Standard two-wheel motor vehicle (Japan)

A standard two-wheel motor vehicle (普通自動二輪車, futsū jidō nirinsha), sometimes referred to as an ordinary 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 400 cc.

In contrast, in the same act, such vehicle with a displacement of 125 cc or less is called a small two-wheel motor vehicle (小型二輪車, kogata nirinsha) (small motorcycle), and is a subcategory of a standard two-wheel motor vehicle. Meanwhile, one 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).

OverviewEdit

A standard two-wheel motor vehicle can be operated with an ordinary motorcycle license or a heavy motorcycle license. It is defined in the Road Traffic Act's Enforcement Regulations as a "two-wheeled vehicle (including one with a side car) other than a large special vehicle, heavy motorcycle and small special vehicle".

Three-wheeled vehicles are treated as ordinary vehicles, and are not classed as motorcycles. However, the safety standard for motorcycles is applied to a three-wheeled vehicle that has coaxial wheels with a width of less than 46 cm, where the body or wheels incline when turning.

LicenseEdit

 
Japanese driving licence sample with category for ordinary motorcycle (普自二) circled.

A license to ride an ordinary motorcycle can be obtained from the age of 16 onward.

CategoriesEdit

Some of the vehicle categories under Japanese law are as follows:

Name Japanese Description
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.

Other detailsEdit

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

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