How and Why Motorcycle Lane Splitting is Safe and Good - RideApart
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Thread: How and Why Motorcycle Lane Splitting is Safe and Good - RideApart

  1. #1
    Registered User Array MrDsylexia's Avatar
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    How and Why Motorcycle Lane Splitting is Safe and Good - RideApart

    15 minutes of lane splitting information/examples that the government needs to watch.

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  3. #2
    backslider Array K-rod's Avatar
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  4. #3
    Dam I got old fast Array FZrrr's Avatar
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    I like the idea of lane splitting but feel the people in cars who at present will not move over to give you room and sometimes will squeeze together to block a motorcycle from passing would make lane splitting suicidal in Vancouver.

    You can make what ever argument you want but ignorant car drivers will win with 4000 lbs of steel against your leg's.

    I watched a KLR at 20 KMH entering the Massey tunnel north bound clip the back fender of a pick-up with his left bar end which kicked the front tire left and he tried to recover banking right and crashed to the right infront of the trailer duals of the semi in the right lane, just in 1/2 second he was dead, crushed and I was shaking so bad I had to stop. A policeman took a statement and I asked how he dealt with the gore, he said you see so much you get used to it.

    The car culture here is not motorcycle friendly and I doubt it ever will be, ride like people are trying to kill you, it's the way I survive when faced with arrogance, indifference, ignorance and poor driving skills.
    What you are We once were---What we are You will be, Voices of the dead.

  5. #4
    Moderator Array Shovelhead's Avatar
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    Lane splitting in California is an option, it is not mandatory.
    If it ever comes here, you would only split lanes if you wanted to.,
    R.I.P #48 Shoya Tomizawa (December 10, 1990 – September 5, 2010)
    R.I.P. #58 Marco Simoncelli (January 20, 1987 – October 23, 2011)

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    A good video with some food for thought. The rider taking responsibility every time he goes out should be the basic attitude. Also covering your breaks and clutch is a habit I'll defiantly be getting into. I do have one question though. I've never done much traveling south of the border, but I've heard somewhere their lanes are noticeably wider. I have no idea if this is true or not, just putting it out there...

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    Wanderer of the Wastes Array DNAspark99's Avatar
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    Logic and common sense applied to BC's motoring laws?
    color me doubtful.
    "I dread beyond all else the growth of the petty tyranny of restrictive legislation, the transference of disciplinary authority from the judiciary to the constabulary, the abandonment of every constitutional safeguard of individual liberty."

  8. #7
    100% Asshole Array SpookyjacK's Avatar
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    It's the mentality here, people pay taxes and feel they own the part of the road they are driving on...fucking people won't even move over to the right to let the fast lane move along.

    Think those same people will let you in to split lanes?...Screw that I'd rather wait for my opening and pass the bitches...

  9. #8
    BannedSpammer Array malamikigo's Avatar
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    Yea. It just *does not matter* what they pass into law. The cage drivers here will squash the idea, and squash you in the process.

  10. #9
    Registered User Array crazyshannon's Avatar
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    Lanes in Cali are not significantly wider than around here, some of the highways even have these awful raised ridges on the painted white line tripping up a careless bike ... and drivers don't 'move over' for lanesplitting bikes ... I mean it happens sometimes, but it's about as common as someone in the fast lane moving over. Not about hostility per se - people just aren't paying attention. Which is fine, because successful splitting does not depend on cars being especially accommodating.

    I have heard - not sure if true... that in the event of an accident in Cali, the lane splitting moto is near always held at fault; this seems fair to me, and I would gladly accept the extra responsibility.

    It seems very dangerous to us, but I think if we were more practiced in it, we should think differently. I lanesplit regularly in Cali, but I cannot keep up with a Cali rider; they see further ahead than me, their peripheral vision is more finely tuned, etc. I'm not talking young guns on supersports - commuters on naked bikes, pleasure riders on touring bikes, and even choppers ha, have all left me behind in a lanesplitting contest. I know it's beyond my skill set to try to follow, but for them I am sure it is quite fine.

    Why shouldn't we at least have the option?

  11. #10
    Moderator Array CoolDaddyGroove's Avatar
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    All we really need is for it to be legal to shoulder surf or lane split when traffic is stopped. That in itself would make a HUGE difference.

  12. #11
    100% Asshole Array SpookyjacK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoolDaddyGroove View Post
    All we really need is for it to be legal to shoulder surf or lane split when traffic is stopped. That in itself would make a HUGE difference.
    I could live with that one...

  13. #12
    Registered User Array BROSKI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpookyjacK View Post
    It's the mentality here, people pay taxes and feel they own the part of the road they are driving on...fucking people won't even move over to the right to let the fast lane move along.

