Big bike on the freeways of Taiwan. When and how big?

I found this in the wiki. What is the latest? Anybody know.

I was chatting with a friend about it yesterday. Seems they are talking 650cc limit if it is introduced. But many 600cc bikes are much faster than 650’s. Example comparing a CBR600 with a 650 twin such as the Suzuki or Kawasaki.

Seems to me 400cc should be the sensible bottom end and don’t allow filtering (riding between cars) on the freeways to keep it sensible.

[quote]Motorcycle restrictions in East Asia

Even though most freeways allow motorcycles with sufficient speeds, certain East Asian freeways have additional restrictions upon motorcycles, frequently due to so-called safety concerns. Certain opponents of these motorcycle restrictions argue that slower surface roads with intersections are probably more dangerous for motorcycles.

In Mainland China, two-wheel motorcycles driven on the freeways may not carry passengers. A vehicle must be capable of maintaining 70 km/h to be driven on the freeways.

In Taiwan, motorcycles, unless used for certain police purposes, remained prohibited from the freeways due to some safety concerns explained at the web site of the Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau in Chinese (with counter arguments by opponents in parentheses below):

  1. Taiwanese freeways have no room for motorcycle lanes. Sharing any lanes with cars and large vehicles would be very dangerous. (Vehicles traveling at the same speed would not collide.)
  2. Motorcycles are much less protected than cars, so any accident would be much worse, especially when frequent interchanges with complex traffic flows would increase the dangers to motorcycles. (As most traffic accidents and crashes occur in intersections, surface roads tend to be even more dangerous for motorcycles despite common slower speeds.)
  3. Taiwanese motorcyclists may not be patient, so should they squeeze between other vehicles, dangers would arise and traffic flow would be disturbed. (Proper safety edication for all should reduce the problems.)
  4. The freeway traffic volume is over capacity and needs better management to relieve traffic. Allowing motorcycles would worsen traffic. (Solo car drivers switching to motorcycles should reduce traffic congestion.)

As of now, the Republic of China government (Taiwanese government) plans not to allow motorcycles on freeways despite controversies.

In Japan, a motorcycle must have an engine displacement of more than 125 cubic centimeters to be driven on the freeways. Two-wheel motorcycles were not allowed to carry passengers on the freeways, but a legal amendment on 1 April 2005 has partially lifted the ban. A person aged at least 20 with a motorcycle driver license for at least 3 years may now carry a passenger on a two-wheel motorcycle on a freeway, but some segments of the Shuto Expressway still prohibits passengers on two-wheel motorcycles. A motorcycle with a sidecar may carry a passenger on the freeways.[/quote]

What a pity!..and what a load of horseshit the government says!

They say that motorcycle riders are impatient, and it may be true for some, but there is a much larger amount of impatient and irresponsible cage and truck drivers out there than there are motorcycles!..

I guess as long as the government is full of uneducated cronies, we can expect such logic, or lack thereof!..

I often get lots of frowns from locals when I tell them I ride from Taichung to Hualien or any other place outside of Taichung…They throw their heads back and make a squinting face and say “On a motorcycle???”…I say “yes, it’s great and not too far”…then they say “you’re crazy”!..

So it’s safe to say that the majority of the population here have no idea what motorcycles of larger displacement (even smaller ones) are capable of doing…they just see everything on 2 wheels as a way of getting around cheaply without having to walk…this means anything from a KYmco 50cc scooter to a GSX1300R Hyabusa…and the car comes in as a status symbol for those who have graduated from the perch of a scooter!..

another way of backing this is the locals regards towards diplacement of motorcycle engines…again, they frown and squint when they see that I’m riding a 1200cc motorcycle, and it’s followed by a peek at my speedometer to see the top speed for the bike, which is totally irrelevant since my bike only puts out 100hp at best versus some 600cc sportbikes that pull off 115hp…or better yet a 1000cc sportbike with 170hp…

…and then comes the weight…or the words “heavy bike”…what exactly does that mean?..I don’t really think that 195kg is that heavy or difficult to drive around unless you constantly drop your bike…

The point is, exept for most actual riders, no one really understands what motorcycles really are and what purpose they can serve as road vehicles!..

Anyways, I got a bit off topic with this one but it needed to be said in regards to the freeway ban!

