Lane Splitting - Triumph Bobber Forum
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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Lane Splitting

I don't know the rules in other states and countries, but splitting lanes/traffic is legal in California.

What are peoples thoughts on it? Always/Never/Occasional/Terrible Idea???

Being a new rider, I've kept away from doing it, but its tempting. The few things stopping me from committing is:
  1. I've seen a few close calls already, between riders and other vehicles
  2. I've come close to clipping a lane splitter while in my car due to aggressive splitters and how quickly it can happen
  3. I need to know my bike better (i.e. become a better rider)

Love to hear peoples thoughts on it.

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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 09:07 PM
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I find that in most states here in the US (correct me if I'm wrong) it's illegal so I don't do it anywhere as I don't want to get caught out.

However living up until my 40's in the UK, it was perfectly legal and called 'filtering'. I recall actually seeing a cop pull over a car driver who 'annoyed with being stuck in traffic' tried to prevent a bike from filtering and was given a ticket for obstruction. Way to go that chap.

From a safety perspective I would advise strong caution, as you leave yourself open to all sorts of idiots. I would very slowly and carefully creep up to the front at traffic lights but that's about it.

So in summation; if it's legal then only do it when all traffic is at a stop and then only very slowly and carefully.

Well that's my tupence.


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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 09:11 PM
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First thoughts are, if you aren’t comfortable, wait until you are. Ease into it after you are comfortable with your bike and riding. Situational awareness comes with mileage which you will gain over time. You can start to try it by advancing between cars at stop lights. Sometimes in slow moving 101 traffic, I’ll ride with my hazards on.

I’ve been riding in California for 19 years and it’s a big benefit, especially where my work locations can be all over town. The big danger isn’t the speed, but difference in speed. I rarely go too much faster than traffic, and usually let faster riders pass me. The biggest danger in LA is distracted drivers.
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 09:17 PM
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It should be legal In all states..Filtering/splitting saves lives .
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 09:59 PM
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Lifetime rider and (Bay Area) California native. Yes, I lane split but am much more cautious than past years. I lane split less and less every year due to many drivers don't like you doing it and will try to pinch you off, open doors, close gaps etc. Which will often lead to their broken mirror or caved in door panel. Oops. Then you have the lane changers without signals weaving in and out of traffic only to gain nothing. Then the distracted, cell phone users, make-up appliers, book readers perched on steering wheels, etc.

My advice? Only creep up at stop lights or if freeway is stopped. Otherwise, wait and enjoy the view of the idiots around you.

This was interacted back when all cycles were air cooled so had to keep moving or get too hot. Those days are fewer and fewer.
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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This is great advice from you all, thank you.

You pretty much justified the way I'm going to approach it.
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 12:31 AM
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Iím in OC as well, I lane split whenever traffic is stopped or moving slowly. I believe the actual law is lane splitting is legal at <30 mph and you can only go 10 mph above traffic. Only do what you are comfortable with, start with traffic lights. Sometimes you get caught between cars but thatís ok.
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 01:28 AM
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The actual law in California only states that 2 vehicles can occupy 1 lane at the same time. Just like a previous post said, it’s from the air cooled era of motorcycles.

A couple of years ago, California, or the chp, (I forget which) attempted to publish guidelines suggesting <50 and no more than 10 mph difference, but the AMA fought it every step of the way.

In the end, it’s a grey area, and if you crash doing something stupid, it’s negligence. Personally, I find it the safest to be splitting lanes while following a chp motorcycle officer during my commutes.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 01:39 AM
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Lane splitting is just one of the advantages of riding and a huge benefit in overcrowded traffic.
But it an art that should be respected and eased into; NEVER ride much faster than the moving traffic and always expect drivers to be aggressive & angry if there is bad traffic + itís hot. And of course donít do it when you feel the circumstances arenít right.

I highly recommend doing a course to gain some extra (advanced) riding techniques - especially low speed maneuvering & rear brake control (among many other things...)
That will teach you to relax and keep your eyes up and looking way ahead.
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 02:25 AM
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I’m new to lane splitting (recently started riding in CA) but have been riding for 30yrs in other states. Lane splitting requires a lot of attention. I have a personal rule of not passing between two parallel cars over 30mph and will wait until they are staggered. Even then, I don’t swerve between the cars but will stay in between the lanes. I keep the stagger rule to ensure I have enough space to escape idiots. This means I’m one of the slowest lane splitters in the LA area and I frequently have to move over for faster splitters. At slower speeds, I relax my rule as motorcycles are more maneuverable than cars and can get out of the way. Two things I like about lane splitting is it reduces the likely of getting rear ended in traffic and keeps air moving through me in hot weather rather than cooking in traffic.
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