Lane Splitting/Filtering - BMW G310 R/GS Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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Lane Splitting/Filtering

Do you lane split? I'm relatively inexperienced, so i don't do it in moving traffic, but I do filter through stopped traffic up to the stoplight if traffic is especially heavy.

Also,if traffic is heavy on a highway which has a shoulder forbidden for traffic, do you lane split or just ride in the shoulder?

Would love to hear your own practices. For context I ride mostly around NJ and into Manhattan for work
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 01:38 PM
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The only state where lane splitting is legal is CA. I live in OR, but I'm only 14 miles from the CA border. So when I'm down there I lane split when traffic is backed up and/or moving at less than 25 mph, and then I lane split at a speed only slightly above the speed of the surrounding traffic. I don't believe riding on the shoulder is legal in CA.

Lane splitting is specifically outlawed in New Jersey and New York, so you risk a ticket if you get caught. Some other states don't specifically outlaw the practice, but you'll still risk getting a ticket for reckless driving (or some such traffic violation) if you try it. Here's a good look at the state-by-state laws:

https://www.motorcyclelegalfoundatio...delines/#legal

Bottom line: unless you don't care about getting a ticket, don't do it.

And yes, I do think it's crazy that we're not allowed to lane split in this country when it's common practice all over the rest of the world. But it's among the many things that my country gets wrong. And hardly at the top of the list, unfortunately.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply WoodWorks, I understand that it is illegal but I guess it is the same as with speeding - they are both illegal but everybody's doing it anyway (not that this justifies it). I guess what I'm asking is, of those who are perhaps foolish enough (like me) to admit that they do it, under what circumstances do they do it?

Just to extend the question, what would riding community and riders recommend in general - to absolutely not do it, do it but ONLY if it makes for a safer riding (ticket notwithstanding) or do it without reservations, but only don't get caught?

Thanks!
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodWorks View Post
The only state where lane splitting is legal is CA. I live in OR, but I'm only 14 miles from the CA border. So when I'm down there I lane split when traffic is backed up and/or moving at less than 25 mph, and then I lane split at a speed only slightly above the speed of the surrounding traffic. I don't believe riding on the shoulder is legal in CA.
I am in Texas and illegal here, but I watch allot of motorcycle blog videos on YouTube and riding on the shoulder is illegal. Most people in CA know that lane splitting is legal and let bikes through, so in a state that it is not it is very risky.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 03:55 PM
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I was riding in San Diego in the late 70’s (I refuse to lane split because I think it’s dangerous). I saw a biker splitting lanes (traffic stopped) when a car driver opened his door to dump his coffee cup - it wasn’t pretty... Your decision
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 06:56 PM
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I live in California and I lane split every day. The basic rule in CA is simple if you cant fit don't even try. The max safe speed according to CHP ( California Highway Patrol ) is 39 mph. If traffic is stopped or moving slowly on a multiple lane ( same direction ) road it is ok to split or share a lane of traffic with another vehicle. It is however NOT required that another driver move out of the way to accommodate you, BUT they can be cited by a patrol officer IF they Intentionally block your path, at the officers discretion of course. I have logged well over 1 million miles on motorcycles in my 50 years of riding. ( I'm 63 and started riding dirt bikes when I was 13 )



On most CA freeways people on the inside 1st two lanes of traffic generally leave a large gap . Lane 1 moving to the left in the lane and 2nd lane moving to the right in their lane. The biggest problem is with the JERKS and their large pickups with overly extended mirrors. I have broken at least 8 to 10 on older vehicles that don't fold like the new ones. I also leave my mirrors slightly loose on the mount so if I hit a mirror with mine, mine will just pivot and not break and can just be pushed back into place. The impact also won't affect my steering as it acts like no more than a slight bump in the road.


I have also had motorcycle police officers follow me while lane splitting and when I move over into an open spot in a lane, they zoom right past and I will generally drop in behind them.


I have never had a ticket lane splitting nor an accident while lane splitting.


Oh and riding the shoulder is a guaranteed ticket if the police see you.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts guys. I almost never ride on the shoulder, just wanted to hear your thoughts as I see this quite a bit, but sounds like there is no real good reason to do it.

As to lane splitting, well, its clearly illegal where I am, but I'm sure you agree that just sitting still in traffic is the worst.

Also, great point that lane splitting is riskier where it is illegal because other motorists have not adapted to it. Interesting that in CA people actually give way to riders to split lanes!
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 10:50 PM
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If lanesplitting would not be allowed in CA, I would not have gotten my motorcycles. I just moved from Europe (Switzerland) where I commuted and did pretty much everything on motorcycle - constantly lane splitting when appropriate. Lane splitting is legal throughout Europe, as in the rest of the developed (and developing) world, it seems only the US has a problem with it. Anyways, if you do it carefully, meaning with moderate speeds and constantly being alert for cars changing lanes etc, it's fine. I would NOT lane split in any state where it is illegal. You are probably automatically deemed at fault if in an accident, and people in cars get aggressive towards you, which you don't want.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 01:48 AM
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Here (Qld Australia) its legal providing you have an open license and your speed is < 30km/h. Regularly see people filtering far above that speed however. Also illegal around school zones.

Riding on the shoulder is legal providing the signed speed limit of the road is > 90km/h and your speed is again < 30km/h - so essentially when there's congested traffic on a highway or major arterial road. Occasionally I'll use the shoulder but try to avoid it as there's usually all sorts of debris there.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 07:50 AM
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Lane splitting is illegal in my state of South Carolina, but I would probably do it on occasion if it were legal.

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