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During my work week I ride in a commute van, in the #1 lane, and as such I see a lot of riders splitting lanes. It seems a lot of the riders are going way too fast while splitting to be safe. At least IMHO. Then this last weekend I saw not one Motorcycle but a whole club of bikes passing on the Right, shoulder side of a one lane road, going past the long line of stopped cars. Is that even legal? Plus I would think it would give a negative opinion to cagers of bike riders in general. I was surprised as I was sitting in traffic as I was in a solid yellow (no passing) line part of the road, and here come about 20 bikes on my Right. So what is legal? VS what is acceptable VS what is the proper way? The rules I have read were very vague to say the least.
 

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Taking this point by point

OK, so here in California it is illegal to ride on the shoulder of the highway. Period. However ... you did say the cars were stopped and the bikes were (kind of) straddling the solid white line.

A couple days ago on a section of Old Hwy 395 here in San Diego County I did exactly that. The cars were stop/start at a long line to an intersection's stop sign. Quarter mile behind me was another big motorcycle that I had been watching in my rear-view, and it copied my moves, wavering on the white line until we both pulled up at the stop sign together. Damn if he wasn't a CHP! He just lifted his hand in greeting, I returned his greeting, turned right and he went forward. So either he didn't see it as a big deal, or he didn't need the overtime just to write me up - lol.

Now ... two things I think about in this context.
- One, these are air-cooled engines. Preferably, you need to keep moving to keep the engine from over heating. So at stopped or crawling traffic, it may be appropriate to split lanes.

- Two, splitting lanes puts you into a confined space, and reaction and stopping/evasion time is what it is. That means that, at least for me, under 20 mph is the rule of thumb.

I have run into many people that hate motorcycles just because they split lanes. The fact is that it scares a lot of the non-riding public, because it surprises them. They may not articulate it as fear, but it startles people, and respect on the road is important. I get that.

However, I have often persuaded them on this one point alone. People seem to understand when you tell them we're not just trying to cut in front of them, but that that after 20 minutes in stalled traffic, you'll now have a bike or two with a seized engine further blocking traffic. It gets them thinking differently.

I see people splitting lanes at +70 mph frequently, which in my opinion is way too fast to react to sudden changes in the traffic distribution. And I've done it ... but I never said I was smart. I don't always do what I know is right, but I try, mostly.

-George
 

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Split lanes for the 1st time in my life last year on my cross-country trip, (in northern San Diego county); scared the crap out of me. Going 10-15 mph and continually had to honk my horn to get people to give me room. Did it for about 3 miles then got a chance to move all the way to the right lane; a little here & a little there. Took the first exit, parked the bike, and after I stopped shaking I went into a Denny's, got a bite to eat and waited for the traffic to clear. Like I said, scared the crap out of me.
 

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When I lived and worked in the LA area (late 70s to late 80s) and several years no cage Superglide only I always split lanes as did every scooter. There were specific laws on which roads and under specific conditions you could ride the line, which we interpreted as anytime we rode. The law stated average traffic speed must be below 35MPH and you could not ride over 15MPH faster than traffic. We could pretty much ride at 55 all day and never had any close calls. I will say that people in those days were very respectful of Harley's and those of us that rode, rice grinders not so much and a guy on a Ninja could expect to have doors opened in front of him.
 

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Riding the right shoulder is illegal but laws are meant to be broken at times. I have gone down the right shoulder many of times when the occasion calls for it, usually when the traffic is stopped and the bike is getting hot. I ride in CA a lot and I don't split lanes because I'm not comfortable doing it.
 

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Riding the shoulder is not splitting lanes because the shoulder is not a lane and is not legal to ride on. If it's an emergency you'll get a pass but if not you'll get a ticket. And don't ask me how I know this😧
 

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Riding the shoulder is not splitting lanes because the shoulder is not a lane and is not legal to ride on. If it's an emergency you'll get a pass but if not you'll get a ticket. And don't ask me how I know this😧
Received one of those myself for "improper lane use". Riding on the shoulder that day also cost me a riding season when some a**hat decided to suddenly make an illegal U-turn without looking. Was only doing 20mph but that's all it takes. No time to react to things like that. A turn of the steering wheel and stab of the throttle happens faster than you think it will.
 

