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Motorcycle Hand Signals


Posts : 163
Points : 313
Reputation : 8
Join date : 2010-07-30
Locale/District : New Era, Cavite
Age : 35

Motorcycle Hand Signals

Post by R1616 on Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:57 pm

Left Turn

This is one of the hand signals that the law requires you to know. If
you do not have blinkers you can signal you are making a left turn by
extending your left arm straight out at a 90 degree angle to your body.
Even car drivers that don't know these signals can figure this one out
pretty easily. Signaling this way makes you much more noticeable and I
have started doing this as well as turning on my blinker when I am
merging into the freeway. Anything that can make cages more aware of my
presence on the freeway is a good thing in my book.

Right Turn

(Note: Turning right is actually indicated with an open palm, not the
closed fist like I have it pictured. Thanks Megaspaz!) Like the left
turn this is another hand signal that you should know if you have your
license. Unlike the left hand turn this one is a little more tricky to
figure out if you aren't familiar with it so don't expect your average
car driver to know what this means. To signal a right turn extend your
left arm out and bend it at the elbow so your hand is pointing upwards.
The reason this is done is because motorcyclists control their speed
with the throttle in their right hand, so they can't very well extend
their right arm to signal or else they would slow down.

Roadway Hazard Left (Hand and Leg)

If you are leading a ride or there are any other motorcyclists
following you it is helpful if you point out hazards in the roadway as
you pass them. This could be roadkill, large potholes, pools of oil, or a
spot of gravel in a turn. If it is on the left an easy way to do this
is by pointing at the object with your left hand at a 45 degree angle.
An even more universal and safer way to do this is by pointing at the
offending object with your left foot. I prefer using my foot that way I
can keep both hands on the handlebars and there is no confusing what I
am trying to say.

Roadway Hazard Right (Leg)

Like the left hazard if you spot something dangerous on the right
just point at it with your right foot. You can't signal with your right
hand though which is another reason why you should just get used to
pointing at things with your feet instead of your hands.

Your blinker is on!

Although not an official hand signal by any means, I've recently been
wanting a way to signal riders that one of their turn indicators is on.
Motorcycles do not automatically turn off their blinkers after you
successfully negotiate a turn so sometimes new riders forget they are on
and will be riding for miles signaling that they are turning left! I've
found the best way to signal that a riders blinker is on is to get in
their field of vision and raise your left arm out while opening and
closing your fist rapidly. You can combine this with turning on your
turn signal briefly and then shutting it off after making the hand sign.
I've only done this once personally and the other person seemed to get
it. Feel free to let me know in the comments if you have any other ideas
for a signal that might be more clear than this.

Slow Down

If you see a corner up ahead that isn't marked but you know its a
hairpin that everyone is going too fast for, it's good to signal
everyone to slow down before you reach it. Do this by extending your
left hand to the side and motion downward like you are patting a dog on
the head. This is a fairly self explanatory hand sign and even someone
that hasn't seen it before should understand what it means. It's also
good if you feel like another rider (or driver!) is following you too

Cop or Speedtrap Ahead

Probably one of the most important signals for me is the 'Police
Ahead!" motion. Unlike a lot of the other signs it might be a little
confusing if you haven't seen it before. If you pass a speed trap and
you see another rider heading towards it warn them by taking your left
hand and tapping the top of your helmet a couple times. I'm pretty sure
the reason for this sort of awkward hand sign is because police have
lights on the top of their vehicles, so by tapping your helmet you are
saying, "Hey man, watch out for cars with lights on top, also known as

I have personally been saved on 3 separate occasions because a fellow
rider has been nice enough to warn me of cops ahead. Once was on a trip
from San Jose, CA to Carson City, NV and on the last leg of my trip I
was on a fairly deserted road at 5am in the morning. I hadn't seen
another car in a while but I just happened to pass a biker who gave me
the ol' helmet tap routine. I waved and slowed down my pace that might
have been a little faster than the posted speed limit.. *cough cough*.
The next hill I crested had a cop sitting right there that would have
zapped me for sure! I am very lucky that the motorcyclist happened to
drive by that day and save me from a beefy speeding ticket.
The moral of this story is to signal other riders of all the dangers
you might cross whether they be potholes or police officers. Not only
does it leave you with a warm tingly feeling but you also get good karma
for every rider you save from danger! Build up that karma my fellow
riders and we can all ride a lot safer.

Source: Motorcycle Hand Signals

    Current date/time is Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:02 am