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Old December 11th, 2009, 03:00 AM   #1
karlosdajackal
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Any Lane Splitting Tips

I know its legal some places and not legal other places, regardless lets just say lane splitting was legal everywhere whats the safest way to lane split. So I took the bike to work now that carbon tax has come in and petrol here in Ireland cost 2.5 times what your paying in the states.

So just from this mornings commute....

Most of the time I only split lanes at red lights, when I saw the light go red and I knew its not going green for at least 25 seconds (long enough for me to get between the cars and emerge in front of them at the red light).

Once I used a turn right lane to go past a queue of 20 cars. Only one car was turning right. When i got there i went between him and the car to the left that was going straight. Literally just as I got between them the light went green, but as I was already moving just a blip of the throttle got me in front of both so I could indicate I was going straight. Next time I'll probably wait.

Later on we got to a 2 lane road, with a 3rd lane just for buses. Technically speaking bikes should not be in there but its an empty lane and very safe for spliting, although once I did have to get out of it for a double decker bus. Next lights we still had another bus so i went down the middle, although at the front of the queue I forget to move out to one of the lanes and think i held up another biker who wanted to get to the front also.

So I think I did a pretty crappy job this morning, I think I know why and how to improve but I'd love any tips on lane splitting safely without upsetting other road users.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 03:59 AM   #2
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i split lane all the time on the freeway when traffic is slow...now on the street i do not split when the there are only 4 or 5 cars in front of me...safest way to split lane is when traffic is at a stop, there is enough room, then proceed with caution...

people get pissed sometimes because you can do it while they are stuck...best advice is to wear a tinted visor...that way you don't give a **** because they can't recognize you...
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Old December 11th, 2009, 04:48 AM   #3
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You know what the odd thing is. If I don't lane split I get cars trying to get around me at lights. Its like they are pissed off that you are stopping them getting 1 meter closer to the car in front.

Once i was a little to the right of my lane, and decided not to go down the middle as there was a guy walking down the middle selling newspapers and a car tried to drive right around the left side of me. I stay closer to the center now but people still seem to be thinking about it, they want you out of the way and up front.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 07:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karlosdajackal View Post
You know what the odd thing is. If I don't lane split I get cars trying to get around me at lights. Its like they are pissed off that you are stopping them getting 1 meter closer to the car in front.

Once i was a little to the right of my lane, and decided not to go down the middle as there was a guy walking down the middle selling newspapers and a car tried to drive right around the left side of me. I stay closer to the center now but people still seem to be thinking about it, they want you out of the way and up front.
Lane splitting is illegal here (or everything is legal as long as you don't get caught), however, theres very little place I could do it safely anyway, the problem with cars at stop light is true, often they don't register you as a whole vehicle and stop at some wierd places around you..often very near the rear tire
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Old December 11th, 2009, 09:17 AM   #5
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It's not legal here, but a LOT of bikes do it anyways (though down here cops don't even look at bikes usually)

The most I have done is go around a car infront of me if he has stopped 15 feet back from the car in front of him because I just know the guy is gonna take 20 minutes to get up to the speed limit.

As for people getting on my rear tire....more then once I have rolled my bike back into their bumper (lightly) to tell them to back the hell off. It makes me want to spin the rear tire off the line to throw some gravel at the car (though I don't, not gonna damage someones car)
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Old December 11th, 2009, 10:29 AM   #6
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sPLITTING IS ILLEGAL IN NEW yORK AND LIKE MOST things involving sport bike riders....evebn li'l 'jettes....they will nail your butt to the wall....since you passed in the same lane, since you foregot to signal, since you were driving recklessly...oh yeah, and if you clip someones mirror, yeah, you fled the scene of an accident.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 11:12 AM   #7
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I think one takes a chance when lanesplitting (legal or illegal). I've been tempted to but think again of the drivers side to side pulling something stupid on the split cuz he/she "didn't see the bike". I'm sure I will one day tho. Thing is when you split to the front line at a lighted intersection, they really get furious. You can see it and they consider it "rude and unruly" behaviour coming from a biker. Heck by the time the light is green and your up the street, they are just getting thru the intersection. They fail to understand the acceleration of the biker leaving them way behind (not even into 3rd or 4th gear) and not being an obstacle to their lane... When I'm drivin I just yield and offer the split to the biker.... I know he's gonna be miles ahead before I weave thru traffic in the Jeep ... its no big deal.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 03:54 PM   #8
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The safest way to lane share is the safest way you do everything else on a bike, be aware of what is happenning around you, and be aware of how those things will be happenning 3 seconds from now.

