Motorcycles have come a long way since being invented in 1985 when Gottlieb Daimler (later Mercedes-Benz) built the “Reitwagen” with a ½ horsepower engine. Today’s motorcycles are obviously more powerful with the beautiful new 2019 Harley-Davidson Milwaukee-Eight Twin Cooled 117 engine, the most power v-twin ever made by Harley-Davidson or the awesome 2019 Kawasaki Ninja H2R with over 305 horsepower.
Here are some motorcycle statistics and fun facts that might blow you away:
Motorcycle Ridership is Up:
Motorcycle ridership continues to grow with 3.8 million in 1997 to over 8.6 million in 2017 but recent sales are decreasing, down 2.1%.
Harley is Still #1 (but Falling Fast) Prompting Merger Talks:
Harley-Davidson accounts for 29.3% of all new motorcycle sales in the United States followed by Honda at 14% and Yamaha at 13%. But Indian, who is way down the list at number 9, below Kawasaki, KTM, Suzuki and BMW, has jumped 20% in growth. Harley-Davidson sales and stock are way down (-7%) as they are struggling to draw millennials who some say are not interested in the Harley lifestyle. Rumor has it that Harley-Davidson is planning to purchase Ducati for $1.7 billion (with a “B”) whose sales are up 13% over the last two years.
California Leads the Pack:
Last year, California was #1 with 842,000 registered motorcycles and #1 with 58,610 new sales followed by Florida and Texas. However California only has 2.9 bikes per 100 people compared to Wyoming who has 7 bikes per 100 people. The most popular motorcycle model in California is the Harley-Davidson FLH (that’s because it’s been produced since 1949 and no other manufacturer has models that have been sold that long.) The most popular brands California are Honda (No.1) and Yamaha (No.2). The most stolen motorcycles in California are, in order, the Honda CBR600, Yamaha YZFR6, Suzuki GSXR600 and Kawasaki ZX600.
Adventure Bike Boom:
The niche segment of adventure bike which in 2011 only accounted for 5% of sales has doubled to 10% according to the industry publication of Power Sport Business. I believe that more and more riders are buying adventure bikes for commuting due to their high posture, panier cargo space, GPS and comfort including some bike with heated grips and seat adjustments. Adventure bikers spend more time their bikes and spend more on aftermarket accessories than any other kind of rider. The new Honda Africa Twin (30%) is the best-selling Adventure-Touring motorcycle followed by the Suzuki DR650SE and the famous BMW R1200 GS.
The average age of the typical motorcycle rider is now 47 compare to 32 in 1990 and 40 in 2009.
72% of motorcycle riders have some college education and 71% are employed. Only 15% are retired.
About Thomas G. “Tom” Reinecke:
Since 1987, Tom Reinecke has been one of the highest rated Motorcycle Lawyers In California. A graduate of UCLA, former Superior Court Judge Pro Tem, and Author of California Motorcycle Law, Tom Reinecke has successfully handled thousands of motorcycle accident and injury cases and recovered millions of dollars for his clients.
Many of my clients and fellow motorcycle riders often times modify or upgrade their stock (OEM) exhaust systems with new full exhaust or “slip ons” to get a strong, aggressive sound. Mods also lessons the airflow from the engine, increases power and it’s lighter all giving better performance and it also improves the bike’s appearance. (My favorite slip-ons are Yoshimura R-77D. Twin Bros. M2 Black and any Vance Hines. I also like Rinehart Duals and Xtremes for Harley-Davidsons.)
But before you switch to a slip-on muffler or an entirely new set of pipes it’s important to know the law and the 2019 changes. The California Vehicle Code §27202 has the table of exhaust noise:
Pre 1970 93dBA
1970 – 1972 88dBA
1973 – 1974 86dBA
1975 – 1985 83dba
1986 – Current 80dBA (Credit Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger)
First, all manufacturers and aftermarket providers comply with these rules. Straight off the showroom floor, Harley exhaust systems emit noise as high as 80 decibels (dBs). For reference, a typical car idling emits noise at 35-45dBA and a lawn mower is 95dBA.
