Originally Posted by elapid
I was having a discussion with someone from the US a week ago and I he informed me that filtering in traffic is a big no-no there.
I am curious as to how well filtering was received in other parts of the world?
Wow - the only other subjects I can think of that have as many different regional variations as filtering (lane-splitting) practices are, perhaps, the customs for tipping service staff in different countries, or the custom associated with raising a toast to others in different countries.
All I can say, based on 7 years of riding 100,000 KM in about 25 different countries, is to just sit there quietly until you have had a chance to observe what most of the local riders do and observe how the car drivers respond to them - then take your cue from the locals.
I have been in countries where the car drivers will always pull to one side of a lane or another to let motorcyclists proceed up the middle of congested traffic, and other countries where the drivers will deliberately and spitefully move together to block motorcyclists from proceeding simply because they are stuck in a traffic jam and they figure you should suffer along with them.
Customs can also vary quite a bit in the same place depending on circumstances. In some countries, motorcycles zipping forward to the front of a lineup at a traffic light, construction delay, or accident queue is totally accepted by the surrounding car drivers, because they know you will eventually be off like a bat out of hell and won't slow them down in any way. But, in the very same place, filtering forward through congested traffic (a traffic jam) will piss off the very same car drivers.
Personally, I don't think the critical issue is what the local legislation is, I think the critical issue is what the local customs
are. The worst thing that can happen if I contravene local legislation is a ticket that bites my wallet. The worst thing that can happen if I contravene local customs is that I could get killed.