It seems to me about the safest place on the road is between two cars, because I'm pretty certain they won't pull into each other.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 03:55 PM   #9
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well on the way back i kept going down the middle, if there are cars both sides of you they are not going to turn in, if they did they would just crash into another car. Only time I went down a side was when one of those newspaper guys was walking down the middle again. I know that light was not going to change as I saw it go red and had only counted 4 when i got to the cars, so i had 21 seconds to get up front and it only took 10.

Manage to remember to pull to one side at the lights, and not block any other bikers from using the centre. Ended up deciding at least 40% of the time not to split (Friday rush hour is the craziest time). Once I decided against it as the lane was narrowing and oncoming traffic looked to be too close, as I slotted in with the cars, a bike went past on the wrong side of the road pretty much forcing oncoming traffic to move over and out of his way. Gixxer, wearing jeans, trainers and riding like that.

Funny thing is not one car flashed there lights or beeped at him. This country is far to polite
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Old December 11th, 2009, 08:21 PM   #10
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My rules are

1)never faster than 50kph(30mph)
2)never 20kph over the flow of traffic.
3)Keep out of blind spots
4)ALWAYS be wary of an open space. ALWAYS ASSUME that somebody will change into it. Even with that watch the persons front tires. If they're not sticking out they can cut you off.
5)Never do it where traffic is merging
6)Only on the highways in between the left most lane and next one over.

Not legal here either but I do it safely.I break my rules time to time but only the speed one. You don't realize how easy it is. Most reckless thing i've ever done was a car ahead tried to block me in purposely and I got mad, so a quick weave around his car on the left and back. He wasn't expecting that The 250R can handle.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 11:01 PM   #11
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Personally, I would never recommend riding a turn lane or a not bike legal lane for a split. The more outside the law you ride, the less predictable and more of a distraction you are to other drivers. While it's legal here, I generally do it sparingly when I feel totally comfortable that I can pull it off without incident. Generally I only do it:

A) At a red light when there is a considerably large gap and the mirrors of any set of cars aren't lined up.

B) When I'm on a freeway parking lot or heavy uphill traffic (Although, I won't go over 25 mph along near stopped traffic, but I usually take it slower than that. I'll admittedly take bigger risks if it means not stopping on a decently steep hill, however).

C) When I can see that perfect gap, I'm going fast enough that the cars in front of me won't have time to alter their path of travel before I'm already done, and I'm feeling a bit hell bent ^^;

As I do it more and more it becomes much easier and my restrictions become a bit more lax. Just like anything, practice makes perfect. Just trust your judgment, stay in your comfort zone, and keep a careful eye on the vehicles around you, and you'll be fine.