California Vehicle Code §21750- Adequate Muffler states every motor vehicle must have an adequate muffler to prevent “any excessive or unusual noise” and “no muffler hall be equipped with a cutout, bypass or similar device”.
California Vehicle Code §21751- Modification of Exhaust System states “No person shall modify the exhaust system” which will “amplify or increase the noise emitted.”
The New Muffler Law (effective January 1, 2019) – Previously a motorcyclist was simply cited with a “Fix-it Ticket” for a modified or excessively loud exhaust which could be corrected. The old law allowed you to “fix” your exhaust symptom within thirty (30) days and provide proof to avoid a fine.
However, on January 1, 2019, the NEW LAW mandates a traffic ticket for a “modified or loud exhaust or muffler system” with a mandatory fine of up to $1,000.00 with the first offenses is a mandatory $100.00, second offense a mandatory $250.00. So cut outs, bypasses, straight pipes or exhausts with holes are now illegal. No more fix-it tickets.
Since the beginning of 2018, I have had more and more cases in which my client is simply commuting to work and lane splitting when a vehicle suddenly changes lanes directly into their path causing a violent broadside collision, an ejection from the bike and serious injuries.
Then the CHP Traffic Collision Report concludes the motorcyclist is the “Primary Collision Factor” for riding in violation of the California Vehicle Code §22350- Unsafe Speed and, to add insult to injury, the CHP does not mention that state the suddenly turning car is even an “associated factor” for making an Unsafe Lane Change.
So what exactly is the California law on lane splitting?
As you are well aware, lane spitting reduces traffic commute times for riders and other drivers. It is also safer for bikers who can avoid being rear-ended by distracted drivers in stop and go traffic.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated lane splitting “offers a means of reducing congestion in addition to possible safety benefits.”
A 2015 study at the University of California Berkeley’s Safe Transportation Research & Education Center found that 17% of the 6,000 motorcycle accidents in California between 2012 and 2013 involved lane splitting at the time of their collision. That same study found that lane splitting was “relatively safe” if done in moving traffic at 50 mph or less and motorcycles don’t exceed other vehicle’s speed by 15 mph, that lane splitting motorcyclist were less likely to suffer head, torso and fatal injuries but more than twice as likely to rear-end another vehicle.
But the bottom line is that lane splitting takes another vehicle out of the line and improve traffic for all.
The Lane Splitting Law:
Lane splitting date back to the 1960’s when most motorcycle were air-cooled and would overheat in California notoriously bad “stop and go” traffic. The practice of lane splitting was never illegal in California. It is the only state in country where lane splitting is legal.
However, on August 19, 2016 California Vehicle Code §21658.1 (Assembly Bill 51) was officially enacted making lane splitting legal in California. The California Highway Patrol was instructed to develop “educational guidelines” for the safety of motorcyclist and drivers. So this did not actually change the law, it just empowered the CHP to make guidelines.
In September 27, 2018, the CHP released “Lane Splitting Safety Tips” which begins with a BOLD Disclaimer that
“Lane Splitting can be dangerous and extreme caution should be exercised’
The only “Tip” that refers to speed states:
“Danger increases at higher speed differentials”
So according to Cycle World and others, the new law didn’t do much to actually set up real guidelines for lane splitting.
The Bottom Line on Lane Splitting:
I believe that CHP Officers have “Marching Orders” from the Sacramento CHP Commanders to enforce the old (unapproved) A.B. 51 guidelines for motorcyclist:
- Travel at a speed “no more than 10 MPH” faster than other traffic;
- Not advisable to lane split when traffic flows 30 mph or faster
I deduct this from my review of most if not ALL of my client’s CHP Traffic Collision Reports which compare my client’s allegedly “admitted” speed to the surrounding vehicle’s speed to conclude that my client was riding in violation of the California Vehicle Code §22350- Unsafe Speed for Conditions.
