I used to "lane filter" all the time on the fighter and the XT - not so much now on the cruiser. I find it far safer to be at the front of the lights when everyone is taking off. In fact, I avoided a rear-end collision some years back by moving between the line of cars and going to the front. People back in stopped traffic have a tendency to pull out the mobile phone, start texting and forget about the brake pedal - and this particular lady did just that and pushed into the car in front of her right through where I was sitting only seconds before.....As for "lane splitting", well I rarely do that - unless the traffic is at walking pace or slower. BTW - both practices are considered illegal here, but lane filtering is sort of "tolerated" whilst lane splitting is not.Anyway, I've been riding in heavy traffic every day for the past 10 years or so without incident. You can say all you like about how dangerous the practice is, but I know if it's done properly, it isn't. And I for one am not prepared to sit back in the gridlock and wait to get crushed by some ignorant cager. It's my life and I take the steps necessary to ensure I make it home to my wife and kids in one piece.
I don't know where you are but up here in Canada, there have been a few cases of cagers taking offensive action against people filtering. Some have run them off the road withtheir car or actually hit them with their vehicle on purpose.
I'm in Australia. What you're describing is road rage. If I was riding in Canada and that was the "risk", then I probably wouldn't do it. Again, it goes back to doing what you need to do to get home in one piece.
From what I have seen, people in Oz are much more accepting of motorcycles.
You're probably right. Our sub-tropical weather means we ride all year round, so there's no motorcycle "season" like there is in Canada and some of the US - maybe that has a bit to do with motorcycles being more accepted here (being on the road all year round = less unexpected??).
Not sure what lane splitting is, in England filtering is allowed which means you can ride between the two lanes as long as traffic is stationary, although most bikers will filter through slow moving traffic, I found that most drivers in London were very good and would often pull in a little to give you more room. Back in my home town in the north the drivers would pull across to block your progress, the childish attitude of I'm not moving so your not moving seems to be the norm outside of the cities, when taking riding lessons in London my wife was instructed in how to filter safely. Filtering in London made a one hour journey into a ten minute ride.
What is it that makes Americans (and to some extent Canadians) so impatient with others on the road? And where did the hatred of motorcyclist come from?