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Concerning a two-way street (one each way), where do you position yourself? I've been riding on the street for 47 years now. No serious accidents yet. Knock on wood. Never had official training, just rode dirt, raced flat track and grew up on bikes for experience. But have been told that riders are taught to ride left of center. Is this true? I won't do it unless I'm not cornering. And I will not ride side-by-side for the same reason. I've seen too many people in cages swerve across the center line. And it happens fast. I've had near-death experiences with that, but have managed to get to the far right and allow them to go by...only because I was riding right of center in my lane. One week ago, a 19 y/o woman in my area was hit head-on by a pickup truck in a corner and killed. This time it was she who crossed the center line on a corner. The investigation is on-going.

So, where do you position yourself and why?
 

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I stay a bit left of center as a cager is more likely to see the bikes headlight more than if I am right of center. I use the L. side mirror more when driving my pick-up truck and have seen that most bikers use L. of center also. On tight R. side curves I'll slow down some and be in middle of my lane, I know I could see more into the curve if I stayed closer to middle of road but I think it's a nice way to get clipped. L.hand tight curves, I stay right of center of my lane and I don't really expect others to stay in their lanes around curves.
 

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When the road is straight and there is no oncoming traffic, I ride in the left hand tire track. The biggest hazard then is someone pulling out of a side street or a driveway. If you're close to the edge of the road, he has to pull out further to see you, and you tend to blend in with the edge of the road.

When there is oncoming traffic, the biggest hazard is a distracted driver who comes over the center line, into your lane. Then I ride in the right hand tire track.

The center of the lane around here is much cleaner than it was 10-15 years ago since modern cars don't leak oil as much as older cars did. But still I avoid it as much as possible.

On turns, generally I stay wide until I can see all the way through the turn. Then I move to the inside. If there's oncoming traffic as I approach the turn, see paragraph two.
 

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I've ridden the left track of 4 wheel vehicles for years so left of center. I'm beginning to change to just barely left of center because it's actually much smoother and gives me more room to maneuver. The center isn't the oily mess it has been in the past but old habits are hard to break. In the center does break you out from other vehicles as well but moving around depending on circumstances does too. Will it prove out that the Motorcycle Safety Foundation will someday promote riding in the center as the safest position? I have no idea. But for now I ride, when I remember to, just barely left of center. I do see many riders that ride in the right of center track. It probably is a safe place from head-on type collisions. It does blend you into traffic behind you just like it does with the left track. Is there one perfect place? No way. It all depends on the road and traffic. But I'm really liking the just barely left of center position when I ride alone. In groups I lead from the left car track but with a bias toward that nicer smoother center area. It shifts everyone to the right just a little I've noticed. Right or wrong??? I have no idea. It simply is what I do.
 

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The center isn't the oily mess it has been in the past but old habits are hard to break. In the center does break you out from other vehicles as well but moving around depending on circumstances does too. Will it prove out that the Motorcycle Safety Foundation will someday promote riding in the center as the safest position? I have no idea.
New rider, first post. My MSF course gave two reasons for not being too comfortable in the center lane position: the oily mess you mentioned, and lesser visibility of obstacles in that lane position. The argument was that four-wheelers will straddle debris in the center of the lane, simultaneously avoiding the debris and blocking trailing vehicle's view of the debris. So, biker following in traffic may not see the debris until it's too late, run over it, and have problems. Whereas, if the debris is off center or in one of the car's tracks, the car will shift lane position to avoid it, thus warning the following biker that something is ahead.

That's what we were told, anyway, and it sounds like something that will endure after the oily messes are no more. I've only been riding a few weeks and haven't come upon any road obstructions yet. Come to think of it, I probably *am* the road obstruction at this point. :)
 

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When the road is straight and there is no oncoming traffic, I ride in the left hand tire track.

When there is oncoming traffic, the biggest hazard is a distracted driver who comes over the center line, into your lane. Then I ride in the right hand tire track.

The center of the lane around here is much cleaner than it was 10-15 years ago since modern cars don't leak oil as much as older cars did. But still I avoid it as much as possible.

On turns, generally I stay wide until I can see all the way through the turn. Then I move to the inside. If there's oncoming traffic as I approach the turn, see paragraph two.
Same!

