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Lane Splitting Advice

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by sonicbaz, Jun 2, 2006.

  1. Hi,

    I've been starting to lane split now I have a bike that can pull ahead of traffic :grin: , but I'm starting to feel a little unsure as to the correct technique.

    Recently I've been caught splitting as the lights changed and sort of got stuck in the middle of 2 cars which was a little freaky.

    Some questions.

    1. From how far back do people split?
    2. If you are at the front of the traffic do you move into a lane or stay at the side next to a car?
    3. Does lane splitting encourage cars to beat you off the line?
    4. Am I expected to "beat" cars off of the line or should I expect them to wait for me to pull off?

    The stupid thing I did the other day on my first attempt was try and pull away in N........... nooooooooooooo :oops:

    Any advice on lane splitting techniques would be appreciated.
  2. hey sonic.. ive only just started riding and splitting too... i split form whereever the trafic starts...
    when i'm at the fornt of all the traffic i stay on the same line i just rode on but in front of the cars in case one tries the whole race thing... that way i won't get caught up in it...
    i havent had anyone try to beat me off the line yet... but then i'm only a 250 :p
    i usually do beat try a little to get off quicker... just so they arent sititng there thinking... ' he got to the front now why doesnt he go in front of us'

    he he.. i've done similar twice!!! started in 1st.. then when went to change up... got excited and dint lift up hard enough goin for the quicker change... went straight into N !!!!!! twice now i've done it!
  3. Heres some guidelines.
    If you're at the front of the queue you should take off fast enough to stay ahead of the traffic - that doesn't mean dropping a wheelie for the first 100 metres :wink:

    British Guidelines
    The British publication “Motorcycle Roadcraft” ( The Police Riders Handbook to Better Motorcycling), notes the following under the topic of “overtaking”:-

    When traffic is stationary or moving slowly in queues, motorcyclists can use their manoeuvrability and limited space requirements to make progress. The advantages of filtering along or between stopped or slow moving traffic have to be weighed against the increased vulnerability while filtering.
    If you decide to filter:
    • Take extreme care
    • Keep your speed low- you need to be able to stop suddenly if circumstances change
    • Always identify a place where you can rejoin the traffic flow before you move out
    • Make yourself visible – consider using dipped headlight
    • Be ready to brake and/or use the horn
    • Use the opportunity to make progress but be courteous and avoid conflict with other road users

    Watch out for and anticipate:
    • Pedestrians crossing between vehicles
    • Vehicles emerging from junctions
    • Vehicles changing lanes or U-turning without warning
    • Doors opening
    • Reflective paint and studs which could throw the bike off line
    • Traffic islands
    • Other bikes also filtering

    Dutch Guidelines
    for riders:
     only split if general traffic speed is not exceeding 40 km/h
     speed difference between bike and traffic should not be more then 10 km/h
     in case of 3 lanes, go between the left and middle lane. All bikes to use the same lane. (and keep a safe distance)
     constantly monitor the other traffic, expect traffic to change lanes without warning.
     if other traffic moves over to make more space for you, say thanks, 'e.g. thumbs up' .


  4. And if it doesn't, choose a different finger, (say the middle one)....
  5. 1) Wherever the trafic is built up.
    2) Always sit in a lane, and make it very obvios which lane you have selected. this means that drivers arn't left guessing.
    3) See note 2 if you are in front of them they can't beat you off the line.
    4) If you have moved up in front of the traffic i personaly would consider it rude to not leave them behind. They had the space, and the motorcyclists argument for spliting is that it aleviates congestion. If you are slowing people down when they want to take off they wont see it this way.
  6. That really sums it up.
    Oh and Take Care :twisted:

    As far as how far back, I split the entire way from Newmarket Road to Alderley Avenue on Samford Road Yesterday(not too far, but far enough when the traffic is built up), but there were bikes doing it more than I was (if you know that area of Brisbane), it just depends on what the traffic is doing in each case and whether you are confident enough, and in control of the bike I think.

