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I live in California where it isn't illegal to do so. I'm about to get a ninja 250r for my first bike. I don't plan on riding in the freeway for quite some time or only during hours when there is barely any traffic once I am used to riding.

My question is how many of you lane split through traffic during those huge traffic jams. Those who ride in Cali know what I'm talking about. I would probably be tempted to do so. Although it does look a bit dangerous. Do you folks not recommend this even though traffic may be going like 10mph or completely stopped?

When does lane splitting become to dangerous to do so? Do you try to avoid it. Any close calls by doing this? What's the fastest you should be going while lane splitting or how slow should you go? I see other bikers just zip past me in my cage when I'm dead in traffic and they're at least going like 20 mph or so.

Any comment thoughts or opinions would be greatly appreciated. If they cover this in the MSF then sorry I wasn't aware. My classes are in a month and just trying to learn everything and anything while I can.
 

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Steve Mcqueen Wannabe!
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Do a search on this and look up what 'tweakmon' said about it. Its a good guide to lane splitting in cali. Be careful out there...
 

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Powerhungry
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I live in California where it isn't illegal to do so. I'm about to get a ninja 250r for my first bike. I don't plan on riding in the freeway for quite some time or only during hours when there is barely any traffic once I am used to riding.

My question is how many of you lane split through traffic during those huge traffic jams. Those who ride in Cali know what I'm talking about. I would probably be tempted to do so. Although it does look a bit dangerous. Do you folks not recommend this even though traffic may be going like 10mph or completely stopped?

When does lane splitting become to dangerous to do so? Do you try to avoid it. Any close calls by doing this? What's the fastest you should be going while lane splitting or how slow should you go? I see other bikers just zip past me in my cage when I'm dead in traffic and they're at least going like 20 mph or so.

Any comment thoughts or opinions would be greatly appreciated. If they cover this in the MSF then sorry I wasn't aware. My classes are in a month and just trying to learn everything and anything while I can.
i agree with brit, check tweakmons write-up on this.

also, i like how you worded that. thats the truth too. its not ILLEGAL.

thats different than it BEING legal.
 

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The only and ONLY way I lane split is to get to the front at a long signal. I commute between a lot of cities and do a lot of city riding. I make sure that traffic is totally stopped around me and will not suddenly start moving due to a light change and then I slowly creep up to the front. Always look before to check the lights and the gap between the cars. Sometimes with SUVs, Hummers etc, they are really wide and their mirrors stick out quite a bit. I too ride a 250 and sometimes am glad as its a bit narrower.

However whenever you do this you are taking a big risk and you should never do it when the traffic could suddenly move in your path.
 

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Make sure you become proficient at riding before you start splitting. There is a lot to learn and know just riding in one lane. Splitting adds a whole nother level of complication. I split daily on my commute (all street) and I also split on the freeway when traffic is backed up.
 

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I usually split through traffic on the freeway, but I try to avoid it if I can; it's extremely taxing mentally. How fast you go is really up to your discretion, but don't feel pressured to ride faster than you're comfortable with if you have another bike zip up behind you.

I'd say the most dangerous moments are when you're splitting between a car and an empty space. I've had one extremely close call where a driver darted out without any type of warning. My buddy behind me said they were about an inch away from hitting my rear wheel. Take extra precaution if you're splitting in the carpool lane and it opens up as well.
 

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:plusone: im with JustAJ, be a good rider first or you will be a dead rider.
 

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Wait until you have a lot of experience before you do it. I do it just about every day under lots of different circumstances but most would call me pretty extreme and I wouldn't recomend doing highspeed lanesplitting to anyone. Stop light situations and traffic jams are really the only places where it's sufficiently safe for most riders IMO
 

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I lane split to get away from a distracted or aggressive driver that's making me nervous. Beyond that I just stay in line. When I first started riding on the street-about 15 years ago now- I used to lane split all the time. After literally countless times of being flipped off, yelled at, chased, pulled over on and had more than one person throw something at me or strike my motorcycle on the way by-I pretty much stopped. The key here is most people think it IS illegal so they get all pissed off at you thinking that their correct, makes it O.K. to pull some road rage retaliation. To get away you have to go even faster. So I just save it for someone in front of or next to me that is a rolling accident looking for a place to happen-them I get away from. I rarely lane split at a stopped traffic light any more.

