Stop and go traffic

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by chtucker, Sep 5, 2018.

  1. chtucker

    chtucker Been here awhile

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    I just got back into riding after 5 years off. Prior commute was 38 miles/38 minutes in Colorado.

    I now live around Seattle and commute downtown.

    1 hour today in stop and go traffic. {%^]!.>\£! My normal commute is 30 minutes. Had to take a different route today to pick bike up from service.

    1200GSA is not stop/go/stop/go bumper to bumper traffic fun.

    Does anyone ride daily in stop and go traffic?
    #1
  2. Andrew

    Andrew Optimus Primer Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Why not split lanes, and get through the congestion faster?
    #2
  3. Roads and Trails

    Roads and Trails Just Ridin' Along

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    I live in Albuquerque and ride often along the front range of Colorado.
    in stop and go traffic I split lanes as I learned in Southern California and Mexico.
    I've been doing it for thirty five years, no tickets yet.
    I'll probably get busted tomorrow!
    #3
  4. chtucker

    chtucker Been here awhile

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    Its not legal here
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  5. Andrew

    Andrew Optimus Primer Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    That's not my point... as motorcyclists, we regularly weigh the costs and benefits of breaking the law when we ride. Lane-splitting is not illegal in California, while crossing the double yellow is. But I routinely pass on the double-yellow when it's safe to do so.
    #5
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  6. lifeofliberty

    lifeofliberty If you're bored, you're not living

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    Wow. Some of us don't do this. Yeah, we weigh the costs - and choose to obey the traffic laws, just like most everyone else. Generally speaking, no matter what I'm driving / riding. It speak volumes to the other drivers when you don't.
    #6
  7. Roads and Trails

    Roads and Trails Just Ridin' Along

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    Going 56 mph in a 55 mph zone is also illegal, but I'll bet you do it!
    #7
  8. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    I'm driving a semi around Bellevue, and the greater east side, and south of I-90 on the west side 8 to 10 hours a day, I typically end my day in Redmond spending 1.5-2 hours on 520, 405, and 167............. My personal commute is short, being from the Covington area to the Kent valley, but basically surface street stop and go.
    I'm a full time all weather rider, a sidecar rig makes it much easier with all the stoplights and waiting for trains, and makes it much easier to carry gear for all possible conditions. When commuting on 2 wheels, I found a mid size dual sport to be about ideal for our area.

    Splitting and filtering simply isn't feasible on my commute, and as a CDL driver its out of the question as off duty violations count the same as on duty. Besides that I never found the roads and traffic patterns in our area to be conducive to splitting like they have down south. On the road time management is a key part of my profession, so steady and consistent works better for me than playing frogger.
    Perhaps some chest thumpers will disagree, but I don't find the hassles and potential issues worth the limited payoff.
    The vast majority of riders I know feel the same too.
    #8
  9. JohnCW

    JohnCW Long timer

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    Assuming you want to keep the GSA, buy a second more suitable bike. Small dual-sports are idea as a commuter bike. I use a XT250 with a screen, seat cover, and big soft carry bag on the arse. If you pick one up second hand, even new, with the savings in running costs it will pay for itself. Don't wear out your 'big bike', save it for its purpose.

    A small dual-sport in stop-go traffic has the advantage of being light and easy to maneuver, large wheels to handle crap roads, and tall so you can see over traffic. They can actually be as close to fun in traffic as you get.

    Annual running cost is a spark plug, and a couple cups of oil, and can easily be maintained by anyone with average mechanical ability.
    #9
  10. TwinCitiesRider

    TwinCitiesRider Adventurer

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    Yes sir. Minneapolis Minnesota. It sucks. Not too bad on my Grom though. Engine is so little it doesn't cook me like my other bikes. I will split on my Ninja on the freeway when it's standstill or close to. Just gotta be super careful. Minnesota drivers justifiably don't make room and tend to position their cars in a staggered manner. Also I gotta anticipate that they won't be expecting me. Got honked at a couple times, but way I see it I'm getting myself out of everyone's way and saving them more time.
    #10
  11. RowBust

    RowBust Been here awhile

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    Automatic scooter
    #11
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  12. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

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    Stop and go traffic - and yes, in this era of explosive growth, we have it in Montana - is the reason why I have a PCX.