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Many years of splitting lanes 101, 405, 5 and 10 in LA. A mindset of constantly splitting lanes because you are in a hurry is probably not going to work out on a daily basis.

I would suggest staying off the boom box exploration controls at critical points. Speed all depends on so much. Commuting hours where you literally pass that same series of 500hp Vettes going 5mph every day, move along at a good clip, for the gap is generally very wide and you are dealing with experienced drivers. Take that to a Saturday and expect the unexpected change from the norm. Use basic defense tools. For example, it is generally pretty easy to tell when a driver is going to change lanes. They almost always do a little pull on the steering wheel or drift to the side of the lane space they are in.

Here in Colorado unfortunately it's illegal and I get it... sort of. What I will never get is having a swerving 3000lb vehicle coming at me to prove a point.

I would be hard pressed to ride on the shoulder of a road other than to pull over in expectation of handing over license, registration and proof of insurance.
 

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Split lanes for the 1st time in my life last year on my cross-country trip, (in northern San Diego county); scared the crap out of me. Going 10-15 mph and continually had to honk my horn to get people to give me room. Did it for about 3 miles then got a chance to move all the way to the right lane; a little here & a little there. Took the first exit, parked the bike, and after I stopped shaking I went into a Denny's, got a bite to eat and waited for the traffic to clear. Like I said, scared the crap out of me.
LOL
When you live in Cali splitting lanes is of the norm here.

I have been splitting lanes now for 37 years now and I have been down 3 times in that 37 years.

Going down is never good or fun I can tell you first hand.

I had thanked the man above those three times because I walked away without any huge injuries.

I ride 110 miles to work and back five days a week on the worst freeway in the country, the 405 freeway.

I split lanes everyday and I can tell you, you gain a six sense on what the cagers are going to do.

To most that will not make any sense what so ever but the guys that split all the time will know exactly what I'm talking about.

I think it's time for me to do another GoPro video showing what I do year round.

I had one up a couple of years ago and the guys on the forum thought splitting was just plain crazy so I removed it from YouTube.

Six Sense, Luck, & Balls is what it takes to split lanes without any issues but nothing is a guarantee as far as your saftey.

Because I split lanes all the time, whenever I am with a large group, the guys always have me lead, LOL.

Ride to your abilities, f-ck the phone while riding, ride aggressive but smart.

Make sure they see you or hear you and 99.9% of the time your good to go.

Swomack
 

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LOL
When you live in Cali splitting lanes is of the norm here.

I have been splitting lanes now for 37 years now and I have been down 3 times in that 37 years.

Going down is never good or fun I can tell you first hand.

I had thanked the man above those three times because I walked away without any huge injuries.

I ride 110 miles to work and back five days a week on the worst freeway in the country, the 405 freeway.

I split lanes everyday and I can tell you, you gain a six sense on what the cagers are going to do.

To most that will not make any sense what so ever but the guys that split all the time will know exactly what I'm talking about.

I think it's time for me to do another GoPro video showing what I do year round.

I had one up a couple of years ago and the guys on the forum thought splitting was just plain crazy so I removed it from YouTube.

Six Sense, Luck, & Balls is what it takes to split lanes without any issues but nothing is a guarantee as far as your saftey.

Because I split lanes all the time, whenever I am with a large group, the guys always have me lead, LOL.

Ride to your abilities, f-ck the phone while riding, ride aggressive but smart.

Make sure they see you or hear you and 99.9% of the time your good to go.

Swomack
Watched a few videos of lane splitting in cali on utube. I guess it takes some getting use to, especially on a bagger.
 