I remember in 05' at the USGP at Laguna. CHP was pointing to us-directing us to lane split on Saturday night headed out of the track-so by the hundreds or even thousands, we lined out to lane split. Now keep in mind, all the people in line, motorcycles and vehicles are attending a motorcycle race. So first we have the junior enforcer types-people in cars and one dude in a black F250 who pulled off the road to block us-amazing in itself-motorcyclists, or at least motorcycle fans, trying to knock other motorcyclists off the road..... Then you've got the local Sheriffs dept. rent a cops or whatever, on the loud speakers screaming at us not to lane split or YOU WILL BE TICKETED and trying to pull us over, only to hear that friggin' CHP was telling us TO LANE SPLIT!!! Amazing-just one example of how badly the whole concept is misunderstood.

One final thought. In more rural communities-like Fresno or Bakersfield or Redding or something, it's gonna be more of a problem-people are just ignorant of the law. In your major metro areas, L.A., San Diego, Bay Area, people are more used to it and therefore more tolerant in my opinion. So factor that in and be careful!
 

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I only lane split when I'm at a set of lights and I know I will get up to the front before it turns green, or in a jam when everyone is at a dead stop. As soon as cars are moving, anything could happen. People will merge without looking etc....just ain't a good idea.
 

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I got cocky when I was learning to ride with lane splitting, nearly caught my bar on the back of a truck and went down.

If you have to do it, take it slow.

I only do it at Red lights or in light traffic.

Getting rattled is a mental castration.
 

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Powerhungry
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can someone explain why?
what is your urge to be "at the front of the line"?
why do you think you're "priveledged" to do that?

why not just wait your fucking turn, like everyone else. how long is the light going to be anyway?
 

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can someone explain why?
what is your urge to be "at the front of the line"?
why do you think you're "priveledged" to do that?

why not just wait your fucking turn, like everyone else. how long is the light going to be anyway?
Do a search on how many people have been rear ended because the schmoe behind them didn't bother to stop. +1 for splitting. YMMV.
 

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can someone explain why?
what is your urge to be "at the front of the line"?
why do you think you're "priveledged" to do that?

why not just wait your fucking turn, like everyone else. how long is the light going to be anyway?
Most importantly, it's safer than sitting in a traffic jam if done correctly. Second, it actually helps the flow of traffic (and doesn't inconvenience anyone). I just posted this in another thread, but what the hell. Plus, if the rest of the civilized world can do it, I'm sure we can as well.

* Always be alert and aware of the cars around you.
* Ride with your headlights on and wear reflective clothing.
* Enter the area where you plan to lane split cautiously -- wait until both lanes of cars have slowed to the same speed. If one lane is moving faster, cars are more likely to suddenly switch lanes -- and may hit you in the process.
* Be extra cautious when traveling in a car’s blind spot.
* Drive at a speed slightly faster than the flow of traffic. Don’t zoom by stopped or slowly moving cars.
* Look for signs that a car may be changing lanes, such as the driver looking into the rearview or sideview mirrors.
* Honk if the cars get too close together. Wait until the distance is safe to pass between them.
* When traffic speeds up to about 30 mph, get back into the lane.
 

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Also try dragging the rear brake and keeping the revs up and work the clutch so you don't lose forward momentum (same technique as doing slow maneuvers in a parking lot). If there's ever a question of "can I fit between", I usually stop and walk the bike through.

Also, since you're at the front of the line, use extra caution when accelerating when the light turns green (look both ways).
 

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can someone explain why?
what is your urge to be "at the front of the line"?
why do you think you're "priveledged" to do that?

why not just wait your fucking turn, like everyone else. how long is the light going to be anyway?
Why not?? Who does it hurt??
In fact I can think of a bunch of reasons why it is good?
Environmentally and Economically speaking not only does riding a motorcycle conserve more fuel than most cars and SUV's to begin with, by lanesplitting you are getting to your destination faster and wasting less gas by idling in addition to relieving congestion because you aren't on the road as long.

