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  1. #1
    Senior Member  The First 100 S.E.R.E.'s Avatar
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    General Tips and tricks for staying alive by those who know...

    I personally think that if you are in any state which allows lane splitting (or if your doing it anyway), you must (or should) get experience in lane splitting before going out onto the freeway. For instance. I was lane splitting and got between a stopped 18 wheeler and a VW Bug, when old 18 decided to move "in my way" and my saddle bag wound up on his floorboard (he never saw me) thus pushing me over into the VW and I had to stiff arm the roof of that bugger. The driver of the bug was startled to death almost and I was certain I was road kill under that 18's wheels. Never, never split between a 18 and other cars/trucks without announcing your intentions to the 18's driver BEFORE entering the split. Use horn, high beam, etc. Make sure he see's you in his rear view mirror first!

  2. #2
    Senior Member  The First 100 S.E.R.E.'s Avatar
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    There are two times when you will most probably experience putting "down" your bike. Just learning and when over confident.

  3. #3
    Senior Member  The First 100 S.E.R.E.'s Avatar
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    If slowing for a dedicated right hand curve, observe the actions of the car behind you first. Slow him down "early" before entering the curve.

    I had a small rice eater cage that didn't get slow enough and tagged my rear wheel. I was tossed backwards, hung on with both hands gripping the bars (but also the throttle twisted open further) and had to stiff leg to the left, then as the throttle kicked the bike forward, it also slammed to the right (another stiff leg) only to fall with my leg pinned under it. The cage was a hit and run. It was 11 pm at night and I was pinned by a non-running (no lights) motorcycle in the dedicated right turn lane from a normally busy 4 lane intersection. Fortunately, no one came in the dark as I lay there and I was able to determine that the bike's foot peg had dug into my pants leg and the seam was caught on it. Also more fortunate was that my foot and leg were clear of the motor and hot exhaust. I managed to remove my leg, stood the bike up and continued on my way.

  4. #4
    The man with the plan  The First 100 TX Wide Glide's Avatar
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    Good info, thanks.

  5. #5
    Senior Member  The First 100 S.E.R.E.'s Avatar
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    Splittin' Lanes SoCal Style

    I've logged over 124,000+ miles in under 5 years here in SoCal and daily I split lanes. There is a real trick to understanding how to do it safely and with good judgment.

    1. Measure all parts of the bike, determine the widest point _ should be your mirrors, once you've done that, stand back and look at the rear of the bike and get a real feel for where it is widest and how you can compensate for it when splitting lanes. Note: Many Highway pegs are wider then mirrors...so check to make sure your highway pegs are up.

    2. Mirrors on vehicles account for most splitting lane minor accidents. As you ride you must judge the split by your peripheral vision. Defined as: "The ability to see objects and movement outside of the direct line of vision." It's important to understand how complex splitting lanes is. It involves very highly developed sense of balance, distance between objects, and movement by objects. If your impared in any of these it's better to forgo the experience then risk becoming a 18 wheeler road kill. With that said, you can learn to split lanes only by doing it.

    3. Many riders will not split lanes. Their idea of fun doesn't include mirror glass in the face (at best). But, with care as you begin to learn, you can safely split every time.

    a. Never split lanes over 35 miles an hour. (I do it...so guess I'm just jail bait.)
    b. Always split in the far left lane (so that you have a option to get to the far left and out of traffic if needed.)
    c. Cages "expect" to see you in the far left lane and are ALWAYS surprised when you split in any other lane.
    d. As your entering the split, keep your eyes far ahead and allow your peripheral vision to judge the widest point on cages (mirrors).
    e. Watch intently (don't look at distractions - like that pretty gal) a cage can make a sudden side move in a split second (without signaling) and you need all the time you can get to react.

    4. Splitting lanes like all riding can be a real turn-on and a real dangerous maneuver for any (no matter how experienced) rider. WEAR PROTECTIVE GEAR
    5. If you ride one of the quieter bikes, and a Harley is near...follow it...let him take the lead and let his Pipes attract the cage's attention.
    6. Turn on your High Beams! Keep them on!
    7. Use your turn signals when possible. It will help inform those behind (now trying to speed up) that your going to be temporarily in their lane.
    8. Don't be afraid to use your horn.
    9. Install "blinkers", those tail stop light replacements which blink, rotate, etc.
    10. Install the blinking "daylight" headlamps which will cause most cage drivers to think your an emergency vehicle...and they will pull over or slide that way to give you room.
    11. Watch your rear mirrors when safe... another rider may be trying to pass you!!
    Last edited by S.E.R.E.; 09-24-2010 at 05:33.