On that note, it's really interesting to see how some cars react to lane splitting though. Most don't actually do anything physically, but I've had some cars move further out of the way (which I don't mind), and some cars move in closer to the car next to them so I can't get past them (which is rather irritating- even if I do understand their jealousy ). It's definitely adds that much more risk to riding at times, but the time I save, getting to leave some of the likely dumb as hell drivers behind me, and the rush I get from a clean split all makes it worthwhile.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 11:29 PM   #12
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I'm still a relatively new rider so lane splitting is still not something I will generally try and attempt. I do plan on it when I'm more comfortable with riding!!!
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Old December 12th, 2009, 08:51 AM   #13
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Though it is technically legal here (police wanted it for them only but the supreme court said "if you can, every bike can"), if I get in an accident while splitting, it is my fault. The law states that splitting can only be done safely. If I get in an accident, I apparently was not doing it safely so, my fault and I pay all costs. This is the first year I have split lanes (after 36 years on the street) and I try my best to stay within the law. No more than 10 mph over the speed of traffic. Only between the number 1 and 2 lanes (though I see bikes use any lane they prefer which is illegal). Plus, when a car does move over a bit when they see me to give me more room, I give them a little thank you wave. Many though do try to block. Jealous haters LOL Just because they "can't" ride a bike LMAO
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Old December 12th, 2009, 09:16 AM   #14
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I split lanes since 1967...it used to be legal in NY, and while i clipped a few mirrors there was never any damage done.Yet...it was only a matter of time.
Summer '09, doing it thru standing traffic I got a big surprise,,,I clipped one of those big round fuel tanks on a tractor with my passenger peg, enuff to wobble me good and smarten me up...never expected a fuel tank. Now....I very rarely do what I did every day until that tank. Something else I noticed that I never thought much about was the car drivers reaction...I had a sport crew fly by me with screamin' pipes, the first bike spooked me ( in my truck) and i did a quick little move right and came close enough to the car next to me so that I swerevd back to where I was. Wasn't too dangerous but I was sober and a long time driver and wasn't going too fast...if i were an inexperienced driver with maybe a beer or 2 under my belt I would've crash, no doubt.
Nowadays...most people HATE sport bikers because of stuff like this. For me anyway, I avoid provoking cagers by splitting, blowin' them away at the light, passing them on the outside at the ramps...anything a sport rider does on the street that's "sporty", draws a negative reaction and ...I couldn't believe this...a state trooper told me that even though he can't catch us, he can ticket the plate # and start a process that will cost us a half dozen trips to court...he claims to have done this when he saw something that reaaly pissed him off.
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Old December 12th, 2009, 09:37 AM   #15
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Though it is technically legal here (police wanted it for them only but the supreme court said "if you can, every bike can"), if I get in an accident while splitting, it is my fault. The law states that splitting can only be done safely. If I get in an accident, I apparently was not doing it safely so, my fault and I pay all costs. This is the first year I have split lanes (after 36 years on the street) and I try my best to stay within the law. No more than 10 mph over the speed of traffic. Only between the number 1 and 2 lanes (though I see bikes use any lane they prefer which is illegal). Plus, when a car does move over a bit when they see me to give me more room, I give them a little thank you wave. Many though do try to block. Jealous haters LOL Just because they "can't" ride a bike LMAO
lol I love it when some people move over
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Old December 12th, 2009, 09:44 AM   #16
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Yeah, I been to jersey a lot, you guys are ruthless......ever go to New Hope and blast by the cruiser parades on, what...6...going north to easton
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Old December 12th, 2009, 02:49 PM   #17
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Though it is technically legal here (police wanted it for them only but the supreme court said "if you can, every bike can"), if I get in an accident while splitting, it is my fault. The law states that splitting can only be done safely.
It is not technically legal. There is no section of the CVC that says you can laneshare. It's the inverse, there isn't anything in the CVC that says you can't laneshare. It's like looking for a law that says it's legal to start your car. There is no law for that. It's legal to start your car because there's no law against it.
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If I get in an accident, I apparently was not doing it safely so, my fault and I pay all costs.
Wrong, there are numerous circumstances where it's not your fault. Like if a car changes lanes without signaling...they just violated your right of way which is illegal for them to do.
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No more than 10 mph over the speed of traffic. Only between the number 1 and 2 lanes (though I see bikes use any lane they prefer which is illegal).
Neither of those is the law in California. The 10mph is only a guideline. So is the part about only between lanes 1 and 2. You can get a ticket for doing +1 mph if the cop deems that it is unsafe. Some cops will write tickets for any lanesharing because they don't like it and use that reason. That's the lame part about California, it's not illegal but there are so many discretionary parts of the CVC that if the cop wants to give you ticket he will find a way.
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Old December 12th, 2009, 02:56 PM   #18
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Thing is the phrase "lane splitting" is not even in the vocabulary over here, people just expect bike to "jump the queue" they don't seem to get jealous as your not holding them up. Never have been able to find out if its legal or not but I assume it is because..

