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Motorcycle license in Japan

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#1
stemik

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Now that I am closer to 50 than 40, I think it is time to start a new easy going hobby and I like the idea of cruising around on a motorcycle.

I checked online and gathered that there are three main types of license.

Under 125cc
Under 400cc
Over 400cc

I looked into the costs at a nearby driving school and its about 140,000 yen for the license for an under 400cc (I think).
But i was told by a friend that I might be disappointed with a under 400cc bike and that I should try for the "ogata" license

Does anyone have any thoughts or experience in getting their bike license here in Japan?

#2
snowdude

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View Poststemik, on 13 September 2013 - 11:15 AM, said:

Now that I am closer to 50 than 40, I think it is time to start a new easy going hobby and I like the idea of cruising around on a motorcycle.

I checked online and gathered that there are three main types of license.

Under 125cc
Under 400cc
Over 400cc

I looked into the costs at a nearby driving school and its about 140,000 yen for the license for an under 400cc (I think).
But i was told by a friend that I might be disappointed with a under 400cc bike and that I should try for the "ogata" license

Does anyone have any thoughts or experience in getting their bike license here in Japan?


Well I dont know where you got that price from because that is way wrong.
I got an orgata license for any size bike years ago when I first came to Japan.
All you need to do is show them your existing bike license from your own country apply to take a motorcycle test must be done in advance.
You need to pay a small fee but it something like a few thousand yen only.

It has been 14 years since I got my bike license here so I forgot the exact procedures.

After applying you will be sent a card with the test day and time.
You will need to hire or by a crash helmet as they do not provide.
On the day you first walk around the course with the instructor then you go around the course with the bike once for practice.
The in turn you take your test.
At the start they lay the bike down on its side and you have to be able to lift it up by yourself before you can even do the test.
You get one go at the course.
If you mess up you have to reapply.
If you pass which actually is not difficult you then you will be issued your license on the day.
There is no written test.
I think the written test is only for people who have never held a bike license before.

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#3
stemik

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Thanks Snowdude.

I should have pointed out, that I don't have a bike license from any country.
I think it was 17 lessons in total for that price.

#4
muikabochi

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An interesting idea, stemik.
Got me thinking too!

#5
Mr Wiggles

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There is no provisional bike licence in Japan so you can only practice at a driving school (or presumably private land). You can't learn on the road. You can with car, so long as you understand that the cops will probably fail you multiple times because they are not in the business of selling people licences like a driving school is.

If you're making a point of getting a bike to go places you could actually go to already in your car, then perhaps the quality of the ride matters more. Whether that changes at 400cc though I couldn't tell you.
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#6
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road bike or road/trail?
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#7
teikiatsulover

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I'm keen to get mine as well, I want to get it for oogata or I don't see the reason for getting a bike as I'd like at least a 1000cc bike. Can't you just go to the drivers license test centers and practice a few times, then take the exam? I'd hate to have to fork out 140,000 yen for some wanker to tell me what I already know.

Snowdude, some teachers at my school had mentioned somewhere around that price range, so I'm guessing its probably pretty close. Did you already have your bike license from another country? That'd make a difference I'd imagine.

I have been having dreams of a Yamaha R1 or a Hayabusa. I just want to go fast!! :D
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#8
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View Postteikiatsulover, on 13 September 2013 - 09:10 PM, said:

I'm keen to get mine as well, I want to get it for oogata or I don't see the reason for getting a bike as I'd like at least a 1000cc bike. Can't you just go to the drivers license test centers and practice a few times, then take the exam? I'd hate to have to fork out 140,000 yen for some wanker to tell me what I already know.

Snowdude, some teachers at my school had mentioned somewhere around that price range, so I'm guessing its probably pretty close. Did you already have your bike license from another country? That'd make a difference I'd imagine.

I have been having dreams of a Yamaha R1 or a Hayabusa. I just want to go fast!! :D


Yes I already had my UK bike license for unlimited size bike and simply had to do a riding test on a 750cc bike, no paper test. Maybe that is why it was cheap?

