It is important to keep close ranks and a safe distance. A close group takes up less space on the highway, is easier to see and is less likely to be separated by traffic lights. Driving in a close group, however, must be done properly.
Don’t pair up
Although motorcycles are permitted to ride two abreast in a traffic lane, it is not recommended practice to operate directly alongside another motorcycle. If you have to avoid another vehicle or something in the road, you will have no place to go. If you have to speak to another rider, wait until you both have stopped.
The best way to keep close ranks and yet maintain an adequate distance is through a staggered formation. The leader rides to the left side of the lane while the second rider stays a little behind and rides to the right side of the lane. A third rider would take the left position a two-second distance behind the first rider. The fourth rider would be a two-second distance behind the second rider. This formation allows the group to be more compact, allowing traffic to pass. On multi-lane roads, a following distance of three seconds or more is recommended.
Staggered formation can be safely used on an open highway. However, a single file should be resumed on curves, during turns or when entering or leaving a highway.
When riders in a staggered formation want to pass another vehicle, they should do it one at a time. When it is safe to do so, the lead rider should pull out and pass. When the leader returns to the lane, he or she should take the left lane position and keep going to open a gap for the next rider.
As soon as the first rider is safely by, the second rider should move to the left position and watch for a safe chance to pass. After passing, this rider should return to the right lane position and open up a gap for the next rider.
When group riding with multiple lanes, always maintain a staggered position with the lead bike in the left front corner of the lane.
When passing another vehicle, always pass on the left.