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Hittin The Twisties On My RC 51
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Hey guys. I had some free time at work so I was perusing the Crash, Boom, Bang section of the forums (trying to get myself on the scared straight program, lol!!!) seeing what mistakes others have made and trying not to make the same ones. One question I have that was never really answered by my instructors at the MSF course was about lane position. We all know there are 3 positions in a lane (2 if you are taking the moto test in VA, long story) but when is the best time to be in which lane? I asked that question in MSF class and the only answer I got is “it depends on traffic”. I know you ride where the cage in front of you can see you best and that usually is in the far left portion of the lane but is it ever ok to ride in the far right? I do it sometimes on the way to work to try and establish lane dominance by not letting those “last minute” mergers on this particular stretch of road cut in front of me. I usually loose that battle but at least they know I am there. My question is – Where should I ride depending on the situation? Just trying to learn from the guys that have been doing it a lot longer than me. Thanks.
 

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u wanna have space to escape. so, in no traffic middle.. traffic on the left u wanna be on the right, and traffic on the right u wanna be on the left. thats the basics.. then u gotta factor in weather, road surface and group riders.. but basically u want to be able to move to a free spot when the shyt hits the fan (cager hits the brakes in front and on side of u). with time you'll be fine.
 

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When I ride on the highway (which seems to happen a lot in NJ), I try to not have a car beside me as much as possible. But when a car is beside me, I stay on the far side of the lane from the car. But, if there's no one beside me, I ride towards the left if I'm in the right lane or the right if I'm in the left lane. But always on the tire treads, never in the middle of the lane.
 

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I never ride center lane either. Too many fliuds such as oil in the center.
 

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This is definitely good info.. Thanks for sharing..
 

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Jack Daniels is my bff
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I heard that the fluids in the center wasnt true unless you are a stop light. When im riding im all over the lane, sometimes in the right, center or left. I just keep moving here and there keeping myself aware and making myself noticable to cars around me.
 

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when the traffic is clear, i ride on the left side, so that if a car merges into my lane i have extra space.

in normal and tight traffic, i ride on the right side of the left lane, reason being that most cars are in the left center of the lane, so being on the right allows me to see the traffic past the car in front of me. i feel this allows me to react to traffic conditions earlier. for the same reason, sometimes i move into the left side when the road curves to the left and vice versa. being able to see the traffic ahead will increase my safety. being on the right and seeing the traffic also allows me to change lanes more quickly.
 

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when i'm cruising on the freeways, i always ride in the fast lane/carpool lane. that way, i never have to worry about anything from my left side. in light to moderate traffic, i stay on the left side (lane 1?). this gives me room if someone tries to merge in. however, in heavy traffic (heavy enough that there's no room to change lanes for cars) i usually ride down the right side (lane 3?). in cali, there are a LOT of stop and go fender benders. splitting through backed up traffic because of an accident, you will almost always pass 1-3 additional accidents where someone rear ended someone else. by riding down the right side, i can split lanes when the traffic stops and goes, and prevent myself from getting squished.
 

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my msf instructor and my cousin (former ama rider) always taught us to ride in the side of the lane closest to the car as you go by or let them go by. obviously trying to never ride right beside the car. that gives you the other 2 thirds of the lane to use if the car moves over. changing sides of your lane to adjust to the cars around me. if you ride on the side farthest away from the car on your left it gives some azzh*TS the opportunity to lane share with you when they want to come over knowing you will have to give way. and if you are to the other side of the lane you have no room left to use to avoid the car. establishing lane dominance and an escape route at the same time. ive had to kick a door before. if id been already on the right side of the lane i wouldnt have anywhere to go but over the gaurdrail.
 

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Hittin The Twisties On My RC 51
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Discussion Starter #10
This is some great info guys. I guess my original question was on lane dominance and how to establish it. I have never had anyone try to come over on me before but I guess I have not been riding long enough. I will practice more and put your ideas to work. Thanks for the input.
 

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I ride mostly in the right hand portion of the lane whether I'm in the left or right lane. If I'm in the left lane it allows me to see the road in front of traffic and allows traffic to see me. Just make sure you get through the vehicles blind spot as quickly as possible.

If I'm in the right lane I try to stay as far away from the vehicle on my left as drivers rarely use their right side mirrors. This allows me space and time to get out of the way.
 

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If I'm in the far left lane (which I usually am), unless theres a car right next to me, I'll ride in the right side of the lane a lot of times. This makes you more visible to people in the lane next to you and you'll have less chance of them cutting into you. I'll sometimes move to the center to give me more room just in case.

Feel free to correct me if Im wrong on this one.

Like its been said, though... a lot of it depends on the situation.
 

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I usually hang out in the middle, which is probably a no-no, but I figure it keeps me close enough to the other lane to let others know I'm there, but I'm far enough away from the other lane that I have a little more time to react should the car start to change lanes.
 

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supryze said:
I usually hang out in the middle, which is probably a no-no, but I figure it keeps me close enough to the other lane to let others know I'm there, but I'm far enough away from the other lane that I have a little more time to react should the car start to change lanes.
A very big No no at that. Never ride in the middle of the lane. When the vehicle in front of you straddles the brick, ladder, turtle, or 2x4, you'll be the first to eat it. Avoidance isn't the key to the game but being visable is.
 

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To be honest I don't care too much about the person beside me in a lane because I can always move over or brake and let them in. I'm more worried about the people behind me not being able to react as fast as me. Therefore I always keep a lookout in my rearviews if I see some potential problems up ahead and if I need to break hard I try to move towards the lane lines so if the car in behind me can't stop as fast as me I can lane split and avoid a rear ending. If you have ever heard of a safe zone that is what you need to establish when riding on the highways. just get to a spot where you feel comfortable being and maintain it as long as possible then if need be move to another one.
 
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