Lane splitting in Europe is legal – mostly, and in most countries. However, there are some local nuances when it comes to filtering, vrying from country to country. Here’s what you need to know.
Legal, But Not Always Appreciated
Lane filtering is legal and tolerated happily by the people in most of the European countries. In some countries like France, Netherlands, Spain, and Italy, it is not only legal but the motorcycle riders are expected to split lanes both in city traffic and on the roads. Here, it is a common courtesy to split lanes while riding through heavy traffic. However, in a few countries like Germany, lane splitting is sometimes frowned upon. Although it’s legal to filter, there are strict rules for it. For example, you are allowed to split lanes in Germany only when the traffic is stopped or moving very, very slow. Generally, if you’re lane-splitting at a speed over 7 miles per hour, you might get in trouble.
Most European drivers are attentive to motorcyclists, and they’re generally friendly, as long as you don’t cut them off or ride slowly in the fast lane (expect road rage if you’re riding slower than 65 miles per hour on the inner lane on a highway). Lane splitting is mostly safe in Europe, both North and South, although traffic can get a tad chaotic in Greece and Italy.
Be aware of other motorcyclists and even cyclists who might also be lane-splitting. Don’t hog an opening with your heavily loaded GS if you see there’s a throng of scooters or smaller bikes behind you. If you’re itching to split lanes but aren’t sure whether you’re allowed to, just follow local riders and do what they do. If you see a bunch of bikes filtering in the city, you’re probably good to go.