Before I got the bike i was thinking about lane splitting, as the cops seem to do it all the time and once on a 2 lane road (in my car) I saw 3 cops, 2 went down the center and when at the head of the queue one moved left the other right, the 3rd cop was in the turn left lane and cut right into the lane at the light. I thought that must be legal, then a sport bike of some form went up the middle and pulled right and went around the cop to park beside him. When the light went green everybody went and nobody got pulled.

So I guess its legal as not one of those cops seemed to care.
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Old December 12th, 2009, 03:45 PM   #19
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"Can motorcycle riders "split" lanes and ride between other vehicles?"

"Lane splitting by motorcycles is permissible but must be done in a safe and prudent manner."

http://www.chp.ca.gov/html/answers.html
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Old December 12th, 2009, 06:02 PM   #20
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With no clarification of what safe or prudent means; it's all up to the discretion of the officer. In general it works out. Don't ride like an , and the LEO's don't worry too much about lane-splitters.
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Old December 13th, 2009, 01:54 AM   #21
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I stop lane splitting when traffic is moving at ~30mph. I move pretty slow through stopped traffic, and never much faster than the flow of traffic.

Sometimes I just move into a traffic lane when cars start moving, especially if there are two large vehicles next to each other.

feet per second (X) .75 (divided by) 16 = car lengths in reaction time.

You could also subtract the fps of traffic from your fps to find your lane splitting reaction time.

x-y=Z [x=your fps] [y=traffic fps] z=difference between your speed and the speed of traffic in fps.
z*.75=r [z=difference in speeds in fps] r=reaction time in feet using differences in speed
r/16=c [r=reaction time in feet] c=car lengths in reaction time, using differences in speed.
c+1=F =potentially safe reaction time.

F would be what you could potentially use in court to prove you were not going at an unsafe rate of speed while lane splitting. Obviously other laws apply other than "safe" speed.

Obviously the above numbers were just an example based off what I know. You can sub in any reaction time you want by replacing '.75'. You can replace the average length of a car by replacing '16'. You can replace whatever you want, this is no legal advice.
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Old December 16th, 2009, 05:44 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockingmtranch View Post
"Can motorcycle riders "split" lanes and ride between other vehicles?"

"Lane splitting by motorcycles is permissible but must be done in a safe and prudent manner."

http://www.chp.ca.gov/html/answers.html
rofl, "safe and prudent." Talk about typical ambiguous legislative bullshit wording. You could take two different riders (or cagers for that matter) who have completely different riding abilities. Person A who barely possesses the skills necessary to be on a motorcycle should never lane split in the first place, while person B is Valentino Rossi and could lane split just about any situation while going well into triple digits. My point? The vagueness of what constitutes "safe and prudent." That "law" (which its technically not) is a joke and might as well not be a law in the first place. If you're ever ticketed, fight that thing like its no bodies business. In this vastly over-legislated state of ours, we must hold on to this relatively simple "right" we actually do have.
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Old December 16th, 2009, 11:58 PM   #23
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It's not a law. There is no law. The language is wishy-washy in that CHP handbook because there is no law to refer to; it really is just the opinion of whoever wrote that text in the handbook. And it remains the opinion of each particular officer, which can make things weird at times. I'm OK with current state, as it's likely better for us that it's not legislated than if there were additional restrictions put on it. Or worse, just an outright ban like the other 49 states...
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Old December 17th, 2009, 12:36 AM   #24
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It's not a law. There is no law. The language is wishy-washy in that CHP handbook because there is no law to refer to; it really is just the opinion of whoever wrote that text in the handbook. And it remains the opinion of each particular officer, which can make things weird at times. I'm OK with current state, as it's likely better for us that it's not legislated than if there were additional restrictions put on it. Or worse, just an outright ban like the other 49 states...
+1 is true.