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LOL
When you live in Cali splitting lanes is of the norm here.

I have been splitting lanes now for 37 years now and I have been down 3 times in that 37 years.

Going down is never good or fun I can tell you first hand.

I had thanked the man above those three times because I walked away without any huge injuries.

I ride 110 miles to work and back five days a week on the worst freeway in the country, the 405 freeway.

I split lanes everyday and I can tell you, you gain a six sense on what the cagers are going to do.

To most that will not make any sense what so ever but the guys that split all the time will know exactly what I'm talking about.

I think it's time for me to do another GoPro video showing what I do year round.

I had one up a couple of years ago and the guys on the forum thought splitting was just plain crazy so I removed it from YouTube.

Six Sense, Luck, & Balls is what it takes to split lanes without any issues but nothing is a guarantee as far as your saftey.

Because I split lanes all the time, whenever I am with a large group, the guys always have me lead, LOL.

Ride to your abilities, f-ck the phone while riding, ride aggressive but smart.

Make sure they see you or hear you and 99.9% of the time your good to go.

Swomack
Let me know when your get that video up!! Do you give lessons? :D:D:D
 

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I am with Swomack, been splitting lanes my entire riding life of course, "way more cars now".. But, it is much easer than it may appear and there are more people that respect it then resent it. Personally, I do it safely and that is the key "SAFELY". Too many clowns showing off and scaring the crap out of cagers. If you are splitting lanes safely, things happen but, one should never be going too fast that you can not avoid the situation. I too have been down too many times but, most were my fault, I have never! been down lane splitting nor ever come close. As far as on the shoulder "NEVER" not only is it illegal but, unsafe that is where all the freeway crap winds up. One bolt, screw or what ever in a tire could take out you and anyone else around you.
 

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Here is my take on lane splitting. Its something that is in the laws to be used when necessary to safely avoid getting hit from behind and overheating. It is not a get through traffic free card. If you treat it as a get through traffic free card, you will likely get hit by a cager or get a ticket.

Lane splitting means you can slowly share a lane with a car in stopped traffic and at long traffic lights. That means you move through stopped or almost stopped cars, and you do so with care, respect, and at a very slow speed. Not zooming through inches from someones ears with your stereo blasting and your exhaust splitting people ears. Common sense will tell you thats not polite nor safe for you or the cagers. I dont even think you should be allowed to lane split at any speed over 25 mph. If the cars on the freeway are moving 25 mph, that is not a traffic jam, and you should not zoom through cars on the freeway at that speed. Remember, no matter how much you think you have the law on your side, there are a lot of dead bikers that had the right of way. We are a minority on the roads, people drive their cars in erratic ways, and they always have. They do not expect bikes to do things that cars wouldnt do, this isnt Vietnam where the bikes and scooters rule. We need to ride in a proper manner.

Now, I know everyone has their idea of a good time and good ride. Just be willing to pay the consequences of your actions.
 

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Here is my take on lane splitting. Its something that is in the laws to be used when necessary to safely avoid getting hit from behind and overheating. It is not a get through traffic free card. If you treat it as a get through traffic free card, you will likely get hit by a cager or get a ticket.

Lane splitting means you can slowly share a lane with a car in stopped traffic and at long traffic lights. That means you move through stopped or almost stopped cars, and you do so with care, respect, and at a very slow speed. Not zooming through inches from someones ears with your stereo blasting and your exhaust splitting people ears. Common sense will tell you thats not polite nor safe for you or the cagers. I dont even think you should be allowed to lane split at any speed over 25 mph. If the cars on the freeway are moving 25 mph, that is not a traffic jam, and you should not zoom through cars on the freeway at that speed. Remember, no matter how much you think you have the law on your side, there are a lot of dead bikers that had the right of way. We are a minority on the roads, people drive their cars in erratic ways, and they always have. They do not expect bikes to do things that cars wouldnt do, this isnt Vietnam where the bikes and scooters rule. We need to ride in a proper manner.

