Looking for some confirmation - Suzuki DRZ-400?

Shigeta

W6EXP
The BW is definitely more on the budget side and I'd love to have one of the nice Versahaul ones. I'll be checking the welds on my BW for sure from now on.
I'm not sure where you're located, but here in the SF Bay Area, they pop up on Craigslist every few months. I picked up mine for $200 and bought another one not too long after for a buddy for $220. MRSP is pretty hard to swallow (especially for the occasional users) but this thing has proven itself time and time again. A riding buddy has had his for 13 years.
 

motorcycle matt

Active member
I would really like it if you reconsidered listing to music or podcasts while riding, especially as a new rider. I've had a motorcycle license for 25 years and it is a jungle out there. Riding quads and bikes on trails is fun and good for learning technique, but commuting on the freeway and city streets is serious business for the motorcyclists. You need to act as if you are invisible and pay attention to what the others around you are doing and have escape plans. It would be super easy to plow into the back of braking car or not see that idiot drifting into your lane because you are laughing at what Joe Rogan said. Street skills are different than trail skills. I don't want to dissuade you from getting your license and enjoying the wonderful experience that two wheels bring, but I do want to scare you.

Peace and wheelies
 

Maddmatt

Explorer
So I'm just a few years ahead of you on the same path - bought my first bike at the age of 45, with 2 kids and virtually zero motorcycle experience. Deal with my wife was take the training course, and ATGATT. Actually found the course incredibly valuable, and have steered several people towards it, with no complaints. And gearing up to honor the ATGATT part of the agreement is a good time to get mentally "right" for getting out on the bike.

I think for your first bike, you might want to slow down your plans a bit. Any of the bikes that have been mentioned are probably great, but I wonder about any of them on either of the commutes you mention. I started with a Ninja500R - not because I have any interest in the sportbike world, but because it was the best condition bike available in my price range. After 3-4 summers and 4-5k miles I sold it for more than I originally paid, so that worked out well. And the miles of experience gave me the confidence for my current bike - Tiger 800XC.

One thing I've learned over the past 7 years or so, is that I need multiple motorcycles. I would only give up the Triumph if somebody gave me a brand new one, or maybe that Africa twin with the auto-clutch. But I also want a nice scrambler for taking my wife out to dinner, a thumper for riding around in the woods and every once in a while I see a cruiser that I wouldn't mind having in the garage. If I had the cash, the garage space, and the time to ride all of those, then maybe a "sport" bike just to round out the collection.

But I only get one, my skills or lack-thereof make the Tiger a handful on trails (although I did make it through a couple days on the BDR last fall) but it's great for commuting. I get to sit up high, it's nice and smooth, plenty of power, 50+mpg.

So basically I like your plan of the smaller dual sport first, and keeping it - but would suggest not thinking about it as a "do everything" bike, because as has already been said, I don't think those exist.
 

Jupiter58

Active member
As someone who has been riding for 50 years I will tel you the same thing I tell everyone considering learning to ride after 35 years old. Don’t do it. Especially a commute like that. If you were going to ride 95% off road, maybe.
Stay off motorcycles and stay off pavement. There is only so much you can do to protect yourself and you are late to the game to learn even that. People on 4 wheels are ************** and have no consideration for motorcycles.


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Willsfree

Member
As someone who has been riding for 50 years I will tel you the same thing I tell everyone considering learning to ride after 35 years old. Don’t do it. Especially a commute like that. If you were going to ride 95% off road, maybe.
Stay off motorcycles and stay off pavement. There is only so much you can do to protect yourself and you are late to the game to learn even that. People on 4 wheels are ************** and have no consideration for motorcycles.


