When you’re on your two wheels or four wheels, besides the road rules that you are ought to follow, something called Road Etiquette is the name of the game. The Road Etiquettes are the unwritten rules that every civilized rider must follow.
When we talk about these etiquette, it is both a rider’s code and a set of safety precautions that keep both you and other riders out of trouble on the road. Most of it comes down to common sense and being considerate of other riders, in simple words, being a civilized rider. Not following these rules won’t just make you look dumb; it could get you killed. So if you want to stay safe, make friends and earn some good biker karma, make sure you commit this list to memory.
For every rider, the first stage of etiquette is watching out for the well-being of every biker on the road, and that starts with obeying some ground rules.
- Obey the rules of the road
When you’re on a bike, you are a representative of every other biker. Whether or not it’s right, other drivers don’t differentiate one biker from another. When you weave in and out of traffic, cut off a driver, or cut to the front of the line, you make other biker also do the same and hence make them look bad.
- Obey the unwritten rules
Beyond the general traffic rules, there are unwritten rules bikers follow with one another. One of the most important is to check on other riders if you see them stopped on the roadside. It could be they just need a break. It could also be that they are out of gas, had a flat tire, or they’re having engine trouble. In any case, what goes around comes around, and you’ll be glad to have the help when it’s you stuck on the side of a lonely road.
- Be respectful
Not everyone can afford a custom Sportster. And not everyone wants a Kawasaki Ninja. The fact remains, whether you’re on a KTM Duke or a Pulsar 220, you’re on a bike, and so is your fellow rider. Respect that !
- Pass courteously
When you’re cruising on the open highway and you approach another rider, you have to ride with them for a few hundred feet before going past them. This isn’t a law or anything; it is proper etiquette to show other riders your respect.
- Riding in groups
It’s okay to fall behind as you can always catch up when the group stops for a break. Remember, it’s not a race. Riding ahead, however, is rude.
- Don’t ignore your skill level
This is perhaps the single most important piece of motorcycle etiquette. Whether you’re on a solo ride, a quick trip to the store, or on a long-distance ride with a group, don’t ignore your comfort level with your bike. You don’t have to be the first one off the line at a stop light. You don’t need to take that curve as fast as another rider, nor do you need to push your bike to top speeds on the highway. You know your skill level. Trust that. After all, you’re already on a bike; you’ve got nothing to prove.
- Parking etiquette
When you park your bike next to other bikes, be sure to leave enough room for other rider to mount up.
- Give way to ambulance
We might be in a hurry to reach our destination, but an Ambulance is in a hurry to save somebody’s life. Always make way for ambulance while it is behind.
- Don’t be abusive: Avoid road rage
The last and the most important in the category, DON’T BE ABUSIVE! Your reaction may define somebody else’s too. No matter what the situation becomes, abusive language doesn’t bring it to a solution. Rather, patience and soft-spoken tone shall bring the matter into calmness.
One of the great things about owning a motorcycle is being part of a greater community. This brother and sisterhood is filled with people who understand how rough it is to ride in the rain, deal with heat and fend off spiders that have made a home in their helmet.
If some of these rules don’t seem intuitive, don’t worry; they’ll come naturally with time. These unwritten rules will help you safely navigate unpredictable roads and properly interact with your fellow riders. Feel free to share this with both your rider and non-rider friends alike!