Safety wise more accidents happen by being rear ended than any other type. obviously it's more dangerous to get rear ended on a bike than a car. Noone is inconvenianced because the bike will easily out accelerated the cars when the light changes and the biker is out on the open road instead of surrounded by stupid cagers that might change lanes into them or rear end them.
 

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i commute from LA county to Orange county everyday and have to split lanes on the freeway. If traffic is going slow i split lanes just a lil bit faster than traffics flowing. If theyre going at a decent speed ill ride with traffic. Its the stopping and going that you have to be careful on. If theyre totally stopped, I myself go round 30 mph in 3rd gear just so they can hear me coming, and im not just all of a sudden coming up on them. Ive seen bikers go waaaay faster than that and i just pull behind a car and let em go buy. Its all up to what your comfortable with. But like someone else said it can be mentally taxing because of the danger it involves. For sure dont do it if your not comfortable with it.
 

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can someone explain why?
what is your urge to be "at the front of the line"?
why do you think you're "priveledged" to do that?

why not just wait your fucking turn, like everyone else. how long is the light going to be anyway?

I don't sit in traffic because I'm not interested in being rear-ended. I see about one wreck a month on 820 (I'm on it about 5-10 minutes a day), and I'm not going to be one of those people. I don't usually lane-split though, I ride the shoulder until I can exit the highway, then hop on and off to stay cool.

Whatever the ticket is for lane-splitting, it's worth my life. Sorry.
 

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I don't sit in traffic because I'm not interested in being rear-ended. I see about one wreck a month on 820 (I'm on it about 5-10 minutes a day), and I'm not going to be one of those people. I don't usually lane-split though, I ride the shoulder until I can exit the highway, then hop on and off to stay cool.

Whatever the ticket is for lane-splitting, it's worth my life. Sorry.
Ya know I'm not entirely sure why but I really don't like riding on the shoulder. I will if it's necessary but will always lanesplit first. I think there's a couple reasons.
1.) On the shoulder you stand out and are easier to notice by cops. If you're lane splitting it's harder to see you between all the cars.
2.) Lots of debri and nails and stuff on the shoulder. I've had 4 nails in my tires before
3.) If someone pulls off onto the shoulder they are less likely to look than changing lanes. They don't expect another vehicle to be there.

I'm sure there are many reasons why It's better than lanesplitting, that's just my thought process.
 

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Ya know I'm not entirely sure why but I really don't like riding on the shoulder. I will if it's necessary but will always lanesplit first. I think there's a couple reasons.
1.) On the shoulder you stand out and are easier to notice by cops. If you're lane splitting it's harder to see you between all the cars.
2.) Lots of debri and nails and stuff on the shoulder. I've had 4 nails in my tires before
3.) If someone pulls off onto the shoulder they are less likely to look than changing lanes. They don't expect another vehicle to be there.

I'm sure there are many reasons why It's better than lanesplitting, that's just my thought process.
Your thought process is similar, but here's why I do it.

1.) I don't care about the cops, and like you said, you STAND OUT better. No one notices a lane-splitter until it's too late (mostly because it's illegal here), and Texas drivers suck enough as it is. I'm not worried about a ticket for something that could technically save my life, and it's about $40 bucks to hire a traffic lawyer if a Judge can't figure it out for themselves.

2.) I don't go fast or speed past everyone, so at 5-10mph I can see just about all the nails I need to see. In fact, since I got tired of waiting for accidents, I haven't got a flat since. All my tires before had plugs in them from staying on the street, lol.

3.) You're right that someone who pulls off the shoulder won't be looking, but again I'm barely moving, and those who are likely to be pulling over are those who are broken/breaking down and how many times a day, or week, or month do you see a car breaking down in front of you? The others who want to pretend to play "cop", change their minds when you put the kickstand down and start to get off your bike.
 
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