I-5 Riding Speed Question - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 10 Old May 11th, 2013, 8:55 pm Thread Starter
SEG
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I-5 Riding Speed Question

I will be traveling on the LT from Los Angeles (LAX) to the Seattle area in July; I'll be departing L.A. very early in the morning. I need to make good time so I plan to ride at a spirited pace on the interstate. I plan to travel at least as far as Eugene the first day. I'll make sure I'm not the fastest in the pack but I do not know what cushion the CHP may allow for travel on I-5. I imagine a lot of I-5 has a speed limit of 65 or 70 mph. For those that travel I-5 regularly, what speed can I expect to travel? Appreciate the assistance.

Scott

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post #2 of 10 Old May 12th, 2013, 1:32 am
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Re: I-5 Riding Speed Question

5 to 7 mph over is safe on most Calif freeways in open areas.
I-5 once out of LA and except for a short section thru Sacramento is all open area.
I find at 80+ you'll still get overtaken by faster traffic.
Just go with the flow and look for that faster "rabbit" to pace about 1/4 mile behind and try not to stand out by making erratic lane changes.

If stopped (it can happen) here's my story and I'm sticking to it:
I point out the wonderful safety features of the motorcycle, the good condition of my tires, the excellent road and weather conditions (if applicable), my many years of riding experience and that I use my turnsignals for lane changes so I can claim I was driving safely.
I then point out that my "spirited pace" was for MY saftey (never deny or admit you were speeding) and I was trying to keep with the traffic flow to avoid tailgaters since I am the smallest vehicle on the hwy.

If a friendly conversation with the officer results in a citation follow the instructions and request "Trial by Declaration".
http://www.ticketassassin.com/fight.html
If that fails, Traffic School on-line is quick way to get it off your record.

Remember "Lanesharing" is tolerated in California at the discretion of the officer but not elsewhere.
It's somewhat nerveracking on an LT due to width of mirrors (make sure mirrors are tethered)
I only "split/share" between the farthest 2 left lanes and once traffic moves about 40-45 I stay in line.
Riding on the right or left shoulder is never allowed.

Proceed at your own risk depending on your own personal comfort level.
I take no credit/blame for any "Performance Awards" acquired.

Have a safe ride.

Doug Holck
Lodi, Ca

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post #3 of 10 Old May 12th, 2013, 1:34 pm
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Re: I-5 Riding Speed Question

+1 what Doug said. Adding a radar detector to the on-bike arsenal is helpful as well. Not to ride at stupid speeds, but in the case like Doug describes where he flow is 80 - 85 you can travel with the flow but if you get a warning you can safely slow and not be the one getting pulled over. My Valentine 1 has paid for itself many times over the years.

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post #4 of 10 Old May 12th, 2013, 1:48 pm
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Re: I-5 Riding Speed Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidTaylor
+1 what Doug said. Adding a radar detector to the on-bike arsenal is helpful as well. Not to ride at stupid speeds, but in the case like Doug describes where he flow is 80 - 85 you can travel with the flow but if you get a warning you can safely slow and not be the one getting pulled over. My Valentine 1 has paid for itself many times over the years.
+1

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post #5 of 10 Old May 14th, 2013, 5:56 pm Thread Starter
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Re: I-5 Riding Speed Question

Thanks to all for the advice. I've got a TPX from Adaptiv Technologies on the way. I wanted a rain proof set up. The Valentine is probably a better radar detector but the TPX should help out. I'll be riding from DC to Los Angeles and to Seattle and back down to Salem before heading back (quickly) to DC. Thanks again for the tips.

Scott

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post #6 of 10 Old May 14th, 2013, 6:33 pm
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Re: I-5 Riding Speed Question

I can't improve on what was said, other than the CHP is using LIDAR (laser) more and more. Once your hit, your it.

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post #7 of 10 Old May 14th, 2013, 6:57 pm
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Re: I-5 Riding Speed Question

I think I've logged 15K miles on I5 in the past year, going between LA and Sacramento.

My practice was to ride at 75mph, staying in the right lane as much as possible and moving out to pass slower traffic as required.

The 'word on the street' is that CHP won't bother you if you're moving at less that 82 and what I have seen bears that out. Every car I have ever seen stopped by the CHP was one that I noticed passing me earlier at what I would guess was 83 or better. It's amazing how fast they get them, too, as I believe they are often on or near overpasses. Cars passing me at 80 or so never seem to get stopped.

I have found that, for me, 75 is a good compromise for both safety and speed as I can usually find myself in a big empty with little traffic around for long stretches of time.

You're probably already aware that the dimbulbs in Sacramento limit the speed of trucks severely and they tend to travel at 62-63. That can create some significant bottlenecks and roadblocks as the ones doing 63 pass the ones doing 62. Remember it is only temporary and patience is a virtue.

Be safe.

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post #8 of 10 Old May 14th, 2013, 8:09 pm
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Re: I-5 Riding Speed Question

Depends on when you are traveling and the conditions 5-9 may be overlooked. The closer to the end of the month the tighter the limit may be depending on how low the T/O is on stats for the month. Technically anything over the posted can be cited. Also sometimes areas will be worked by speed teams for extra enforcement they are expected to produce citations and be visible to get traffic to slow and reduce accidents! It works!
Safe speed can be lower than the posted speed. Constructions zones special speed zones xtra bonus points for citations in these areas usual posted down to 55, cut the CalTrans guys some slack and slow in these areas.
Do yourself a favor travel as close to the speed limit and save yourself the grief. New Laser radars can pick you out of a pack of cars, not like the older raiders where they worked a triangular shaped beam and used the corners of the beam. Radar is supposed to be used in conjunction with a visual estimate of speed, Ask to see, verify calibration is up to date.
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post #9 of 10 Old May 14th, 2013, 9:04 pm
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Re: I-5 Riding Speed Question

On a long day ride speeding so much as to be on constant watch for law inforcement is counter productive for me , there are three reasons for this #1 stress #2 lower fuel mileage = more time consuming stops ( it takes a lot of speeding to make up stop time ) #3 time lost in getting a speeding ticket can almost not be regained .
I do like running fast 80 / 90 mph now and again but it does not work for making miles .
Quick and infrequent fuel / pit stops are the best for me when making miles .

Bob G
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post #10 of 10 Old May 15th, 2013, 1:18 pm
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Re: I-5 Riding Speed Question

I set the cruise at just under 80, stay in the right lane, use turn signals to pas slower traffic, and return to the right lane.
My detector saved my bacon more than once also but I can't rely 100% on it so I try to use good judgment as well.
LAX to Eugene will be a long day, so be sure to leave LAX before the daily grind folks get on the 405.
I personally would take the 101 in lieu of the 5, more scenic and less boring of a ride although you may get to slowdown near Santa Barbara but it wide open afterward. You can connect to the 5 around Sacramento where it gets more interesting and scenic.
Sounds like a nice road trip!

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