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Old 10-03-2012, 06:53 AM   #1
MrBob OP
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Lane Splitting

I'm about to visit the great state of California and I've never ridden where lane splitting is allowed. What do I need to be aware of to be a successful lane-splitter?
Mind you, I'll be on a fat-assed Concours so I don't plan to be squirting in and out of narrow spaces.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:12 AM   #2
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Start slow, only do it at stop lights to filter to the front. Slowly work on reading traffic, work up to slow moving traffic.

you have to learn to read minds and look for subtle clues. Stay away from splitting the carpool lane, that requires esp. that only comes with time.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:58 AM   #3
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Watch the side mirrors on cars (from a distance) and as you get closer, watch the drivers' hands on the wheel. This will give you clues as to what they're about to do before their car starts to move. Keep your speed differential at the 10-15 mph range, no more. Not enough time to react, especially on a big Connie.

Run your high beams.. helps you be more visible, especially since so many cars now-a-days have their lights on during the day.

When you're done with your trip, go home and get ready to start harassing the hell out of local politicians to legalize lane splitting in your state. We need it legalized everywhere (IMO)!

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Old 10-03-2012, 08:23 AM   #4
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:29 AM   #5
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a few different schools of though on this. I deploy the they don't see me and want to kill me version for the commute to and from work, splitting between a gap is a no-no for me, opportunistic cages will try and squeeze in. Some folks will see you and let you by no issue, some hate you. better to be in high radar mode the whole time. The filter approach first is good so you get comfortable with the big squeezing between the cars. Been doing it for 20 years now and you get a sixth sense about it, but you cannot rely on that alone. It is a battle field

ride within your limits and the law is safe and prudent so don't push your luck
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunerat View Post
Pin it.... Only the good die young
Too late for that!
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:40 AM   #7
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You're gonna be slow as hell, watch your six and don't hold up other bikes...you get about a five count and we're gonna find a way around you, you might not like some of them.

Leave your high beams and head light modulators at home, it's bugs the hell outta everybody.
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:52 AM   #8
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You're gonna be slow as hell, watch your six and don't hold up other bikes...you get about a five count and we're gonna find a way around you, you might not like some of them.
No worries, when I can't hold my own with punks on two or four wheels it'll be time to park the bike.
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:58 AM   #9
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No worries, when I can't hold my own with punks on two or four wheels it'll be time to park the bike.

So, you're not coming?

Seriously, get out of the way...CHP will split faster than you'd think was possible...don't get in the way.
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:29 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by focallength View Post
Start slow, only do it at stop lights to filter to the front. Slowly work on reading traffic, work up to slow moving traffic.

you have to learn to read minds and look for subtle clues. Stay away from splitting the carpool lane, that requires esp. that only comes with time.

I'll work on the ESP thing. Living just down the road from Boulder was a good start.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:48 AM   #11
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I'll work on the ESP thing. Living just down the road from Boulder was a good start.
Not evern close dood. Traffic in CO moves at a snails pace, and a fraction of the volume.

AS had the best advice. Just take it easy with that boat. We don't need a sig alert for a so-Cal noob.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:51 AM   #12
Jeff aka BOLT
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Originally Posted by MrBob View Post
I'm about to visit the great state of California and I've never ridden where lane splitting is allowed. What do I need to be aware of to be a successful lane-splitter?
Mind you, I'll be on a fat-assed Concours so I don't plan to be squirting in and out of narrow spaces.
Back in the 70s 80s and part of the early 90s we all did it. Motorcycle commuters were abundant and cars expected them. There were trains of 3 to 6 bikes several times in an hour commute splitting the No1 & No2 lanes. Even the Cops were in it. Not so any more. Bike commuters now are few and not expected. The imaginary motorcycle fast line does NOT exist anymore and it would be foolish to try it in moving traffic. Enjoy the freedom at traffic lights when cars are stopped. But the days of safe lane splitting in moving traffic are over.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:53 AM   #13
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Good advice for you already. Seriously take it easy.

If traffic out here isn't crawling along bumper to bumper it's moving at 80+ bumper to bumper. I'm seriously surprised we don't have more accidents than we already do.

Watch yourself out there.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:55 AM   #14
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Some good cautionary advice here. Based on my limited experience, I'll try to give you a little of what to expect from drivers of cars:

The Good:
20% of cars will actually attempt to make space for you, and the rest are not really paying attention. In heavy traffic, drivers will often switch lanes without signaling, trying to find the better flowing lane. This happens mostly at around 10-15 mph, so I avoid too much splitting in moving traffic. Above that is illegal anyway.

I agree about not going more than 10 mph faster than the rest of traffic. If the cars are stopped, and you are doing 10 mph, you can't get hurt too badly.

The Bad:
When it comes to really fast lane splitters, it is easy enough to pull into a lane to let them by. This means you will have to be watching your mirrors while also remaining focussed on the cars ahead. The bigger the city, the more of these you will see.

The Ugly:
Aggressive lane splitting will encourage about 5% of drivers to attempt to block you. If you experience that, don't fight it, just drop into traffic and find another way around. Watch for people opening their windows to throw something or spit at you. It hasn't happened to me, but it does happen. I have seen videos where riders got mad and kicked at cars. That will trigger full road rage from those 5%ers, and possibly get you killed. Let them think they won, and they will go back to their smug, caged existence.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:57 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff aka BOLT View Post
Bike commuters now are few and not expected.

the days of safe lane splitting in moving traffic are over.
You're kinda out of touch I think. When was the last time you commuted on a bike in LA?

I routinely see other riders, in groups on the 60, 91, 5 and 405.
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