    Think those same people will let you in to split lanes?...Screw that I'd rather wait for my opening and pass the bitches...
    Agreed. People are totally Spoiled here, think they own the road.... and since biking here is so seasonal, i don't think i can trust any cager to share lane with. If any one of them have an oops moment, i know i'll lose. It all comes down to the culture.... Dont think BC drivers are ready for this. BUT i fully endorse it to be legalized mainly as an option.

    Quote Originally Posted by CoolDaddyGroove View Post
    All we really need is for it to be legal to shoulder surf or lane split when traffic is stopped. That in itself would make a HUGE difference.
    Totally agree..... it would make a world of difference.
    Last edited by BROSKI; 01-29-2013 at 07:57 AM.

  14. #13
    Registered User Array Gman's Avatar
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    I didn't realise that its illegal to chop lanes over there? i thought you had most of the highway code from uk,apart from driving on the wrong side and like the guy said at the end. Its got to be safer than riding with out a helmet!

  15. #14
    Registered User Array cba's Avatar
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    Boxed vs Open Gap
    Braking/superman vs Passing through
    Rear ended vs managing safety shield actively

    Boxed: -The car driver with ABS brakes and nice tires, outbreaks you in a panic stop. Say hello to rear bumper. Superman.
    -The driver behind you driving with bald tires, no ABS and a smart phone. Fails to brake in time. Say hello to his front bumper.

    It's legal in California for many years and after their observations and experience they in recent years carefully worded lane-splitting in California's Driver Handbook. I think BC should just copy that text.

    Maybe we should assess street riding accidents to see if "boxed riding mindset" was a factor or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by SpookyjacK View Post
    ...Think those same people will let you in to split lanes?...Screw that..
    Crazyshannon already answered this. You don't have to ask permission from other drivers to split lane. Lane splitting is optional, you do it when you see it safe. Pass when the sliding window is opening or not sliding. Don't pass when you see it closing.

