Communication is key when riding in a pack of motorcyclists. Given the noise of engines and cost of headset radios, simple hand signs have become the standard mode of communication between motorcyclists. A recent Los Angeles Times report describes some of the basic and most commonly used motorcycle hand signals.
The most frequently used signal consists of a finger pointing down at a 45 degree angle, meaning “hello” or “nice riding today.” A shake of the leg on one side of the motorcycle indicates the presence of debris on the road in the direction of the shake. If a rider left his turn signal on, he can open and close his fist repeatedly to indicate to other motorcyclists that he is not turning. Pointing down into the rider’s lap indicates the need to refuel, use the restroom or kill two birds with one stone. If a group of riders has passed a road they were supposed to turn on, a circling finger in the air says “turn around.”
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