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Motorcycle Law

Should motorcycle riders 'lanesplit' or 'lane share' by driving between cars?


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September 13, 2011 1:57PM

Here's what Timberwoof's Motorcycle FAQ says on the topic:

What is lanesplitting? Also known as lane sharing, it is the practice of riding between lanes of cars.

Is lanesplitting legal? In California, it's not exactly illegal. In most other states it's illegal.

Is lanesplitting safe? According to a study done in southern California in 1996, it is. Read the SFgate article at

How do I lane-split safely? When traffic is stopped or moving slower than ~20 MPH, you can split between lanes of traffic moving in the same direction. Keep your speed no faster than 15 MPH over what the traffic is doing. Watch out for holes to either side of you because holes attract lane changes. Read Lanesplitting 101 at's sensationalist fluff, but the advice is pretty good.


Yes I think it should be legal but not to beat time My bike is air cooled I would need to start and stop the engine to try to keep it from overheating I do think there should be a speed limit on spliting and how fast you can move between cars 15 MPH is fast enought to keep the bike cool. and I have used the brake down lane traveling about 10 MPH, I'm doing it just to keep the bike from overheating not to mention riding a bike at speeds of 5 MPH or slower is some times hard to do for long distances


United Kingdom

In the UK it is not illegal to filter between two lanes of slow moving traffic 10-15 mph maximum. Do not ride at over 5-10 mph faster than other vehicles. Be super alert for plonckers who don't use their mirrors. If you have an accident you could be artly to blame.


NY need lane sharing

how about to get away from a dangerous situation? i just recently was being tailgated by a car. at a red light i passed 3 cars to go to the front of the line to avoid the guy tailgating me (not legal in NY). at the next light a tanker truck brought his truck within 6 inches of my tailight and got out of the truck and threatened me because i "lane shared". i think the best reason to allow lane sharing is to allow bikers to "escape" dangerous situations, but when there is no law written for it he/she may again be confronted by a dangerous situation. it is "OUR" lives on the line, not the tailgating VW GTI nor the tanker truck operator. shouldn't we be given the opportunity to save ourselves? i have over 100k miles on motorcycles in 20 years of riding, i rec'd 1 speeding ticket 19 years ago, no tickets since, but i have "illegally" lane shared many, many times to avoid trouble. unfortunately it isn't legal to do, and i usually don't because of that. i just hope that I'm not killed or maimed when i decide not to do it because of the law. one more point, ny spends alot of money on commercials telling people to watch out for bikers. if they really cared for our well being they should pass laws that allow us to protect ourselves from the 1% of the population that is killing us. anyway "my" answer is yes as i can still walk - 100k miles on a cycle in nyc metro is proof, someone please pass a law like cali so i can use it more effectively. it's only a matter of time before "the law" kills me :(