lane splitting - Suzuki Burgman Forum
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post #1 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-15-2009, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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lane splitting

In the UK we call it filtering. Its just been raised again in another thread and I was quite amazed at the US attitude against it. I dont mean to be rude, and when I thought about it more I realized that its probably accepted by US bikers as being illegal because you have so much more space!
Here in UK we have sixty million people crammed into a really quite tiny island.
Here lane splitting is not illegal. Nor is it dangerous.... provided it is done with care! When its done carelessly then its illegal (Careless Riding/Driving).
On my way to work (21 miles) if I do the 8am shift there is one 3 mile stretch where I go between 2 lanes of queueing
cages and I count the cars to my right. It often exceeds 1000. Therefore I have overtaken or otherwise avoided roughly 2000 cages! I dont consider it rude. Neither do most of them. I am just utilising the natural advantages of my chosen transport. After all it is me who may get cold and wet , while they listen to the radio and use thier mobile phones(illegally) whilst driving.
Filtering for me is one of the top reasons for using any motorised 2 wheeler. When they ban it here in Blightey you will find me giving up bikes and taking vallium in my cage! Long live filtering/lane splitting/and getting to the front of the queue! Long live the Queen! Bill (Some of you who know me will know that my company vehicle has flashing lights and often filters accompanied by a sort of loud nee naa nee naa sound. I split lanes on that bike too!)

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post #2 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-15-2009, 06:15 PM
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Re: lane splitting

It's easier to do on the other side of the road...
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post #3 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-15-2009, 07:14 PM
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Re: lane splitting

The place you may see it in the USA is in a large city the bike (no motor) riders. Most states have laws again lane filtering/lane splitting.

Another good reason a member would do well to put the location in there profiles. We are from different places and do not even drive on the same side of the road.

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post #4 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-15-2009, 08:38 PM
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Re: lane splitting

I'm with you 100% Billy. Lane splitting is technically illegal in Australia but is not enforced and frankly speaking if I couldn't lane split why would I bother commuting on the bike? As you say, you are subject to the cold and wet when you could be cozy and warm in your car. My car is a convertible so I get pretty close to the motorcycling experience anyway as I drive top down year round in it - yes, I have the very effective heater running in cool weather and on the occasions when it does rain it takes me 5 second to press the button and have the roof up.

I do believe our North American posters are being far too self righteous about this - the reality is that for just about every other country in the world, including just south of your border, lane-splitting is the absolute norm. Frankly speaking, having a rider whizz pass you on the inside when you are not expecting it may wake up a few drivers (after they spill their coffee ) and get them to be a bit more observant and realise there is more to driving than sitting in your lane and putting your brain into remote control. :P

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post #5 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-15-2009, 09:23 PM
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Re: lane splitting

And it is funny to make someone spill their coffee and possibly ruin clothing? I guess I'm just enough older to want to enjoy the peace and quite and relaxation of a good ride without the rush of swerving back and forth in traffic. In the US, that type of driving is considered "aggressive" in many areas and will get you a ticket if you're not careful. Come to think of it, someone in another post mentioned counting 1000 cars waiting in line. Don't you think it might be more important to be paying attention to driving conditions? After all, we are smaller than they are and THEY (many cagers) don't care about us. That means we have to be extra careful. That's one reason that so many riders use modulators (headlight and brake light) to attract attention and try to stay safe. It is also why we wear helmets. I live close to KY now and there is no helmet law so a lot of riders go without. I guess that is a perfect example of the Darwin Effect. Gene

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post #6 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-15-2009, 09:40 PM
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Re: lane splitting

Your only slightly older than me Gene and I've owned bikes continuously and commuted on them for almost 40 years, with only one serious accident in my first year of riding, so I figure I know what I'm doing (I also figure most other experienced riders on this board know too). I have also ridden in just about every country in the world and can talk from experience about the challenges in riding in places like Ho Chi Minh City and Roma where motorcycles are the dominant vehicles on the road.

No I don't think it's funny to have someone spill coffee on themselves but let's consider the points I was really making in that statement.

1. A safe competent and alert driver wouldn't be drinking coffee whilst driving because it impairs their driving ability. As a matter of fact it's illegal to eat and/or drink whilst driving in my country.
2. A driver should be aware of their surroundings and be alert to the unexpected - how else are they going to respond to an emergency situation?

As for being attentive to riding conditions I can assure you it is impossible to lane-split without being 100% focussed on traffic conditions - in front, to each side and behind you.

As for wearing helmets, in my experience the USA is the only country in the world that does not have mandatory helmet laws for all riders - but that would be an infringement of one or the other of your amendments wouldn't it?

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post #7 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-15-2009, 10:08 PM
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Re: lane splitting

I agree that no one should be eating or drinking or on the phone or putting on lipstick etc etc...but they do. The funny thing in my area is that bicycles lane split legally. I watch them pass on the right and get taken out by right turning vehicles. Cage drivers are supposed to do a right shoulder check before making a right turn to avoid hitting the bikes passing on the right. I don't think anyone should be passing me on the right in my lane. I don't expect anyone else to be in my lane. And I don't want anyone in my lane, including bicycles.The roads would be safer with one set of rules for everyone sharing the road. IMHO, Lane splitting is dangerous because it creates different rules for drivers of different vehicles and this introduces confusion for some of the mentally challenged cage drivers.
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post #8 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-16-2009, 07:50 AM
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Re: lane splitting

I was quite amazed at the US attitude against it.

It is a law we follow. It is what we respect and expect. Good or bad right or wrong. You come to our country you are expected to drive on the other side of the road. It is not an attitude it is what we are used to.

Do not think we are all the same because of one post.

This guy would not last one week end in the USA and he is on the right (not wrong right) side of the road.
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post #9 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-16-2009, 08:33 AM
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Re: lane splitting

I'm with Garry on this subject...To the best of my limited knowledge, on Kalifornia allows lane splitting and filtering to the front of the line at stops etc.

I wish it were legal everywhere...Remember, just because you can do it, does not mean you must do it...freedom of choice

Also to be best of my limited knowledge, the accident statistics from Kalifornia, show no significant increase nor decrease on a per million mile basis with legal lane splitting and filtering, as compared to other states that do not allow it.

I spent a year in Kalifornia one week and it does seem to be more efficient, cagers are used to it, everyone seems to get along, bikes just get along a little faster

From the CHP website:
"Can motorcycle riders "split" lanes and ride between other vehicles?"

"Lane splitting by motorcycles is permissible but must be done in a safe and prudent manner."

There's the rub...that little nasty "safe and prudent" clause...leaves the subject to the officers discretion...

Lane splitting and filtering is just another skill one learns, not significantly different than other skills learned to operate a bike safely

So Garry, when are you becoming a STowner?

JMHO

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post #10 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-16-2009, 09:58 AM
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Re: lane splitting

Yup to Gary - it's what we do in the UK and elsewhere. My commute to work takes 40-60 minutes in a car, 20 on the Burgy. And I do it safely, by paying attention to whats around me. I also wear a helmet, because it makes sense to do so, as a quick talk to any ER doctor will tell you. Not for nothing are helmetless drivers referred to as mobile organ donors. But if its legal in your country/state, then it's your choice.

So please - as someone who's ridden and driven for 40 years on 6 continents - don't preach to me about filtering being "rude" or "inconsiderate". If it's legal where I'm driving, I'll do it - if it isn't, I won't. If I drive recklessly then I'll expect to get pulled by the Old Bill, and rightly so.
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