Do You Need Turn Signals On A Motorcycle – Most motorcycle hand signals are fairly intuitive, especially when combined with appropriate body language; however, new riders without proper training may get confused at first encounter. When proper signaling is critical to safety, such as during large group rides or track days, riders’ important hand signals should be communicated during the pre-ride meeting.
Although motorcycle hand gestures are something most riders learn during their driver’s license test, they are often forgotten and not used when absolutely necessary. For example, if your signal lights are broken or if you’re riding in a large group, communication between riders via hand signals is just as critical to staying safe as equipment like motorcycle jackets and gloves. Read below to learn or refresh yourself on the different hand signals motorcyclists give each other on the road.
Do You Need Turn Signals On A Motorcycle
To let the group know you’re going to turn left. The signal can be used to break away or lead the group, depending on whether you are leading or following. Signal by extending your left arm outward with your palm facing down.
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Let the group know that you are right-handed. Use this signal to lead or leave the group, depending on your status in the group (lead or follow). Bend your elbow 90 degrees, then point your clenched fist at the sky to complete the cue.
When the leader of the peloton gives the “stop” signal, it should cause a chain reaction back to the last rider in the peloton. Signal by flexing your arm 90 degrees, keeping your palm open and your fingers pointed toward the road.
Inexperienced groups will benefit more from this signal. Expert groups rely more on body language. Use this to tell the rest of the group to go your speed while increasing their speed. Extend your arm and swing your palm to signal.
This signal is useful because motorcycles generate strong engine braking forces, which do not activate the rear-facing brake light. Reach out and wave your palm toward the road to tell everyone in the group to slow down.
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Used to announce a new, often self-proclaimed team leader. Also used to segment a large group into a smaller group. Signal by extending your arm forward at shoulder level with your palm facing up.
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Also known as “YOU! Follow me!” signal. It has 2 distinct parts. Start by pulling up on the rider you want to follow or lead. In one motion, point to their bike and then swing your arm forward. Repeat this movement until the other rider understands.
An easy gesture. Extend your left index finger and bend your arm toward the sky. In other words, ask those riding behind you, “How many?” and then indicate the answer by gesturing to you
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Bend your left arm at the elbow and point to the sky with your index and middle fingers. Don’t forget to include your index finger.
Push your arm to the left and shake your fist in short up-and-down motions, as if you were shaking a can of paint. Stop it only when the road or shoulder is clear of debris and there is enough space to go.
Indicate your intention to stop at a service station or restaurant. Do a “thumbs up” with your left hand and gesture toward your mouth (or the front of your helmet) as if your thumb were a straw sticking out of a glass of water.
To make a “wink” gesture with your left hand, alternate between extending your fingers and making a fist. Use this signal to let another rider know that he left his turn signals on, allowing him to save face at his next comfort or refreshment stop.
Motorcycle Hand Signals 101
Tell the rest of the group to get off the highway, either immediately or at the next exit. The pull off signal is given when the reason for the stop is other than a comfort or refreshment stop.
Notify your fellow riders of roadside police activity by tapping the top of your helmet with the palm of your left hand. Keep police officers and other first responders safe in our communities. Be careful and obey all laws when riding a motorcycle. Remember to follow best practices in case you get run over while on a bike.
When you ride with most groups, running out of gas will earn you a nickname you probably won’t like. Indicate your need to refuel by pointing at the fuel tank with your left index finger.
Most motorcycle hand signals are fairly intuitive, especially when combined with appropriate body language; however, new riders without proper training may get confused at first encounter. When proper signaling is critical to safety, such as during group rides or track days, riders’ important hand signals should be communicated during a pre-ride meeting.
Turn Signal Gloves In The Works
Pointing two fingers down is an easy way for riders to greet each other. Bikers also occasionally greet each other in a different way. For example, with a nod or gesture. Whatever you decide to do, it’s best to thank other riders on the road instead of ignoring each other.
Sometimes called the “biker’s wave,” riders may greet each other using a variety of hand signals. These include a nod, a traditional wave, a pointing finger, or even a palm-facing peace sign.
A thumbs up may mean that the road ahead is clear, however this signal has no general significance to motorcyclists.
Michael Padway uses his experience in personal injury and motorcycle accidents to represent a broad spectrum of first time permanent and life changing injury clients. Its offices are located at 235 Montgomery St., Ste 668, San Francisco, CA 94104 and 3140 Chapman St. Oakland, CA 94601. For more information, call (800) 928-1511. I’m a big fan of LED automotive lighting. Low horsepower and long life make these easy-to-install upgrades ideal candidates for modern motorcycling. Additionally, they can be found in countless shapes, sizes, and lumen sizes.
How To Test Motorcycle Turn Signals
If you don’t know what “lumen” refers to, let’s assume for our purposes that it’s a way of expressing the brightness of a light bulb. In asnomia, the definition reads “the intrinsic brightness of a celestial object (as distinct from its apparent brightness as reduced by distance).” Within the parameters of physics, that definition is abbreviated to “rate of emission of radiation, whether visible or not.”
After some serious long distance driving on the road, a friend told me that my rear left LED turn signal bulb blew. I looked for another one of the same model on a well-known but unmentioned website only to find that they no longer offer it. Apparently my favorite purchase (for all my motorcycles) was discontinued a while ago and anything with even light in their catalog is slightly too big for my signal wraps.
A little data mining around global-com-dot-web-net-inter-email (or so I hear it called) led to me purchasing the last of the T20-2538-30Y-1156 bulbs in stock. These 1156 amber LED signal bulbs are absolutely stunning, beaming 920 lumens into the visual spectrum of every motorist around you. In motorcycle safety circles, this is the epitome of all things “see and be seen.”
Notice the picture above. In it, both my turn signals are active at the same time … ie, “danger” mode. The
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Signal, however proud of what I decided to buy. It’s about 300 lumens brighter and more durable to boot. The difference may seem subtle…
Even though my latest make/model LED purchase is no longer available, finding high-brightness brake, signal, and even headlight bulbs for your motorcycle is easy. Just get the stock setup and compare its dimensions to any option you’re considering. Assuming each of the potential replacements is suitable, buy the one that reliably balances the lumen count and customer reviews.
Again, the right purchase should be a simple plug-and-play installation, meaning you can simply remove your stock 1156 and put the LED version in its place. The best LED
Load resistors defeat half the purpose of installing LED signal bulbs in the first place. Because LEDs require so little power, they’re gentler on your bike’s electrical system, allowing you to provide valuable amps/volts elsewhere (like, oh, I don’t know… spark).
How To Fix Fast Flashing Led Turnsignals
The only problem with this is that regular 1156 bulbs have a lower power draw, and many motorcycle signal relays time their flash rate based on that draw. Swapping out the stock for a non-resistor LED replacement has been known to cause “hyper-flash” or “steady on” behavior where the beacon behaves like a disco light or desk lamp when triggered. The solution is to install a replacement signal relay that matches your model and bypass all the stuff required by the bulb itself.
So, cowboy/cowgirl up, replace the stock flasher, get a set of tanning bed-worthy LED turn signals, and let those locked-in idiots know even if they’re texting their doctoral thesis to the cloud while driving at 75MPH!
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