Important Motorcycle Hand Signals on the Road

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Motorcycle riders have no means of communicating which led to the invention of motorcycle hand signals. Each hand signal represents something and it makes communication between drivers possible. If you’re a motorcycle rider, then you must familiarize yourself with the important motorcycle hand signals on the road.

What are the hand signals?

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Important Motorcycle Hand Signals on the Road
Important Motorcycle Hand Signals on the Road
  • Right turn: The driver will extend his left arm out while keeping it bent at the elbow with a ninety-degree angle. The fist should be clenched.
  • Left turn: The rider will extend his left arm out. The palm of the hand must be open and facing downwards.
  • Stop: The rider will extend his left arm out. It will be bent at the elbow forming a ninety-degree angle, like the right turn signal. This time, however, the palm is open, pointing downwards, and facing back.
  • Hazard in roadway: This position is quite tricky as it uses two limbs instead of just one arm. The left arm will be extended to point to the specific hazard on the road. The right foot will be extended outward to point to a specific hazard on the road.
  • Turn signal: Unlike cars, bikes do not have lights to serve as turn signals. The rider should extend his left arm out to indicate that he is turning left. The fingers should open and close on the palm while the thumb is extended outward.
  • Cops ahead: You might want to warn someone from the back that there are cops ahead. To do this, top over your head using your left hand. Keep the palm open.

Hand signals for group riding

Important Motorcycle Hand Signals on the Road
Important Motorcycle Hand Signals on the Road
  • Speed up: You might want to ask the vehicle behind you to speed up or overtake. To do this, extend your left arm outward. The palm should be facing upward. Swing your arm up and down to signal to speed up.
  • Slow down: This is the same as the “speed up” signal except that the palm is facing downward. Swing your arm to your side and back up again.
  • Follow me: Stick your left arm up from your shoulder. Your palm should be open and facing forward.
  • Single file or double file: This signal is to ask your fellow riders to form a single lane. Extend your left arm upward. It should be bent at the elbow at ninety degrees. Extend your index finger to indicate that you want to form a single file. Extend both your index finger and your middle finger to indicate a double file.
  • Pullover: This signal is to ask your mates to pull over the side of the road. Extend your left arm upward and diagonally. Extend your index finger outward with the rest of your fingers forming a fist. Wave your finger toward your right shoulder. Repeat as necessary.
  • Fuel: To signal a quick gas stop, point to your tank using your left arm. Make sure that your elbow is jutted out to make the motion noticeable.
  • Comfort stop: Extend your left arm downward and diagonally. Form a fist with your fingers and wave it up and down in short motions.
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