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MovingSoon

Riding motorcycle on Houston streeet?

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(great to discover the forum. A lot of info I've been looking for)

I am moving to houston this winter and was considering to getting back to my favorite way to get around in my student years - getting a small motorcycle or even a scooter. I am not planning to run on the freeways just for a few miles a day on the city streets witin the loop, around Downtown, Rice and Medical Center. A few Houstonians I shared this idea with told me that I should reconsider - the drivers in Houston are reckless etc.

Are there riders out there? What do you think?

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Guest danax

Welcome, movingsoon.

Where are you moving from? I personally would be afraid to ride a motorcycle here in Houston as I find the drivers to be restless lane changers and speeders; not a good combo for motorcyclists.

I used to ride, had no car, in Los Angeles and that was bad enough, and they tend to be more relaxed out there on the road.

I see most of the above mentioned behaviors on the freeways though.

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Are there riders out there? What do you think?

I've also noticed that motorcyclists sometimes put themselves in bad positions, especially on freeways or on congested streets. I would strongly advise against being caught in any kind of congestion if you can avoid it. Its too easy to be caught in a blind spot and some cyclists will even themselves weave in between stopped cars.

I think that if you're responsible and cautious, you probably won't have a problem.

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I don't know where you're coming from, but I moved here from San Diego in 2004, and the need to adjust my riding style was apparent quickly.

In SD most people were very motorcycle-conscious and were wary drivers. Lane splitting was also legal (something which I took full advantage of B)), but which is VERY illegal here.

I don't think you'll have too many issues on the freeway, but I believe the surface streets to be another story all together. Drivers in Houston are very offensive (as a gross generalization), and only worry about where they're going and how fast they can arrive at their destination. As a motorcyclist (in general - but especially here), you need to constantly reposition yourself to be in the best possible position should an idiot driver do something, well, idiotic.

Once you get out in the country, riding is a pleasant experience, and there are many great day rides (even some minor twisties!). But as a whole, depending on the time of day/area you are riding, surface streets inside the loop are less than ideal for a motorcyclist. Many streets are old and in need of repair, light timing is just plain awful (stop/speed up/stop again), and it's typically congested (lots of clutch work). Add a hot day in to the mix, and you're looking at a frustrating commute.

But don't let me scare you; the first year I lived here my motorcycle was my only transportation, and while not especially ideal, it can be done.

Best of luck! :P

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(great to discover the forum. A lot of info I've been looking for)

I am moving to houston this winter and was considering to getting back to my favorite way to get around in my student years - getting a small motorcycle or even a scooter. I am not planning to run on the freeways just for a few miles a day on the city streets witin the loop, around Downtown, Rice and Medical Center. A few Houstonians I shared this idea with told me that I should reconsider - the drivers in Houston are reckless etc.

Are there riders out there? What do you think?

If you're refering to a scooter for every day use for the sake of commuting to the areas you have mentioned, then you will be just fine. Scooters have been increasing in number in the inner city(montrose, Rice U, The Village, Med Center, Midtown, Rice) from what I've seen over the past few months and I don't see that trend declining anytime soon!

Like the other users on here, I would suggest that you stay away from the freeway(although i have seen a few on them, believe it or not) on a scooter. As far as motorcycles, I say go ahead, but before you do so, I'd get a lay of the land of the areas you want to ride in. There are also a number of clubs (I mean REAL clubs, not "gangs") that you might want to accompany for there are many good areas for good scenic and techincal riding.

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I ride my motorcycle about twice a week from Missouri City to downtown... a 26 mile trip one way.

In the morning, I stay pretty much in the right lane and in the evening I use the HOV lane.

Never had any problems. I find that people are mostly courteous to motorcycles.

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A Motorcycle would not be my first vehicle of choice for everyday riding in Houston. I have been riding for about 24 years, and around Houston and for about 10 of thoses. I sold my Harley back in 2003 and haven't been riding except for the occasional borrowing my buddy's extra Harley, and then only on a sunny day on the weekend. Motorcycle is NOT a good commuter choice in this town. Nobody uses signals except to flip you off, and they never look they just get over, and it doesn;t even matter if there is a SEMI in the next lane, they'll plow right into it.

Edited by TJones

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As a motorcyclist (in general - but especially here), you need to constantly reposition yourself to be in the best possible position should an idiot driver do something, well, idiotic.

Pay attention to this. Houston has a lot of idiot drivers. Actually, what Houston has is a lot of people who learned how to drive in lots of different places, so there is nothing 'typical' about Houston driving - except for speeding. I my opinion, we have the fastest average speeds, with the most vehicles, of any city (i've been to a lot of cities, but not Atlanta or LA, so I could be wrong.)

Again, it depends on where you ride and when you ride. I've ridden my bike all over Houston (but mostly North and West) and have generally felt safe. However, of course, there have been times when I've thought I'd never ride again.

You really should get to know the routes you're going to ride. The freeways haven't been as bad to me as have major thoroughfares like Westheimer and Memorial.