    OP video script:
    0:03JAMIE ROBINSON: We're here in Los Angeles with Wes and
    0:04Harlan, and we're going to explain to you why splitting
    0:07lanes on a motorcycle is a good thing to do.
    0:10Welcome to RideApart.
    0:58Wes, you're an experienced rider.
    1:01You've ridden motorcycles all around the world.
    1:04You've ridden here in America on different states where you
    1:07can split lanes.
    1:08Now you're in California, and you couldn't while
    1:10you were in New York.
    1:12What's your take on it?
    1:13WES SILER: You know, the first time I ever split lanes was on
    1:15my very first riding lesson in London when I was 16.
    1:19Very first time I'd ever ridden a bike on the road.
    1:21They threw us on these little 125s and were just
    1:23like, here you go.
    1:24Here's traffic.
    1:25This is central London.
    1:26So we just went out, straight out of the car park, straight
    1:29into traffic.
    1:30We did it.
    1:30So I've never not split lanes.
    1:33That's been a problem with legality sometimes, but it's
    1:37just what motorcycles do.
    1:38It's just how motorcycles operate.
    1:39JAMIE ROBINSON: Now, you're talking about legality
    1:40problems in America.
    1:42I mean, all over Europe, we can split lanes.
    1:45WES SILER: Everywhere in the world, lane splitting is legal
    1:47and encouraged because it's a safe, economical thing to do.
    1:50It's how motorcycles get around.
    1:51But in 49 states outside of California, it's illegal, and
    1:54the cops will come down on you hard.
    1:57I've got a stack of reckless riding tickets like this from
    1:59when I lived in New York.
    2:01And none of it was reckless.
    2:02All of it was stopped traffic, go to the front of the queue
    2:04of traffic.
    2:06Just normal, common sense stuff to the rest of us, and
    2:08for some reason, those 49 states just hate it.
    2:12JAMIE ROBINSON: OK, Harlan, you've ridden in Philly, and
    2:14now you're here in California.
    2:16So you've actually experienced it also in the States.
    2:19What's the change been like for you?
    2:21HARLAN FLAGG: Yeah, well, riding in Philly, not
    2:23splitting lanes, we took it for granted, you know?
    2:27Don't split lanes.
    2:28As soon as I moved back to LA, I see all these motorcyclists
    2:33riding through traffic, and as soon as I caught on to it and
    2:36I felt comfortable doing it, I wouldn't have it
    2:39any other way now.
    2:40It's really the only way to get around LA.
    2:43JAMIE ROBINSON: Exactly.
    2:44So I also had started riding motorcycles in London in a
    2:47busy, busy city.
    2:48And if I'd have been a part of traffic, of the car traffic, I
    2:52wouldn't have gotten anywhere.
    2:54Pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists were just going
    2:57through cars, stationary cars all of the time.
    3:01It was a shock to the system to me.
    3:03It looks dangerous, but like you've said, once you had a go
    3:06and you experience it for yourself,
    3:10it wasn't as daunting.
    3:11It looks quite like you're doing something wrong.
    3:14It looks quite aggressive.
    3:16It looks like motorcyclists are trying to break the law.
    3:18But actually, there's a lot of room out there, and we're just
    3:20picking our way through.
    3:21WES SILER: If you're sitting low in a car, sheltered from
    3:24the environment around you, and a bike comes by 15 or 20
    3:26miles an hour faster, it looks like warp speed, and it looks
    3:30like this incredibly irresponsible,
    3:31dangerous thing to do.
    3:32And it couldn't be any more different.
    3:35It's safer.
    3:37It's more responsible.
    3:39On a motorcycle, we don't have crumple zones.
    3:41We don't have this built-in safety, so we have to take
    3:44charge of that ourselves.
    3:46And part of that is splitting lanes, putting us in charge,
    3:48allowing us to control our interaction with cars.
    3:51Allowing us to control our environment.
    3:53And it's that control that gives us safety when we don't
    3:56have the whole cage around us.
    3:59The width of our vehicle is as wide as our shoulders.
    4:01That is the widest point, right?
    4:03And so what's that--
    4:03two feet, three feet?
    4:05And so long as you've got a good four feet or five feet
    4:06wide, which is what the gap is between most lanes, it's more
    4:09than enough, and it's just fine.
    4:10Just plenty safe.
    4:11And then what we also do is we sit up so high on bikes, and
    4:15our vision is so unobstructed that it's very easy to spot
    4:17when a car is going to change lanes.
    4:20So it's not out of control.
    4:22It's not reckless, it's not dangerous.
    4:24It's natural, and you're in control, and it's a very safe
    4:28thing to do.
    4:29JAMIE ROBINSON: At the end of the day, we're in control.
    4:32If an accident happens because of an irresponsible car
    4:35driver, we have to take some responsibility for that
    4:38because we're on a motorcycle.
    4:39I don't expect--
    4:42there's some things that are out of our control, of course,
    4:44but we have to be ready.
    4:46WES SILER: When I get on a motorcycle, I'm taking my life
    4:49into my own hands.
    4:50That is a decision that I'm taking by riding a motorcycle,
    4:53not operating a nice, big, safe SUV, right?
    4:55So even if some cute girl is sexting her boyfriends and
    4:59runs into me, I have to accept that's my fault because it's
    5:01my life on the line, not hers.
    5:03So it's my job to make sure that it
    5:04doesn't happen, not hers.
    5:06She can be a bad driver all she wants.
    5:08It's my job not to let her run into me.