On a semi-related note (road hazards), due to the heat the last few days, I've gone riding in the early morning. My biggest scare has been the insane number of squirrels hanging out in the road. Seemed like every time I came around a turn, there were 3-4 trying their hardest to get rolled over. Holy ****, they freaked me out that first morning!
 

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If it is a straight road, I will generally ride in the left part of the lane, otherwise known as position one (in the USA). However, when coming into a corner, I will always enter on the outside of the lane, look for the apex, and then exit the corner either in the center or the inside of the corner. That is regardless of how easy the corner is. You get sloppy in a corner and you will regret it so I make it a practice to always enter on the outside as stated.
Hope it helps.
 

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It really depends on my perception of the circumstances. In general I guess I ride mostly toward the left. If I'm in traffic I try to position myself so as many cars as possible can see me in their rear view mirrors. If I'm on a 2 lane with lots of traffic coming from the other direction I'll ride to the right. If I'm in an area where there are lots of trees, shrubs, etc blocking the view of street on the right side I'll again track to the left.
 

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Standard lane position is left of center, however the roads are so bad out here that such isn't sustainable for too long. I stay in the center for cresting blind hills (too many cars crossing the center line on hills) and start on the outside of the lane for curves, hit the apex, then right out I go!

I'd say I always try to position myself so that there's a viable escape path and people have the most chance of seeing me. That said, that hasn't stopped an alarming amount of people from pulling out in front of me, changing lanes without looking, etc. I guess you don't notice how bad some drivers are until you're in a position where it seems like every driver wants to kill you.
 

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New rider, first post. My MSF course gave two reasons for not being too comfortable in the center lane position: the oily mess you mentioned, and lesser visibility of obstacles in that lane position.the lane, simultaneously avoiding the debris and blocking trailing vehicle's view of the debris. So, biker following in traffic may not see the debris until it's too late, run over it, and have problems.Quote.

If the biker allows his/her self at all times 5 seconds of space cushion or a FEW CAR LENGTHS anyways biker should have time to see hazard and be able to avoid it, and same goes for coming to a stop in traffic with a car in front of you, nose up to that rear bumper is a nice way to enjoy a biker san'wich because some idiot was texting to someone! Always try to leave at least one but preferably 1 and a half to two car lengths ahead to provide for an escape route.
 

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New rider, first post. My MSF course gave two reasons for not being too comfortable in the center lane position: the oily mess you mentioned, and lesser visibility of obstacles in that lane position.the lane, simultaneously avoiding the debris and blocking trailing vehicle's view of the debris. So, biker following in traffic may not see the debris until it's too late, run over it, and have problems.Quote.

If the biker allows his/her self at all times 5 seconds of space cushion or a FEW CAR LENGTHS anyways biker should have time to see hazard and be able to avoid it, and same goes for coming to a stop in traffic with a car in front of you, nose up to that rear bumper is a nice way to enjoy a biker san'wich because some idiot was texting to someone! Always try to leave at least one but preferably 1 and a half to two car lengths ahead to provide for an escape route.
I was just going to let it slide and hope he survived riding too close. If in heavy traffic I might have to be closer just to keep idiots from jumping over but I'll be all over the lane from center left and right so I can see around. Especially pickups and larger. I really feel there is no one perfect place to ride. The road condition and traffic dictate the riding position.
 

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I normally ride in the left wheel track as I find this makes me the most visible. However, you also have to consider the presence of other vehicles large enough to mask your presence and either pass them or ride far enough behind them that drivers can see you.

my 2 cents.
 

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Every road requires different lines. There is no one perfect spot. As in this example. Add traffic and look out.

 
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On a two lane road I am usually in the outer 1/3. On a four lane the same if in the right lane but if in the left lane I ride towards the inner 1/3. But there are circumstances where I may choose another position.
 

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On a local road I typically ride just slightly left of center, I like the visibility but I don't like being too close to that center line, your right, people cross it all the time while busy not paying attention.

On the interstate it's left wheel track on a beat up old road, that's usually a lot smoother than the hitting lumps at the joints in the middle of the road between the ruts. If I'm on an interstate that's well maintained, the paving is fairly new and smooth and looks clean with no oil then it's hey diddle diddle, right down the middle of my lane, usually the left lane going just a bit faster than the traffic so I'm able to stay there without holding up people, always careful to quickly move over to the middle if someone wants to go tearing down the left lane at 100++ mph and clear out the cops for us slowpokes only going 85 :)
 
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