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Discussion Starter #1
I know this is a bit off topic, but the "off-topic" board has crickets chirping.


In the October, 2006 issue (page eighteen) of Cycle World, a letter to the editor was critical of the magazines previous publication of a photo depicting "lane splitting", calling it "...one of the stupidest and unsafe traffic maneuvers a rider can do...one of those actions that give the rest of us a bad name."

The Cycle World response was this:

..."lane splitting is legal in California, where the photo was taken. Here and in virtually all of Europe, where threading between lines of jammed traffic has been recognized as a fuel- and time saving practice for decades, lane splitting is also vastly under-represented in accident statistics. It should be legal and encouraged in all 50 states."


How do you all feel about lane splitting?

How do you think others (in cars) might view lane splitting?
 

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OK keep in mind that I have had only 2 years experience
with a 250cc and 2months with the 650 strom.

I think it's ok to try it IF you
are experienced enough and IF the road
conditions are just right.

Having said that . . . I don't think over all
that it's some thing that one should do on a regular habit.
I feel it's inherently more dangers than sitting in traffic. . . not
so much because I don't thing the rider can pull it off safely
as much I feel that a cage drivers will do something
that could make it go all wrong.

I had a friend who was lane splitting between
parked cars on his right and moving cars to his left.
Some idiot opened the door to there parked car with out looking.
Suddenly my fiend had no avenue of escape. He was boxed in.
He had to lay the bike down. Lucky he was wearing
protective gear and was unharmed.



Yester day on the 94 I was stuck in traffic.
There was some sort of major ascendant up ahead that shut
down all 5 lanes. I was temped to lane split but it was raining that day
(rain = poor visibility and traction), and the cars were bunched to close for
my skill. I knew if some on did some thing stupid I might not be able
to take evasive action in time. I managed to get over to
the left edge and ride that up to the exit.
I did manage to get ahead of the jam on the
hi-way and when I got back on I was rewarded with a hi-way
that barley had a car on it. I did 60 to 80mph all the way home.
 

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Can anyone mention another country in the world where "Lane Spliting", "Filtering" or whaterever it's called is not "normal"? :?:

This is an honest question.
 

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Sure, Canada or at least Ontario. It's not illegal here but it is discouraged. In the two months I've been commuting with my bike, I have had a few occasions to stare longingly down that empty alley between the cars.

I have mixed feelings about it. I would like to do it, but there are too many idiots that would abuse it. Just look at how people ride bicycles. It might work if it were a recognized practice in the law. That way if a biker made contact with a car he/she could be charged with unsafe filtering or some such. Whether that would be practical in the real world I don't know.
 

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I do it all the time, one of the perks of being on a motorcycle, once you get used to it its no big deal. I went to the Peterson automotive museum in LA on 9/3 decided to take Pacific Coast hwy back north to Ojai. I hit PCH at Sunset blvd it was a parking lot all the way to Pt Dume about 10 or more miles. If I couldn't lane split I would still be sitting in traffic. I once followed a Gold Wing lane splitting, I was on my ST1300 I couldn't keep up with him.
 

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Storm Girl said:
He had to lay the bike down.
The actual meaning of that sentence is, " He locked up a wheel during a panic stop and dropped his bike." Practice emergency braking everybody.
 

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The main reason I bought a bike it because of lane sharing and the carpool lane. I ride 120 miles round trip to work 5 days a week. Living in southern california lane splitting is a blessing. I take the 15S-91W-55S-405N. I can carpool/toll road or lane split most of the way. Most days i end up following a group of other bikes. 1-2 times a week i end up following a motorcycle cop. In both cases (especially following CHP) it makes it a nice smooth ride. If i could not lane split I would drive a car and my 1 hour commute would be around 2 hours.

http://www.turboderek.com
 

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I lane split every day on my commute on Hwy 94 San Diego. All statistics, unfortunately I don't have them say splitting lanes is safer than sitting in stop and go traffic. The chances are way higher that you will be rear ended than cut off. If done properly and at the right times and speeds it is a safe way of riding.

I will lane split at any speed as long as I feel it is safe, or putting me in a safer spot. If I am following a clump of traffic at 60-65 and see open hwy ahead, I will split to get out of the clump and on to the open road, where there is less chance of any one hitting me from any direction.

I do agree that it takes a certain kind of mind set and rider confidence. I have friends that have been riding for 15-20 years that do not feel comfortable splitting in traffic unless its stopped. And sometimes even then they don't feel comfortable.

One rule of thumb I use is not to split if the car has a space to get in to on the other lane. I only split when cars are side to side and wait for that moment. If there is a spot on the lane your chances that a car will take it are high, so let them and split right after they do.

In my 20 years of riding Kalifornia, I have had almost none lane splitting incidents, compared to 1 rear end, 1 dog, and multiple cars pulling in front of me or turning in front of me.
 