    5:09I have to spot that ahead of time, take proper maneuvers to
    5:13avoid it, and just not let it be an issue for me.
    5:15JAMIE ROBINSON: And as a motorcycle rider, I've found
    5:17as well-- which is sometimes quite hard-- but you have to
    5:19let things go.
    5:20WES SILER: Yeah.
    5:21You can't get angry.
    5:22JAMIE ROBINSON: If you get angry because something
    5:23happens, unfortunately, your concentration is totally taken
    5:27away, and you'll end up in an accident further down the
    5:30road, because you're still reliving the one that you've
    5:32just had behind.
    5:33So we have all of these challenges, and that's part of
    5:36the fun and enjoyment of riding a motorcycle.
    5:40So let's get on the road.
    5:42Let's go ahead and show some lane splitting.
    5:45And let's show it sensibly, show how it's done, and have
    5:50some fun on motorbikes.
    5:51How about that?
    5:52WES SILER: No crashing, Jamie.
    5:54JAMIE ROBINSON: Wes, you're the one with injuries, man.
    5:57No crashing?
    5:57What's he talking about?
    5:59He's Mr. Crasher.
    6:00WES SILER: Go, go.
    6:50There was a study done in Belgium, and they determined
    6:54that if only 10% of car drivers switched to
    6:59motorcycles, all traffic, all congestion
    7:01would drop 40% total.
    7:03So you can imagine, we're riding here today
    7:04in LA, if just 10%--
    7:06because this is a motorcycle city, but here
    7:08not even 10% ride--
    7:10if 10% switched, 40% less traffic in LA?
    7:13JAMIE ROBINSON: Amazing.
    7:14WES SILER: It'd be night and day, you know?
    7:15JAMIE ROBINSON: It'd be like going back to 1970.
    7:17WES SILER: And it's really not dangerous.
    7:19It's actually safer than sitting in traffic.
    7:22The big motorcycle safety bible, the biggest study ever
    7:25done on motorcycle safety was the 1981 Hurt Report.
    7:28And it determined that 2/3 of all motorcycle car collisions
    7:33were caused by the driver, not the bike.
    7:35And the most common of those are rear enders, right?
    7:38The one thing we don't have the ability to escape on a
    7:40motorcycle is a rear ender.
    7:41If we're set still, and a car comes up behind us--
    7:44JAMIE ROBINSON: It's a very bad situation for
    7:45motorcyclists, the rear ends.
    7:46WES SILER: We can't see it coming, and it'll
    7:47probably kill you.
    7:48Because that's a big, two-ton vehicle coming
    7:50up and hitting you.
    7:52You've got a bit of leather on.
    7:53It's going to hurt.
    7:55And lane splitting completely removes rear
    7:57enders from the equation.
    7:59Puts you in charge.
    8:01On motorcycles, your safety is up to you.
    8:03And it's your skill and your awareness and how careful you
    8:06are that equals your safety.
    8:08And lane splitting allows us to build that safety back into
    8:11our riding.
    8:12JAMIE ROBINSON: Yeah, absolutely.
    8:13You see, the road also opens up as you lane split.
    8:17Opportunities open up.
    8:19And it's not that I'm searching for them, but they
    8:21just naturally happen.
    8:22HARLAN FLAGG: It's like you have your own lane.
    8:23JAMIE ROBINSON: Yeah, exactly.
    8:24HARLAN FLAGG: The motorcyclist has his own lane.
    8:26He's out of the car's way, the cars are out of his way.
    8:29And it really just, it opens the road.
    8:32You can actually just see how much more efficient it is,
    8:35because you can fit motorcycles in
    8:37between every lane.
    8:39More cars on the road, I mean, the same amount of people that
    8:41would be otherwise taking up all those cars.
    8:43WES SILER: Every time one of us splits lanes, you get to
    8:46work faster.
    8:46We are helping you.
    8:48This is a good thing.
    8:49Don't hate us.
    8:50The US Department of Transportation did a study.
    8:52They looked at motorcycle accidents in California and
    8:56then compared them to Texas and Florida, which, same
    8:58year-round riding, same demographics ride, right?
    9:00But in Texas and Florida, you don't have lane splitting.
    9:02In those two states, deaths caused by rear end collisions
    9:06to motorcyclists are 30% higher than in California.
    9:09And that's not a statistical anomaly.
    9:11That is a huge figure.
    9:13So 30% less of us are dying because cars hit us in
    9:16California because we have lane splitting.
    9:18JAMIE ROBINSON: And also, you really can read the road
    9:21that's happening ahead, and you can see the cars, and
    9:23you're just aware of everything around you.
    9:26And when I'm in an actual lane of a car, and I
    9:28can't see the driver--
    9:30WES SILER: And you're blocked because there's a van or
    9:30something in front of you.
    9:31JAMIE ROBINSON: --it's so much more difficult to see
    9:33what's going on.
    9:34And on a motorcycle, we don't have the comfort of a
    9:36shell around us.
    9:37If we crash, we're likely going to be hurt if we're
    9:40involved with another vehicle.
    9:42I've ridden in London, just like yourself.
    9:44And lane splitting, like you said, straight out of the test
    9:48bay, you're doing it straight away.
    9:50It's how we're brought up.
    9:51It's not that we feel that we're doing anything wrong,
    9:53it's just that that's the way it is.
    9:54And that's the same throughout Europe.
    9:56I got to Asia, and it's exactly the same in Asia--
    9:59in fact, probably more so.
    10:00They ride bikes wherever there's a gap.
    10:03And I don't see any motorcycle accidents, and people are just
    10:07getting on with it.
    10:08WES SILER: But motorcycles make a great form of
    10:11I'm riding the fastest bike here today, and I'm still
