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Your thoughts on "Lane splitting"

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  • Your thoughts on "Lane splitting"

    I'm in a handful of forums, one of which that I joined , actually by accident, is a sportsbike forum. Recently I entered into an ongoing discussion about the concept of "lane splitting" and why it should be legalized. Just to make it clear, the concept of lane splitting is motorcycles being able to pass between cars which are driving in their own lanes. Passing between them for as far as they can go is the thrust of their rationale for doing this.

    The situations given for allowing it seem to come down to essentially three, repeated reasons: A repeated fear of being the last in line in traffic and then getting rear-ended by a cager, Another reason was simply not wanting to sit in traffic. The third was they didn't want their air-cooled bikes to sit still. There might have been more reasons but these three seem to be the front runners.

    Now, for the record, I am personally big time against said practice.

    The people in that forum are almost entirely young people, or as I (after reading their explosion of, in my humble opinion, illogical statements) have come to think of them as young, highly impatient, immortal, and clearly poor decision makers. Of the people that participated in the discussion, fully 85% are for it, say they do it all the time, and further say they will not stop it, law or no law. There was one fella that urged his fellow riders to drive "offensively".

    Regardless of any counterpoint I could write, regardless of what alternatives to their reasons that I could give, the repeated and apparently almost universal reply they would give me is that if it would be legal, then no one would be breaking the law. And there ended their thought processes on the subject. Even my statement saying that the cemetery is full of people that did nothing wrong and followed the rules, had zero impact on them. To me they either are incapable or unwilling to THINK the concept through. If its legal its ok is the mantra.

    I felt like I was talking to rocks or aliens. They're young, immortal, and have fast bikes that they are supremely over-confident about being able to operate without any accidents. These kids scare the hell out of me.

    I am interested in hearing the thoughts of an older, mortal crowd on this subject. Does this concept scare you? Do these kids scare you? What the heck is wrong with this younger generation?

    My daughter is 36 (or 37), solidly married and not apt to get on a bike any time soon. But if I did have a daughter dating a young fella that did this I would certainly put the kibosh on that relationship fast!

  • #2
    40 years ago I would have done it and not simply because I was young and stupid. People in cages are too crazy now. My daughter (37) bought a Buell about 3 years ago and sold it after 4 months; she only rode it a few times so I rode it until she sold it.
    2007 VN900 CUSTOM

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    • #3
      Ok so I am in the 50 and over crowd so I am no longer the young and stupid person I once was. BUT I will say this. In some situations I would not be against lane splitting. There are some strong stipulations to that though. First off I would never do it in a state that it was never legal before and the drivers are not used to it. IE My home state of Ohio. The cagers are too full of themselves here and it's all about them and not letting someone else get ahead of them if they can stop it from happening. But in states where it has been allowed for years and years, like California, then I would be willing to do it if I had the right type of bike to do it on. Also the traffic in CA is horrible and being on a bike would allow you to get around some of that. What I don't like to see is folks splitting when traffic is still going the speed limit or higher. I watch videos that show this and there is no reason for it. If traffic is at a stand still and you can move through folks at 5 MPH over their speed then fine. But I believe the law in CA says you can't go more then 5 - 10 MPH over the rest of the traffic when splitting.

      Again it's all a matter of what people are used to verses what SHOULD be done. Should it be legal everywhere NOPE. Not gonna change the way folks drive if they don't like or want it that way. Would I do it now, nope probably not. Cause I have big bikes that would be very hard to split lanes on. But then I would also avoid those places that have the heavy traffic if I was on a bike in the first place. It sucks being stuck in traffic on a bike when it is super hot out!
      Patrick "Hotwheels" Sharon
      President Columbus Vulcan Riders Chapter 1-32
      Columbus, Oh
      Chapter Coordinator

      National Vice President 2019
      National Treasurer 2013 - 2015
      VROC Member # 34133
      2009 Vulcan Voyager
      2007 Vulcan VN2000 Classic LT
      2007 Vulcan VN900 Classic LT

      2002 1500 Mean Streak
      2015 CanAm Spyder RT-Limited
      http://www.columbusvulcanriders.com
      Columbus Vulcan Riders Chapter 1-32 FaceBook Page

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      • #4
        I wonder how much, if any, that the smaller sportbike's ability to lane split factors in on younger people's decisions not to buy cruisers. (Aside from the $$)

        MANY of their remarks refer to California allowing it. Also MANY refer to "studies" saying that its safe. They can't specify which study, though.

        In regards to traffic, some were complaining that they get stuck in traffic for two hours a day and their air-cooled bikes begin to overheat. My reply was that if they KNOW they will get stuck in that kind of traffic every day, then their selection of an air-cooled vehicle should be re-evaluated. Go water cooled or a different route or get a car.

