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tmlicking

Cali Lane Splitting

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tmlicking
Recently moved to San Diego and was introduced to lane slitting for the first time. Love it. Gets you through traffic sooooo much faster and it's pretty fun. I have a couple questions that I haven't been able to find answers in the forum or the Google though.
 
People are more than tolerant of it, and a lot of guys will give you room if they see you, not sure if that's always curtesy or them being nervous you'll scrape their car but it's cool either way. I have run across some grouchy people here and there though. Wondering if I did something dumb or they're just grumpy. So splitting between lanes moving the same direction is totally normal, but what about squeezing between cars and a shoulder? Like coming up to a right turn? That seems pretty ok, but what about on a one lane road, just passing on the shoulder? Or a one lane road at a red light with a lane for left turns, if you go up a left turn lane at a light to jump ahead when it turns green? Going up a shoulder or the left side along a median seems safer than splitting between cars but I dunno if it's legal/accepted.  (Obviously when I say going along the shoulder or median or left turn lane I don't mean right down the middle, I mean along the edge like lane splitting)
 
I did find a couple articles with some stats that were interesting. Seems like it tends to be safer splitting lanes in stop and go traffic than not, leaves you a lot less prone to getting rear ended. I guess there's some efforts to put some limits on it but nothing's been made law yet. As long as you're not a hooligan about it it's pretty safe, injuries aren't bad because you're usually going slow, and overall it's pretty awesome. Should be legalized everywhere.  My personal guidelines on it are use common sense, if you're unsure don't do it, don't be a jackass about it, be predictable.
 
Basic conclusion on splitting
http://americanmotorcyclist.com/rights/positionstatements/lanesplitting.aspx
 
Law and a bunch of resources
http://lanesplittingislegal.com/
 
Couple other questions while I'm at it. Being military I've got a Texas license, Florida registered bike, and am living in Calofrnia. Does Cali require a California license or anything like that? And what about hov lanes, is that good to go for anyone on a bike? Didn't mean to make such a wordy post. I'd love any feedback. Take it easy dudes!

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thomascrown
You can use hov lanes with a motorcycle. I wouldn't recommend splitting on the the shoulder, it's illegal for cars to "preempt" a right turn, I wouldn't be surprised if it's the same for bikes. You don't need a California license as long as your out of state and not a perm Cali resident.
 

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jeffkisthename
Passing on the shoulder is not preferred, but I'd say it's doable on one lane roads. They (the popo) prefer you to lane split there on the left, but I feel that's scary as cars are coming towards you, so I normally will pass on the shoulder, but only when vehicles are at a stop or less than 10 mph.
 
Some lane splitting advice, more often than one would think, lane splitting is safer when cars are next to one another (because cagers don't want to hit one another), but that also depends on the room or space given between the vehicles. You always want to minimize TED (time exposed to danger), so during tight spaces, you power through. The most dangerous scenarios during lane splitting often occurs when there's a gap between cars. Cagers, while being attentive to bikers, will not see you and only see an open space to change lanes to. Even being diligent and attentive to other drivers behaviors, you can't predict the behavior of those who make quick sudden lane changes.
 
Don't get too over confident in lane splitting. You don't want to trust the cagers. I was almost hit (swerving and full throttle was what saved me) on Friday while not splitting and a cager illegally entered the express lane, fully committed and I had to swerve and speed to avoid him side swiping me off the face of this earth.
 
Make sure your bike is loud, and consider auxiliary lights to raise your conspiquity. Being heard and seen is what will save you. Work on your emergency maneuvers too. I've personally seen some amazing moves to avoid being hit by cagers that I myself would have not been able to do. I'm constantly trying to better my escape skills.
 
Well, hope that helps and welcome to CA. Motorcycling is best here. We have the roads, the lane splitting, the tracks, and most importantly the weather.
 
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cndnmax
Passing on the shoulder is illegal, lane "splitting" which is riding on the line is illegal. Lane sharing means that you and another vehicle share the same lane, no law specifically prohibits it therefore it's legal. Since there is no law about it there are no guidelines on what is appropriate. You can still get an unsafe passing ticket depending on how you are lane sharing. Regardless, you should be doing it in the safest way possible. Don't share past cars if there's a gap in the next lane because they may just swerve across. Some people get pissed off that they have to way in traffic and you don't, those people will on occasion try to cut you off or block you in- always be prepared to react.
Personally, I don't share past vehicles unless they are completely stopped.

