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  #1  
Old 31 Dec 2007
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Japanese motorways

I have read that you can't carry a passenger on major japanese roads, and that sometimes means you can't use bridges / tunnels etc which cause a massive headache. Are the police very hot on this ? And is it really such a problem ? I can see it could have a major effect on trip planning....
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Old 31 Dec 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheelspin View Post
I have read that you can't carry a passenger on major japanese roads, and that sometimes means you can't use bridges / tunnels etc which cause a massive headache. Are the police very hot on this ? And is it really such a problem ? I can see it could have a major effect on trip planning....
They can't be serious.....can they ?
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Old 7 Jan 2008
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Originally Posted by Wheelspin View Post
I have read that you can't carry a passenger on major japanese roads
It used to be illegal. Now you can ride with a passenger except on the loop line at the center of Tokyo. But traffic is so slow there it really doesn't make much sense to use it there anyways.
Look for this sign to know where you cannot ride with a passenger.
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Last edited by Chris in Tokyo; 10 Jan 2008 at 02:01.
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Old 7 Jan 2008
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Originally Posted by Chris in Tokyo View Post
It used to be illegal. Now you can ride with a passenger except on the loop line at the center of Tokyo. But traffic is so slow there it really doesn't make much sense to use it there anyways.
Look for this sign to know where you cannot ride with a passenger.
Just curious, what was the reasoning behind the no passenger rule?
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Old 8 Jan 2008
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Originally Posted by Izatafac View Post
Just curious, what was the reasoning behind the no passenger rule?
When they first made expressways in Japan in the 50s, there was a rash of accidents involving motorcycles. So, the police banned carrying passengers for "safety reasons". At the time, there was also no special license for motorcycles, I belive.
Improvements in licensing, motorcycle safety and road building technology were made, but for years the police refused to change the rules. Basically, it was a matter of nobody wanting to take the responsiblity. If accident rates went up after allowing passengers on expressways, somebody's job would be at risk. They came up with all sorts of excuses for years.
Eventually, the police gave in about 3 years ago and the law was changed.
Of course, there was no significant increase in accidents.
Now we can ride two-up on the expressway rather than pass through hundreds of intersections, which are far more dangerous than travelling at 100 km/h in a straight line.
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Old 10 Jan 2008
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Thanks - thats a relief ! Next question is therefore - renting a bike in Japan... Is it possible / feasible ? I have been there before, but not by bike and English web searches aren't helping me much !
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Old 11 Jan 2008
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Chris is right...

...but to my understanding you must have ridden a bike for one year solo until you can go 2 up on the highways! Prove of this will probably be your driver's license - I assume!

Concerning renting a bike in Japan - it can be done, but is expensive. Using "normal" bike dealers they charge you something like 5.000Yen up a day, depending on the engine size. I don't know for how long you are planning to use the bike, but you can find good used bikes for a very acceptable price. I bought my 400ccm Honda TransAlp 2 years ago - had to pay 250.000 Yen and it was in excellent condition (despite its age and mileage - 40.000km). Took me more than 3.000 kilometers this year during my Hokkaido trip and no problems whatsoever!!
So you might want to check into this option, too.

If I can be of any further help, just send me a mail!

Safe riding!

Klaus
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Old 11 Jan 2008
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Thanks Klaus - trip would be no more than 3 weeks. Financially, buying a bike sounds like it could make sense but realistically - finding one, doing the admin stuff ( I thought it was very difficult for a non-resident to buy and insure ? ) and then selling it again would probably take most of my holiday.... If its OK, I will ask you for rental possibilities nearer the time.

I've had a licence for ever so that part should be OK

Kevin
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Old 18 Feb 2008
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was on roadrunner site the other day and saw an ad for renting in Japan....japan bike rentals i think it was....good luck with it
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Old 19 Feb 2008
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rental shops in japan

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Originally Posted by Tigger21 View Post
was on roadrunner site the other day and saw an ad for renting in Japan....japan bike rentals i think it was....good luck with it
Checked that out ( http://www.edelweissbike.com/tours/E...NTS/Asia/Japan ) , and it seemed like a tour rather than individual rental.
Maybe if you contact them, they can tell you who is providing the bikes.
This is the only place I know that specifically rents for foreign travelers. But it is off the beaten path in Okayama. Not too bad from Osaka, but a long distance from Tokyo.
All the other shops that rent have websites only in Japanese language, making it hard for the casual traveler to use...
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Old 19 Feb 2008
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just checked again and I'm pretty sure its rentals. address is Motorcycle Rentals Japan - Japan Bike Rentals
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Old 20 Feb 2008
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just checked again and I'm pretty sure its rentals. address is Motorcycle Rentals Japan - Japan Bike Rentals
OK. Thanks.
The banner at the top page of the Roadrunner site advertising for Japan was a tour company and I didn't see Japan Bike Rentals.
This must be a fairly new company. I haven't heard of them before.
Prices are a bit high, but insurance etc. seems to be included, so I guess it isn't that bad.
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  #13  
Old 22 Feb 2008
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Thumbs up Riding Tandem in Japan

Chris and Klaus are both correct regarding when tandem (pillion) riding on Japanese highways. However when i arrived in Japan I first obtained a 400cc licence, easy to do by just showing my UK licence and then i obtained a big bike (unlimited) licence. This was also easy but this time I had to sit a practical test. No problem, that's it i thought. Then I was told that I would have to wait for one year before i could take my beloved on the back if I used the highway. Not being Japanese i went to the local cop shop to state my case. I insisted that i had been riding for many years and used highways in many other countries at much higher speed than permitted in Japan. They relented and reissued my licence to full status. Biking in Japan is wonderful. I fully recommend it. Just watch out for the cyclists
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  #14  
Old 26 Feb 2008
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Red face Safety

You know what? they want to do the same in India: it would be forbidden to carry more than 3 passengers on your bike..

In fact, there is only one "real" motorway in India, and it is forbidden to 2- (and 3-) wheelers altogether. And in some state, wearing a helmet is mandatory.. for the driver only!

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