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Thought i would share. Please remove if its a repost.


http://www.ketchum.org/ls101.html

Lane Splitting 101


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Reproduced (without permission) from CityBike magazine, April 1997.
City Bike, 1124 Kearny Street, San Francisco, CA 94133


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LANE SPLITTING: A GUIDE TO THE GAME
BY RICHARD D. GRAZIA


Lane splitting, like baseball, is a game of inches. In baseball, judging small distances accurately wins games. In motorcycling, it gets you home early and in one piece.

For five years, I have been commuting from Berkeley to San Francisco and back every day, 15 miles along the I-80 corridor and across the Bay Bridge. Often, I lane-split the whole distance, saving about an hour a day in travel time. The tips in this article result from that experience.

If you can ride on freeways fairly comfortably but haven't lane-split yet, practice judging the distance between two stationary objects wider than your motorcycle, then find the midpoint of that distance. That mid-point is where you'll want to be in any lane-split or passing move.

While lane-splitting, you are measuring distances, acting and reacting to your observations. The situation is fluid and changes take place in tenths of seconds or less. When traffic stops, the situation goes static. You become the only dynamic player.

Moving through stopped or slowly moving traffic is actually a combination of lane- splitting and lane-changing. The gap is where you find it; how you use it and avoid contact is the challenge.

GETTING STARTED

Make sure your bike is in tune, has good brakes and good rubber.

Without cars around you, practice riding on lane buttons. Take a firm grip on your handlebars. Riding on the buttons will shake your bike, but it won't tip you over. Get used to the feeling; you'll be riding on the buttons occasionally while you're between cars.

To pass one car in slowly-moving traffic on the freeway, place yourself behind a car that has plenty of space in front of it. (Cars should be running parallel to your chosen car.) Line up to the right or left side (whichever affords the most space) of your chosen car. Make sure you're in a low enough gear to provide adequate roll-on power. Check your mirrors, then look up your route. If it's clear, give it the gas. Pass the car and pull into the forward space. You have just lane-split. When you're comfortable with the one-car pass, up the ante to two cars, then three and so on.

SEEING

Lane-splitting is essentially a hand-eye coordination activity. The operative term here is "eye." If you don't see what's happening around you, you'll never make the right move.

Keep your eyes moving: check the situation way up ahead. Read the intention of the vehicles near you; check your mirrors. Don't stare. At 30 mph, you are traveling at 44 feet per second. At that speed, you travel 4.4 feet in a tenth of a second.

TECHNIQUES

Cover the front brake lever with two fingers. If you have to stop, you'll be able to save a bit of reaction time, which translates into distance. Stopping even one inch away from an obstruction is good.

Relax your arms by bending them slightly at the elbows. Remember to breathe. If you become tired, stop lane-splitting for awhile.

Check your mirrors before starting any lane-splitting move. A fellow lane-splitter, closing quickly from behind as you enter the gap, could spoil your whole day. l also periodically check my mirrors while lane-splitting. If I see another lane-splitter coming up behind me, I can decide whether to pull over or speed up.

Control direction and speed with smooth micro-inputs, knees to tank, hands countersteering, hand to throttle. You don't have room for big maneuvers.

When the gap narrows and your move isn't going to work, slow down, drop back into a lane, or stop between lanes if you have to.

Make sure your mirrors and bar-ends will clear van, truck and car mirrors. It's not a major deal when they connect, usually just a loud clacking noise, but it is embarrassing. Other drivers may not like you just for lane-splitting, but tapping their mirrors out of adjustment makes it worse.

Be patient at merges. Other drivers often change lanes here, trying to gain some advantage. That's their illusion. Wait until they settle down. You are the only one who can really take advantage of the traffic situation.

Be wary of solo drivers who use car pool lanes to get ahead of the traffic jam in the non- car pool lanes. At the last minute, they will try to enter the jam; if you are about to make a pass at that point, the results will not be amusing.

When other vehicles, whether signaling or not, start a lane-change maneuver, don't accelerate in an attempt to get past them. Give them the right of way.

Be aware of empty spaces to the side of the car that you intend to lane-split past. Try to go by before the driver is aware of you. Failing that, if the car tries to move over while you're on the side of his car, match the car's move if you have the space. Your other option is again to be patient for a bit. The relationships will change, the car's place will be taken by another vehicle, and you can lane-split the two safely.

Passing another motorcycle which appears to be staying in a lane presents an interesting problem: It's as hard to tell if the rider knows you're there as it is to judge a car driver's awareness of your presence. The motorcyclist has your flickability, however. If you fell certain that the rider is holding steady in a lane, zap past. If you're uneasy about the motorcyclist's intentions, lane-change away and go about your business.

Most drivers place their vehicle near the left side of their lane. They are sighting on the lane divider nearest to them. In most instances, your position should be on the right side of the lane. This will give you the most maneuvering room.

In order to pass between sets of lane buttons without riding over them, sight on the last button of the front set and quickly make your move. Usually, you'll pass smoothly through, or at worst ride over the last button. Whatever you do, don't get hung up on not riding over the buttons. Not hitting or being hit by other vehicles is what's happening.

SPEED

The great race car driver Juan Fangio once said, "I drive just fast enough to win." You probably shouldn't ride between vehicles at more than 10 to 15 mph faster than they are traveling. If they're stopped, they are traveling 0 mph.