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When I was 30 I was clipped by a drunk driver head-on in my lane while in a hairpin turn about a 1/4 mile from my house; i was returning from a 300 mile loop on Labor day. My kids were 3 and 6 years old; I sold both my beautiful BMW motorcycles within a month. Whenever someone asks me about starting to ride a motorcycle, I first ask them if they have kids. I think it is risky to ride a bike when you have kids or adults that are dependent on you to care for them, whether financially or otherwise. Now that my kids are adults I now have four motorcycles and was riding daily pre pandemic here in the bay area during commute hours/lanesplitting etc. I have totaled two motorcycles in the past 10 years while riding to work. The first crash, I flipped onto the back of a car while trying to avoid a multi-car pile up....second crash, slid under a car after being rear ended while lane splitting; both accidents happened on the morning commute in dense traffic approaching the bay bridge; after both crashes I went home, got another bike and rode to work...lucky for me nothing was broken or crushed. Motorcycling can be super dangerous and it is likely that I will die or get maimed while riding; I got hooked on the thrill when I was 14 or earlier and remain committed to riding till the day I decide to stop. Motorcycles are not a lower cost way to commute to work, nor is it much faster to commute by bike once you suit up and change clothes at work etc. All that said, go ahead and get a little bike for riding around close to home and on the dirt if you can accept the risk of injury or death. I agree that we are invisible to other vehicles and our bodies are soft; I've witnessed two riders that didn't survive vehicle contact...it was sobering. Have fun out there :cool:
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
I did 65,000 miles of Bay Area commute riding between 2003-2009 first kid arrived in 2009.
In my case lived in San Francisco commuted to Redwood city via city streets and fast highway 280 riding. My primary objective was fast commuter that left as much traffic attention as possible to my riding efforts. I enjoyed riding my brothers 750 ACE and some dirt bike trail stuff, but the commute reality was the big miles 190+miles a week, yr around etc.

I ended up to the horror of my fellow riding buddies on a 650cc Honda Silver Wing big scooter. For my commute and city use honestly there was nothing on two wheels better than that thing! Every 12,000 miles I needed tires, every 18,000 it needed brake pads, I typically averaged 50mpg. It easily cruised at 80mph and could jump to 120mph flat out with my 180lbs plus office gear under the seat. In the city it was compact, fast, second nature easy no missed gears etc. As such I could easily focus on the cage drivers and 65,000 miles of commute you avoid and see bad stuff developing long before it becomes an issue for you, or you don’t make it past the first few months👍

Today if I had no kids at home I doubt I would street ride, I use to cycle a bunch too!! Have had way too many friends still riding hit by texting drivers which was an issue when I rode but its like 50x worse today. I had two cases during commute where the car behind me rear ended the car in front of me on the highway. yeah I rode like a ghost and was by design never in a spot where a cage didn’t see me or could collect me in a inattentive accident etc. So many events I could write a book. Zero accidents for me in 65,000 miles.

Trail riding is likely all I will do in the future, especially when my wifes 2016 plug-in hybrid does 60mpg and costs marginally less per mile than my old super scoot.
The only really huge savings was commute time via stopped traffic and lane sharing.

Trail riding I like to mountain bike and tend to ride my motorcycle even scooter like I ride my Mt bike, which case I’ll likely be on one of the smallest rigs when I do start doing trail trips with buddies. Given I like being able to toss the bike and ride through stuff heavier bikes are just a disaster and not fun to ride on in that stuff.
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
The best street commuter ride is compact, fast!! Did I say fast? My 650 Scooter was 0-100mph in 7 seconds. It was basically an automatic crotch rocket with a lazy boy seat and full faring. LOL

I would NEVER street ride in a state where lane sharing is illegal!! Nearly every impending accident I avoided, was avoided by lane sharing ie not being where a car could hit me without first hitting 4000+lbs of vehicle between them and me.

100%% Take a riding course!!!’ My instructor was a ultimate hard ass from England 12 of the 25 people washed out of class day 2!! That guy likely has saved 100’s of lives being a total hard ass to level 11!
 

Axelwik

New member
I've been riding motorcycles for more than 4 decades and have a DRZ400 that I use for the BDR routes and local dual sport riding. I've ridden it on the freeway a few times, but that's not its strong suit. It's a much better dirt bike than street bike; not quite as good as a Husky or KTM of the same size, but a lot easier to live with in terms of maintenance and cost.

In terms of being a new rider, if you're the type of person that learns from your own mistakes you SHOULD NOT ride motorcycles. You have to be the type of person that learns from OTHER PEOPLE'S MISTAKES. On a motorcycle you cannot survive many of your own mistakes! If you still want to do it, then you really need to listen to what they teach in motorcycle safety classes. Also highly recommended is reading books such as "Proficient Motorcycling" and others. Once you get a little experience under your belt, take the advanced rider course and do some track days to really improve your bike handling skills.
 

mnwanders

Member
I would really like it if you reconsidered listing to music or podcasts while riding, especially as a new rider. I've had a motorcycle license for 25 years and it is a jungle out there. Riding quads and bikes on trails is fun and good for learning technique, but commuting on the freeway and city streets is serious business for the motorcyclists. You need to act as if you are invisible and pay attention to what the others around you are doing and have escape plans. It would be super easy to plow into the back of braking car or not see that idiot drifting into your lane because you are laughing at what Joe Rogan said. Street skills are different than trail skills. I don't want to dissuade you from getting your license and enjoying the wonderful experience that two wheels bring, but I do want to scare you.