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cndnmax
According to this you're 'probably' good to go riding a bike in an hov lane. 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-occupancy_vehicle_lane
 
Yup in California you can use HOV/carpool lanes, fastrack express lanes, and carpool bridge toll lanes (I keep seeing motorcycles going through the regular bridge toll lanes for some reason...)
Quote from the US department of transportation:
"Motorcycles are permitted by federal law to use HOV lanes, even with only one passenger. The rationale behind allowing motorcycles to use HOV lanes is that it is safer to keep two-wheeled vehicles moving than to have them travel in start-and-stop traffic conditions. States can choose to override this provision of federal law, if they determine that safety is at risk. "

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i28
Cali
Motorcycle laws = awesome
Gun laws = terrible
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sorkyah
Cali Motorcycle laws = awesome
Gun laws = terrible
Seconded this....
hopefully the liberals will takes their heads out of their arses and adopt arizona's gun laws
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ATGATT... ATTATT, two acronyms I live by.
 

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so1102
Cali Motorcycle laws = awesome
Gun laws = terrible
Seconded this.... hopefully the liberals will takes their heads out of their arses and adopt arizona's gun laws
Sorry but I got a loud laugh out of this.  :)
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Beemer
Cali Motorcycle laws = awesome
Gun laws = terrible
I'm not familiar with Cali's gun laws. Why do you think they are terrible?

Beemer

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sorkyah
Cali Motorcycle laws = awesome
Gun laws = terrible
I'm not familiar with Cali's gun laws. Why do you think they are terrible?
Essentially,
you're allowed to own a handgun, but you cant carry it w/o a permit. If you do have your permit you may only open carry in certain areas but ths gun must be unloaded. And if passing through an area that restricts carrying, a portable gun locker must be used.
in order to purchase it, you need a permit of proficiency in gun safety.
there are very few people(2-3% Calif population) awarded a concealed carry permit. Most of those are LEOs or Military
you are limited in the capacity of magazine you can purchase
limited in what ammo and how much you can purchase
limited in what weapons are 'legal' for purchase
assault/semi auto rifles are banned as well as any handgun that doesnt meet certain criteria(loaded chamber indicator, <10rd mag, integrated lock mechanism)
 
 
theres a bunch more..... but those are all i can list off the top of my head
 

ATGATT... ATTATT, two acronyms I live by.
 

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i28
yea... what sorkyah said
there's a roster of handguns that you can buy and anything that isn't on that list isn't legal to sell.
originally guns were on the list and then new requirements were added for guns to make roster approval and be added to the list
at some point - the new requirement was that they have to have "microstamping" - stamping a serial number on the casing or something. no manufacturer has made this yet
guess which guns can't be sold in cali? hint: glock 4th gen guns (you can purchase those new 3rd gen guns tho!... yay?)
guess which guns just fell off the roster? hint: colt 1911's.... because they changed the manufacturing process to CNC and california said that they had modified the guns enough that they are different than the ones on the roster (so if you want a colt... you have to find someone who already owns it and do a private party transfer... no more new colt 1911's can be sold by gun dealers)
 
 
we don't really have open carry so we rely on concealed carry.... but.... san diego, los angeles and many other counties don't even issue those permits away to people because "self defense" isn't a good reason enough to be able to get one.
 

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Beemer
yea... what sorkyah said there's a roster of handguns that you can buy and anything that isn't on that list isn't legal to sell.
originally guns were on the list and then new requirements were added for guns to make roster approval and be added to the list
at some point - the new requirement was that they have to have "microstamping" - stamping a serial number on the casing or something. no manufacturer has made this yet
guess which guns can't be sold in cali? hint: glock 4th gen guns (you can purchase those new 3rd gen guns tho!... yay?)
guess which guns just fell off the roster? hint: colt 1911's.... because they changed the manufacturing process to CNC and california said that they had modified the guns enough that they are different than the ones on the roster (so if you want a colt... you have to find someone who already owns it and do a private party transfer... no more new colt 1911's can be sold by gun dealers)
 
 
we don't really have open carry so we rely on concealed carry.... but.... san diego, los angeles and many other counties don't even issue those permits away to people because "self defense" isn't a good reason enough to be able to get one.
 
 
this reminds me ... its about time I create this: http://fz07.org/thread/4669/armory-why
Our forefathers are turning over in their graves. "The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." It appears the liberals are infringing the hell out of it but don't you dare infringe on their rights.  (puke)
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Beemer

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Guest 2wheeler
So I decided to throw my $0.02 into this lane splitting thread. Well... I use to do lane splitting in the DC area when I was in my 20's. Of course, it was illegal, but I surely didn't care at the time. I also commuted to work on my bicycle which I also split lanes on. That is up until the day somebody opened their car door on me and I slammed into it.
 
