A recent article from Visor Down iexplains some of the procedures for passing another vehicle. This article is from the UK where they drive on the other side of the road so when they mention stay in the right portion of the lane it would be on the right side in North America. See the article here.

photo courtesy of Visor Down

If you are riding with a group it is important to set the rules before you start the bikes. Reinforce the fact that it is up to each rider to determine if it is safe to pass. Just because the lead rider passes the vehicle doesn’t mean it’s safe for the other riders to follow. A group of riders may choose to break the staggered riding positions into a single file formation in the left hand tire track to provide better visibility. it’s a good idea to allow more distance between bikes.

Another common practice involves leap frogging a series of slower vehicles. The lead rider passes one vehicle while the rest of the group remains. As the first rider makes another pass the second rider makes their first pass. The process continues until the group of slower vehicles is passed.

The leap frogging procedure should never be done to another group of motorcycles that are riding in formation. If it’s not safe to pass the entire formation don’t pass at all. It is not cool to nose into a string of bikes. Don’t do it, it freaks out everyone and can cause a multiple bike pile up.

Bluetooth motorcycle communicators are invaluable in this situation. The lead rider can say “hey, hang back, I’ll pass the first car and let you know if it’s clear to pass”. Failing the ability to communicate by voice you can always use hand signals. Once again the pre-ride talk is a good place to actually communicate what the signals mean.

The power and acceleration of most motorcycles means its easy to dispatch with other slower vehicles. Still, passes need to be planned to be safe. Always prioritize safety over impatience and have predetermined meeting points if your group gets separated.