Motorcycle Essentials > 16 Motorcycle Group Riding Hand Signals (Animated Chart)

16 Motorcycle Group Riding Hand Signals (Animated Chart)

motorcycle hand signals

Although motorcycle hand gestures are something that most riders learn as part of their motorcycle license exams, often they are forgotten and not used when actually needed. For example, if your signal lights are damaged, or if you’re riding in a large group, communication between riders via hand signals is critical to staying safe at all times.

Motorcycle Left Turn

Left turn For letting the group know you are turning left. The signal can be used to break from or to lead the group, depending on whether you are leading or following. Make the signal by extending your left arm straight out with your palm facing down.

Motorcycle Right Turn

Right turn  Let the group know you are turning right. Use this signal to lead or to break from the group, depending on your status in the group (leading or following). Bend your elbow 90 degrees, then point your clenched fist at the sky to complete the signal.

Motorcycle Stop

Stop When the leader of the group makes the “stop” signal, it should cause a chain reaction going all the way back to the last rider in the group. Make the signal by bending your arm 90 degrees, keeping your palm open, and pointing your fingers down at the road.

Motorcycle Speed Up

Speed Up Inexperienced groups will benefit most from this signal. Experienced groups rely more on body language. Use it to tell the rest of the group to match your pace by increasing their speed. Extend your arm and swing your palm in an upward direction to give the signal.

Motorcycle Slow Down

Slow Down This signal is useful because motorcycles generate intense engine-braking forces, which do not activate the rear-facing brake light. Extend your arm and swing your palm down toward the road to tell everyone in the group to slow down.

Follow Me

Follow Me Used to announce a new, often self-appointed group leader. Also used to segment a large group into a smaller group. Make the signal by extending your arm forward at the shoulder with your palm facing outward.

Motorcycle You Lead Come

You Lead/ComeAKA the “YOU! Follow me!” signal. It has 2 distinct parts. Start by pulling up alongside the rider you want to follow or lead. In one motion, point to their bike and then swing your arm forward. Repeat this motion until the other rider understands.

Motorcycle Road Hazard

Road Hazard This is a “2 in 1” signal. The signal is different depending on whether the hazard is to the right or the left. If the hazard is on the left, point with your left arm. Point with your right foot if the hazard is on the right.

Motorcycle Single File

Single File An easy gesture. Extend your left index finger and bend your arm up to the sky. In other words, pretend the riders behind you are asking “How many?” and then indicate the answer by gesturing with your left pointer finger.

Motorcycle Double File

Double File Bend your left arm at the elbow and point to the sky with your index and middle fingers. Do not forget to include your index finger.

Motorcycle Comfort Stop

Comfort Stop Poke your arm out to the left and shake your fist using short, up-and-down movements – as though shaking a can of paint. Make this stop only when the road or shoulder is debris-free and there is ample room to pull over.

Motorcycle Refreshments

Refreshment Stop Indicate your intention to stop at a gas station or restaurant. Make a “thumbs up” with your left hand and gesture toward your mouth (or the front of your helmet) as though your thumb is a straw poking up out of a glass of water.

Motorcycle Turn Signal On

Turn Signal On To make a “blinking” gesture using your left hand, alternate between extending your fingers and making a fist. Use this signal to let another rider know he left his blinker on, allowing him to save face during the next comfort or refreshment stop.

Motorcycle Pull Off

Pull Off Indicate to the rest of the group to pull off of the highway, either immediately or at the next exit. The pull off signal is given when the reason for the stop is something other than a comfort or refreshment stop.

Motorcycle Cops Ahead

Cops Ahead Let your fellow riders know about police activity up the road by patting the top of your helmet with your left palm. Keep our communities’ police officers and other first responders safe. Use caution and respect all laws when riding your motorcycle.

Motorcycle Fuel

Fuel When riding with most groups, running out of gas will earn you a nickname you probably won’t like. Communicate your need to refuel by pointing to your fuel tank using your left index finger.

Most motorcycle hand signals are fairly intuitive, especially when combined with appropriate body language; however, new riders may be confused upon first seeing them.

When proper signaling is crucial to safety, like during large group rides or track days, important hand signals should be communicated during a pre-ride meeting.

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  • Op
    March 6, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    Sorry to ask you is there any chance the police will raise both hand to signal the vehicle to slow down? 🙏

  • Edwin Azurin
    February 12, 2020 at 10:15 pm

    We also use some of this hand signals in our bicycle group whenever we go out as a group for a long ride…very useful.

  • Joe T
    December 27, 2019 at 4:20 am

    Another good one we use a lot is “turn around/U Turn” which looks a lot like the single file or pull off gesture, only you make large circles with your hand with pointer finger pointed strait up.

  • Jj Baker
    December 20, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    They should make all driver take a motorcycle awareness class

  • indiadrivesafe
    December 10, 2018 at 2:52 am

    Good article. It will be useful for my website readers as well.

  • Junaid
    October 15, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    Thanks for the post, I went through these hand signals. When i took the motorcycle class here in California but it’s a good reminder to go over this again.


  • Ontor Hasan
    October 9, 2018 at 1:28 am

    WoW! This information are useful for bike rider. Thanks for this information.

  • Bradley Rebecca
    August 10, 2018 at 6:05 am

    Great information. I am impressed from this post. I haven’t any word to appreciate this post. You share the actually right information here. Very useful and helpful blog. Thanks you share with me.

  • Motorcycle Gloves
    February 16, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    Very useful information. Thanks for your efforts and time.

  • Bike Hand Signals Cheat Sheet | Best Cheat SheetsBest Cheat Sheets
    January 9, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    […] You should take time to master hand signals and other laws to stay out of trouble. This cheat sheet by can […]

    • Leif
      April 3, 2019 at 10:36 am

      Actually the hand signs are part of the curriculum for both motorcycle and car driver licenses:-)

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