    After I tried a TW200. The Tee-Dub was fun on fire trails; but listening to the engine note change in summer traffic jams, with the temperature getting above 95...no, that's not what I want to do to an engine. I was afraid even of running the battery down, by stopping/starting it with our five-block gridlock on Reserve Street.

    The PCX, with its water-cooling, fan that rotates with the crankshaft, and general Third-World-condition engineering, does fine.

    Occasionally I'll have the Versys in traffic. Not fun. Even though it's water-cooled...not fun, with all the creeping, clutch-slipping, stationary idling, and general cluster-copulation.

    If you can swing it, I'd get a lesser bike for your commute. Water cooled. Consider a scooter - the twist-n-go will make it a lot easier to deal with.
    #12
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  13. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

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    Yes.

    Burgman 400s are popular in places on the West Coast. Get a used one for a song; and it'll do legal speeds in traffic. AND get you 67 mpg - something the GS will not do.

    You may find you like your Burg-time more than mounting the tall monster.
    #13
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  14. Doc True

    Doc True Time Lord

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    1. Sometimes adjusting your schedule by 30 minutes can make a world of difference by placing you into off peak times. If you're not on your work commute, you can always take a layover at Starbucks. I mean, you do have a GS after all.
    2. My Honda has an automatic that has it's drawbacks in other places, but makes stop-and-go much more bearable.
    #14
  15. D R

    D R Been here awhile

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    If I had to work the straight "9 to 5" I would be hitting peak rush hour and likely to be caught in stop-n-go traffic. Fortunately where I work, the bosses recognize that and allow some leeway with the 8-hour day. As such my work hour times are 0730-1530. This puts me at the leading edge of rush hour both ways. The only thing I usually have to worry about is someone fouling up the express lanes and creating unnecessary stop-n-go traffic. My 2005 R1200RT is air-cooled and if I'm not moving fast enough for too long, the engine temp begins to creep up. I might face such circumstances maybe two or three times over the course of a year.

    The solution to the potential over-heat situation, of course, is to get a water-cooled engine, which with my wife's blessing will be in the spring of 2020 :clap (....all other things remaining the same.)
    #15
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  16. ydarg

    ydarg Miscreant

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    Ride the pig in stop and go traffic all the time commuting in Tampa. What's the issue?
    #16
  17. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    Unfortunately in the Seattle metropolitan area, "peak times" are basically 7am to 7pm, with a slight easing in the early afternoon.
    While there are some, not a lot of employers can accommodate 6am to 2:30pm.
    #17
  18. zswickliffe

    zswickliffe Been here awhile

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    I'll join the discussion. Taking an aircooled (L-Twin, not a boxer) bike in stop and go traffic on a 95* day can be akin to torture for both the rider and the bike. The airhead stays cool enough to idle all day without being too bad but the rear cylinder had of my Ducati Scrambler is directly under my crotch with the header going under the seat.

    After a few times stuck in that sort of traffic (45min+ of not moving an inch), I've decided I'll take the emergency lane to the next exit and ride back roads from now on. I used to hate people that rode emergency lanes like that but risking damage to the bike or my crotch just isn't worth it.
    #18
  19. WindBlast

    WindBlast Repoting live from Interzone

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    Facebook-Cover-Image-Lawbreaker.jpg

    :clap:clap:clap
    #19
  20. CycleKnut

    CycleKnut Adventurer

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    Seattle traffic bites. If I get on the road before 6:30 AM it's OK, except when it's not. You have to leave downtown before 3:30 PM to see any significant improvement in afternoon traffic. Pretty soon the rain and dark will return, and traffic will get even worse. Now I'm depressed... Just turn on the music and try to relax while the cagers try to kill me. About filtering; first part of my riding life was in the Bay Area, and I filtered everyday in and out of San Francisco. Never had an issue. Filtering just doesn't work well here in Seattle. Not sure if it's narrower lanes, drivers expectations/anger, the law or what, but I only filter when traffic is completely stopped for something unusual. Very uncomfortable otherwise.
    #20