Now, I know everyone has their idea of a good time and good ride. Just be willing to pay the consequences of your actions.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Said the guy from FL to the guys in Cali.

In the state of California it is legal to split lanes.

If traffic is moving way under posted speed limit yes I am going to split those lanes all day long, why, because it's legal to do so.

If I drive my car from work to home, it takes 2 hours.

On my bike splitting lanes I get home in one hour fifteen minutes.

If you call that a get through traffic free card, so be it.

While I'm still here in SoCal, I'll be splitting lanes.

Swomack
 

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When I lived and worked in the LA area (late 70s to late 80s) and several years no cage Superglide only I always split lanes as did every scooter. There were specific laws on which roads and under specific conditions you could ride the line, which we interpreted as anytime we rode. The law stated average traffic speed must be below 35MPH and you could not ride over 15MPH faster than traffic. We could pretty much ride at 55 all day and never had any close calls. I will say that people in those days were very respectful of Harley's and those of us that rode, rice grinders not so much and a guy on a Ninja could expect to have doors opened in front of him.
Really? :rolleyes: I rode to LAX from OC during those years too. On one of the damned Ninja bikes (sarcasm) and I can say that I got the same treatment as the Harley riders. Most of the cagers could not tell what you were riding when you approached from behind. A bike was a bike. Now there were some cagers that just hated bikes because we could split lanes and all bets were off. They would try and intimidate anyone on a motorcycle. The funniest example of this was when I was following a CHP cop on the 405 and some a-hole tried to put a squeeze play on the cop. Wasn't he surprised when the cop looked over at him and lit him up!
 

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The funniest example of this was when I was following a CHP cop on the 405 and some a-hole tried to put a squeeze play on the cop. Wasn't he surprised when the cop looked over at him and lit him up!
I have a similar story, except the roles are reversed. Cop was following me and watched a couple of yahoos swerve at me several times. They were surprised when he lit them up after I got past. Instant Karma!!

Seriously though, I have lane split for 35+ years. It is legal in California, I use it to get through traffic and will continue to do so. the key is to do so safely.
 

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Really? :rolleyes: I rode to LAX from OC during those years too. On one of the damned Ninja bikes (sarcasm) and I can say that I got the same treatment as the Harley riders. Most of the cagers could not tell what you were riding when you approached from behind. A bike was a bike. Now there were some cagers that just hated bikes because we could split lanes and all bets were off. They would try and intimidate anyone on a motorcycle. The funniest example of this was when I was following a CHP cop on the 405 and some a-hole tried to put a squeeze play on the cop. Wasn't he surprised when the cop looked over at him and lit him up!





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35 years of lane splitting in So Cal here as well. Swomack nailed it when he talked about developiong that "sense".

Oh and in CA there is no "law" regarding lane splitting. Never has been. Laws only declare what's illegal to do, not what's legal. Recently the state implemented "guidelines" but there still are no lane sharing statutes. And I just read that UT was considering lifting the ban as well. Hopefully more states will follow.
 

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I agree with the other CA riders here that you eventually develop a 6th sense and learn to read the traffic and individual drivers as you go. There are still careless people and just plain idiots out there, but for the most part it's not bad and it works great when done right.

Many drivers are accustomed to bikers lane splitting here and some will give you extra room to pass; I give a quick wave to those good folks if I'm able to. I figure being courteous back to them keeps the relationship healthy for the next guy.

I don't zoom by the cars at stupid speeds, just an easy and safe pace. If it's a long haul of lane splitting, it can be a little tiring as it takes focus, but I'm glad we can lane split here.

I don't think I would do the right shoulder unless it's absolutely necessary, such as trying to get off the hwy due to mechanical problems or some such thing. I'm pretty sure it's not considered legal lane splitting, and I would think there's a lot of crap near the right shoulder that would not be safe to ride over.
 
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