Bike life in Japan


What should your opposite sex pillion grab? graph of japanese statisticsAs an ex-biker myself, I found this survey from WAKUWAKU and the bike fleamarket app RIDE into the charms of riding most interesting.

My first bike was a 100cc two-stroke Japanese something or other until I passed my full licence, then a 400cc Suzuki, a 500cc Yamaha, and a 660cc BMW. Then I got married… All saw good use in not just Scotland but also France, Germany and Austria.

I’m a sensible rider, so Japan doesn’t actually appeal to me much for riding; it’s too hot for about half the year as I don’t ride without protective gear, then it gets too dark too early, and commuting to work looks like not much fun, especially compared to Edinburgh where I could faff about round the back of Arthur’s Seat on the way home to let off a little steam after work.

On the questionnaire itself, a Harley being a good bike for beginners? Really? Or the third-best thing being a small turning circle? Pillion should grab your shoulders or arms? Sounds downright dangerous!

Research results

Q1: Do you have a motorcycle? (Sample size=337)

Used to have29.7%
Plan to buy within the next three months2.6%
Never had one24.8%

It expressly says that it was motorcycle licence holders that answered the question, so I’m not really sure why someone would get a licence but not a bike. Perhaps some of the 24.8% only used one for work, or perhaps scooter or moped owning was excluded?

Interestingly, the fifties age group was the largest ownership group, with 67% (from what looks like a sample of 9, however) owning one. Next was 57% of those in their twenties.

Q2: What make of bike would you recommend for a beginner? (Sample size=337, top five)


Q3: What is the biggest charm of riding? (Sample size=337, top five)

Feeling the wind in your hair, close to nature32.8%
Avoiding traffic jams7.8%
Small turning circle7.0%
Just feels good6.6%
Simple, cheerful, nimble6.6%

Q4: What would you like a pillion passenger of the opposite sex to hold on to? (Sample size=337)



Between the 4th of July and the 5th of August 2016 337 riders of both sexes from all over Japan aged between 16 and 59 completed an internet-based questionnaire. No further demographics were given.

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