I also took a tractor driving course here in Japan, that was more involved though, had to do a weeks course then have a test at the end. I passed it easy enough, but thought the training for that was rather over the top. It cost about 2 man if I remember correctly. (You may be thinking WTF do I need a tractor license for), but I need to plow my fields so being able to drive a big tractor on the roads means I can simply hire one for the day and drive it to my fields!

To get my car and truck license here I just had to show my license fill in some forms and I got my license, no test nothing, so I found it strange that I had to do a bike test but was no need for a car test. I am good for a truck up to 8Ton here.

Which is actually 2 ton lower than my UK license, must be to do with the truck sizes here i guess.
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#9
stemik

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View Postgozaimaas, on 13 September 2013 - 07:14 PM, said:

road bike or road/trail?


I am looking for a road bike, something comfy.

#10
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I had a trail bike, a 150cc thing. It was comfy, but stank from 2-stroke

Then I got a CX500. Comfy, fast, no chain to mess with (shaft drive)

Then I got a Ninja 400, The prone riding position meant that I was putting a lot of my weight onto my palms. Was very uncomfortable after a few miles riding.

Then I got a Ninja 750. This was fast and really uncomfortable. As well as the palm and arm pains, my next would suffer from massive g's of fun.

If I was to ride again, I'd get a Harley. Ace comfy riding position. Bullet proof low tech engineering.

#11
TubbyBeaverinho

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If you have a bike licence from home then you don't have to take all the lessons.....they'll try and say u do, but you don't. You can indeed just book a test and do it.
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#12
pie-eater

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Wouldn't mind a bike myself actually. Hmmm.

Looks stylish too.

Posted Image
Pies.

#13
onsen tamago

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:lol:

Looks like the bike will collapse.

#14
stemik

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View Postpie-eater, on 14 September 2013 - 01:36 PM, said:

Wouldn't mind a bike myself actually. Hmmm.

Looks stylish too.

Posted Image


I think a bicycle will be better suited to help you loose some of that weight

#15
seemore

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Spend the money do the lessons and start on a small bike then ease your self into it.
Bigger Bikes have a ridiculous amount and are alot harder to stop/steer I hated having to get my 250cc and below license but it is a good idea.
Road/Sports Bikes aren't normally comfortable they do go very fast but thats it I would recommend a cruiser or a tourer with a nice upright seating position.

#16
seemore

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Japanese of course not US

#17
snowdude

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When I first started riding biked at 16 as soon as I got my full license at 17 I went straight to a Kawasaki GPZ 550 that felt like a rocket in comparison.
After that got a GPZ900 and then a VFR1100 followed by several other bikes.
I would love to get another big bike.
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#18
teikiatsulover

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I'm with Snowdude as I'd also like a big crotch rocket. Nothing like going Mach 1 on a bike! :D

I think if you already had your license that that'd make a difference, but I'm not 100% confident about that.
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#19
Man_In_Japan

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Ok, here goes. A good topic as I'm in the process of trying to sort my own one out right now.

There are, as you say, three kinds of licenses in Japan, the ones you listed.

The small ones are quite simple to get. If you have a license from your home country, just change it over, but depending on your nationality, you might have to take the driving test, as well as other tests, such as a written test and eyesight test. The last one is mandatory for all.

If you don't have a license, well here's where it gets complicated. You can't, or so it seems, get the oogata license without having a 125cc or 400cc licence, so you have to do one of the tests first, and the large size motorbike is for manuals only. The smaller ones have an option for MT or AT, but be warned. Do the automatic, and you can't drive manual bikes in some countries, for example, the UK, and are stuck riding MT until you get to oogata licence.

You can complete all the lessons, and the testing at the centers, and then get the license. Or you could go straight and do the test if you want, but be prepared to fail, as you haven't 'paid your dues' so to speak.

#20
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View PostMan_In_Japan, on 15 September 2013 - 08:02 PM, said:

You can complete all the lessons, and the testing at the centers, and then get the license. Or you could go straight and do the test if you want, but be prepared to fail, as you haven't 'paid your dues' so to speak.


^^THIS

I've been told by a lot of people that this is the case. There is a high chance that you will fail the first couple of times until they feel you have done your part
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