Got this off the F6B site. After learning how to ride in California it was a way of life. 5 years in the navy riding overseas and spending 3 years in Sydney Australia I can't see why the other 49 states don't look at changing this to being legal in some more states. http://hondaf6b.com/showthread.php?5847-Lane-Splitting
What's your take?
No replies, I know there are some California riders out there. I learned to ride in orange county in the 70's and worked for Caltrans 79,80,81 in long beach at the 7 / 405 interchange. Going to work at 0600 5 days a week on a bike I learned to lane split and got really good at it. The traffic in that area was really bad most of the day and worse coming and going during rush hour. Three things I learned was don't ride in the center of the lane, a car goes over something in the road and you catch in in the teeth. Always stay right or left at a stop light so if a cage does come pushing through you have an out or at worst get side swiped and not drug down the street 100 ft. I would like to see it legalized in more states, but the problem like in AU is everyone already thinks it's not ok and have an issue learning all over again. But like I said traffic in Newport, on the 55 and highway 1 at a stand still made it really nice to just keep on moving.
Hi Surf. Growing up on in a state where it's illegal, I've never been the opportunity to try splitting. I do watch lots of 'motorcycle crash' videos, simply to see what's gone bad for forks, so I can try to avoid those situations. Unfortunately splitting accidents occur with regularity on the videos (car opening door / car changing lanes / space too tight but moto tries anyway etc etc). For me, I'd rather wait it out than take the added risk. Now If I lived in CA and faced a 3 hour+ daily commute, perhaps I'd change my tune, but from the side-lines, and never riding when I need to get somewhere in a hurry....not worth it.
I've been lane splitting/sharing for more than 40 years with never a mishap. I have waited patiently in traffic at a standstill and have been hit three times from behind (i.e., drivers not paying attention and unintentionally easing up on the brakes, women putting on make-up) So, I always split. There is less likelihood of getting hit from behind when I am between two cars. Supposedly, you're not to exceed traffic speed by 10 mph. Some riders abuse the speed and they end up as the casualties. They are the riders that piss off people just before I come along. The cagers figure I'll get this guy! Of course there are the arses in cages that are jealous that you not stuck as they are. They slightly and slowly move over to block you. Then there are the drivers who overcompensate by moving over to give you a wide berth. We thank them with a wave. Splitting/Sharing is a learned art. It's sort of intuitive. You kind of know when a driver(s) is(are) going to give you trouble. As of late Caltrans has erected LED signs directing motorists to share the lanes with motorcyclists! About **** time! >
Just this year it became legal for us to filter here. No more then 30kph and you can't go down the shoulder unless the road is marked 90kph or above. Even then you can be booked if you are doing it "unsafely" whatever that is... and the fines are pretty steep.
Before then it was practiced by most but the unlucky bastards like me who got booked a couple of times tended not to do it anymore. Since January when the rules changed the majority of times I have thought I would have taken my 'busa down there but not the Valkyrie which is a pity because I feel a lot safer being out the front and away then stuck in the pack being the meet filler in a metal sandwich.
Man when you do get to the front the hate feels like sunburn on your back sometimes. Que jumping the less intelligent think. They are so busy getting angry that you pushed in front they don't notice you have already left. I can understand the feeling, I had a pushbike one go past me at a stoplight and move in front of me. Yeah an idiot and a hold up when the lights changed but it is a rare motorcycle rider indeed that holds a car up when the green goes.
After sharing or splitting lanes in Calif for 20 some yrs. if you do it correctly it's not that unsafe or even safer than passing a car. If there are two cars side by side they are more likely not going to change lane on top of you because they know there is a car next to them. As far as a opened car door, if the car is moving or setting in traffic they did it only because they are haters. I drove the long beach freeway for 5 years working for CALTRANS and never saw or was involved in an issue splitting lanes.
Agree with Silverfox. I have been lane splitting for 30 years here in Australia, but only in heavy traffic when all lanes are stopped (like at red traffic lights). Gets you to the front of the traffic lines and away quickly when the lights change to green.
Might be a bit more selective where I do it now that I have just bought a new F6C, and it's much wider than any other bike I've owned.
So this morning I decided to ride to work. It's a 47 mile trip down Hwy 215 and then Hwy 15 for me. On the Triumph Trophy I always felt like I was 6 feet wide and it made me a bit nervous to split lanes. I've been lane splitting for years so it's not the riding that bothers me it was the width of the Trophy. In reality the F6C is only a few inches narrower but my view of the road is unobstructed. In my car it would have taken about an hour and 15 min. On the F6C it took only 50 min! I was not riding crazy or anything. Just put my bright light on when I was between cars and most everyone politely moved over. It was great. Not sure I want to do it every day but it really was a lot quicker than driving the cage.
Been splitting since 1978. With the carpool lanes its nice using them and then splitting (carefully) when traffic really slows to a crawl. Some guys I see go way too fast, they obviously have never crashed...