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!
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Ideal biker: Koichi Iwaki riding a black Honda

What colour of bike do you like? graph of japanese statisticsBack in Scotland I had a bike which I rode rain or shine to work and generally thrashed about on at weekends. In Japan, though, I fancied buying a bike, but parking seemed a pain, and the nearest open road seemed far, far away. To see what the average Japanese thinks, MyVoice performed a survey into this subject of motorcycles.


Over the first five days of April 2008 14,860 members of the MyVoice internet community successfully completed a private online survey. 54% of the sample was female, 1% in their teens, 14% in their twenties, 38% in their thirties, 30% in their forties, and 17% in their fifties.

Ahh, I could talk for hours about the motorcycles I have owned and ridden! My last bike was a BMW, always a nice thing to mention in Japan as the brand cachet is strong, despite the rather more staid UK image, perhaps related to the relative rarity of the bike in Japan. My Beemer was actually a made under licence single-cylinder off-road styled F650 with the rather un-macho name of Funduro painted in an even more un-macho shade of peachy-orange. I’m sure there was a good reason why I chose that colour, but it escapes me.
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