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Discussion Starter #1
I am hoping to go on a weekend trip this weekend and part of it requires riding on the freeway I have rode only a few miles on highway so this will be more miles than I have done and just was wondering if there is any advice before I head out?
 

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Stay out of peoples blind spots, remember in the centre lanes you have no real blocking (visibility) position, don't treat the freeway like a race course.
 

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You probably know this as it's basic stuff but just in case:

When in the right lane try and stay in the left tire track. When in the left lane try and stay in the right tire track. Try and stay out of the middle lane.

Try and stay far enough back that if cars suddenly stop in front of you or move to avoid debris that you have lots of time to react and avoid the situation.

Keep up to speed with traffic.

Trucks can be a bit un-nerving if you aren't used to riding around them. The blast beside them can surprise you and buffeting behind them can be an issue.

If you have a pre-2012 DL650 or Pre-2014 DL1000 lowering the front of the bike by raising the forks can pay huge dividends in stability around trucks and in gusty conditions.

If you are caught in cross winds or other wind effects relax your grip and let the bike move around a bit. It will tend to stay fairly stable if you don't fight it.

..Tom
 

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On the freeway I stay in the cars rearview mirror and drivers side mirror. That puts me in the left track.

Don't hang around trucks. There's a lot of buffeting around them and bad stuff has been known to happen beside them. If there's a car in front of me going by a truck I hang back until they are clear and then get by the truck quickly.

Stay in the left most lane (US) for the most part. That way you only have to watch one side for cars encroaching. Go a bit faster than the average speed but let the speed demons by.
 

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Understanding why?

You probably know this as it's basic stuff but just in case:

When in the right lane try and stay in the left tire track. When in the left lane try and stay in the right tire track. Try and stay out of the middle lane.

..Tom
I'm always learning more about riding and would like to understand why you want to be in the right lane and the left tire track or left lane and the right tire track. I try to stay where I can see the driver in the mirrors but also like to be in a position where I can bail out to the shoulder of the road, especially in traffic - giving me the option to get out of the way if traffic stops and the car behind me doesn't or a car comes towards me from the center lane.
 

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I'm always learning more about riding and would like to understand why you want to be in the right lane and the left tire track or left lane and the right tire track. I try to stay where I can see the driver in the mirrors but also like to be in a position where I can bail out to the shoulder of the road, especially in traffic - giving me the option to get out of the way if traffic stops and the car behind me doesn't or a car comes towards me from the center lane.
if you're in the left tire track of the left lane your buffer zone is gone, cars can easily move into your lane to share it with you forcing you onto the shoulder/on coming traffic.
 

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All the above and practice/maintain good situational awareness all around you. Don't forget your mirrors and no hanging out in blind spots. Stay where you can see their face but don't assume they see yours.
 

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SO you can switch lanes and see beyond the vehicle ahead.

Strategy changes a bit for 3 lane + each way expressways.

Right lane is generally most dangerous with entering and exiting traffic plus trucks but new riders like to cling to it.
Very nerve racking.

Left lane is statistically safest but also fastest so you need to be willing to keep up with traffic....something new riders may find unnerving.....hell at times in Toronto I find it unnerving as it's prime territory for tail gaters at speed.

I'll try and isolate myself in a bit of a bubble of cars that are in the fast lane, stable speed and not tail gating.

Middle lane can be comfortable in flowing traffic but you have both sides to deal with. Good ear plugs are critical as wind and buffetting at freeway speeds is violent and can be unnerving as well as tiring.

I tend to find, and stats show it that moving slightly faster than traffic i useful as peoples vision pick up relative movement - when you are stationary in relation to another vehicle you tend to disappear....just the way our eyes are designed.

Slower than traffic is dangerous....just get off if you are not comfortable.....it's never racking for every one.
Also - your speedo is off by 10% so if you are showing 80 mph it's closer to 70.

Cross winds in fast moving traffic can feel like you are being pummelled from all sides....in particular the vortex off the back corner of a double trailer upwind of you can hammer you very very hard.
Be prepared for it when going by and if possible avoid getting in the downwind shadow of a long trailer in a cross wind.
Even a single transport can pack quite a punch off both the rear downwind corner AND the bow wave as you emerge out of the wind shadow.

It's fun once you are comfortable....kinda not so fun for a new rider...
Take it small doses at time and be super vigilant is you do ride in the right lane. Most accidents occur there.
Good luck.
 

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SO you can switch lanes and see beyond the vehicle ahead.

Strategy changes a bit for 3 lane + each way expressways.

Right lane is generally most dangerous with entering and exiting traffic plus trucks but new riders like to cling to it.
Very nerve racking.

Left lane is statistically safest but also fastest so you need to be willing to keep up with traffic....something new riders may find unnerving.....hell at times in Toronto I find it unnerving as it's prime territory for tail gaters at speed.

I'll try and isolate myself in a bit of a bubble of cars that are in the fast lane, stable speed and not tail gating.

Middle lane can be comfortable in flowing traffic but you have both sides to deal with. Good ear plugs are critical as wind and buffetting at freeway speeds is violent and can be unnerving as well as tiring.

I tend to find, and stats show it that moving slightly faster than traffic i useful as peoples vision pick up relative movement - when you are stationary in relation to another vehicle you tend to disappear....just the way our eyes are designed.

Slower than traffic is dangerous....just get off if you are not comfortable.....it's never racking for every one.
Also - your speedo is off by 10% so if you are showing 80 mph it's closer to 70.

Cross winds in fast moving traffic can feel like you are being pummelled from all sides....in particular the vortex off the back corner of a double trailer upwind of you can hammer you very very hard.
Be prepared for it when going by and if possible avoid getting in the downwind shadow of a long trailer in a cross wind.
Even a single transport can pack quite a punch off both the rear downwind corner AND the bow wave as you emerge out of the wind shadow.

