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Fairly typical London bike commute

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  • Fairly typical London bike commute

    Well, he's going out of London so slightly less traffic. This was my local area before I came to Perth.

    The reason I posted this was I wanted to see people's opinions on the difference in riding a commute in London to Perth. I'm yet to get a bike over here, but I can immediately see the main difference being splitting/overtaking stationery vehicles and lower speeds than Perth roads (due to their straight/wide nature).

    When I first got here I was stunned to see bikes sitting in traffic, I was used to zipping up the outside or down the middle and sitting in front so I could get away.

    Just thought it'd be an interesting topic...


  • #2
    Good London motorvlogger to watch is BaronVonGrumble, great lane splitter.

    Personally, not a huge lane splitter unless the traffic isnt moving at all, then ill tuck my mirrors in and squeeze through the gaps.
    Suppose London is a lot more jam packed and condensed than Perth is, so riders have taken more extreme measures of lane splitting or queue jumping by jumping into the opposing lanes, mounting the kerbs etc, and i dont believe their lane splitting penalties are as strict.
    - XolituDe (Rick)

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    • #3
      RoyalJordanian is another good one to follow, they're clearly far more relaxed about motorcycles maneuvering around through traffic than here.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by XolituDe View Post
        Good London motorvlogger to watch is BaronVonGrumble, great lane splitter.

        Personally, not a huge lane splitter unless the traffic isnt moving at all, then ill tuck my mirrors in and squeeze through the gaps.
        Suppose London is a lot more jam packed and condensed than Perth is, so riders have taken more extreme measures of lane splitting or queue jumping by jumping into the opposing lanes, mounting the kerbs etc, and i dont believe their lane splitting penalties are as strict.
        Just checked out a vid by BaronVonGrumble and loved it. Very funny and brought back memories of my ride to work. You'll notice the amount of checks and lifesavers he's constantly doing, which is something that becomes second nature when riding around London.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by The_Wookie View Post
          Just checked out a vid by BaronVonGrumble and loved it. Very funny and brought back memories of my ride to work. You'll notice the amount of checks and lifesavers he's constantly doing, which is something that becomes second nature when riding around London.
          Haha yeah hes good, hes not just some tom dick thats bought his first bike and action camera and wants to vlog like most of them are these days.
          - XolituDe (Rick)

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          • #6
            Reminded me of constant splitting in NZ - it was just a fact of riding - all motorways were at least 4 lanes - 2 for the cars and the centre and edge for bikes - why do people get so uptight about it over here?
            “The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is. - W Churchill”

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            • #7
              Originally posted by SPman View Post
              Reminded me of constant splitting in NZ - it was just a fact of riding - all motorways were at least 4 lanes - 2 for the cars and the centre and edge for bikes - why do people get so uptight about it over here?
              Because it's a race, and being overtaken by anything means you are losing, apparently

              Instead people should be grateful to see bikes, it means 1 less car to clog up the roads.
              For LAMS information and resources - http://www.perthstreetbikes.com/foru...thread-156358/
              For LAMS discussion and to ask questions - http://www.perthstreetbikes.com/foru...thread-143289/

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              • #8
                Despite being on a bike here for many years I was never a splitter until I lived and rode in London for a year. There was just no way a motorbike couldn't split there.

                I'll never forget two experiences...

                1. Splitting down Embankment (think Riverside Drive equivalent) and a cop on an ST1100 lights up behind me, shit, busted. I start to pull over and he's off like a rocket - I was just splitting too slowly for him!

                2. Caught on a cobblestoned bend with handlebars jammed between a furniture truck and a double decker. Couldn't steer, couldn't brake, couldn't do shit but hang on and hope their speeds matched up with the angle I needed on the front wheel and didn't get any closer. Wheeee - I knew after that how big a gap I couldn't get through.

                Now, here, I don't mind splitting stationary or moving traffic. Tend to switch to filtering mode (ie changing lanes instead of just blasting down the line) once the traffic gets over 80km/h or so. I avoid going down the left, and stay out of the emergency lanes. I'll let people through if they catch up with me and yeah, I get annoyed if someone is blocking the split lane in front - even as I realise there's no compunction on them to get out of the way

                The one "serious" (ie broken bone) traffic accident I've had occurred a few seconds after I stopped splitting, thinking I'd better behave and slot into the traffic. Lesson learned.

                Happy times. And all thanks to learning on London roads. Pity we don't get the acceptance here. Although I really do think Perth is improving in that regard: I see a lot more guys move out of my way now and someone swinging over to block me has become the exception rather than the rule.
                "Once upon a time we would obey in public, but in private we would be cynical; today, we announce cynicism, but in private we obey."

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                • #9
                  Yes, I agree, I get people parting ways for me and giving a thumbs up quite often. Haven't had someone agressively close in for over a year.

                  Did the police switch to Honda? My uncle was a traffic cop for years and he always rode a BMW K100.
                  "Speed Kills". The stupid person's answer to a complex problem.

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                  • #10
                    I was there in 2005 and they had Hoondas then.
                    "Once upon a time we would obey in public, but in private we would be cynical; today, we announce cynicism, but in private we obey."

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                    • #11
                      Yeah, google tells me they use BMW, Hondas and Yamahas. I was less interested in bikes when I was in the UK so I guess I only paid attention when my uncle popped round for a cup of tea and a chat.

                      Apparently "The Honda ST1300 Pan-European was the most popular bike, but it was withdrawn from service by most forces in 2007,[8] following the death of a Merseyside police motorcyclist in 2005 in an accident caused by an inherent instability in the model.[9]"

                      Police withdraw Pan over safety concerns - | Motorbike reviews | Latest Bike Videos | MCN

                      BBC NEWS | UK | England | Merseyside | Police bike is 'serious threat'
                      Last edited by Hamster; 07-11-2013, 12:04 PM. Reason: more info
                      "Speed Kills". The stupid person's answer to a complex problem.

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                      • #12
                        Oh interesting.

                        AFAIK the Pan in 1100 and 1300 was one of the only models shipped from the manufacturer in a Police variation with the bigger alternator, extended switchblocks, heaps of spare threads in the wiring loom front to back, fairing for solo with a tonne of gear and all that jazz which made it pretty popular all over.

                        Talking with the pork pilots here it seemed they were a big happy improvement over the beamers which were a lot hotter on summer days than the STs or the FJs that came earlier.
                        "Once upon a time we would obey in public, but in private we would be cynical; today, we announce cynicism, but in private we obey."

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                        • #13
                          I wish we had those green bike areas at the front of traffic lights over here
                          :stupid:

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                          • #14
                            I thought we did in a couple spots in the city, for pushies... or am I confusing this with somewhere else :/
                            "Once upon a time we would obey in public, but in private we would be cynical; today, we announce cynicism, but in private we obey."

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Wedge View Post
                              I wish we had those green bike areas at the front of traffic lights over here
                              They are reserved for pushies, not for motorbikes unfortunately. Not that that stopped our friend in the Youtube clip. Mind you, I lost count of how many laws he broke on that journey. I used to get quite a lot of scrapes on the bottom fairing on my bike, from those central reservations. Happy days!
                              Adventure before Dementia

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