Motorized bicycle legal?

Aug 14, 2013
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#1
Is putting a 47cc gas engine on a bicycle legal here in Japan? I'm thinking about building one up for my daugther. I'm in the boonies of Aomori-ken in case that matters.
 
May 22, 2007
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#2
It's possible to do it legally, but probably more hassle than you want. Doing what you suggest would make it into a literal gendoki-tsuki jitensha, that is, a bicycle with a motor on it, which is a moped or scooter.

I believe a roadworthiness test would be required before it could be used on a public road. The rider would certainly have to have a driver's license and wear a helmet. The vehicle would have to be registered, have a number plate, lights, and turn signals, and the jibaiseki compulsory vehicle insurance.

If it will only be used on private land, then forget what I just said and have fun!
 

jdd

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#3
Go electric, e.g., one of those oversized rear hubs with a motor built in, and you'll remain within the world of bicycledom, legally.

Just curious, but how old is your daughter?
 
Aug 14, 2013
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#4
She's 13.

She's not into cycling beyond the occasional haunt around the neighborhood. She likes the idea of a motorized bicycle mostly for the novelty of it all than from the standpoint of transportation. I like tinkering with things so the idea of installing a gas engine is appealing.

I'll probably end up doing it. We are in the middle of farm land, there are plenty of rice field trails all around.