Whilst new and innovative displays are being created all the time, they are all variations of the six basic motorcycle formations. The following chart will help you to recognise these formations as you encounter them in and around your local neighbourhood.
Formation 1: The Classic Kitchener Formation
Based on the original WWI formation, this structure offers the greatest stability and is often used to support bridges and monuments.
Formation 2: The Reverse Kitchener
Used towards the end of the war, when a reversal of fortunes led to shortage of men and a surfeit of bikes.
Formation 3: Motorbike Juggling
A highly specialised skill, requiring great strength, timing and a sturdy helmet. Skilled jugglers can often handle up to nine bikes at a time. In 1957, legendary Russian bike juggler, Gregor Ivitchovitch managed a record-breaking sixteen, before being killed by a falling Suzuki.
Formation 4: The Sleeping Mongoose
Based on a traditional yak formation employed by the Chinese during the Pang dynasty. Requires some degree of levitation.
Formation 5: Stealth Formation
Currently employed by the Royal Artillery. The top section is detachable and is effectively invisible to radar.
Formation 6: Elephant Pyramid
This formation has no military or strategic value and is rarely used in shows as it is cumbersome, ungainly and causes significant damage to both men and machinery. It is, however, a fairly effective way of transporting elephants across reasonably short distances.