Sorry guys but riding on the shoulder is WAAAAAY more dangerous and WAAAAY more illegal than Lane Splitting or Filtering. The few times I have ridden outside of California I have not tried lane splitting or filtering, since the drivers are not used to it it could be more challenging or provoke anger.
California rider here and I have been lane splitting for the last 5 years. Not only is Lane splitting safer than sitting in traffic, but as others said it helps improve the flow of traffic, either on the freeway or the Surface streets.
I filter to the front of traffic lights anytime I can, some roads the lanes are too narrow to get all the way to the front, and it is harder to do on my Vstar than on my FZ1.
All the CHP and Local Police and Sheriffs who ride motorcycles Lane Split here, if it was as dangerous as some think, why would the police do it? In fact the CHP practically endorse doing it as long as your differential speeds are between 10 and 20mph of the traffic you are passing.
A major reason why I know lane splitting is safer, On my commute alone I see at least 1 accident per day on the freeway, and every time it is a car rear-ending another car when traffic suddenly slows or stops. When a car is rear ended air bags go off and you run the risk of whiplash. When a motorcycle gets rear ended the rider gets severely injured or dies.
Here is one I happened to see in person rather than just the aftermath: https://youtu.be/7ytQe--NiXA?list=PL...uozrUxx7EGGeBu
Please DO NOT ride on the shoulder. The shoulder is for emergency stops and Emergency vehicles only. If my kid starts throwing up in the car or I get a flat, I will be moving to the shoulder to get out of everyone else's way as quickly as possible and since it is illegal to drive/ride on the shoulder there would be very little reason to look before pulling on to the shoulder.
I have been hit once by a car, what was I doing? I was filtering to the front of a line of traffic on the shoulder.
This means you only split or filter when there are at least two lanes of traffic traveling in each direction, only one lane... too bad, stay in the lane until you can pass.
All those guys who say they would never do it. Come to California and try it before you knock it, it is quite amazing, saves me 20-30 min each morning and 40-50 min each afternoon on my 35 mile each way commute.