    As for moving into the lane at the front of the traffic, If you can, try and command the lane that you are moving into, so that you don't end up in no-mans land (which is a Sh*t place to be :grin: ) otherwise you may very well end-up in between two cars. Basically, Just taking the risk out of it, and leaving yourself in a safer position. My thoughts anyway, someone feel free to correct me

    edit* I agree with Falcon (must have replied at the same time) :cool:

  7. Wholly shit..... Me & FL actually agree on something.... Definitely +1 on all the above... especially #4.... I would want to run you over if you split infront of my cage and just doodled off the line... I wouldn't but would certainly want to!!! :evil:
    Most bikes take off quicker than most cars anywho so you should be ok. :wink:
  8. i now see the point with choosing a lane after splitting... will be doin that from now on too... thats not a bad split edward.... is more than enough in peak hour traffic... any split is good split in those times he he
  9. Hey all,
    agree with the above ideas,
    really keep your eyes open,
    be ready to stop,
    was lane 'filtering',
    not far from home on Chatsworth Road,
    up to the Cavendish Road intersection,
    had a kid just throw open the door on a car and jump out,
    saw me filtering up between the cars, shat bricks,
    and really quickly grabbed his school bag shut the car door,
    and off across the street,

    Best Distance Lane Filtering
    in solid not moving bumper to bumper traffic.
    Hale Street,
    From the Waterworks Road on ramp
    to lights at Coro Drive,
    Approx distance, 2 km,
    Wednesday arv.
    was great fun.
  10. When you pull in front of the traffic queue, try and move in front of the dodgy old datsun, not the brand new monaro with a driver who reckons he can do you off the line :LOL:
  11. otherwise he can't race you :grin:
  12. Re: Choosing a lane after filtering, most cars go right up to or even past the white line at the intersection, does this mean that if you are splitting you should go past the line and make a hard turn to then sit in front of the car? Wouldn't this be considered "running the red light"? If the intersection had a pedestrian crossing, wouldn't this put you IN the crossing?

    I've usually just sat between the two cars, but slightly ahead of both, and yes have had cars try to race me off the line before. Fortunately I've left all of them in the dust.

    Two things that would worry me if I was to get in front of the cars and get into a lane:

    a) if the lights changed while I was doing this, then I wouldn't be able to take off quickly as the bike won't really be facing the right direction

    b) if a truck/bus is turning and needs the space. I had a truck turn across an intersection the other day, I was on the line across the intersection and had to roll my bike backwards about 2 or 3 meters (luckily the cars behind me also reversed) to allow the truck to turn. If I was sitting ahead of the line I doubt the cars would be too keen on reversing...

    My best lane splitting fun so far has been from Sumner Park to the Mt Cootha roundabout (along the Centenary) :)
  13. I always take a quick look at the lights for the cars that are currently moving to see what colour they are before i get to the front this allows me to know whether i have to get ready to go or i have enough time to pull in front of the que before my lights go green.
  14. ive lane split from 50m when all traffic has stopped and also because i know how long the light takes to change to green.
    cars will try to take u on only if they are dickheads. if this happens, its just a twist of the wrist and im gone.

    best advice to you is that dont do it unless your close to the traffic lights and also watch out for cops. they will give you a fine if you do it. if they try and catch you, twist your wrist and lose them through the traffic or get ready to get a fine. best to get a fine in case you dont lose them. haha
  15. if the lights change before you have reached the front DO NOT ACCELLERATE TO THE FRONT.

    If a car runs the red crossing your path, your toast.

    When cars move away they all leave pretty big gaps. If your splitting responsibly you will be going slowly enough to grab a little brake and jump in behind the car in front of you.

    Keep an eye on your mirrors, youll see the gaps form.
  16. Yeah, don't get so caught up in moving off the line faster than the cars that you don't head check left and right first, that = disaster :(
  17. Have to agree with everything so far, but I always move into the lane infront of the traffic so i can make room for other bikes moving to the front.

    And I have never had a problem staying out in front of the traffic once the light goes green, even when they are trying to drag me off! 8)

    And to my knowledge its still legal to lane split in Victoria, but I always end up stopping in the pedestrian crossing, as its the only way to be in front of the cars, and I have no idea at all if thats legal!
  18. also agree with everything, particularly falcon lords comment re curtesy if you move in front of vehicle, don't hold them up.
  19. This is an other good point.
    It realy pisses me off when i get to the top of a split and there is a bike there so you can't get clear of the traffic.

    Move over, let your fellow biker in.
    An other point is if you pull into the same lane as an other bike at the end of the split i think it is definately good maners to let them take the lane first as you move off and slot in behind em.
  20. I certainly agree with falcoln lord on both counts.