BMW G310 R/GS Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
255 Posts
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.motorcyclelegalfoundation.com/motorcycle-lane-splitting-guidelines/#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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
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!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
426 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
Lane splitting is illegal in my state of South Carolina, but I would probably do it on occasion if it were legal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
I agree with what people said above. I'm also in CA and the reality for me here is:

- Monday to Friday: 50% of my time driving is lane splitting (Hollywood/101/Downtown). The amount of traffic I cut through everyday especially around the Hollywood Bowl is insane.

- Weekends: leisure rides on canyons. Very little lane splitting
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Riding the shoulder is illegal in New Zealand, but lane spliting is legal.

I do it daily to travel to and from work, it's one of the primary reasons I got my bike in the first place... To cut travel time. Gone from 1hr to 25 min.

The motorways are typically 80kph and I'll happily lane split to that speed when thr traffic is doing 20-30kph or less than the limit.

Most people will move to give you space so its easy, but I always ride with my foot on the rear brake and fingers on the brake and clutch ready to stop quickly should I need to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
308 Posts
As far as I know L/S is legal in the UK but 2 out 10 cars will try and block a bike by pulling to the left (UK) so I don't do it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
426 Posts
As far as I know L/S is legal in the UK but 2 out 10 cars will try and block a bike by pulling to the left (UK) so I don't do it.
I've noticed that, watching those "mad crazy bikers vs normal people in cars" videos. Here in LA it's the exact opposite, many car drivers make room for me. Only happened once that someone was blocking me and wouldn't budge after a friendly request.
I also noticed that English drivers:
- very often pull out in traffic without looking
- don't seem to know how to take roundabouts
- lots of British bikers swear a lot while riding

Anyways, back to lane splitting!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
917 Posts
Lane Splitting in the Netherlands is legal now.
You have to adjust your speed and do not use the hard shoulder.
If a car makes a move and you get involved in an accident ….. the car driver is to blame.

I split lanes when traffic comes to a stop or is moving slowly.
Being very carefull about what the other traffic is doing before passing them.
Always with one hand / finger on the front brake and my foot in the right place to use the rear brake fast if necesary.
Actually you need more eyes to see what is going on around you.

Most cars will move out of the way when you come near them except thoes who are playing with their telephones !!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
Car drivers with their darn cellphones are a biker’s worse nightmare... Motorcycles are not dangerous - inattentive car drivers are dangerous!
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top