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phif

CA Riding Tips

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phif
Hey guys, just moved from PA to CA and am looking for some tips on lane splitting. The do's and dont's if you will. I've read the CA motorcycle manual and it wasnt too different from the PA one. Obviously, lane splitting is the biggest difference and Im pretty nervous about it. Im really looking forward to ride on the coastal highway though as well as through some of the mountain ranges here. 
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Simbadc650
welcome what part of cali u move too? my rule of thumb for lane splitting think about what u would do in a cage and predict it. Try not to go over 5 or 10 mph over the actual speed of traffic.

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rewplayff
Don't feel pressured into doing it if you're not comfortable with it would be my tip. When it feels right it will happen. At least that's how I started doing it, but then again I was a new rider also. I usually just stay in the lane after the traffic flows over 40mph anyway.

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hippiebikerchick
Always do it between lanes 1 and 2.
 
Make sure to give a friendly wave to the cagers who move away to give you room.
 
There's also filtering which means going to the front of traffic stopped at a light.
 
It's awesome!

Illegitimi non carborundum

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axemanblue
Definitely echo a lot of what was said. (Don't do it over 35-40, keep your speed about 10mph faster than traffic when you're doing it, always do it between lanes 1-2 , just right of the fast lane.)
 
What I'd add is to get over for guys/ladies splitting lanes faster than you (when it's safe for you to do so, don't rush it) and also don't chase riders who are hauling ass at speeds you're not comfortable doing. Some will really fly between cars and speaking for myself it's tempting to run with them sometimes because it feels safer to do so with a 2-3 bike convoy ahead of you. But if you're not comfortable doing it, it's not a great idea.
 
I'd also add a note if you're commuting. Cagers *generally* lane-hop more coming from work than they do going to work, especially on Fridays. During the morning commute people are more inclined to sit in traffic than they are when trying to get home, so I keep my spidey sense on even higher alert those times.
 
Lastly, I don't know what pipe you're rocking but if you'e spending significant time splitting lanes it helps to have something with some volume--and don't be afraid to use it to let them know you're coming.
 
But like someone said, mostly just take your time and let it come to you. Don't feel pressured into it--it'l happen when it's right. From then on you will absolutely love it.
 
Welcome to Cali and year-round riding. Can't beat it.
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jeffkisthename
Yeah, don't follow me...LOL. When lane splitting, be careful of the open lane areas, because cagers will not look behind them and only to the side of them. That is one of the most dangerous areas in lane splitting.
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phif
welcome what part of cali u move too? my rule of thumb for lane splitting think about what u would do in a cage and predict it. Try not to go over 5 or 10 mph over the actual speed of traffic.
Im in the Bay area right now in San Bruno, Ill be moving closer to Hayward in a few days though.  
Thanks for all your replies, I was planning on easing into lane splitting for sure. My commute will avoid the main freeways too once I move. Right now I drive to work on the 101 or 280 and the 101 is a free for all when it comes to jockeying for position.

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Simbadc650
welcome what part of cali u move too? my rule of thumb for lane splitting think about what u would do in a cage and predict it. Try not to go over 5 or 10 mph over the actual speed of traffic.
Im in the Bay area right now in San Bruno, Ill be moving closer to Hayward in a few days though.  
Thanks for all your replies, I was planning on easing into lane splitting for sure. My commute will avoid the main freeways too once I move. Right now I drive to work on the 101 or 280 and the 101 is a free for all when it comes to jockeying for position.
if ur ever down for a ride, whoop whoop lets do it!  

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nascasho
welcome what part of cali u move too? my rule of thumb for lane splitting think about what u would do in a cage and predict it. Try not to go over 5 or 10 mph over the actual speed of traffic.
Im in the Bay area right now in San Bruno, Ill be moving closer to Hayward in a few days though.  
Thanks for all your replies, I was planning on easing into lane splitting for sure. My commute will avoid the main freeways too once I move. Right now I drive to work on the 101 or 280 and the 101 is a free for all when it comes to jockeying for position.
 