  6. #6
    Junior Member  The First 100 Bayou Voodoo's Avatar
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    Good advice, thanks. We can't split lanes in Louisiana (that I know of), and I likely wouldn't anyway. Folks are way too unpredictable and I just don't think it'd be safe here.

    I've added an extra tail/brake light on the back of my sissy bar...I felt that the one little tiny light down on the lower fender just wasn't enough. We have a lot of jacked up trucks around here and they just can't see that little light so low down. Hell, they can barely see the bike from up there. I like to be visible from behind at intersections. That's my advice...make yourself as visible as you can, but still ride as if you were totally invisible.

  7. #7
    The man with the plan  The First 100 TX Wide Glide's Avatar
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    I found a link to some info that states that as of March 2009, Lane Splitting is only legal in California, but Texas is looking to make it legal. I am not sure if it went through in Texas yet.

    http://thekneeslider.com/archives/20...ane-splitting/

  8. #8
    Junior Member  The First 100
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    I would have to say lane splitting is not best choice any way. I don't know about you guys and gals, but most cagers don't see us anyway. During coaching the MSF course, we tell the riders to manage their risk. Of course if you think lane splitting is a managable risk themn by all means take the risk. Personally I see it as an avoidable risk. I was stationed in Germany and lane splitting was legal there, but there was a catch. If an accident occured during the lane splitting, the biker was at fault. I'm not sure if that is the case in California.

    One think I always start the course with is this saying "Before I toss my leg over the seat I always think to myself, someone (cager) will try to take me out." Well it finally happen about 3 weeks ago. The cager did not even have the nerve to stick around (hit and run). Here's the cool part, if there can be a cool part to an
    accident, I manged to get an imprint from the yearly registration sticker of his license plate number. Unfortunately they still have not caught the guy. The numbers was missing the first letter, only 26 possibilities.

    Ride safe!
    Rob

  9. #9
    Senior Member  The First 100 S.E.R.E.'s Avatar
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    Hmmm..sorry to read that you had an accident! Think positive...your still riding!

    Lane splitting isn't legal in California, it's just not "illegal" here. There is a difference. I could post the links to the legal definition, but basically it says that Lane splitting / sharing of a lane has not been addressed in the Laws of California. With the powerful motorcycle lobby here it probably never will be. So, you can lane split, but if you are in an accident, you have committed a "unsafe act", and could be cited by an Officer. If someone encroaches upon you while your in your lane...it's called lane sharing and that person (cage) will be cited. So, it leaves it up to the Officer to decide who is at fault and who to ticket. Also, Officers frown upon and will cite usually anyone who lane splits over 35 mph. Again...that "unsafe act" determination.

    I lane split because it is a normal part of riding in CA. Most vehicles are oblivious to any motorcycles, unless you have loud pipes, even here. The lack of clear laws allows us to lane split ANY lane. The law also allows us to use the "carpool" lane and split / share that. The law does NOT allow crossing yellow lines or solid white lines to split. Even the Officers do that here...as we all do. Lord help you if you get caught however! lol.

    The law also fails to address that "sharing" aspect of it. For instance, a vehicle can suddenly decide that your over too far in your lane and have opened up a passage for it to squeeze next to and pass you. That is legal also. So even CAGES can lane split in CA. Most will not do so, but I've had it done to me more then once.

  10. #10
    Senior Member  The First 100 S.E.R.E.'s Avatar
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    I know that the idea of lane splitting for those who have not done it seems incredibly intimidating. However, once you've done it you realize that the room between cars provides more then enough space if they do not encroach upon you. MY brother is a super safe rider, good trainer for me, and he would just not split lanes at all, and was very vocal about it for years. But, after his first time, he now splits lanes whenever he needs to. I was the same way, but less vocal. Think of it this way, the cops here ride over 200,000 miles a year and split lanes every day.

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