This CHP Report last Page “Conclusion” will then be used by insurance companies for the driver’s at fault to flat out deny lability or claim some sort of comparative negligence (they always say you’re either say 30% or 50% at fault). Total Bull!
To fight this, first, a witness can’t give expert opinions as to your speed and second, and most important, a CHP Officer can only testify as to what the parties said (an exception to the hearsay rule) and what he observed. A CHP’s officer’s opinion as to fault or the Primary Collision Factor or who he believes is at fault is improper and will never see the light of day.
If you were riding at a reasonably safe speed, straight, with a lane, when some Bozo busted out of their lane to jump into an opening next to you (i.e. an Unsafe Lane Change) causing a collision and injuries – Fight It! Win!
If you or a loved one have been involved in a motorcycle accident involving lane sharing/ lane splitting , please call Tom Reinecke – BestMotorycleLawyer.com at (800) 275-8326.
About Thomas G. “Tom” Reinecke: Since 1987, Tom Reinecke has been the highest rated California Motorcycle Lawyer. A graduate of UCLA, former Superior Court Judge Pro Tem, and Author of California Motorcycle Law, Tom has successfully handled thousands of motorcycle accident and injury cases.
In 2015, the governor of California signed the Yellow Alert Bill which is to help find the evaders of hit-and-run accidents and crashes. The bill was originally written by Mike Gatto, an assemblyman of Glendale.
“It’s a very common sense bill that statistics show would greatly reduce the amount of people who get away with this very terrible crime,” Gatto said.
Brown vetoed a similar bill that passed the Assembly last year. Gatto said that he doesn’t know why Brown signed the bill this time around, “but we’re ecstatic about it.”
“This bill will make a very, very meaningful difference, I think, in the number of people who are brought to justice,” Gatto said. “And if more people are brought to justice, I think more people will do the decent thing, and that’s stop. And realize that if you flee the scene of an accident, it’s a crime; if you stop and render aid, then it’s just an accident.”
When Brown vetoed last year’s bill, he said that he was concerned about diluting the power of Amber Alerts with other messages. Gatto said that, given that highway signs are currently used to notify drivers of the state’s drought right and to urge them save water, there should also be room for their use to notify them of hit and runs.
“Hopefully, the governor came to the same conclusion I did, which is that our network is not that burdened right now,” Gatto said.
Gatto said that the alerts would only be deployed in the area of a suspected hit-and-run, and that they wouldn’t trigger an alert to people’s cell phones.
Nearly over 40,000 car accidents in Los Angeles alone nearly half of them are classified as hit-and-run cases. In 2015 27 people were killed by hit-and-run accidents and 144 others suffered serious injuries. Of those case only a fifth of those cases were solved.
The Los Angeles bulletin system also alerts taxi-cab drivers and tells auto-body specialists to watch for vehicles coming into their shops dented or bloodied.
In addition, the city will offer standing rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of hit-and-run drivers: $50,000 for a fatal crash, $25,000 for a collision resulting in serious injury, $5,000 for an accident causing a lesser injury and $1,000 if there was property damage only.
Leaving the scene of a fatal crash or an accident that caused serious injury can lead to felony charges.
If you or a loved one was injured or killed during a hit-and-run while riding a motorcycle call The Reinecke Law Firm today for a free case evaluation at (800) 275-8326. We want to help you recover as fast as possible.
With the rise of technologies in batteries and electric motors there have been significant improvements in combining them in motorcycles. Brammo was one of the first companies to come out with a good powerful electric motorcycle with a decent endurance of range for a battery but the fall was the price of the motorcycle. Brammo has since been bought by Polaris. A lot of people are hoping that with the development of electric motorcycles they will come down in costs and the range of the battery would be more than 50 miles and quite possibly the amount of power would be improved. They are on the rise and only time will tell where they will go.
Is it worth the cost of changing from a full gas motorcycle to an electric? As of right now it is not unless you are only riding your motorcycle less than 5-10 miles an hour and plan on traveling at a rate of less than 50 mph or if you have $25,000 pocket change to drop on the new Victory Impulse TT that Brammo (Polaris) has created. If that is what you plan to do you might as well look into buying an electric mountain bike that you could take on and off the road as well as ride on sidewalks.
Pros and Cons of Electric and Gas Powered Motorcycles
Pros of Electric Motorcycles
- Low Maintenance Costs
- Electricity is cheaper
- No Emissions
- Quiet (this can be a pro and a con)
- Minimal moving parts
- Direct Power
- No Gears
- No Clutch
Cons of an Electric Motorcycle
- Battery Charging Time
- Distance Range
- Quiet (others won’t hear you coming)
- Not very powerful
- Not many dealerships know how to service
Pros of Gas Powered Motorcycle
- Light weight
- Range is dependent on gas availability (forever)
- Loud (People can see hear you coming)
- Upgrades are easier
- Relatively Cheap
- Bigger selection and sizes
Cons of Gas Powered Motorcycle
- Loud (neighbors will not like it)
- Maintenance Costs are relatively high
- Can be messy
- Shifting gears
- Smell bad
- Have to warm them up
- Harder to learn
It is all about your preference and how much you want to spend in the end. An electric motorcycle might be good if you plan to have it more than ten to fifteen years but you will be stuck with having to change a battery out by then or even a couple times which pretty much cost half of the bike you bought it for. A gas-powered motorcycle, if maintenance is kept, will last for more than 15 years but you will lose some power due to wear and tear.
Not mention that insuring an electric motorcycle will cost you more because of the bike costing more than a gas powered motorcycle. It might be best to see what’s down the road a little further before we start having a more precise debate on whether an electric motorcycle would be preferred over a gas motorcycle.
Companies that make electric powered motorcycles-
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident or crash call The Reinecke Law Firm today to see how we can help you make a full recovery to getting all that was lost in your motorcycle accident case. Do not hesitate to call us at (800) 275-8326. Call for a free case evaluation.
The new Kawaski ZX 10R is capable of speeds of 190mphs with about 200 horsepower at the wheels. For some this is capability is not enough speed but for most it is more than enough to handle. Recently there was a recall on all the bolts for holding the steering damper brackets which is important for the control of the motorcycle.
It is estimated that over 800 have been sold just in the US alone with this problem and all owners will receive a letter concerning this problem.
Kawasaki has agreed to fix the problem free of charge and would advise anyone who owns this motorcycle to come into their shops ASAP.
If you have been in an accident because of this problem contact the Reinecke Law Firm today at (800) 275-8326, you may be entitled to higher compensation for your injuries.
Here in the United States there have not been much said about Motorcycle Taxis as they are considered dangerous and would require everyone to wear motorcycle approved helmets. But in other countries Motorcycle Taxis are the best and easiest way to navigate around and through big congested cities.
Countries such as Brazil, India, Japan, and many more that I could probably not pronounce, use motorcycles as taxis since they are cheap, quick, and fun. Getting to and from work would nearly cost you less than a dollar or two and you wouldn’t need to worry about parking or getting stuck in traffic before or after work.
World Moto is the company that is taking over the motorcycle taxi service with their technology similar to Uber but made for safety as motorcyclists don’t have two hands free as they drive customers around. Moto-Meter is their technology that is making their taxi service reliable for the driver and their customers. It allows the customer see the route the driver took and the right price for the travel costs to confirm the amount to be paid to the driver.
Check out the video below about how it works.
Also be sure to check out their website: World Moto
Although the United States does not have an official motorcycle/motorscooter taxi service a small business in New York has attempted to build a Vespa Taxi service in New York that is supposed to be twice as cheap as getting a regular taxi in the Big Apple. This company is called ‘Motoconcho’, appropriately named after what the service is called in the Dominican-Republic. We will see how this fairs with people here in the United States.
Source: Motorcycle News
Tom Reinecke is the Founder and Managing Attorney of The Reinecke Law Firm. Since 1987, Tom Reinecke and his professional staff have successfully represented thousands of motorcyclist and their families involved in motorcycle accident and injury cases throughout California. If you have been in a motorcycle accident call The Reinecke Law Firm Today at (800) 275-8326.
Jamie Rico has been in five crashes since he started riding motorcycles in his 30s. One of those crashes broke his spine.
“It’s not if you are going to be in an accident, it’s when,” Rico, 51, said in the garage of his Mission Viejo home as he gazed at his silver four-cylinder Honda sport bike, a luxury police-styled motorcycle.
But he kept riding — until this year. Watching another rider go down on the freeway convinced him to hang up his helmet.
“How many times could you get hit before you start really saying, ‘Wow, am I going to do it again?’” Rico asked.
A KPCC analysis of statewide crash data found overall motorcycle collisions and fatalities increased 23 percent from 2003 to 2012, the latest data available through the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System.
The statistics reverse an earlier trend. After reaching a peak in 2008, motorcycle accidents in California plummeted 16 percent the following two years before spiking back up.
Other vehicle accidents had been dropping along with motorcycle crashes and have kept dropping.
The jump in motorcycle wrecks was especially big in Los Angeles County: a 49 percent increase since 2003.
And especially deadly.
In Los Angeles County, 59 percent more motorcyclists were killed in crashes in 2012 than in 2010. In Orange County, motorcycle fatalities were up 15 percent during that same time period.
Traffic experts don’t know exactly why motorcycle fatalities and crashes are climbing back up. Motorcycle registrations are up since 2010, but not enough to make up the difference: only 5 percent in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.
But experts and riders said it’s probably caused by more inexperienced or rusty riders on the road, enticed by two things: years of rising gas prices and a better economy.
“You know it could be the same as everything else,” said Chris Cochran, spokesman for the California Office of Traffic Safety. “The recession is becoming over, and people are getting out there and doing more of what they were doing earlier.”
Motorcycles are often secondary vehicles for most people, Cochran said. They have a car or truck they use during the week and ride the motorcycle for fun on the weekend.
Cochran said the recession could have kept recreational riders off their bikes for a couple years until people had money to maintain their two-wheelers.
“They were basically putting their motorcycles in the garage and leaving them there,” he said.
It’s always motorcycle season
On a warm weekend, the buzzing and crackling mufflers of motorcycles bounce off the canyon walls on Mulholland Drive in the Santa Monica Mountains as riders challenge themselves to hug its steep and winding corners.
“It’s almost now a destination that a lot of riders like to come to,” said California Highway Patrol officer Leland Tang, an agency spokesman.
You can catch souped-up bikers riding, knee down and motorcycles leaning to one side as if at any moment the tires will skid out from underneath them. And sometimes they do.
“We see a lot of recreational riders pushing that envelope,” Tang said, getting into wrecks and getting hurt.
Tang said he’s noticed tourists from other countries renting motorcycles to tour Los Angeles County’s canyon roads.
Avoiding pain at the pump
When you ask motorcyclists why they think crashes and fatalities are up, their answer is gas prices.
Mike Locke, a mechanic at Al’s Cycle Shop in Echo Park, said business picks up right along with gas prices. Drivers bring in busted or dusty bikes that have been sitting in garages to get them back on the road.
“You also see a lot more scooters, just ’cause they’re cheaper,” Locke said.
Historic gas prices and motorcycle crash data in Los Angeles County seem to support this theory.
Regular retail gas formula in Los Angeles peaked the summer of 2008 at $4.49, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That was the prior peak in motorcycle accidents: 3,048 in Los Angeles County, the data show.
In December that year, gas prices plunged to $1.82. Motorcycle accidents went down for two years, then started climbing again in 2011. That year, gas prices hit $4 again, and motorcycle accidents in L.A. County hit 3,112, surpassing 2008’s high.
If saving on gas seems incentive enough to buy a motorcycle, Southern California traffic can be even more convincing.
Echo Park resident Brandon Gleave, 35, bought a Harley in May for two reasons.
“It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “It saves me a lot of time.”
Gleave cuts his commute by splitting lanes: riding on the dotted lines between cars or trucks on the freeways.
California is the only state where motorcyclist can split lanes because it’s not prohibited by state law.
“There is no law other than how it’s treated by law enforcement,” said motorcycle accident attorney Sy Nazif.
State traffic agencies, including the California Highway Patrol and the Office of Traffic Safety, for years posted guidelines on their websites on how motorcyclists should safely split lanes. In general, they advised riders never to split lanes when traffic is moving faster than 30 mph.
But the agencies took the guidelines down this summer after questions arose about whether they were legal guidelines.
Bay Area Assembly Member Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) has introduced a bill that would make those lane-splitting guidelines state law.
“It’s much safer to be between cars,” Nazif said. “Is it 100 percent safe? No, we’re on a motorcycle. It’s never 100 percent safe. But it’s far safer than having this stop-and-go, where we sit in line with everybody else.”
The Safety Transportation Research and Education Center at the University of Berkeley published a report in August that said motorcyclists who split lanes were less likely to be rear-ended but were more likely to have rear-ended another vehicle.
“They were also more likely to be involved in weekday collisions and more likely to be involved in collisions during peak traffic times,” the report found.
Lane splitters are also at risk of sideswipe accidents.
By far the biggest killer of motorcyclists in Los Angeles County isn’t either of those types of crashes. It’s the broadside. That usually happens when a motorcyclist or a vehicle gets hit on the side while trying to make a left-hand turn.
An unforgettable crash
Rico, the multiple crash survivor from Mission Viejo, said after he helped a motorcycle rider get off the freeway earlier this year after a bad wreck, he couldn’t get it out his head.
All day at work, he thought about how vulnerable the motorcyclist was. That image was so powerful, Rico couldn’t bear get back on his bike at the end of the work day.
He took a vanpool home.
For six months, he left his motorcycle at work. Thieves began stripping it for parts. Rico eventually brought it home and fully restored it.
It sits parked in his garage.
He won’t sell it. He keeps it because it’s a beautiful bike and he loves the power, he said.
So the silver motorcycle sits and waits for Rico to decide if he’ll ever get back on.
“I might take it on a joy ride with my wife,” he said. “I’m still thinking about that one.”
This story is part of Transportation Nation, a public radio reporting project that combines the work of multiple newsrooms to provide coverage of how we build, rebuild and get around the nation. To read other Transportation Nation stories, click here.
If you or a loved one is ever in a motorcycle accident contact The Reinecke Law Firm today for a free consultation. The Reinecke Law Firm has over 25 years of experience with motorcycle accidents and injuries. Never settle for less, call us today at (800) 275-8326.
If you have a 2014 or 2015 model year Harley-Davidson motorcycle, your bike may be a part of a massive recall due to a faulty clutch master cylinder. See a full model list of recalled Harleys below.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NTSA), the Electra Glide, Ultra Limited, Police Electra Glide, Street Glide, Road Glide and Road King models from both the 2014 and 2015 model years have been recalled due to issues with the clutch master cylinder. Almost 46,000 bikes are part of this recall, and several accidents and minor injuries have been associated with the faulty part.
The clutch master cylinder in the recalled motorcycles may lose the ability to generate enough lift to disengage the clutch. The NTSA states that the clutch issue is especially problematic if the motorcycle has been parked for an extended period of time.
The list of potentially affected models in the Harley Davidson recall includes:
2014 Model Year
- CVO Road King (FLHRSE)
2014-2015 Model Year
- Electra Glide Ultra Classic (FLHTCU)
- Electra Glide Ultra Classic – Twin Cooled (FLHTCU TC)
- Ultra Limited (FLHTK)
- Police Electra Glide (FLHTP), Street Glide (FLHX)
- Street Glide Special (FLHXS)
- CVO Street Glide (FLHXSE)
2015 Model Year
- Electra Glide Ultra Classic Low (FLHTCUL)
- Ultra Limited Low (FLHTKL)
- Electra Glide Ultra Classic Low – Twin Cooled (FLHTCUL TC)
- Road Glide Special (FLTRXS)
- Road Glide (FLTRX)
Harley-Davidson is in the process of sending out notices to owners of the motorcycles that are being recalled, and issued an apology to customers who own the affected bikes.
“First and foremost, we apologize to our customers for this issue. We’re riders, too, so share in the frustration. Customer safety is our first priority.”
The L.A. Times reports that Harley dealers will perform free service checks to flush the clutch systems and rebuild the defective master cylinders on all of the recalled motorcycles. Owners can call Harley-Davidson customer service at 800-258-2464 and reference recall 0165 if they have any questions or need to find a nearby dealer.
In addition to the recall associated with the clutch, there is also another Harley-Davidson recall associated with the rear reflector assembly. Motorcycle USA reports that this recall affects almost 9,000 bikes that “may have been manufactured without a rear reflector assembly.” Included in the recall are certain 2015 Harley-Davidson Street 500 and Street 700 motorcycles manufactured from May 12, 2014 through March 9, 2015.
Check for the recalls on your Harley-Davidson motorcycle by entering your vehicle identification number (VIN) here.
If you or someone you know has been in an accident due to these recalls please call the Tom Reinecke Law Firm at our toll free number at (800) 275-8326. We can help you!
In July 2015 the California lane-sharing bill AB51 was in disputes, this bill was created to put restrictions on the popular motorcyclists rights in California for lane-sharing. Just to be clear this bill would not revoke the right to lane split but it would be put speed restrictions on lane splitting. The main two restrictions that would be placed on lane-sharing with motorcyclists would be: 1) You could not pass a vehicle moving faster than 50mph. 2) You cannot pass a vehicle at 15 mph more than the speed of the moving vehicle you are passing.
As you can imagine there are good arguments and agreements when it comes to the law imposing these restrictions. Studies have found that lane-sharing can be just as safe as riding the 2 wheeled vehicle in the middle of the lane. It is the responsibility of other motorists to be aware of the motorcyclists around them.
The following document contains guidelines for lane-sharing or lane-splitting: CHP Lane Splitting Guidelines.
According to UC Berkeley “Riding a motorcycle between lanes may be safer than critics believe. The UC Berkeley report looked at 5,969 motorcycle accidents in California from July 2012 to August 2013. Of those, 997 involved lane-splitting. The study concluded that motorcyclists splitting lanes at 50 mph or slower were far less likely to suffer serious injury from their accidents than motorcyclists who were not lane-splitting or doing it at high speeds:
- 9 percent of lane-splitters at moderate speeds suffered head injuries, compared with 17 percent overall.
- 19 percent suffered injuries to their torso, compared with 29 percent overall.
- And the death rate was 1.2 percent, compared with 3 percent overall.Still, some drivers resent lane-splitters, and their frustration can lead to road rage. Motorists sometimes refuse to give motorcyclists room to weave their way through stop-and-go traffic. And motorcyclists who travel between lanes at high speeds may unnerve drivers, who fear they might not see the two-wheelers when changing lanes.”
As a California Motorist you should know the following:
1) Lane splitting by motorcycles is not illegal in California when done in a safe and prudent manner.
2) Motorists should not take it upon themselves to discourage motorcyclists from lane splitting.
3) Intentionally blocking or impeding a motorcyclist in a way that could cause harm to the rider is illegal (CVC 22400).
4) Opening a vehicle door to impede a motorcycle is illegal (CVC 22517).
5) Never drive while distracted.
6) You can help keep motorcyclists and all road users safe by
- Checking mirrors and blind spots, especially before changing lanes or turning
- Signaling your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic
- Allowing more following distance, three or four seconds, when behind a motorcycle so the motorcyclist has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emergency
If you are a California motorist or motorcyclist check the Lane Splitting is Legal to obtain “Share the Road Stickers” and subscribe to receive updates of the AB51 California Lane-sharing bill.