GL1800Riders Forums banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of MAY's Ride of the Month Challenge!

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,470 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had every intention of buying a Tailwind, but the California trailer laws have me thinking twice now.

I'd like some feedback from those of you who pull a trailer behind your motorcycle in California.

Do you obey the trailer laws such as the 55 speed limit and the right two lanes only?

If no, any LEO interaction because of your actions?

Do any of you stay in the left lane and slightly faster than the flow of traffic? If so, any LEO interaction?

What about the carpool lane?

Any other comments welcome.

Thanks!

I find it ironic that a state that allows lane-sharing would not give a pass to motorcycles pulling trailers...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
748 Posts
trailer

Everytime I go to California with a trailer, I hate it, but am forced to more or less go 55mph.

I have a CDL and it would not be healthy for me to get caught going 70 plus (flow of traffic).

That said, the cops (including a personal friend) just tell me that if they want to pull you over...they will. If not...they won't.

No guarantees.

When I can, I bypass that state, but can't always.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,034 Posts
I live right on the the California,Arizona border and I travel CA quite a bit. I do slow down to 60 or so with the trailer behind but can't help noticing that most with trailers travel the 70 mph and I haven't so far known of anyone being cited for it. The law there is that ANY towed vehicle is limited to 55 mph. That includes all trucks. I note that most trucks stay pretty close to the 55 mph until they get to the faster freeway traffic in the LA area. Then they go whatever the traffic is going which is close to 70 mph. Lane splitting is legal in CA and everyday in the LA area you can read about a biker that was killed or injured because of it. It's something I would never do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,526 Posts
Yes gang, the "Lane Splitting" or Lane sharing as some put it, is legal in CA. When done properly, although not "really" safe, it does move you right along ahead of the main traffic flow. I personally have never done it with the Wing but I've done it with bikes a lot slimmer than her. Most SANE riders will do it when the traffic slows to around 5 mph cause it's easier to slowly move along in between the cars than to stop, go, stop, go etc. I've seen just a couple doing it about 50 mph or more. That's INSANE. I certainly would never think of doing it with a trailer.

I'm a San Diego Fireman and have a commercial drivers licence. Recently, laws have been enacted that put severe penalties on us with commercial licences if we commit certain infractions. So, as for towing faster than posted with a trailer, (by the way, the wife and I aren't sure if the LAW applies to motorcycles towing trailers, we assume it does, until further notice) whether it's with the Wing or one of my other vehicles, or subjective actions like "LANE SPLITTING", I just behave myself and avoid the penalties and insurance hikes because of them. Be safe out there and have a great ride.
Scott
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
live in ca been pulling the trailer for four years two set of trailer tires- i ride the bike the same with or without the trailer and try to stay with the flow - did have a chp on a bike come up along side me in L.A and tell me to get out of the far left lane (trailers not alowed)was doing 72 mpr on the gps went about 3 miles went back over then took the commute lane- i have heard of some geting tickets- went to vegas last weekend with the trailer ran 70-75 most of the way 550 miles one way, between barstow & vegas was 80-85 dont let the laws stop you from geting a trailer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,541 Posts
Lane splitting is legal in CA and everyday in the LA area you can read about a biker that was killed or injured because of it. It's something I would never do.
Funny, I have lived in L.A. all my life and I have never read about "a biker that was killed or injured because of it"... Not that it doesn't happen, but nothing like exaggerating, A lot. Lane Splitting/Sharing is common place, accepted by local traffic and much safer than being stuck in bumper to bumper traffic.:roll:

Trailer towing is not a problem in California. Yes All trailers are restricted to 55 mph and the right hand lanes, (No carpool lanes either cause you gotta get into the left lanes to get into the carpool lane), really not a big deal as I am usually on secondary roads anyway where the speed limit is 55 or less and there is only one lane...

If I were traveling in California for a vacation I would be avoiding the Freeways like the plague anyway, which is about the only place the California trailer laws have any effect on riding habits...:shrug:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,167 Posts
This question has come up before on this board and the following is my experience towing my Kwik Kamp in CA.

