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Filtering like a gentleman (or lady)

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by jekyll, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. Mod: I did a few searches; I hope this is ok as a new thread.

    I've gone through a progression from not filtering at all, to doing it a little, then all the time, and have now come full circle in a sense: I filter sometimes, but I assess each situation before making the decision.

    Some of the things which give me pause include:

    * If the car at the front of the queue seems like they may "contest" my right to be at the front, I'd rather not be there. I can wind the Spada up fairly fast, but not fast enough to safely drag a loony in any decent car, and if I hold anyone up I'm an inconsiderate driver.

    * If I don't know the lights well enough to know what order they change in, I'm more likely to hold back.

    * If I don't quite make it to the front and have to slot in between moving cars, I often feel like there's not enough space around me and I can't create it without further annoying people I've already pushed in front of.

    * If I'm intelligent about where I choose to filter, I don't need to do it at every set of lights to achieve good results. Choosing my moments strategically I can have both good safety and progress.

    * If the gap looks tight or awkward, and I fail to negotiate it smoothly, I'll look and feel like a complete idiot.

    * Sometimes I can tell by looking down the road, or thinking about my route, there's another place a little further on I can make the same gains with less drama.

    * The more considerate and competent I can appear to other motorists, the safer I feel - they are more likely to be considerate and safe around me.

    * If the guy at the front is in an SUV, he probably needs to be reminded that my $2000 motorbike is a better city vehicle than his $40,000 oil burner :)

    If I had to boil my decision down to a few factors:

    * Will I hold anyone up by filtering? Can I make it to the front before the lights change, get off ahead of the lead cars, and is the road ahead free of hazards I'd have to slow down for?
    * Will filtering increase, or at least maintain, the space around me and my safety?
    * Will I have to wait at the same lights for more than one change if I don't filter? Or am I so chillaxed I don't care?
    * Is it raining? Bugger sitting around in the rain ...

    I think people care far less about people filtering when we appear competent, thoughtful and considerate, though there's always going to be the odd crazy.

    Also, whenever it looks close, I take pains to slow *right* down, put a foot down and cautiously manouver my mirrors past other motorists'. I often bend mine out of the way beforehand to increase clearance.

    Nothing pisses people off like clipping their mirrors!

    If you filter sometimes, depending on conditions, what influences your decision?
  2. Generally limited to the gap ahead.
    I filter on a 1800, so assessment of the gap is vital.

    If I am only gunna get 1 or 2 cars ahead, I dont bother.

    If the cars are likely to move off, before I get to a 'space' I hold off.

    One intersection I pass thru every day (Jells rd and FTG rd, wheelers hill) the surface is so deformed, and cut up, there is a 4-5 inch rise between the wheel ruts, and the white line. This causes a major problem when filtering, so I rarely filter at this intersection. The bike is pointed left, but heads right, if you have to 'climb' the rut as well.
    So Local knowledge plays a part as well.
  3. I filter almost constantly, I must say I was suprised a guy in a BMW X5 moved the other day to let me through when I was not trying to force him to move, didnt expect that on Flinders St.

    Generally im rewarded all the time as I make many more lights than I would have if I hadnt, considering im a commuting rider, it means a lot.
  4. Another one is not to filter by using a turning lane if there's a chance that lane might get vehicles before the lights change . Nothing safe about sitting stationary whilst a stream of cars goes past your elbow/shoulder IMO (and yet I see bikes do this often). Even worse when the bike actually blocks those vehicles from making a turn on a green arrow.
  5. I hate getting stuck right next to the driver's door. People just seem to get p*ssed off having a noisy, buzz-saw sounding bucket of bolts chattering away about 30cm from their ear... for some reason :?:
    Makes 'em crazy. Loud may be safe, but I might one day have to invest in a more civilised example of motorbicycular propulsion, for the sake of sanity.
    If I can't get all the way through, I don't go half way.
  6. My list was much the same as yours.

    I'd really only filter through stopped traffic if I was close enough to the front of the queue or if I knew that I'd almost certainly make it to the front by the time the lights change.

    Narrow gaps I'd avoid, even though the VTR250 could be safely slow-ridden through gaps that friends on bigger bikes would have to fold in their own mirrors and duckwalk through.

    Really only did it if the traffic was heavy, too... if traffic's light, meh, who cares. I'm in no rush.
  7. When I first started filtering, I used to wait between the 2 front cars, somebody jumped the lights by a second just to get ahead of me out of resent.

    Now I put the bike in front and block them. I take off quickly and the obstruction is minimal. Then you get the road to yourself, nobody to lane change into you, which seems to be one of the most common motorcycle accidents.
  8. Do you mean so you can take off at the lights quicker? Cos i normally wait for the light to go green before i take off... normally :p

    So you ride a Ducati? ;) :p
  9. One thing I've tried to work on a bit recently is getting into the habit of waving "Thanks" whenever possible. It takes a bit more thought on a bike (and I don't do it as much as I might) but it's a nice habit ...
  10. my list is pretty much the same, with the only extra addition of i filter more on the way home than on the way to work, cause i'm more awake.
  11. Mate, I can't even tell you what a Ducati sounds like, having been deafened by the mechanical clatter of a T5 Triumph! :p
  12. +1 ...spread the love.
  13. +2 - it's amazing how much shit a single, palm open, holding out the left hand wave can get you out of.

    A little courtesy goes a long way
  14. Would that be the one that comes down the laneway and turns onto Hope St? If so you come right past my place on the corner. :LOL:
  15. +3

    And I would rather sit through another cycle of lights than do something selfish, dangerous and/or dumb.

    (Of course, there are some times when the asphalt angel whispers in your ear that you just gotta wiggle to the front and gun it.)
  16. And it's a great way to p!ss off the people abusing you as you head to position number 1 at the lights (I'm sure that's how they view it, the position bit...)
  17. dont you hate filtering to the front of the lights only to be blocked by one a$$hole driver. Its like the only thing blocking your path to freedom!!
    happened to me this morning, even reving the bike causing all sorts of noise did not pursade her to move a fraction to the right.
  18. :LOL: at any cagers who try to deny a motorcyclist an advantage when it in no way disadvantages themselves. kill yourself you breathtakingly petty retards.

    I haven't had that happen to me yet, surprisingly, and I always filter. I always gun it from the front as well, to both escape the cagers and ensure that, having filtered past them, I'm not holding them up.
  19. You can often get around a car that's too far over by ducking around them on the other side ... on a small bike with a generous steering lock, anyway, and depending on the gaps.
  20. My list is about the same also. I remember when I first started riding ... "I'll NEVER filter !... ou'd have to be an idiot with a death wish to do that shit"
    Didn't take me long to convert :LOL: