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Aug 10th 2018, 03:34 PM   #1
 
  Mar 2018
  Gig Harbor

  2008 BMW R1200GS Adventure
Center-of-Lane and Right Side Riders: WTF?

Ok.... Iíve been here long enough now to say that this is a common occurrence that I have not observed often anywhere else.

So many riders will ride in the middle of the lane... in the oil track. Even if another rider comes up behind them, they stay in the middle of the lane. This is Day 1 of basic rider training... you donít do that unless itís been raining for a while and the rain has washed the oil into the wheel ruts, right?

The other thing Iíve noticed is the number of riders that will lead the stagger of riders on the RIGHT side of the lane. There are times the right side is correct, but, generally, is not the side you should be on.

Am I missing something?
Aug 10th 2018, 04:27 PM   #2
 unicykle's Avatar
 
  Sep 2017
  milwaukie oregon

  gsxr600 gsxr750 gsxr1000 i like gsxrs
I ride where i can see ( usually to pass) and be seen the best or where i have the most avenues of escape. Single lane road im usualy in the left tire track, fast lane freeway im usualy right tire track
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Aug 10th 2018, 05:20 PM   #3
 
  Mar 2018
  Gig Harbor

  2008 BMW R1200GS Adventure
I’m talking about just normal streets. Two lanes (one each way).
Aug 10th 2018, 05:26 PM   #4
 Rock Dodger's Avatar
 
  Feb 2016
  Washington

Out here in the middle of nowhere, there's no detectable oil in the center of the lane. Almost every road is chip seal, and I've found that the best traction in the rain is right down the middle of the road. Since cars smooth out the roughness of the chip seal on either side of the lane and form troughs for water to accumulate, the rougher pavement in the center gives the best traction. Strange, but true.

On heavily traveled roads though, the greasy, oily center of the lane should be avoided.
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Aug 10th 2018, 05:29 PM   #5
 chadams66's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Garden Home

  2012 Versys...'83 BMW R80 RT...Suzuki GS 450t
I too have seen riders partaking in this activity and have wondered myself...if you want someone to run you off the road the right side is the best side for that...if you're leading a group..there's no way you can see back and what the group is doing...ride in the middle of the road where the oil slick is?? does this need explaining? granted the oil slick isn't as bad as when my old man taught me this stuff back in the 60's...maybe they should mention it in the training classes...I'll only ride there if I'm staggered or the left side is a lot worse...then again I'm old and maybe these kids know something I don't...
Aug 10th 2018, 07:44 PM   #6
 Andonon's Avatar
 
  Jul 2018
  Mill Creek

  06 SV650S
Quote:
Originally Posted by Didley
Ok.... Iíve been here long enough now to say that this is a common occurrence that I have not observed often anywhere else.

So many riders will ride in the middle of the lane... in the oil track. Even if another rider comes up behind them, they stay in the middle of the lane. This is Day 1 of basic rider training... you donít do that unless itís been raining for a while and the rain has washed the oil into the wheel ruts, right?

The other thing Iíve noticed is the number of riders that will lead the stagger of riders on the RIGHT side of the lane. There are times the right side is correct, but, generally, is not the side you should be on.

Am I missing something?
No. You havenít missed anything. I donít get it either. These are likely riders who have never studied how to ride. Give them some space, itís possible they donít know how to steer.

What scares me more is having them behind me. Unlike on a track where people are actually practicing. Iím really afraid of a doof jamming his rear brake into me because heís afraid of the front tire and riding down the middle of the lane. So I just put a car or 10 between us.

Besides. He probably never saw you.
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Aug 11th 2018, 05:56 AM   #7
 Texasl's Avatar
Moderator
 
  Jan 2016
  Northeast Olalla

  07 Guzzi
Quote:
Originally Posted by Didley
Ok.... Iíve been here long enough now to say that this is a common occurrence that I have not observed often anywhere else.

So many riders will ride in the middle of the lane... in the oil track. Even if another rider comes up behind them, they stay in the middle of the lane. This is Day 1 of basic rider training... you donít do that unless itís been raining for a while and the rain has washed the oil into the wheel ruts, right?
Other than at intersections, the buildup in the center of the lane is not that appreciable, especially on multi-lane roads and freeways. If a rider is in any lane but the far left or right position the center position gives the greatest buffer from potential side conflicts.

As for the idea that a rider should move to one side or the other when another bike comes up behind him, nothing could be farther from the truth. They are not riding together as a group any more than two cars would be. I've picked a lane position based on my needs, such as sight lines, defensive posture, etc., and I will stick to the plan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Didley
The other thing Iíve noticed is the number of riders that will lead the stagger of riders on the RIGHT side of the lane. There are times the right side is correct, but, generally, is not the side you should be on.

Am I missing something?
Contrary to what you may think, there are very few absolutes when it comes to lane positioning. There are advantages to either point position, all situational dependent.
Aug 11th 2018, 08:08 AM   #8
 Sentinel's Avatar
 
  Jun 2016
  Poor Tortured

  2015 Kawasaki Concours 14 - The Origame Sea-Dragon
IMO the oil-lane is not as dangerous as cellphone drifters, crossing over the line while shouting-out some important shit about what their mom said or what they had for lunch or how "Oh no he didn't!" or whateverthefuck is so important that you gotta be texting instead of driving.

Yesterday morning I followed a guy out of Port Orchard along the water towards Gorst and dude was probably 50% of the time with his wheels over the fog line and another 25% of the time in the opposite lane as if he was ass-drunk.

Straight-up cellphone fuckery and it aint getting any better out there.

So maybe the old rules aint the best rules any more.

There's new dangers. Sort of like the way we used to ride in jackets and boots because it was cold and wet out and now we wear armor and kevlar because fucking cellphones and god damn Musk putting Breakout and Missile Command in-dash (and dvd players (Netflix?) as standard gear in new cars).

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2018/...tesla-screens/

Dunno.
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Aug 11th 2018, 08:53 AM   #9
 WheelJouster's Avatar
 
  Apr 2016
  Kitsap

If I'm coming up on a line of vehicles traveling towards me, I'll hop to the right track to make myself seen sooner to anyone potentially wanting to come into my lane to pass the vehicle in front of them.

I don't recall if I didn't do this before or just didn't do it as much, but this riding season it seems to be something I've noticed of my habits.
Aug 11th 2018, 10:03 AM   #10
 Greg's Avatar
 
  Apr 2016
  PDX

  2014 675R, 2015 Versys LT
No matter where you position your bike in the lane, you have to be watching the road surface. The oil track thing is something that I haven't seen in 5 years of riding. I change my position based on traffic, road conditions, etc. Middle can be a good compromise if you want to be visible in side mirrors and not right next to potential merging cars.

I do agree if you are leading a ride, you should be to the left

Sent via SM-G930P
Aug 11th 2018, 11:36 AM   #11
 olyk12's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Olympia

  Tiger 800 XCX, DRZ400SM, Sherco 290st, Harley 350 Sprints, etc
And some prefer to ride on the right side of the lane when riding in a group - Here is a video discussing the issue from BestRest Products - discussing the benefits.

Steve

Aug 12th 2018, 12:16 AM   #12
 Andonon's Avatar
 
  Jul 2018
  Mill Creek

  06 SV650S
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texasl
As for the idea that a rider should move to one side or the other when another bike comes up behind him, nothing could be farther from the truth. They are not riding together as a group any more than two cars would be.
I wasnít saying we should ride as a group. But if I come up behind you, and you donít seem to wag, or move, or you look at me but you donít do anything... including wave, you just sit there. Iím gonna immediately evaluate you as someone who doesnít know how to ride and give you extra room. Im not saying you should move over out there, but the guy behind you probably expects it and if you donít want to lead the other guy you should make room to let em get by. There a lot of new riders up here who like to snuggle in behind a more experienced rider, coulda been you. Just sayin.
Aug 12th 2018, 12:18 AM   #13
 Andonon's Avatar
 
  Jul 2018
  Mill Creek

  06 SV650S
I want to clarify my point. If you pull in behind ME, I’m gonna ride lead you. Keep it rubber side down out there.
Aug 12th 2018, 07:21 AM   #14
 Texasl's Avatar
Moderator
 
  Jan 2016
  Northeast Olalla

  07 Guzzi
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andonon
I wasnít saying we should ride as a group. But if I come up behind you, and you donít seem to wag, or move, or you look at me but you donít do anything... including wave, you just sit there. Iím gonna immediately evaluate you as someone who doesnít know how to ride and give you extra room. Im not saying you should move over out there, but the guy behind you probably expects it and if you donít want to lead the other guy you should make room to let em get by. There a lot of new riders up here who like to snuggle in behind a more experienced rider, coulda been you. Just sayin.
And my job will be done because I have managed to get an unknown vehicle to give me more of a rear buffer. If a strange rider tries to "snuggle in" behind me I am going to make my bike as wide as a Kenworth to move him back. Crowding is crowding, no matter the vehicle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andonon
I want to clarify my point. If you pull in behind ME, Iím gonna ride lead you. Keep it rubber side down out there.
No, you are going to move to the left lane position, if that is what your OCD dictates, and I will drive you insane with my continually shifting lane choices.
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Aug 13th 2018, 10:04 AM   #15
 craiger's Avatar
 
  Apr 2016
  Molalla

  2007 Aprilia Tuono Factory, 2010 Honda VFR 1200f DCT
For me, common sense dictates that if I come up on a rider who is in the middle of the lane, I more often than not, shift to the upward slope of the left rut so he can see me in his mirror, and give him at least 10 bike lengths of room. If we're in stoplight heavy traffic, I stay behind said rider at a red light. Now, on the other hand, if a rider approaches me from behind in traffic, I am in the left rut 90% of the time, so it's up to said rider if he wants to pull up next to me, or stay behind. I'm not comfortable with a rider I don't know along side me when in motion, but at a light, no big deal. Share the road is my motto. No need to be a doosh about it.
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