    10:13probably getting 50 or 55 miles per gallon, which is
    10:17roughly what a Toyota Prius gets, right?
    10:19The big difference is, I'm moving.
    10:21I'm never sitting still, except at a red light.
    10:23That Toyota Prius is sitting in traffic
    10:25for extended periods.
    10:26And even a Toyota Prius, even in these hybrids, they get
    10:31zero miles per gallon when they're sitting still.
    10:33JAMIE ROBINSON: I mean, but motorcycles around any city,
    10:35around any town, around any village, a
    10:37great mode of transport.
    10:38I mean, so many different bikes as well that's out there
    10:43for whatever choice you make.
    10:45If you're a commuter, I mean, you're on an electric
    10:47motorcycle today.
    10:48HARLAN FLAGG: Yeah.
    10:49I'm riding an electric bike, and I ride electric every day.
    10:53That's how I get to and from work.
    10:54That's how I go to my friend's house.
    10:56I run my errands on it.
    10:57WES SILER: When was the last time you bought a tank of gas?
    11:03HARLAN FLAGG: You know, I--
    11:05WES SILER: I like that you have to think about this.
    11:06JAMIE ROBINSON: I'm annoyed by that.
    11:07WES SILER: If you're watching this show, when was the last
    11:09time you bought a tank of gas, and how much did you spend?
    11:11And Harlan can't answer this question.
    11:13JAMIE ROBINSON: Another good thing that we need to do as
    11:15well, they don't teach this in the instructor classes for
    11:20novices, but really about covering the brake.
    11:23WES SILER: Yeah.
    11:23So you're ready to react.
    11:24JAMIE ROBINSON: Ready to react.
    11:25WES SILER: In a split second.
    11:26JAMIE ROBINSON: Absolutely.
    11:26WES SILER: There's no time between taking your hand off
    11:28the handlebar and going for the front brake.
    11:31You can't always keep your fingers hovering over the
    11:33brake lever, but two fingers, just keep resting on top of
    11:35the brake lever.
    11:36And if you need to use that front brake, you can go ahead
    11:38and use it without having to go like that.
    11:39JAMIE ROBINSON: Yeah, one finger, two
    11:40fingers, whatever it is.
    11:41WES SILER: I always keep my right foot over
    11:42the back brake lever.
    11:43I always have my left hand covering the clutch so I can
    11:46whip the clutch in real fast if I need to.
    11:48And that all of a sudden takes all the little maneuvers that
    11:51we do-- not just slowing down, but changing direction real
    11:54fast, or you're dodging something, whatever it might
    11:56be-- it just helps you do that at low speed.
    11:59You really need to have that really fine degree of control
    12:02because you want to be smooth and you want to be careful.
    12:04JAMIE ROBINSON: I mean, I've got a friend who goes to work
    12:08every day, and he says he's got Netflix on at the first
    12:11set of traffic lights.
    12:12And he watches a movie on his way to work.
    12:15Now, I was astonished about that.
    12:18I was like, what?
    12:19And he was like, well, traffic's bad.
    12:22What else am I going to do?
    12:24I get bored.
    12:25And I'm just like, you need to get a motorcycle.
    12:27That's what you need to do.
    12:29But we have to take responsibility.
    12:31When we're putting our helmets on, there's lots of people on
    12:33the road that are not paying attention 100% of the time.
    12:36WES SILER: Lane splitting is safer.
    12:37That's statistically proven, right?
    12:39Lane splitting reduces congestion for everybody,
    12:42including car drivers.
    12:44It is a common sense, practical, safe thing for
    12:47motorcyclists to do.
    12:49More states of America should allow it.
    12:51More riders should learn how to do it safely.
    12:54HARLAN FLAGG: It's a way for them to avoid dangerous
    12:58It puts them in control of the situation.
    13:03It keeps them from being just a vulnerable target in a sea
    13:08of automobiles.
    13:09JAMIE ROBINSON: I totally agree.
    13:09And having ridden, again, motorcycles around the world,
    13:12and seeing how efficient people, motorcyclists are
    13:15around the world, and how we're just getting through
    13:17traffic, especially in congested cities, it just
    13:21reduces that congestion so much.
    13:23I mean, it's a no brainer, almost.
    13:26And we've got great roads here in America.
    13:29If we could allow it in some other states, I really see it
    13:33as being a positive thing for us.
    13:35And maybe they can actually, at that point, look upon the
    13:37helmet law as actually--
    13:39WES SILER: Maybe get a few more of those passed.
    13:42JAMIE ROBINSON: It's just, that's where more lives can be
    13:45saved, I'm sure.

    Easier to do on some bikes:

    Focus on the gap in front of rider in this video:

    I think the rider is a bit conservative.
    Watch the video again but with BC riding style, see if you should be staying directly behind a car in single file.
    Last edited by cba; 10-11-2013 at 04:19 PM. Reason: YT link
    te tee ... te te tee ...... te tee ...te te tee............ te tee .

  16. #15
    100% Asshole Array SpookyjacK's Avatar
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    With the amount of cell phone use and the fact that it is "illegal" hasn't stopped the fact that still 1 in 3 drivers is on one including police officers...I won't take the chance.

    By all means go ahead and trust your fellow cagers to be respectful and to see you, go rely on your super street skills. This city's drivers are a joke. I can pick and choose where to pass and I do.

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