Peace and wheelies
Good advice. I'll definitely take that into consideration. I appreciate you trying to keep me honest while also not dissuading me.

As someone who has been riding for 50 years I will tel you the same thing I tell everyone considering learning to ride after 35 years old. Don’t do it. Especially a commute like that. If you were going to ride 95% off road, maybe.
Stay off motorcycles and stay off pavement. There is only so much you can do to protect yourself and you are late to the game to learn even that. People on 4 wheels are ************** and have no consideration for motorcycles.
Worst life advice ever. I try to respect my elders, but my limited 44 years have taught me never to listen to someone like you. That's the advice of someone who has given up on their own learning.
 
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Cabrito

I come in Peace
As someone who has been riding for 50 years I will tel you the same thing I tell everyone considering learning to ride after 35 years old. Don’t do it. Especially a commute like that. If you were going to ride 95% off road, maybe.
Stay off motorcycles and stay off pavement. There is only so much you can do to protect yourself and you are late to the game to learn even that. People on 4 wheels are ************** and have no consideration for motorcycles.
Worst life advice ever. I try to respect my elders, but my limited 44 years have taught me never to listen to someone like you. That's the advice of someone who has given up on their own learning.
mnwanders, I interpreted Jupeter58's post a bit differently than you did. I worry about new riders regardless of their age. I'm glad you are taking a safety course. I've been riding for 39 years, and I can tell you that I haven't given up on my own learning, and I think as with anything you should learn to walk before you run. Heck, I started riding dirt bikes at 50 so I'm definitely still learning.

From your original post it feels like you want to leap into motorcycling to include commuting via interstate, and side streets. This is where my concern would be. I've been commuting on and off on my moto for all my riding life. It's really really dangerous vs riding dirt roads exploring or just riding around side streets. You have to keep your head on a swivel, trust no one, and anticipate the numerous hazards. This comes with time in the saddle and becomes second nature. Unlike a car where you are protected, a minor accident can be fatal.. Our situational awareness level on a bike is way higher than in a car, and requires full time focus. Even though bicycling covers some of this it's only part of the type of awareness you develop on a faster machine like a motorcycle.

Whenever a friend tells me they want to start riding the first thing I say to them is similar to Jupiter58's response and try to talk them out of it. I know multiple people who have died on motorcycles. Their experience levels varied from novice to expert. I just started teaching Mrs Cabrito to ride our new scooter, but I'm terrified for her on the streets because she does not possess the knowledge or skills that I do. I could tell immediately that her situational awareness is the biggest problem. She is an excellent driver with no accidents, and drives her Miata like we ride our motorcycles. I thought some of this would translate to the scooter, but had to keep reminding her to check her corners for other vehicles. Granted it was her first lesson in a parking lot, but I could tell it's going to take some time.

Listening to podcast or music isn't something I would recommend at first. I was totally against it until the last ten years, but I turn it off when I'm splitting lanes, or riding in congested situations. I learned right away how distracted I can be with music egging me on to ride faster to match the intensity of the song, or loosing myself in a podcast and realizing that I hadn't paid attention to the road consciously for the past few minutes or longer.

On your DRZ400 your braking times are different from a car, and you passing ability on the interstate can be reduced vs a car.

We just want to you be safe and to live. Being cocky (not saying you are) about getting on a moto can get you into a lot of trouble fast, believe me I've seen it from even the most level headed and responsible new riders. Overcook a turn and you're toast, overcook a turn on an onramp or not seeing a patch of oil can give you a bad day quick. Swerving to avoid another car and not realizing there's someone else near you can end up in you hitting someone else. So many variables when riding street. Way too many to list. Not anticipating a slowdown can get you stacked up on the back of a car or sideswiping a car or object as you try to avoid the slowdown. I've tagged bumpers more than once by not leaving enough space between me and the other cars, and then having to try to avoid them and squeeze through a tight space. I hit one with my foot and my knee on different occasions because I got sloppy.

Act invisible to other cars, and don't rely on Hi-Viz gear or loud horns or pipes to alert other drivers to your presence. They don't car and or they don't see you.