You will get some tailgating. You will get cut off. Someone will pull out in front of you. If you aren't riding defensively, you'll stand a good chance of something happening. Pretty much like riding in any "city."

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Guest Marty
(great to discover the forum. A lot of info I've been looking for)

I am moving to houston this winter and was considering to getting back to my favorite way to get around in my student years - getting a small motorcycle or even a scooter. I am not planning to run on the freeways just for a few miles a day on the city streets witin the loop, around Downtown, Rice and Medical Center. A few Houstonians I shared this idea with told me that I should reconsider - the drivers in Houston are reckless etc.

Are there riders out there? What do you think?

I seen a lady reading a book on the eastex freeway before. :wacko:

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I ride a motorcycle and find Houston to be a fairly motorcycle-friendly city overall. First of all, you can ride on the HOV lane legally. That's a godsend if you must take a congested route like 290. Also, Houston is perenially ice-free, and ice is a motorcyclist's worst enemy (the second worst being wet grease patches at toll plazas - they're buttered teflon - get an Eztag or prepare for some slips). In northern states, one could not ride for weeks or even months out of every year.

Idiot drivers are everywhere, not just in Houston. Houston's easily navigable road network helps a lot in that regard; idiot drivers are a bigger menace when you're lost in a confusing city like Boston. When you know where you're going, just do as you would do anywhere else - stay alert for idiots, lane-changers, and left-turners, and keep highbeams on during daytime.

Personally, I feel the local roads are more dangerous than highways are. The moderate speeds on local roads give you a false sense of confidence. People turning left into your way, abruptly slowing to make a turn, and drivers rushing out of parking lots are a far greater menace than anything you encounter on the freeways. Motorcycles are terrible at stopping, especially in rain, and on local streets there are no 12-foot lanes or shoulders to do acrobatics in. Dodge into either a curb or another car... my only accident on a bike was on a feeder road.

For a bike, I would suggest one of those maxi-scooters over a moped. It offers more power to help get you out of tight spots, extra storage space under the seat, and the choice of driving on highways when you must - some errands are stubbornly far away. More advanced models have anti-lock brakes.

:) Hope that helps!

Edited by desirous

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there is nothing 'typical' about Houston driving

Very true! Except for typically BAD driving.

No "norms" on the freeways whatsoever. The concept of average speeds being faster as you move left toward the inside lane is nonexistent. You will change lanes continuously because of SO MANY bubbas, idiot drivers and a plethora of illegals driving well below the speed limit.

If you signal to change lanes, plan on the car coming up in that lane to speed up. I dont know what the deal is, but it seems to bruise peopls egos if you want to get into "their" lane. Even if it is obvious that you will not cause them to slow their speed of travel. They are weird here.

Surface streets-inside the loop anyway-are HORRIBLE! Seriously an offroad adventure as most of the repairs on these roads over years has been patchwork. Abrupt grade changes, potholes, etc..

Edited by MiDTOWNeR

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What do you think made A J Foyt one of the greatest and most versitle race car drivers of all time? Grew up driving in Houston!!! If you can survive Houston traffic you can make it anywhere.

I myself have owned and ridden a scooter since I was 16. Rode it as a daily driver for several years. Main thing is you have to pay attention at all times, and DO NOT put yourself in any compromising positition. Anticipate, anticipate, anticipate! You have to think five steps ahead of the next drive.

Now when you get tired of running 100+ around the beltway, jump off on 249 north towards Tomball. Take 249 north to FM149 "The Montgomery Trace" and ride on up to Montgomery, TX. We have 2000 or so bikes here every weekend, the ride through the Sam Houston National forest is second to none. Several Poker runs around, and plenty of places to hang out with good biker folks.

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If you signal to change lanes, plan on the car coming up in that lane to speed up. I dont know what the deal is, but it seems to bruise peopls egos if you want to get into "their" lane.

:lol:

Although I have experienced this in more places than Houston. Even Canada.

Edited by WesternGulf

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:lol:

Although I have experienced this in more places than Houston. Even Canada.

One could argue much of what happens on the roads in Houston happens everywhere. I think the things mentioned here are much more common and point to a broader lack of respect for other motorists on the road in this town.

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Yea, most of the stuff you see here happens other places.

I've done the motorcycle thing in Houston a couple of times, and I didn't think it was bad at all.

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Thanks for your input! Though I still don't know if I want to ride in Houston...

Every one has a different opinion.I guess I'll judge it myself after driving around in my subaru.

Does any knows if one has to retake motorcyle test to get Texas motorcyle licence with M1 category from CA?

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Thanks for your input! Though I still don't know if I want to ride in Houston...

Every one has a different opinion.I guess I'll judge it myself after driving around in my subaru.

Does any knows if one has to retake motorcyle test to get Texas motorcyle licence with M1 category from CA?

I'm pretty sure all you have to do is take the written!

Provide proof of liability

and fork over the fee!

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Yea, most of the stuff you see here happens other places.

I've done the motorcycle thing in Houston a couple of times, and I didn't think it was bad at all.

Of course you didn't

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