Sunday, April 25, 2010

Getting a Bike?

I would like to get a bike. Not only a bicycle but a motorcycle or a scooter...

Currently, I am renting a car through the company I am working for. Although the car runs fine and does the job, it will cost me a bit of money in the long run. You would think that the alternative to renting would be to buy a new car. This would be ideal more or less but even that might mean I would have to spend more money.

In Japan, there is something known as Shaken. Which is essentially a annual road tax. Everyone has to pay this each year. The amount you pay is determined by the size of your car, how big the engine is, and how much your car weighs. There might even be more variables. I won't have to pay this because I am renting.

If I am to stay in Japan longer than two years, the amount of money I might spend for renting would be high. If I owned, it would be cheaper but if I had a motorized vehicle, shaken would disappear...

A bike would be unthinkable if I were in Hokkaido but since I am in Tochigi, this might be ok. Although, it snowed a few days ago; which was strange.

The speed most people drive in Japan, on the side road is 60km tops. This would be somewhere around 35mph. So being on a bike wouldn't be bad at all.

The dilema however lies in how big of a bike I want. If I pass my drivers test this summer, I would automatically qualify for a 50cc. A 50cc bike would be nice and could get me around town fine but the problem is the power. If I were to go up a hill or carry another person, a 50cc bike would slow me down.

From this point, this is where I have some problems. So long as I pass my drivers test this August... I can take the motorcycle test following it.

In the US o' A, most states allow you to take a motorcycle riders course and at the end you will get your motocycle endorsement. Generally this class lasts no more than three sessions and costs less than $200. In Japan, a similar course would cost $3,000... Yesh.

I can forgo the course and take the test on a motorcycle... Its just this opens up more problems... I have ridden a moped but have never rode a manual bike. I have no problem with balance or turning but what about gears? There is a lot to consider.

Overall, I am still trying to work it out in my head. I believe that it would be smarter and more ideal for me to switch over to a bike to save money but figuring out how to do this is the problem.


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