Get some good gear for the interstate and city riding. I've spent hours with my GF picking out the gravel and dirt from my thigh from my waist down to my knee after getting off on the freeway at 75mph wearing only Jeans. I won't ride freeway without armored pants, jacket, boots, and good gloves. Even a 35mph get-off can result in some pretty nasty scrapes.

When experienced riders talk you should listen to them, and maybe ask them some follow up questions instead of assuming they are wimps.

Feels to me like you are committed to riding, and that's awesome. You're bound to have some really great experiences. It's a fantastic sport/activity that comes with risks. Get out there and get comfortable and have a great time riding.

Check out this old vid of one of my commutes. You might see some of the many hazards that await you in heavy traffic.
 

mnwanders

Member
mnwanders, I interpreted Jupeter58's post a bit differently than you did. I worry about new riders regardless of their age. I'm glad you are taking a safety course. I've been riding for 39 years, and I can tell you that I haven't given up on my own learning, and I think as with anything you should learn to walk before you run. Heck, I started riding dirt bikes at 50 so I'm definitely still learning.

From your original post it feels like you want to leap into motorcycling to include commuting via interstate, and side streets. This is where my concern would be. I've been commuting on and off on my moto for all my riding life. It's really really dangerous vs riding dirt roads exploring or just riding around side streets. You have to keep your head on a swivel, trust no one, and anticipate the numerous hazards. This comes with time in the saddle and becomes second nature. Unlike a car where you are protected, a minor accident can be fatal.. Our situational awareness level on a bike is way higher than in a car, and requires full time focus. Even though bicycling covers some of this it's only part of the type of awareness you develop on a faster machine like a motorcycle.

Whenever a friend tells me they want to start riding the first thing I say to them is similar to Jupiter58's response and try to talk them out of it. I know multiple people who have died on motorcycles. Their experience levels varied from novice to expert. I just started teaching Mrs Cabrito to ride our new scooter, but I'm terrified for her on the streets because she does not possess the knowledge or skills that I do. I could tell immediately that her situational awareness is the biggest problem. She is an excellent driver with no accidents, and drives her Miata like we ride our motorcycles. I thought some of this would translate to the scooter, but had to keep reminding her to check her corners for other vehicles. Granted it was her first lesson in a parking lot, but I could tell it's going to take some time.

Listening to podcast or music isn't something I would recommend at first. I was totally against it until the last ten years, but I turn it off when I'm splitting lanes, or riding in congested situations. I learned right away how distracted I can be with music egging me on to ride faster to match the intensity of the song, or loosing myself in a podcast and realizing that I hadn't paid attention to the road consciously for the past few minutes or longer.

On your DRZ400 your braking times are different from a car, and you passing ability on the interstate can be reduced vs a car.

We just want to you be safe and to live. Being cocky (not saying you are) about getting on a moto can get you into a lot of trouble fast, believe me I've seen it from even the most level headed and responsible new riders. Overcook a turn and you're toast, overcook a turn on an onramp or not seeing a patch of oil can give you a bad day quick. Swerving to avoid another car and not realizing there's someone else near you can end up in you hitting someone else. So many variables when riding street. Way too many to list. Not anticipating a slowdown can get you stacked up on the back of a car or sideswiping a car or object as you try to avoid the slowdown. I've tagged bumpers more than once by not leaving enough space between me and the other cars, and then having to try to avoid them and squeeze through a tight space. I hit one with my foot and my knee on different occasions because I got sloppy.

Act invisible to other cars, and don't rely on Hi-Viz gear or loud horns or pipes to alert other drivers to your presence. They don't car and or they don't see you.

Get some good gear for the interstate and city riding. I've spent hours with my GF picking out the gravel and dirt from my thigh from my waist down to my knee after getting off on the freeway at 75mph wearing only Jeans. I won't ride freeway without armored pants, jacket, boots, and good gloves. Even a 35mph get-off can result in some pretty nasty scrapes.

When experienced riders talk you should listen to them, and maybe ask them some follow up questions instead of assuming they are wimps.

Feels to me like you are committed to riding, and that's awesome. You're bound to have some really great experiences. It's a fantastic sport/activity that comes with risks. Get out there and get comfortable and have a great time riding.

Check out this old vid of one of my commutes. You might see some of the many hazards that await you in heavy traffic.
Cabrito, good advice and I take no issue with anything you’ve said. I’ll admit that I probably am a little overzealous, and I welcome the warnings, but there is a certain tact I expect among adults.

