Posts Tagged ‘lane filtering’

Up Shift – The State of Montana is now the third state to have legal motorcycle lane-filtering. 

Motorcyclists in the Big Sky State can overtake slow or stopped traffic by filtering between the lanes of traffic. But they have to stay at 20 MPH or below while doing so.

My Take – While I tremendously applaud the efforts of the motorcycle community in Montana for making this happen, was there much need for it? There are so few people in Montana how often will conditions allow lane-filtering?

ON THE PLUS SIDE…Other, vastly more populated, states (Oregon and Virginia for example) are also looking at legalization of motorcycle lane-filtering. Maybe the momentum is building for more states to pass the law.


Up Shift – Harley Davidson my soon offer a bolt on supercharger for its V-Twin motorcycles. Cycle World is reporting that the Motor Company is working on the supercharger as part of it’s Screamin’ Eagle performance line. If you are not familiar with the Screamin’ Eagle line it is their in-house performance division that develops products (cams, exhausts, engines, etc.) to “hop-up” your motorcycle horsepower and torque. 

My Take – With the retraction going on at Harley Davidson I am a bit surprised with this development.  Harley has killed many new bikes designs, dropped out of racing and closed production lines so this new part is more the exception along the lines of the Pan American adventure motorcycle.

It will be interesting to see if it makes it into the parts catalog.


Up Shift – Over the last few years American Flat Track racing has made quite a comeback, at least until Covid.  With the racing season to start soon Royal Enfield is joining the series with a factory sponsored team.

Johnny Lewis will be riding for Royal Enfield and the company is expecting good things to come from their involvement with American Flat Track.

My Take – This is great for the sport! More factory team involved means a greater chance for success.  But with American Flat Track on NBC and tape delayed how many fans are going to get to see Johnny and the other racers.

I don’t think that I am to different from the other fans in that if I know the outcome I am not going to watch the event.


Ride on, Ride Safe

A lot has occurred on the subject of lane splitting (or filtering depending on where you are) this year to include the following:

>  A complaint from one person forced the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to remove lane splitting guidelines from their website.

>  In Australia, New South Wales is now allowing lane splitting and Queensland is will be legal in 2015.

> has a petition to make lane splitting legal in the state of Virginia.

>  UC Berkeley issued a study, commissioned by the CHP, finds the practice does not increase safety risks.


The most important item of the year on this subject is the UC Berkleley/CHP study. The study shows that lane splitting is, mostly, as safe as riding in a standard lane. I can see this report supporting the movement to allow lane splitting in other states in the very near future. The report, titled “Safety implications of lane-splitting among California motorcyclists involved in collisions” studied the “prevalence of lane-splitting among approximately 8,000 motorcyclists who were involved traffic collisions in June 2012 through August 2013”. Some of the highlights of the UC/CHP study: (LSM=Lane Splitting Motorcyclist)


>  The practice of riding in between marked lanes to filter through slow-moving or stopped traffic, is just as safe for riders as traveling in normal lanes

>  Riders who split lanes are less prone to getting rear-ended; however, the likelihood of a rider rear-ending a car is greater.

>  Danger level does increase for riders who are splitting at speeds of 10mph or faster than the surrounding traffic.

>  They found that lane splitters were splitting at lower speeds and in slower moving traffic than they had been previously.

>  Time of day also varied greatly by lane-splitting status 59.5% of LSM were involved in collisions between 6-9 am or 3-4pm, compared with 37.3% of motorcyclists who were not lane-splitting.

>  Patterns of injury were significantly different comparing LSM and other motorcyclists. LSM were notably less likely to suffer head injury (9.1% vs 16.5%), torso injury (18.6% vs 27.3%), or fatal injury (1.4% vs 3.1%) than other motorcyclists. The occurrence of neck injury and arm/leg injury did not differ meaningfully by lane-splitting status.

The authors of the report have promised further analysis on the data they collected. They plan to look at things such as age, gender, rider characteristics, and roadway conditions to further dig into what exactly is and isn’t dangerous on the roads.

You can read the summary of the UC Berkeley/CHP study yourself at this link.