Reminds me of OR highways with they have "Speed" signs (not speed limit). Apparently there is a technical difference. From what I have been told by a friend who lives in OR, they are basically "suggestions" which are relatively vauge... I guess that really does make each individual LEO judge, jury, and executioner. He also tells me there is a suggestion for OR drivers, and one for CA drivers (particularly in the snow). Not officially, but since when is anything the way it is supposed to be.

I digress, sorry for the 7500.....
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Old December 17th, 2009, 02:37 AM   #25
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judge, jury, and executioner.
Lets hope it doesn't get that far.

I decided to lane split today, to realize a cop was in front of the line. I was a little nervous since he was in the lane I needed to be in. Just hoping I wouldn't be harassed. No prob though, a little fast off the line 0-30 and then signaled into his lane.
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Old December 17th, 2009, 08:23 AM   #26
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I found this also:

http://motorcycleinfo.calsci.com/PrintLaws.html

Now, the AMA states, "Not referenced in Administrative Code or Statutes"
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Old December 17th, 2009, 10:51 AM   #27
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Nick - A couple months ago I was at the red right in front of your place, first in line in the middle lane, FPD was first in line in the right lane.... that is the end of the story, BUT I did actually consider looking straight at him until I got his attention and start revving my little 250 engine to give the race challenge. I didn't have the guts. Now that could have gone really funny, or really bad.... depending on HIS sense of humor. In my mind the challenge itself is hilarious, and would be viewed as a good natured joke, but if he recognized the bike as a 250, that should give an extra grin.
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Old December 17th, 2009, 12:48 PM   #28
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I am still hesitant about lane splitting---used to do it all the time with no problem. Last summer, when lane splitting on my bicycle, I got "Doored". It did shake me up a bit. I did not get hurt. Scares me to think what would have happened were I riding the Ninja. (The guy who doored me was charged with "road rage" and lost his license for 90 days plus he had to take an anger management course at his expense). The police around here take road rage very seriously---as well they should.
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Old December 17th, 2009, 01:50 PM   #29
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I am still hesitant about lane splitting---used to do it all the time with no problem. Last summer, when lane splitting on my bicycle, I got "Doored". It did shake me up a bit. I did not get hurt. Scares me to think what would have happened were I riding the Ninja. (The guy who doored me was charged with "road rage" and lost his license for 90 days plus he had to take an anger management course at his expense). The police around here take road rage very seriously---as well they should.
wow thats kind of extreme... good thing you didn't get hurt.

I lane split everyday, my commute going home is usually just me in the carpool lane but there's a 2-3 mile stretch of 5-10mph traffic and I always split here. I just make sure to always have my highbeams on, stay in 1st gear (im on a 600) so you can engine brake faster and people might hear you. Alot of people move over once they see me which is nice and I give them a wave so maybe next time they will move over again. I've gotten used to it, I always always slow down if there's an open spot ahead because theres a good chance a car will bolt in there without signaling. There are some people who try to block you but I can't really tell if they're doing it purposely or they just don't see me.
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Old December 17th, 2009, 02:35 PM   #30
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I am still hesitant about lane splitting---used to do it all the time with no problem. Last summer, when lane splitting on my bicycle, I got "Doored". It did shake me up a bit. I did not get hurt. Scares me to think what would have happened were I riding the Ninja. (The guy who doored me was charged with "road rage" and lost his license for 90 days plus he had to take an anger management course at his expense). The police around here take road rage very seriously---as well they should.
Why would you lane split on a bicycle? Surely you just get ahead of cars a at light only to hold them up as soon as it goes green? Same thing with kids on 50cc scooters skipping the queue and then holding everybody up when they hit there top speed of 35mph. Don't split if your going to hold people up of course that will piss them off.
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Old December 17th, 2009, 02:44 PM   #31
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I needed to make a Left turn. There were two lines of cars stopped, so I moved to the extreme left in order to execute a left turn. One of the cagers appearently did not like my moving ahead in the line. Nobody would have been held up since I stayed to the extreme left. There is no green left turn arrow so I have to wait for two lanes of oncoming traffic to clear. Both lanes could pass on my right while I wait with my foot on the traffic island. I go through this intersection daily on the bicycle. I would not execute that manoever on the Ninja.
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Old December 17th, 2009, 02:48 PM   #32
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I strongly recommend only splitting in stopped traffic. I had my fair share of scares when people decide to lane jockey their way down a slow moving freeway.