I want to primarily ride backroads and trails. I only mentioned the commuting because, as you said, getting good at things takes time. It is hard to get good at anything these days because of how fractured our lives are. Also, I have to admit that I am also fearful of traffic. After all, I’m 44, not 20. It’s been many years since I skipped across the a frozen lake at 100mph on a snowmobile. I realize now how dumb I was at that time, but I also don’t regret it.
 

mnwanders

Member
mnwanders, I interpreted Jupeter58's post a bit differently than you did. I worry about new riders regardless of their age. I'm glad you are taking a safety course. I've been riding for 39 years, and I can tell you that I haven't given up on my own learning, and I think as with anything you should learn to walk before you run. Heck, I started riding dirt bikes at 50 so I'm definitely still learning.

From your original post it feels like you want to leap into motorcycling to include commuting via interstate, and side streets. This is where my concern would be. I've been commuting on and off on my moto for all my riding life. It's really really dangerous vs riding dirt roads exploring or just riding around side streets. You have to keep your head on a swivel, trust no one, and anticipate the numerous hazards. This comes with time in the saddle and becomes second nature. Unlike a car where you are protected, a minor accident can be fatal.. Our situational awareness level on a bike is way higher than in a car, and requires full time focus. Even though bicycling covers some of this it's only part of the type of awareness you develop on a faster machine like a motorcycle.

Whenever a friend tells me they want to start riding the first thing I say to them is similar to Jupiter58's response and try to talk them out of it. I know multiple people who have died on motorcycles. Their experience levels varied from novice to expert. I just started teaching Mrs Cabrito to ride our new scooter, but I'm terrified for her on the streets because she does not possess the knowledge or skills that I do. I could tell immediately that her situational awareness is the biggest problem. She is an excellent driver with no accidents, and drives her Miata like we ride our motorcycles. I thought some of this would translate to the scooter, but had to keep reminding her to check her corners for other vehicles. Granted it was her first lesson in a parking lot, but I could tell it's going to take some time.

Listening to podcast or music isn't something I would recommend at first. I was totally against it until the last ten years, but I turn it off when I'm splitting lanes, or riding in congested situations. I learned right away how distracted I can be with music egging me on to ride faster to match the intensity of the song, or loosing myself in a podcast and realizing that I hadn't paid attention to the road consciously for the past few minutes or longer.

On your DRZ400 your braking times are different from a car, and you passing ability on the interstate can be reduced vs a car.

We just want to you be safe and to live. Being cocky (not saying you are) about getting on a moto can get you into a lot of trouble fast, believe me I've seen it from even the most level headed and responsible new riders. Overcook a turn and you're toast, overcook a turn on an onramp or not seeing a patch of oil can give you a bad day quick. Swerving to avoid another car and not realizing there's someone else near you can end up in you hitting someone else. So many variables when riding street. Way too many to list. Not anticipating a slowdown can get you stacked up on the back of a car or sideswiping a car or object as you try to avoid the slowdown. I've tagged bumpers more than once by not leaving enough space between me and the other cars, and then having to try to avoid them and squeeze through a tight space. I hit one with my foot and my knee on different occasions because I got sloppy.

Act invisible to other cars, and don't rely on Hi-Viz gear or loud horns or pipes to alert other drivers to your presence. They don't car and or they don't see you.

Get some good gear for the interstate and city riding. I've spent hours with my GF picking out the gravel and dirt from my thigh from my waist down to my knee after getting off on the freeway at 75mph wearing only Jeans. I won't ride freeway without armored pants, jacket, boots, and good gloves. Even a 35mph get-off can result in some pretty nasty scrapes.

When experienced riders talk you should listen to them, and maybe ask them some follow up questions instead of assuming they are wimps.

Feels to me like you are committed to riding, and that's awesome. You're bound to have some really great experiences. It's a fantastic sport/activity that comes with risks. Get out there and get comfortable and have a great time riding.

Check out this old vid of one of my commutes. You might see some of the many hazards that await you in heavy traffic.
Also, I watched your video, and there is ZERO chance you’ll ever catch me lane splitting. Not to mention is is illegal here.
 

Jupiter58

Active member
Good advice. I'll definitely take that into consideration. I appreciate you trying to keep me honest while also not dissuading me.



Worst life advice ever. I try to respect my elders, but my limited 44 years have taught me never to listen to someone like you. That's the advice of someone who has given up on their own learning.
Good life advice you have there. Listen to what people say only if it’s what you want to hear.

