My current bike.

So this is my 50cc scooter, a Yamaha Vino (remote control model, or remocon, リモコン, in Japanese). I got it to commute to my schools when I lived in Toyota. However, in Japan, 50cc bikes are heavily restricted. There are two major restrictions, no faster than 30kmph and a very strange two step right turn manoeuvre (nidankaiusetsu) at junctions when you’re travelling on a three lane road. On approaching such a junction the scooter rider cannot do a right turn. Instead, the rider must cross the junction in the left lane and join the traffic on road to the left and wait for the light to go red before crossing the junction.  It’s a bloody weird rule and one that is routinely ignored by many riders. So with these restrictions, scooter riding is really not as much fun, or anywhere near as convenient as a none restricted bike (anything over 50cc).

I can ride this bike on my car licence, but if you do not have a car licence you need to do a small written and practical test and you can find an excellent description of the whole process here. The insurance is cheap and the milage is awesome. Loads of foreigners in Japan use 50ccs to get around because they are easy to get and cheap to buy and run. The place is coming down with second hand ones, but you can pick up a new one for around $1,000. The one above is one of the nicer scooters and it cost around $1,800. Three years after buying it I expect to sell it for around $1,000. Not bad after all.

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