That pretty well SUCKED!
 
I can't and don't want to imagine what that would be like on a motorcycle!!
 
I'm getting old enough that I don't want to get into a wreck because some jerk decides to screw with me. Considering that DC has been beating out LA for the last several years as the worse place in the country to drive, I gotta say there are lot of a**holes out there that don't realize that their screwing with you can cause you your life, or worse yet, they don't care.
 

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churchxd
Cali Motorcycle laws = awesome
Gun laws = terrible
Seconded this.... hopefully the liberals will takes their heads out of their arses and adopt arizona's gun laws
Utahs are pretty awesome 2!
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churchxd
So I decided to throw my $0.02 into this lane splitting thread. Well... I use to do lane splitting in the DC area when I was in my 20's. Of course, it was illegal, but I surely didn't care at the time. I also commuted to work on my bicycle which I also split lanes on. That is up until the day somebody opened their car door on me and I slammed into it.  
That pretty well SUCKED!
 
I can't and don't want to imagine what that would be like on a motorcycle!!
 
I'm getting old enough that I don't want to get into a wreck because some jerk decides to screw with me. Considering that DC has been beating out LA for the last several years as the worse place in the country to drive, I gotta say there are lot of a**holes out there that don't realize that their screwing with you can cause you your life, or worse yet, they don't care.

I think this would be a great concealed carry opportunity. I would consider that person who opened there door on me threatened my life!
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sorkyah
 
 

Seconded this.... hopefully the liberals will takes their heads out of their arses and adopt arizona's gun laws
Utahs are pretty awesome 2!
 
Yeah....
i know
 
I work for larry miller
their corporate policies extend the utah laws down here.... ive been written up for having my everyday carry in my vehicle... damn utah/cali laws
 
Anyway... pulled this thread off topic... sorry
lanesplitting is awesome
all states should adopt it
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ATGATT... ATTATT, two acronyms I live by.
 

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motomeek
So splitting between lanes moving the same direction is totally normal, but what about squeezing between cars and a shoulder?
No. Shoulders are not considered part of the road.
 
Like coming up to a right turn?
Sure. Just use your common sense and make sure you have room and the cars next to you can see your intentions.
 
What about on a one lane road, just passing on the shoulder?
No. Shoulders are not considered part of the road.
 
Or a one lane road at a red light with a lane for left turns, if you go up a left turn lane at a light to jump ahead when it turns green?
Sure. I'm iffy about this one since you have to make sure that you can bolt out before the cars surrounding you make the turn, especially if there's more than one lane. If there's only one, do not split between the center and lane. You should be on the right of the lane.
 
Going up a shoulder or the left side along a median seems safer than splitting between cars but I dunno if it's legal/accepted.
Nope.
 
If you should ever pass one a one lane road, pass on the left by crossing into the other lane unless the driver has moved over to the right enough for you to pass. This is done often when I do canyon rides. But if you're talking about highways, you never should place yourself in a position between a wall and moving traffic.
 
There is a lot of debate on this topic, even if you are for it and do it. I can second that you have to be vigilant and every cop interprets the lane splitting freedoms differently. I've had gotten a ticket for crossing the yellow to give more room to pass a gardener truck (think of tons of things hanging, I felt like some of it was going to come loose and fly at me). Like mentioned above, some will believe you must be in or on the lines to count as sharing the HOV lane. I was being "safer" by allowing more room, but it didn't mean it was "legal". This also means that you should be obeying the openings of the HOV lane, meaning you can't go in/out of the HOV lane whenever you feel like it. As a cop once told me, "Just because we do it, doesn't mean you can." But this is from the officer that pulled me over... not saying this is set in stone... just an example.
 
 
 

Instagram: @meekmade | You don't need to flat foot a bike to ride it.

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tmlicking
Thanks for the info dudes. There's a lot more scenarios than I asked about, just trying to get a feel for what's normal/legal. And I agree, Cali road rules = awesome, gun laws = lame. Gotta figure out how to build an AR under the radar next.

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cndnmax
Thanks for the info dudes. There's a lot more scenarios than I asked about, just trying to get a feel for what's normal/legal. And I agree, Cali road rules = awesome, gun laws = lame. Gotta figure out how to build an AR under the radar next.
 
