learning to split lanes..? - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 03:09 AM Thread Starter
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learning to split lanes..?

im in cali so its legal, but im really not comfortable at all doing it yet. im sure my little 250 can fit through the gaps just fine, but im more worried about the reaction...

it just seems like im better off NOT doing it, mostly because i know there will always be that handful of psychotic drivers trying to hinder/harm you for "cutting".

but at the same time, i know lane splitting is the best option for ME because it completely eliminates the possibility of being rear ended, and possibly killed for one thing...

so is there any good way to start getting into splitting? or do i just need to man up and get used to it? also, being in a 250 seems like a hindrance because 3/4 times, cars accelerate just as quickly as i do.
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 06:36 AM
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You can easily be killed pulling off this riding style. A lot of people who ride on a regular basis get away with it. Mostly sport bike riders.
I very rarely if ever see anyone on a vstar or even a Harley lane splitting.

All it takes is someone opening their door to spit or dump out some
coffee and you get to do a face plant into the butt end of that door.

Guess what _ that accident is your fault.

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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 07:07 AM
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Personally I would never consider it. legal or not. Would I pull between two lanes as an emergency maneuver to keep from getting squished? sure! But as a normal riding style it's just not something I would do! Being on a bike is inherently dangerous enough so why add to my risk.

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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 05:51 PM
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Well Spoken Summer, This is a Riding style that has grown from the California area and from video's on Youtube.

I just watched a video from England where this guy is riding a Triumph
speed tripple between lanes while filming it with his Gopro.

Was I impressed ? No not at all. I thought to myself "this guy is going to die if he keeps doing this."

Kind of like a drug addict. If you get away with your life just once you think you can do it over and over again until it feels natural.

Then you get busted. Ut oh. Cold turkey is not fun.
Lane splitting and getting killed is also not fun....

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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 06:17 PM
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I live in SF and lane split regularly on my 1100... It was scary at first but I feel it's worth doing as long as you are safe about it. Here's my take on a good way to get started. *This is my PERSONAL opinion - you may disagree with me. That's fine. Just don't start a flame war please! *



1. Initially only split between stopped traffic on a road that is at least two lanes wide in your direction (basically getting to the front of the line at a red light). Once the light changes, if you are not at the front of the line, merge into a lane and continue with the rest of the vehicles.

2. NEVER split on the right side of the outside lane of traffic (between "moving" traffic and parked cars) - too much chance of a car door opening in front of you.
2a. NEVER split in a turning lane.

3. Once you are comfortable with splitting stationary traffic, you can move onto splitting moving traffic. Per Highway Code suggestion you should never split in traffic moving more than 35mph and you should only travel up to 10mph faster than the speed of the traffic around you.

4. If a car can fit there illegally then you should not go there either. Think hwy shoulders and bicycle lanes...

5. Be aware that trucks and buses will take up A LOT more room in the lane so passing them can take patience (and sometimes a little moxie).

6. When splitting slow moving traffic on a hwy, it is polite to only use the gap between the two left/inner lanes. It's also safer because (especially somewhere like SF) drivers are more likely to expect to see you splitting, and there are less people trying to merge on/off the hwy.

7. Always keep your eyes moving!!!!! Watch the cars in front for sudden head movements that will indicate someone about to merge through you. Watch for bikes behind you - pull into the traffic lane and let your fellow bikers pass until you gain confidence.

8. On that note, if you see another rider splitting, that is a GREAT way to start - they are making room through the vehicles FOR you. Much of the time, drivers see the oncoming bike and try to give you a bit of room, so the previous bike will have made room for you to follow!



Basically, to split or not to split (that is the question! ) is entirely up to you. Just because it is legal doesn't mean it is safe. Just because it is safe doesn't mean it is fun. Ride your own ride and don't let anyone tell you you are wrong. As long as you are happy and not adversely affecting those around you, do what makes you comfortable.

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Last edited by M'Lady; 01-27-2015 at 06:21 PM.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 06:50 PM
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If I may be so bold here I would like to ask the question of Why? What is the reason/purpose for lane splitting? I have my own theory but that is based on no facts but just my our opinion. I would like to hear reasons from others.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 07:08 PM
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To feel holyer than thou, Leader of the pack, Able to beat everyone else at take off, So others can look at your butt, Because your bike runs like crap and is slow, Can't be Late for work no other way to be in early. Chicks just love a guy that sneaks up behind them.

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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 07:23 PM
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Nuthin but corn fields, curves, and a few small towns on my riding path. I've got no opinion on lane splitting as its the riders call. But ... I will say if you have a need to split lanes you ride bad roads with too much traffic. Get off the beaten path, enjoy the ride.

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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 08:00 PM
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To all those against lane splitting... Here in Cali it is legal and most people do it on the freeway regardless of the type of bike they ride. I very rarely if ever lane split on surface streets. Traffic congestion is a regular thing where I live. Lane splitting can be dangerous for sure, you need to expect every car out there will try to lane change at the last second. Would you suggest coming to a complete, foot down stop on the highway? I wont do it, it is asking for huge trouble. If traffic is moving I will generally stay in a lane, but if it stops, I will lane split. I keep the speed down and am really good at judging distances. Sometimes people will intentionally slide over to block your path, but more often than not people hold their line or swing out to give you space. It is actually illegal for cars to block lane splitters in CA, not that they know about the law or care. I have to commute and my bike is my only transportation. Freeway traffic in SoCal sucks and probably wont be getting any better.

I would not recommend you lane split too much without being very comfortable with your throttle/clutch control as you will need to adjust your speed and such regularly. As with anything take it easy and don't do anything you aren't comfortable with.

For a history lesson the origins of the law go back to when all motorcycles had air cooled engines and they would overheat. CHP actually stood up and blocked a law that would have banned lane splitting here since studies show it to be safer that sitting sandwiched between two cars.

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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 08:12 PM
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Ok , So you guys in California can do it legally. I get that part.

So think about this, Wouldn't it be the same thing to drive a VW or Geo Metro and lane split between two tractor trailers?

This is not legal and anyone caught doing it would most likely be labeled crazy as hell for doing it.

It is the big vehicle against the smaller. no difference to what your doing. It just happens for what ever reason to be legal in your state.

I guess riding on the interstate doing a wheelie the whole way is also
legal and called unicycling ? I never have to replace my front tire.

Bottom line is there is a lot of bad in this and very little good.

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