It's fun once you are comfortable....kinda not so fun for a new rider...
Take it small doses at time and be super vigilant is you do ride in the right lane. Most accidents occur there.
Good luck.
I have a quibble with this, the left lane is not the FAST lane, it's the passing lane, stay out of it unless you're passing.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the great information. So I am riding the 2012 650 with fork brace, Givi windshield, mirror extenders. Some additional information

1.) I try very hard not to speed, but have no issues with going 60-80 on the V-Strom if needed.

2.) After the first few times getting hit by wind from big trucks going the other direction I have gotten very used to it and prepare for it when I see them coming. Relax the grips, lean forward over the fuel tank slightly and let the bike shift in the lane and not over correct.

3.) I would have thought left lane, left tire track would be good position but see the logic of being left lane and right tire track to protect your position from merging cars in right lane. I will use this.

4.) I stay away from right lane whenever possible because of on coming and off going traffic, just don't trust the cars to be able to merge correctly when a bike is on the freeway in the lane they are merging into. Friend said this is where he had to most close calls.

5.) I figure a three second gap between me and car in front should be good, if car merges in front of me increase gap to 3 seconds again.

6.) Beside checking to make sure can see eyes of driver in front, will constantly check mirrors to confirm no one is tailgating me. I assume if someone is just move to other lane let them pass and merge back into position and create buffer of 3 seconds again.

7.) My feelings are the freeway/highway is no place to be screwing around and need to be 100% alert.

Anything else that I should be thinking about? Once again some great advice. :smile2:
 

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Do not expect anybody to notice you. Do not stay in a car's blind spot, their 4-5 o'clock & 7-8 o'clock positions. If you can't see a truck's mirrors, there is no way the driver can see you. Be wary of ruts worn in the road by tires, specially if they are water filled. Pick the lane that has the best escape route.
 

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A rider need to be more alert on high way. Cause everyone is in high speed and expect empty roads.
Follow these guidelines for safe riding.
  • Make sure your visibility.
  • Lane split is one off the most common reason for the highway accidents.
  • When some truck passes across you make sure your stability.
Last and most important don't try to impress the chicks. :grin2:
 

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Another reason for the right track of the left lane and left track of the right lane is that too many people set their side view mirrors to see more to the rear than to the sides. Stay where they can see you. Of course, you don't have to and shouldn't ride there all the time, but be there when there is someone in the ajoining lane who might be thinking about coming into your lane. See and be seen.
 

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Are you doing your part to be pro-actively visible? Cage drivers can lower their awareness with music and cell phone chat: If you bike is blacked out cool, and you wear dark clothes, don't expect folks to spot you, or remember your position. If a driver spots you, but is in a lower state of awareness, the driver can forget they saw you within 5 seconds. The human brain is LAZY: Wear bright clothes, and perhaps daytime bright running lights. Hi-Viz works much better than a defensive horn blast.
 

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with all this lefty lane advice, don't be a left lane hog, its there for passing, don't be an a-hole
Most of the freeways in SoCal have a car pool lane as the very left lane. Legal for motorcycles to travel in. So no it's not for passing only.
 

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Over 30 years of riding I think I've heard every lane position rule advocated. Usually for perfectly sound reasons. My personal practice is to have no rule. It is continuously situational, re-examined, and adjusted based on the continuously shifting risk factors and the occasional gut feeling. Generally, even though statistically the slab is safer, I avoid it whenever possible and practical.
 

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You probably know this as it's basic stuff but just in case:

When in the right lane try and stay in the left tire track. When in the left lane try and stay in the right tire track. Try and stay out of the middle lane.

Try and stay far enough back that if cars suddenly stop in front of you or move to avoid debris that you have lots of time to react and avoid the situation.

Keep up to speed with traffic.

Trucks can be a bit un-nerving if you aren't used to riding around them. The blast beside them can surprise you and buffeting behind them can be an issue.

If you have a pre-2012 DL650 or Pre-2014 DL1000 lowering the front of the bike by raising the forks can pay huge dividends in stability around trucks and in gusty conditions.

If you are caught in cross winds or other wind effects relax your grip and let the bike move around a bit. It will tend to stay fairly stable if you don't fight it.

..Tom
I'm sorry but I have to disagree with some of these recommendations. If you consciously try to keep a cushion between you and everyone else around you this would always keep you on the far side of your lane. If in the extreme left lane, that would put you to the extreme left of that lane. In the right, you'd be to the right. The center lane is the worst place to find yourself because now you're vulnerable to drivers on both sides of you doing stupid things. If you have an HOV lane, use it. Stay to the left of that lane as well incase some impatient idiot decides to cross the double white line and enter you're lane. Staying behind 18 wheelers will create dirty air that will bounce you around. Either stay back far enough to avoid this or change lanes. Driving on the highways and Interstates is generally safer than smaller roads because there are fewer intersections to negotiate. As an example, driving in a town with crossroads and intersections you are more vulnerable to other drivers making left turns in front of you, drivers coming out of parking lots etc. Also consider every driveway as an intersection and you start to understand what I'm talking about. Once you acclimate to highway speeds you'll be able to "relax" a bit. My advice would be to take some advanced rider courses with your own bike to become aware of situations you don't want to find yourself. Always avoid other drivers blind spots. Might seem obvious but this is a common mistake riders make. Try and see the drivers face in their side view mirror. If your next to their passenger door they probably don't realize you're there.The last bit of advice is whenever coming upon another vehicle try and imagine the stupidest thing they might do in the current situation. Be prepared because 9 times out of 10 you won't be disappointed. They'll do it.
 
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