80% lowers are super easy to complete with a jig and there's plenty of complete lowers/rifles that are legal (I've got an M&P15 in 10day jail atm) but that's a whole other forum haha.

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databyter
I realize this is an old thread, but people may still benefit from it. Good comments and tips above from Jeffkisthename and others, like beware when cagers have an open space next to them, as opposed to another car in tight traffic. I split about 15 miles of heavy traffic almost every day for the last 9 months, and have made a science of it. Here are my thoughts to add to the others.
 
I am 52 and I want to ride every day for years and years. Regardless anyone of any age should minimize risk when riding. So with that in mind..
 
If traffic is moving at 40 mph you COULD split, but personally that is fast enough for me to be patient, unless it is just a burst between clogs.
 
My personal rules are that I go as long as I can before I start doing it. Usually when traffic gets under 30-35 mph I start splitting, and depending on how stable a speedup is I stop splitting anywhere around 40-50, 50 if it is just a temporary speedup with another slowdown 15 seconds ahead etc.. It is dangerous when starting and stopping a split.
 
If you get ricky racer bikes behind you, let them pass unless they are keeping a good distance and seem to be compatable with your speed. WHen you stop splitting to let a bike pass you, get far to the left side of the fast lane to make it obvious you are not splitting. Also don't let a bike tailgate you. If you have to do a power stop HE is more of a threat than the reason you are slowing. By the same token do not tailgate EVER but especially other bikes that are splitting, it is rude. If they are slow, give em some revs at a distance, let em know you are there, chances are they will pull over for ya, if not, either wait or pass in another lane if possible, risky as well since splitting classically is done next to the fast lane, but sometimes you may need to do it one over, carefully to pass a slowpoke. Or just be patient and follow.
 
Judge what the cagers will do. Like Jeffkismyname said, if there is a space they may move into it, blinker or NOT. If they are tight, you are safer, but be vigilant. Look well ahead so you can predict their behavior. IF there is an HOV merge, expect more unpredictable moves etc.
 
Besides keeping your overall speed reasonable, and deciding to not split past a certain point where it becomes unecessary, you really want to watch your RELATIVE speed. If you are passing cars going 5 mph you do not want to be going 45. You have no time to react. Judge the relative speed between your bike and other cars, in BOTH lanes, and make sure you have plenty of time to react to any scenario.
 
Use engine braking. Using a higher gear saves gas, but sometimes it's good to be in a lower gear at higher revs, when you let off the gas, you are already slowing before you hit the brake, and you are also louder. But also see the next tip, which allows for that higher gear more safely.
 
COVER your front brake and clutch with some fingers. When I am cruising I do not do this, but when splitting, I am only using the circle made by my right thumb and index finger to control the throttle. All my other fingers are resting lightly on the front brake. My other hand is doing the same thing, even tho the circle is not controling anything. But I am ready to instantly squeeze both hands shut, to react much more quickly to the need to stop or slow. It takes a little practice, but becomes completely natural after a time. You may need to adjust the position of your levers, people almost always have them pointing down, mine are usually horizontal to the bars which probably makes this skill easier.
 
Long and short, minimize risk by splitting at safe speeds, not just because you can, not exceeding the speed limit (I speed daily, but not while splitting traffic). Split only when you have to.
 
Try to avoid the shoulders because you will get a ticket, and there is often debris in them, but if you have to in super stopped up traffic, do it at a moderate speed.
 
Personally I do not filter at lights EVERY time, because I personally find it kind of rude, even though, really it isn't. But if I am in a hurry, or there are lots of cars, I do filter at lights. I do NOT filter at lights in some turn lanes, because it increases the risk dramatically. Not only are you doing something unexpected to the cagers in your lanes, but you are also entering an intersection, which is dangerous by itself, add a curve and you are tripling the risk. Do it, when it seems very safe. There are a few intersections on my commute that I will NOT filter at, because they are just too crazy from the get go.
 
Peace out.
 
 
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Databyter

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fzak007
This is me doing some lane splitting.

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cndnmax
This is me doing some lane splitting.
Why lane split when the #1 lane was moving faster than you were? Personally I don't split past a car when there's an open lane next to them, it's too easy to get taken out. I either take over the open lane or just wait.
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cassecou
This is me doing some lane splitting.
Very well done fazak007. Just the right amount of cautiousness. 
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