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Some motorcycle riders prefer to hit the road alone. Others find catharsis in cruising in big groups. For the latter, riders must communicate to avoid collisions, pass safety information, or let other riders know they’re stopping. So, how do motorcycle riders communicate on the road? Well, here are a few ways motorcycle riders stay in constant communication, like Bluetooth intercoms and hand signals. 

Motorcycle riders communicate via everything from Bluetooth technology to hand signals

As you might imagine, riding a motorcycle is a much more tactile experience than driving a car. Between throttle, clutch, front brakes, and rear brakes, motorcycle riders use both hands and both feet to operate their bikes. That, and riding out in the elements exposes riders to higher noise levels than motorists in their cars, trucks, and SUVs. As such, motorcyclists need to maintain communication while they ride.

Fortunately, motorcycle riders have many options for communicating with their fellow travelers. The unequivocal best choice for riders is a helmet-mounted Bluetooth setup, like a Sena or Cardo system. With a Bluetooth intercom system, riders in groups can add multiple devices to one conversation. Consequently, the group can effortlessly share information like hazards, waypoints, and speed traps. 

Better yet, when you aren’t using your Bluetooth system to intercom with other riders or place phone calls, you can use it for turn-by-turn navigation or music. Of course, we don’t recommend listening to anything too loud or distracting. Motorcycle riders are much more likely to stay safe if they can hear potential hazards. 

A motorcycle rider shows off his Bluetooth system.
A rider shows off his Bluetooth intercom system | megaflopp via iStock

Beyond technology, riders can use hand and arm signals to pass information to other motorcyclists and motorists. For instance, riders can use their hand to communicate a potential speed trap or police officer with a helmet tap. Here are a few popular hand signals to look for:

Popular hand signalMeaning
Tapping your helmet with a flat handSpeed trap or police officer ahead
Tapping or pointing to your gas tankI need fuel
Pointed right foot or left fingerPotential road hazard to either side
Swinging left hand with index finger and arm extendedLet’s pull off