        They seem to be absolutely laser focused on the terror of getting rear-ended with that one being the top of their reasons for lane splitting. One guy stated that he'd rather have someone open their door or swerve in to squeeze him than get rear ended.

        When I was a young guy, I used to think my dad was an OLD idiot because of some of his decisions. Now, of course I know better. Dad, wherever you are, I apologize for that.

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        • #5
          I live in Massachusetts and I don't know if they allow lane splitting. It doesn't matter to me either way because I wouldn't do it anyway. I very very seldom get into traffic anyway because of where I am located. The closer you get to Boston the more traffic you will see. In watching videos on this I would be afraid that someone in a car (who doesn't know the law and is being an a**hole will swing his door open as you go by. That person could also throw something at you, curse at you or squeeze you out. I guess they figure if they are stuck in traffic then you should be to. I guess sometimes you just have to be patient.
          sigpic

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          • #6
            You've just written some of the very reasons I had explained to them. Funny how us older people automatically see a bigger picture whereas these kids only focus on their riding abilities. Tunnel vision.

            I wonder if we have any motorcycle safety course people in here to chime in on the concept... Is this something discussed in the course and if not, should it be?

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            • #7
              This style of riding is not for me . You never know what the cars are going to do ,like open a door or change lanes .

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              • #8
                Not for me .as much road rage out on the road now I can see someone opening a door. Legal or not I wouldn't lane split.
                You only live once, so live life like a kid always
                www.facebook.com/groups/missouribootheelvra/
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                • #9
                  I frequently go do to the NYC metro area and with the endless construction (lane shifts), condition of the roads, and idiot drivers, lane splitting would be like playing Russian roulette with all 6 cylinders loaded.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 750 Chris View Post
                    I wonder how much, if any, that the smaller sportbike's ability to lane split factors in on younger people's decisions not to buy cruisers. (Aside from the $$)

                    MANY of their remarks refer to California allowing it. Also MANY refer to "studies" saying that its safe. They can't specify which study, though.

                    In regards to traffic, some were complaining that they get stuck in traffic for two hours a day and their air-cooled bikes begin to overheat. My reply was that if they KNOW they will get stuck in that kind of traffic every day, then their selection of an air-cooled vehicle should be re-evaluated. Go water cooled or a different route or get a car.

                    They seem to be absolutely laser focused on the terror of getting rear-ended with that one being the top of their reasons for lane splitting. One guy stated that he'd rather have someone open their door or swerve in to squeeze him than get rear ended.

                    When I was a young guy, I used to think my dad was an OLD idiot because of some of his decisions. Now, of course I know better. Dad, wherever you are, I apologize for that.
                    To my knowledge, there has only been one study. It was performed by U. Cal. Berkeley for the Cal. DOT. It was a very small study and even the authors admit that there is not enough data to reach any real conclusions. It was conducted in 2 and only 2 California counties out of the whole state. Limited data about crashes was collected. The numbers that would seem to indicate that lane splitting is safe are so small as to be within the error of this type of study. But lane splitting advocates are claiming that this is concrete proof that lane splitting is safer than not lane splitting. Some states are even considering passing laws to allow lane splitting based on this study. It's insane!

                    I'm not saying lane splitting is safe or not, but passing laws based on a report like this is ludicrous. Unfortunately, if real life numbers were to eventually show that lane splitting is not safe, it would be nearly impossible to remove such laws if they were already on the books.

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                    • #11
                      Maybe I would feel differently if I lived in CA but the videos I have seen of it being done are enough to scare me away from the idea of ever trying it even if it were legal. Seems no matter how careful you would be the opportunity for so many things mentioned in all the other posts to happen would be very very high.
                      Randy - aka racinfan101
                      Central IL Chapter 1-39 President
                      http://central-il-vulcanriders.org/
                      https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/c....vulcanriders/
                      Suffering from Vulcamania!!
                      (Since Vulcans Rule and the others Drool)

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                      • #12
                        From what I have seen Dangerous.

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                        • #13
                          I think the lane splitting issue results are reminding me of the joke(s) about the old bull and the young bull.

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                          • #14
                            The way I see it:
                            Basically it boils down to the newer generations are not punished for braking the rules and/or they whine and through a temper tantrum when they are told "no," until they get what they want.
                            Then compound it with the world telling them that they have to be first, the best, everything must be now, and no one else matters.
                            Always Believe,
                            Marc VanderPal

                            President - Rock River Valley Vulcan Riders

                            Email - marcvanderpal@charter.net

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                            • #15
                              I’ve been doing it for years. It’s no more dangerous than just riding, if you do it safely. I don’t recommend that an inexperienced rider do it either. And it has nothing to do with wanting to be first.


                              Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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