Basic Hand Signals for Motorcyclists

Hand Signals for Motorcyclists pic
Hand Signals for Motorcyclists
Image: lifehack.com

Christopher Dabney spent four years with the United States Marine Corps as an infantry rifleman and team leader. Christopher Dabney enjoys leading an active lifestyle, which includes playing rugby and riding his Yamaha R6 motorcycle.

One of the first steps individuals must take after purchasing a motorcycle is to learn the appropriate hand signals. These signals are especially important when riding in a large group, a common practice among motorcyclists. The start engines signal is always the first gesture riders make before beginning a ride. To signal this action, riders must simply raise one of their arms straight up in the air and make a repetitive, circular motion with the index finger.

As a ride progresses, motorcyclists need to make further signals, particularly for turning, braking, and notifying others in the group of obstacles or hazards in the road. A left turn is signaled by extending one’s left arm horizontally over the road, while a right turn is signaled by extending the left arm and bending at the elbow, creating a 90 degree angle.

Riders can extend the left arm down toward the road at a 45 degree angle and move the hand in a brief up-and-down motion, similar to the motion of petting a dog, to indicate decreased speed. A full stop is also signaled by creating a downward, 45 degree angle, though riders should keep their hand still with the palm facing backward in the direction of trailing riders. Finally, to signal hazards in the road, individuals can use the left arm to point down at the road in the direction of the obstacle. If the hazard is to the right of riders, individuals can either signal with the right arm or hold their hand over their helmet.

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