 to 2 seconds...
If you're reaction time is 1.5 to 2 seconds I recommend seeing a neurologist. ;)

You'd also be in trouble at 10MPH since you said, "allowing a second for every 10 mph." That means you'd crash into the vehicle ahead of you before you had time to react.

Fortunately most people's reaction time is measured in fractions of a second.

The point of using the "seconds system" instead of the "car lengths system" is that it automatically increases your following distance as your speed increases.

2 seconds at 60MPH is further back than 2 seconds at 30MPH, and so on.
 

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Selias said:
...As nice as it would be to maintain a 10th of a mile gap between vehicles at 60MPH (6 seconds) it isn't very realistic if there is any traffic on the road. People love to fill in the gaps and you would virtually come to a stop as folks pass you and shorten your stopping distance ahead of you. ...
That's a real problem with my coaches. Our 40-footers are supposed to maintain a 4 to 6 second gap, and our 60-footers are supposed to be 6 - 8 seconds back. But trying to maintain those distances during rush hour is hard, because people following the coach pass it on the right and then cut back into the HOV lane just barely ahead of the coach. So the coach has to slow down, causing other drivers to go around. It's a viscious cycle. I think during rush hour the HOV lanes should be "Transit Only" lanes (Vancouver, BC, does that I think).
 
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