I was once told by a cop in a traffic school I had to take in California that traffic has to be stopped. (At that time, the law said something about "safe and reasonable" or some other crap like that). I'm sure that was just his presincts interpreation of "safe and reasonable."

I almost got taken out by a car changing lanes when I was 18 and I have never lane split in moving traffic since.

Now I live in Utah and it is not legal.
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Old December 17th, 2009, 05:03 PM   #33
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I strongly suggest not riding a motorcycle, I almost got taken out by a car that pulled out in front of me. I strongly suggest not riding in the rain, one time my back tire slid out in a curve. I strongly suggest not driving on country roads, some asshat hit me head on one time.

Everyone has their level of acceptable risk and not everyone's is the same.

Traffic doesn't have to be stopped. I do it in town, on the freeway, in my neighborhood generally wherever I feel there is enough room for me to do it safely. The few cops I've talked to say pretty much the same thing, "don't be a jackass and you probably won't get pulled over for doing it." That fits my acceptable level of risk for a ticket, as I try to not be a jackass doing it. Just like speeding, there's doing 85 in the slow lane with traffic risk and there's doing 85 and changing lanes every 100 yards risk. One is higher than the other and more likely to get you a ticket.
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Old December 17th, 2009, 05:10 PM   #34
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One is higher than the other and more likely to get you a ticket.
or Killed.

+1 for not being a jackass.
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Old January 31st, 2011, 04:06 AM   #35
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Lane Splitting/Sharing - Do You Do It?

Some fairly conservative motorcycle safety folks do, like David Hough of "Proficient Motorcycling" fame. I do as well on my daily commute. But is it wise?

Link to original page on YouTube.

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Old January 31st, 2011, 07:39 AM   #36
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Rarely ever. I know eventually somebody would open a door at me (thats just how people are in my area).
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Old January 31st, 2011, 08:04 AM   #37
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It isn't particularly legal here, so the only time I ever do it is to turn right at a stoplight where someone is waiting to go strait. But, I make sure that the light isn't about to turn green, and also make sure I have plenty of space before I go to potentially pass several stopped cars and end up stuck half way if a mirror sticks out too far or something.

But I would never, ever do anything like that. Maybe, MAYBE I'd ride on the shoulder if traffic had ground to a hault, but that looked like it might only save a few minutes on a commute, and I'd rather leave 5 minutes earlier than risk that.
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Old January 31st, 2011, 08:17 AM   #38
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This depends, man. If it's normal in your area then why not? Drivers and pedestrians would be used to it, so it shouldn't be any riskier than any other maneuver you'd have in your arsenal.

You pull this crap in a city like Toronto, though....and that's a recipe for disaster hahaha.
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Old January 31st, 2011, 08:21 AM   #39
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In the states, it's only legal in CA. Luckily I live in CA
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Old January 31st, 2011, 08:27 AM   #40
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I'm not going into a "how to" thing but I lane split when needed and possible, even though it's not legal i've never seen any one chased for it. Cages have there exclusive commuter lanes and others make you lane split the way they drive. I do it mostly when traffic is a dead stop and that has been like a handful of times in my life as I don't commute and only ride on popular highways during "in between" times.
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