Cabrito gave the same good advice without hurting your feelings so you listen to some of his.
Still you discount his advice about lane splitting. I don’t do it often but there are definitely times when it adds a level of safety to your ride and you can’t even recognize that. It shows just how much you don’t know and refuse to listen.

I have over 14,000 miles of TAT, BDR, etc off road motorcycle over landing, plus many more thousands of miles of just off road riding and well over 200,000 miles of on road riding. Probably as much or more experience than many on here.
And as Cabrito says, I have many many friends and relatives who have died or been significantly injured in motorcycles.
On second thought, go ahead and buy that Drz and commute 75 miles at high speeds on that non abs buzz box. I strongly encourage you. Does that make you feel better?


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mnwanders

Member
Good life advice you have there. Listen to what people say only if it’s what you want to hear.

Cabrito gave the same good advice without hurting your feelings so you listen to some of his.
Still you discount his advice about lane splitting. I don’t do it often but there are definitely times when it adds a level of safety to your ride and you can’t even recognize that. It shows just how much you don’t know and refuse to listen.

I have over 14,000 miles of TAT, BDR, etc off road motorcycle over landing, plus many more thousands of miles of just off road riding and well over 200,000 miles of on road riding. Probably as much or more experience than many on here.
And as Cabrito says, I have many many friends and relatives who have died or been significantly injured in motorcycles.
On second thought, go ahead and buy that Drz and commute 75 miles at high speeds on that non abs buzz box. I strongly encourage you. Does that make you feel better?


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Jupiter, I think it might benefit you if you reread the message traffic and reconsider whose feelings are hurt. It isn't me.

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle.

Here's what I read and interpreted, an old guy telling somebody to not try something because they are over 35. What life has taught me? Much of what we once thought to be common sense has been proven inaccurate by outliers who weighed all of the available evidence and rejected bad advice. For example, my 70 year old mother has rejected exercise most of her life because a doctor in the 1960s told her that asthmatics shouldn't even attempt to exercise, and despite the fact that there are thousands of examples of asthmatics who live great lives and will live better lives late in life because they exercise, she still doesn't exercise and suffers for it. Maybe that isn't a perfect analogy, but there is plenty of evidence in all practices and past times to indicate that not trying something after the age of 35 (solely because of that and absent other factors) is bad advice.

Now, as far as the lane splitting / sharing practice, and to attempt to live by the above quote, I admit to you that I misunderstood what Cabrito was saying. I think I misunderstood it because it is an illegal practice here in MN and the only evidence I have to see that is good or bad is watching the idiots breaking the law whipping between two lanes of traffic at 90+ mph while the traffic goes 65. I am sure it is a rush, but it scared the ******** out of me when that motorcycle flew by my car. I immediately realized it would take only one distraction on my part to level that motorcycle and kill its law-breaking rider.

What I understand now after reading the above comments and some articles on the web is that it is proven safe (at low speeds) and that, if I understand correctly, it may be a good practice so as to not get rear-ended. To me, and if I'm wrong I'm sure you'll correct me, lane splitting/sharing seems dangerous in and amongst any traffic going faster than about 20mph. Am I wrong? Because I have to admit being confused on this after Cabrito liked my post saying I'd never lane split. I wrote that because it looked dangerous. What is the right answer?

**clarification after I wrote the above, it looks like calicamper encouraged lane sharing, and Cabrito shared the video of lane splitting/filtering where I commented that I'd never do that. So maybe there is mixed messages here? I don't know.**
 
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calicamper

Expedition Leader
No joke my commute gear is SF Jhonson Leathers same shop that builds California CHP gear for moto guys. My fully armored extra long jacket is no joke 30lbs it knocks over chairs when hung on them at restaurants. I went long for a few reasons I rode yr around so cold temps were a factor, having it mid hip length added protection to the waste and hip if I went down. Pants were custom armored loose fit leather that could go over my work pants. With boots, gloves never ride without gloves even on a bicycle. Hands get mangled badly even in 12mph spills!

All in fully geared up to ride I’m likely 70lbs of serious pavement gear. Hot temps in CA? Yeah lots of heavy mesh vents help but you can get hot if your not moving.

Trail riding the lighter armored good nylon stuff is pretty good. But street riding nothing beats real cow hide and modern armor 👍

Riding without good riding gear is like only wearing a jock strap to go weed whack a brush covered hill that has hornet nests and brambles. LOL
 
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