COPS

Even though lane-splitting is legal in some states, whether you'll get pulled over by the police is dependent on whether or not they feel what you are doing is safe. The catch, of course, is that each patrolman has a different criteria for what constitutes "safe." Ride in a manner which you feel is safe for you. If you get ticketed, plead not guilty and take it to a jury. The ticket is a judgment call. Obviously, you are in the right or you wouldn't have been lane-splitting. Was it safe? Hell, yes! The fact that you're standing in court with all your limbs intact is proof of that. At any rate, keep an eye out for the cops just in case.

OBSERVATIONS

Being aware of the lethal danger you're in and simultaneously ignoring it is a requirement of lane-splitting. This ability is composed of experience, guts and self confidence.

Lane-splitting is as much fun and as challenging as a mile of technical enduro landscape or miles of canyon carving.

The flow of freeway traffic is like a river. Learn to read every ripple and snag in the pattern.

The whole freeway is your playing field. The gap between vehicles is where the game is played.

On a motorcycle, you are in another space- time continuum from other vehicles. No wonder they don't see you.

When you are all going the same speed - cars, trucks and motorcycles - holding position, you are motionless, relative to one another. When you accelerate slightly, the pattern changes, but only at a difference of several miles per hour. (All vehicles are moving at 65 mph., you accelerate to 67 mph. The situation changes at 2 mph.) Moves take place in relative slow motion.

The experienced eye can judge the mid- point of variably changing distances. Rear bumper to front fender of surrounding vehicles. It is a solvable three-body problem.

You will see other motorcyclists lane- splitting. It is a temptation to see who can go the fastest. Deal with the temptation as you see fit.

Henceforth, all car drivers will be known as "Civilians." However, when we drive cars, we will be known as motorcyclists.

Be in tune with your machine; the way it smells, the sounds it makes, the shadow it casts when you ride.

GRADUATION DAY

You have just lane-split all the way home in the rain, in the dark, at rush-hour on Friday night. You've had a great ride.
 

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It is a good read, but I mean it is going to come naturally. Either you have the god given talent to stay alert and REACT or you don't. I love California except for the traffic. IF they take away white lining, Im moving.
 

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Not only is it illegal in Texas, you're liable to get an ass beating or shot, or run over.
I tried it one time and some guy swerved at me.

I wish they would make it legal in Texas and then TELL everyone it's legal. I mean shit, there's a perfectly good Shoulder to ride on and it's just going to waste.
 

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I love lane splitting in traffic. I think it's one of those things that make a biker a better rider, because you tend to be more alert IMO.
 

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Captain_Morgan said:
got_no_sol said:
only legal in cali?
Yeah, but I believe there is currently a bill in Washington to allow lane-splitting. I don't think it's technically legal anywhere else in the states, but I could be wrong.
nice! I live there... Just hope it passes.

I can't say I don't do it every once in a while now though

:roll:
 

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I ride her hard!!!
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yeah, it's legal in cali. but if you get in an accident while lane splitting, it's your fault.
 

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I

I don't look forward to it- but when I'm whitelining I get into it because its an exciting thing that makes my heart pump hard--my throat dry up--- my Witts get keen--and my spidey sense ready to react. If done right, its an effective way to get ahead--and let everyone know what it is that makes you so special Biker boy(girl)!

I remember one time I was whitlining on the 101 South, I was going to school and as I was passing two SUVs one of them came on the whiteline I made eye contact with the guy--And according to him I just wasn't gonna pass--So I sacrificed my mirror and broke his as well*not a wise move but very tactical* kindda like chess, I sacrificed my queen on his!
 

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I've only lane-split a couple of times. Makes me a little nervous, especially after hearing what TexasR6 said. Some asshole see you coming and open his door and that would be all she wrote.
 

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heebiedabajeebies!
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Lane-splitting is one of my fave things to do on my bike.
I usually do this on freeways when traffic is going slower
than 40mph. But there's a few times I even split-lanes
going 60+ which I shouldn't do. But more of to avoid
crazy cagers harssing you to pop wheelies while in traffic.

I just like the adrenaline that you get from doing it.
And plus it saves me about 20 minutes of commute
compared to driving the cage! :cheers
 

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i did that a few times here in the land of lost tourists. i had a few close calls but i guess i reacted quickly and made a right choice. i dont like the idea of doing it but if i have to i will again. im not sure if it is legal here to begin with.
 

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Pretty good read, I have ridden the white line with a buddy of mine for 15 miles on the Atlantic City Expressway. Traffic was at about a standstill the whole time (accident). We had people flippin us off and trying to cut us off, it was fun YEA!
 

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I do it every day although since being hit on the 91 frwy I do it at little slower speeds do to the fact of knowing how much it can hurt. It’s like playing Russian roulette.

BTW I was not hit splitting lanes was just ridding along so go figure. The pain would still be the same though. And as far as people cutting you off, as long as the speed is correct just lift a leg and kick that mirror off. LMAO

Disclaimer. The latter is not recommended or condoned by me.
 

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I was thinking how nice it would have been yesterday. It was raining so I drove the cage, and my usual 20min commute turned into 45mins. I kept thinking...

"if only I had the 6 and the vfx kit that's in the mail. Pop it up and take the shoulder the whole way to work :twisted: "
 

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got_no_sol said:
^^^ I've never heard of it being legal...
It is on the books here in cali that a bike can share a lane with a car. That means passing within your lane. I have beet tickets where the officer stated that I was ridding in the emergency lane but in court he said that I must have been because I was passing on the right of the vehicles. I stated I was simply sharing the lane with those vehicles and won. Last time the judge had to review the code and then granted me another victory. OWNED. I love beating those bastards in front of there fellow swine.
 

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the only reason it is still legal in california is so that the motorcycle COPS can whiteline. If they can do it, all riders can.
 
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