Image source: Motorcycle Legal Foundation
If you’re new to riding, or riding in a group of 2 or more, you will want to know some basic hand gestures for keeping you and other riders in your group safe. See the animated chart above for a full list of common hand signals that go a bit beyond just a friendly wave when passing other riders on the roads.
Each group might have some variation of the universal signals, but hand signals for turning, slowing, and stopping tend to stay universal.
Braking or Stopping
In most cases simply relying on your brake light to indicate that you are stopping or slowing is the safest bet as removing your left hand from the bars is not particularly the best way to stop or slow your motorcycle, and many experienced riders will most likely be looking for brake lights before hand signals.
Courtesy Hand Signals
Riding in a large group could make it difficult to spot road hazards like potholes, roadkill, and other things that should be avoided. Riders in front of you might point these out to warn riders behind them. Keep the trend of pointing these features out for riders behind you.
Keep in mind that properly signaling to other riders helps keep everyone safer on the road. Always use common sense and rely on your brake lights and turn signals before signaling to others, especially in heavy traffic or emergency situations.