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greywolf said:
Storm Girl said:
He had to lay the bike down.
The actual meaning of that sentence is, " He locked up a wheel during a panic stop and dropped his bike." Practice emergency braking everybody.
True. I think David Hough talked about that in Proficient Motorcycling. There is no such thing as "having to lay the bike down to avoid a crash". That IS a crash.
 

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Everday,I commute on highway 101 round trip 60 miles.I dont like lane splitting,i am not very good at it either,but sometimes when traffic stops.i do it .I see some bikers reach more than 50mph between stopped cars.
 

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I only lane-split when the traffic is sitting still or barely moving. I don't do it on the freeway though.
 

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I agree. Without lane splitting, the 5 is a nightmare. I was quite surprised to read an article of the top 12 motorcycle myths, and one of them was that lane splitting is more dangerous was a MYTH! Its not! Studies show that sitting in the middle of a lot of cars is more dangerous!!! Traffic accidents in California as a result of lane splitting is rather low!

But lets define late splitting. My definition is on a freeway ONLY! Splitting between moving cars on the street and parked cars is just STUPID! Splitting on a surface street is just STUPID! Cars are a LOT more prone to making erratic and sudden moves on surface streets then on the freeway. Also going FAST during a late split is also stupid. Keep an eye out for open spaces as they tend to get filled by darting cars, and look out for rubber neckers or cell phone users. Also be careful of a late that's moving faster then others as cars always want to be in that lane and will take any opening suddenly and without looking.

Once you know what to watch out for, its like driving down a narrow alley, with lots of waist high mirrors to dodge. Honestly, most of the freeways in California you can lane split with a Mini Cooper!
 

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In UK we call it filterring. Its taken as red that you will do it. Sometimes bike friendly cars will even give you a bigger gap to go through. I filter between two lines ( on a dual carriageway ) of stationary traffic every day. Each rider does it to his/her own confidence level. Personally if the traffic is moving over 30mph I wont filter.

But other riders seem to filter whatever the speed of traffic. Its even easier on the strom where the mirrors are higher than those sticking out from a car.

That white line between the lanes is sometimes known as the 'bike only lane'

You have to be careful - sometimes car drivers take exception to your making good progress and close down the gap. Sometimes pedestrians step out between the lanes. Again having a strom gives you a good view ahead. Thankfully not so many big SUV's around here. Also drivers looking for a gap to switch lanes dont always see a bike coming. Cars have such big blind spots. I watch for the tell tale signs of a driver edging over, gaps appearing and half hearted driver shoulder checks.
 

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Lane Splitting is a must if you live in Southern California. It's also the most dangerous place to do it. Splitting the carpool lane is the safest place to do it with your engine in a lower gear than usual just so your bike makes more noise so cars will know you're there. You see some strange stuff people do in their cars while you ride past them in traffic.
 

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here in Quebec lane splitting is a 4points and 250$ fine and I would'nt even consider doing it with the kind of cagers we have here it would be suicide.
 

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I did practice emergency
braking at motorcycle safety school
but I know I need to practice with my own strom 650.
It's been raining for days and I need to put on my
lowering links first. I know and I know...excuses.

I know my skill level is not up to
filtering with the way I have seen people in Chicago drive.
I have seen cars speed up just to close a gap that you may have
gotten into just so there is one less person in in front of them
and for no other reson.
 

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Im not very comfortable splitting the carpool lane and the fast lane. First, there are those damn annoying reflectors there! Then, there are people that will brake the double double yellow without notice once they get too there braking point. There is more room, yes, but if the carpool is moving, then im moving with it, not splitting it.
 

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I do it whenever it needs to be done.
I would have to be an idiot to sit in traffic in NYC traffic when
I can just cut between the cars.
Most people are ok with it and many will make an effort to move
slightly out of my way in very heavy traffic. There is that 1% that would kill you if they could get away with it.
It's like I told one cager when he yelled at me and called me an idiot,
"I'm an idiot that is moving and you are an idiot that is sitting there in traffic".
Don't do it if you are not comfortable with it.
I figure the cagers owe it to us, since they kill many more of us than we kill of them.
 

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I live in California and practice lane splitting when on my bike and traffic isn't moving or moving very slowly. Vehicle code requires that your speed when lane splitting is no more than 5 mph over traffic speed.
I've been stuck in traffic in my car and had motorcycles speed past well over 30 mph beyond my speed. This excessive speed doesn't endear us to other motorists, I know I don't like it . When you're sitting in your car barely moving for several minutes or longer you tend not pay attention to vehicles coming up behind you because other than motorcycles no one else can move.
So to all my fellow Ca motorcylists, lane split, but watch your speed. Annoy enough people in cars and we'll lose our ability to legally lane split.
 
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