 

Small world, I'm also in San Bruno. I commute 1-2 days a week on I 280S towards San Jose, ~40mi commute each way. I lane split all the time. We should ride sometime! Here are some tips: 
Here are some tips:
 
[ul type=disc][*]Another biker behind you? Move aside, don't get pressured to speed up.
[*]Keep it within 10-15mi faster than what traffic is moving at, you'll be fine.[*]Cover your clutch and brake as often as you can, emergency stops happen, people are blind. Side note - practice emergency stops.[*]As mentioned earlier, wave to cagers that move.[*]Upgrade your headlights to HID's or that LED bulb that popular on these forums (I think it's called the cyclops?), you'll get noticed much earlier than someone could hear you with an exhaust. The bluish tint also makes your bike stand out, so they know it's not another car yellow lights, it's something different.[*]Don't assume you're noticed by the other driver. Just because they make eye contact doesn't me they see you - ride like everyone is out to kill you (I don't mean to scare you).[*]Slow down if there's a free space NEXT to the car coming up in view while splitting, some cagers like to "spontaneously change lanes". [/ul][div]
I'm no pro, but I've been hit by a cager twice, and it's from assuming I was seen by the driver.
 
[/div]
 
 
 

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avanti
Remember, lane splitting is NOT required. :D:D:D   Ride on!!!

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suspiciouspackage
Lots of echoing, I'll echo too.
 
• When I took the MSF course, they said it's ok to split until traffic goes above 30-ish mph. I stay true to that because even splitting at 40 or 45 seems unnecessary.
• Lanes 1&2 are where you wanna split. More to the right is dangerous considering no one really expects splitters there.
• I always keep my thumb hovering over the horn. I've never had an issue but it's always a good idea.
• If you share lanes with the carpool, just be more wary. Too many people down here think that a double line is ok to cross.
• I do this personally, if you can ID a car with a driver a little too stupid for your liking, watch their side mirror. You'll see their face and can tell a lot of things about them.
—Back story behind this, I was splitting lanes and there was someone in an SUV driving weird, I started coming up on it and saw their face down staring at their phone. Held off on going past and within 5 seconds of seeing them, they changed lanes no signal, no looking. Saved my ass.
• Wave to the ones who make room. Especially if you're consistent with what time and route you take to work. I remember bikes that pass me when I'm driving and make space. Not that I'd ever hit them (I ride too, obviously), they'll appreciate that you appreciate them.

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Beemer
I don't live in either place but from the way you sound I strongly suggest you don't do it if you're not confident to pass at speed between two moving vehicles, even if you're only going slightly faster than they are. All it takes is to make one little bobble, clip one mirror and you're going down uncontrollably. Then you may get very familiar with vehicles that most likely weigh more than 2 tons with tires that show no discrimination. Just do what you safely feel like doing. Getting from A to B quicker isn't worth a trip to the hospital or your life.

Beemer

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jchin3081
I'm one to talk because I do like to speed through, but just make sure to know your limits as some have already stated. My advice to all my buddies that aren't comfortable lanesplitting yet is just to get in the habit of doing your best to read what drivers are going to do a good distance ahead of you. I can usually tell (not always, but a majority of times) if someone is planning to move into the lane far in advance by just paying attention. Ride safe and just always be ready for anything. Also, I'm from SF. Lots of dumb drivers here If you ever want to practice. Lol.
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bafricawala
Don't worry too much about giving friendly waves to people giving you space to split. In traffic 5 out of 10 might give you space to split and u might end up keeping hands off clutch too long
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botticelli
I moved here less than a year ago from Boston. Took me a good 10000 miles before I felt comfortable with the ca drivers. Been riding for 12 years, and dragged pegs on the FZ on day one but lane splitting took me a good 3months before I felt comfortable doing it the whole way to work. Just remember to go at your own pace and always have an exit. Never just be in limbo between two cars.
 
Slow and steady and keep the rubber side down!
 
Welcome to the promise land of riding everyday!!!!
 
~Pete
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'16 FZ07

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motomeek
If you search the site, there should be an existing thread on this topic.
 
Things NOT to do:
- If there is one lane of traffic, you can't split. That means no riding on the line or on the shoulder
- CARPOOL LANE = Lane SHARING. The rule of thumb I've been given by an officer is to obey all the rules as if you were a car. So you should be entering and exiting only in the openings. And you shouldn't be crossing over the yellow line in order to lane split around another car.
- Be real careful splitting beside parked cars on the street and traffic. Like REAL CAREFUL.
 
 
Things TO do, not already mentioned... just wanted reiterate:
- Always check your six. It's imperative to watch not just in front of you, but behind you. Like mentioned above, if you feel pressured by those behind you, just move over and let them pass.
- If you're at a stop light, and you ride up to the front, move over if there are other riders behind you. Cars usually don't pull all the way up to the line, so if you can, move over so the other riders can meet you at the front too. Makes for better getaways once the light turns green.
 
It's one of my biggest pet peeves when a rider doesn't LOOK.
 
 
 
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