Re: Trailers and Speed Limits
You have brought up a subject that just infuriates me. :evil: Yes, I have been stopped by the CHP and given quite a lecture for failure to stay in the slow lane while towing my Kwik Kamp trailer. I left Fresno CA. with trailer in tow and rode back to AR. to visit a friend. Towed that trailer approximately 4500 mi. and upon entering Bakersfield CA on the return trip I was stopped by a CHP motorcycle officer. I know what the CA law is while towing a trailer but I refuse to comply with it and I told the officer why. It is a very dangerous law for a motorcycle. You are boxed in behind all the tractor trailers and can't see a damm thing in front of you. If you try and leave enough room in front of you then you have another big rig climbing up your a$$ and eventually he will pass and then cut right back in front of you. Also the slow lane or truck lane as it is called is full of chuck holes and ruts due to the heavy truck usage and full of debris such as truck tires that have come apart (tire gators), and other debris that has fallen off trucks. I explained to the officer that I have ridden over 350,000 accident free miles and being forced to stay in that right lane is an "accident waiting to happen". Being that he was a motor officer he fully understood what I was talking about and never did refute my arguement. His final words were.....if a CHP officer in a patrol car stops you he will more than likely give you a ticket. I thanked him and told him that I would take my chances. In my opinion it is a dumb and dangerous law. Friends of mine who also tow in CA have been stopped for the same violation and some have been ticketed. Sorry for the long rant.
For those of you that aren't familiar with this law you are also restricted to a 55 mph speed limit. :cop2:
With all that being said I think a lot depends on the following: Anything can happen on any given day. You may tow for years without adhering to this law and get away with it and then one day....Bham!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
This question has come up before on this board and the following is my experience towing my Kwik Kamp in CA.

Re: Trailers and Speed Limits
You have brought up a subject that just infuriates me. :evil: Yes, I have been stopped by the CHP and given quite a lecture for failure to stay in the slow lane while towing my Kwik Kamp trailer. I left Fresno CA. with trailer in tow and rode back to AR. to visit a friend. Towed that trailer approximately 4500 mi. and upon entering Bakersfield CA on the return trip I was stopped by a CHP motorcycle officer. I know what the CA law is while towing a trailer but I refuse to comply with it and I told the officer why. It is a very dangerous law for a motorcycle. You are boxed in behind all the tractor trailers and can't see a damm thing in front of you. If you try and leave enough room in front of you then you have another big rig climbing up your a$$ and eventually he will pass and then cut right back in front of you. Also the slow lane or truck lane as it is called is full of chuck holes and ruts due to the heavy truck usage and full of debris such as truck tires that have come apart (tire gators), and other debris that has fallen off trucks. I explained to the officer that I have ridden over 350,000 accident free miles and being forced to stay in that right lane is an "accident waiting to happen". Being that he was a motor officer he fully understood what I was talking about and never did refute my arguement. His final words were.....if a CHP officer in a patrol car stops you he will more than likely give you a ticket. I thanked him and told him that I would take my chances. In my opinion it is a dumb and dangerous law. Friends of mine who also tow in CA have been stopped for the same violation and some have been ticketed. Sorry for the long rant.
For those of you that aren't familiar with this law you are also restricted to a 55 mph speed limit. :cop2:
With all that being said I think a lot depends on the following: Anything can happen on any given day. You may tow for years without adhering to this law and get away with it and then one day....Bham!
WHy not contact a legislative representative and get this part changes for the bikes?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,167 Posts
WHy not contact a legislative representative and get this part changes for the bikes?
Has been tried before with no success. Now maybe if this law applied to all states and the AMA got behind it the outcome might be different.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,470 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks all.

I do try to stay on back-roads as much as I can, but I still have to take the freeways to get places in the limited time I have available. I'm leaning pretty hard toward getting the trailer, as it would make it a lot easier to make trips with my fiance.

As for lane-sharing, I do it. I only do it whan traffic is almost at a standstill, because that is the only time the cars are packed together enough for me to feel safe doing it, and it is the only time it actually saves you any time.

Lane-sharing is one of those areas of "perceived risk." It is actually safer to lane-share at those low speeds than to be boxed in, waiting to be sandwiched.

As with anything, there are some fools who push things, and some of those fools get hurt or killed pushing things. Those fools will tend to get thinned out of the herd one way or another.

That is not to say you can't get hurt lane-sharing, but then you are as likely to get hurt NOT lane sharing. It's just the nature of riding a motorcycle.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top