Lane Position

Placing your motorcycle in the correct part of the lane is a key factor in rider safety. You need to position your self for maximum visibility and space.

As the riding environment changes, your lane position will also need to change.

Here are some things to consider when choosing your lane posion:

Space
Try to maintain maximum space between your motorcycle and other vehicles. Stay well away from any larger vehicles that might cause turbulence, and keep a safe distance from medians. Maintain a dominant lane position — a position that will make it difficult for other vehicles to move into your lane beside you. Often the right lane position gives you the best distance from parked cars and debris on the side of the road and is the dominant lane position. However, on a multi-lane road, some riders will choose the left lane position while riding in the right lane.

Visibility
Make sure you are clearly visible to the road users around you. Choose a position that lets you see well ahead.

Traction
Choose a lane and lane position with a road surface that gives good traction, choose a path that is clear of debris and grease. Lanes oen have a grease strip down the centre, especially on city roads or at intersections, stay away from plastic or painted lines, manhole covers and other slippery surfaces.

Choosing a Safe Lane Posion
Hills: Before the crest of a hill, move to the centre or left lane position. You never know what might be coming over the hill and moving into your space.

Curves
You don’t know what might be coming around a curve, so choose a position that gives you the best view through the curve ahead.

Trucks
Avoid turbulence. When you see a big vehicle approaching, move to the left position and wait for about three seconds after the truck has passed before returning to your usual lane position.

Weather
In heavy gusts, riding in the centre of the lane may give you the most manoeuvring space to recover from gusts.

It is your lane space use it, dominate it and whenever you’re out there riding, always remember to S.E.E. (Search Evaluate Execute) and think for yourself because others won’t.

Lane Position

Visibility is Key

Each lane offers you three choices of position — the left lane position, the centre lane position and the right lane position.

Keep watching the road and traffic conditions to decide which position is best for you.

Hein Jonker

Founder of the Motorcycle Safety Institute of South Africa Editor in Chief of Bike Talk South Africa Chief Instructor of Bike Talk Motorcycle Rider Academy Motorcycle Safety & Skills Expert for Arrive Alive South Africa

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