Small two-wheel motor vehicle (Japan)
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A small two-wheel motor vehicle (小型自動二輪車, kogata jidō nirinsha), sometimes referred to as a small motorcycle, is one of the vehicle categories in the Road Traffic Act of Japan. Such vehicles (motorcycles) have a displacement of more than 50 cc but no more than 125 cc, or their rated output exceeds 0.6 kW but is no more than 1 kW.
In contrast, in the same act, such vehicle with a displacement of more than 50 cc but no more than 400 cc is called a standard two-wheel motor vehicle (普通自動二輪車, futsū jidō nirinsha), or ordinary motorcycle. Thus, a small motorcycle is a subcategory of an ordinary motorcycle.
Meanwhile, a motorcycle with a displacement of over 400 cc is called a large two-wheel motor vehicle (大型自動二輪車, ōgata jidō nirinsha) (heavy motorcycle).
Some of the vehicle categories under Japanese law are as follows:
|Moped||原動機付自転車||Any motorcycle with engine displacement of 50 cc or less.|
|Small motorcycle||小型自動二輪車||Any motorcycle with engine displacement over 50 cc but no more than 125 cc.|
|Ordinary motorcycle||普通自動二輪車||Any motorcycle with engine displacement over 50 cc but no more than 400 cc.|
|Heavy motorcycle||大型自動二輪車||Any motorcycle with engine displacement over 400 cc.|
A license to drive a small motorcycle can be obtained from the age of 16 onward.
|Displacement||50 cc or less||125 cc or less||250 cc or less||400 cc or less||Over 400 cc|
|Road Traffic Act||Vehicle classification||Moped||Ordinary motorcycle (small motorcycle)||Ordinary motorcycle||Heavy motorcycle|
|Type of license||Moped license||Ordinary motorcycle license (limited to small motorcycle)||Ordinary motorcycle license||Heavy motorcycle license|
- Motorcycles with displacements of 250 cc or less are exempt from a motor-vehicle inspection (車検, shaken).
|License type||Minimum age||Displacement||Loading capacity||Legal speed limit (general roads)||Expressway riding||Pillion riding||Bus lane riding|
|Moped||16||Up to 50 cc||30 kg (66 lb)||30 km/h (19 mph)||No||No||Yes|
|Small motorcycle (incl. AT)||16||Up to 125 cc||60 kg (130 lb)||60 km/h (37 mph)||No||Yes (1 year after license acquisition)||No|
|Ordinary motorcycle (incl. AT)||16||Up to 400 cc||60 kg (130 lb)||60 km/h (37 mph)||Yes||Yes (1 year after license acquisition)||No|
|Heavy motorcycle (incl. AT)||18||No limit||60 kg (130 lb)||60 km/h (37 mph)||Yes||Yes (1 year after license acquisition)||No|