Cheers

I don’t think bikes will ever be allowed on the freeways (flower signs), the expressways (reverse blue triangle) however are set to open up soon… But only to bikes with 601cc or greater than.

What’s a reverse triangle? I thought a triangle was a triangle no matter how it was positioned… :s

What’s a reverse triangle? I thought a triangle was a triangle no matter how it was positioned… :s[/quote]

Grr…wanna argue semantics, eh? I meant a triangle standing on it’s tip…and if you want me to be more percise…it’s not a proper triangle because the corners are rounded…it does have three sides though.

I knew what you meant.

And I have heard this means more technicolor number plates. Blue, I believe, for bikes over 600cc.

And I have heard this means more technicolor number plates. Blue, I believe, for bikes over 600cc.[/quote]

I heard that it was red.

And Joe, I knew that you knew…but did you know that I knew that you knew?

[quote=“Mordeth”]And Joe, I knew that you knew…but did you know that I knew that you knew?[/quote]Ummm…
I think so.

[quote]3. Taiwanese motorcyclists may not be patient, so should they squeeze between other vehicles, dangers would arise and traffic flow would be disturbed. (Proper safety edication for all should reduce the problems.)
[/quote]

Ths is much more of a serious problem than you are willing to believe Stag. This is Taiwan. Proper education will not solve the problem. Therefore, the problem will exist. Is it enough to justify contiuning to ban bikes on the freeway. I think it is.

Yes, blue trucks are bad too but they are already on the highways and to try to restrict them now is impossible. They are also necessary to the running of the economy.

Adding bikes to the highway equation is to add to the problem of dangerous driving conditions in this country. Surely you would not argue against this. Furthermore, allowing bikes on the highway has no positive net effect. Therefore, why add to the problem?

The other arguments laid out by the government are bogus, but the safety issue is not.

[quote=“Muzha Man”][quote]3. Taiwanese motorcyclists may not be patient, so should they squeeze between other vehicles, dangers would arise and traffic flow would be disturbed. (Proper safety edication for all should reduce the problems.)
[/quote]

Ths is much more of a serious problem than you are willing to believe Stag. This is Taiwan. Proper education will not solve the problem. Therefore, the problem will exist. Is it enough to justify contiuning to ban bikes on the freeway. I think it is.

Yes, blue trucks are bad too but they are already on the highways and to try to restrict them now is impossible. They are also necessary to the running of the economy.

Adding bikes to the highway equation is to add to the problem of dangerous driving conditions in this country. Surely you would not argue against this. Furthermore, allowing bikes on the highway has no positive net effect. Therefore, why add to the problem?

The other arguments laid out by the government are bogus, but the safety issue is not.[/quote]

Motor cycling is dangerous. There is just no doubt about that, however I just spent 4 days on British motorways and around London and the only incidents I had were as follows;

  1. Roundabout from a dead stop I was almost hit at slow speed by some French people. I knew they were French because they were in a French car and were all shouting at me in French. I’d done almost nothing wrong and ignored them. (I pulled off the road at a red light to check the map and they seemed to think my cycle moving was a signal to go)

  2. Taxi was very fast in a London roundabout and suprised me but nothing like a near miss.

  3. A Volvo on the motorway with a rowing boat on top merged into me at 80mph. No big deal and I just moved over and ahead of them.

Also, the new laws that stop tailgaters on the freeways seem to be working. The freeways are a more pleasant place to drive in Taiwan. If the boy racers could all be diverted off and directed into those car compaction machines it would be a bonus.

Back to the French and slightly off topic.

In Germany I went to the toilet and a man was urinating while holding a dish of pizza above his head. Coming out I mentioned to a friend could you believe that.

The guy thought about it for a minute then said “hmm, he must be French”.

I think it shows a high degree of skill. If it had been me, I’d have just put the pizza on the floor.

But to the bikes on the freeway thing, I can’t see it happening for a long time, if ever. The government will not base its decision on the tiny percentage of bikers that know how to drive, but consider – quite rightly, IMO – the lack of skill of the drooling, googly-eyed mouthbreathers that make up the other 99%.

Agree with Sandman.
I think the obvious answer to this is to simply observe the maturity level of vehicle - 'scooter, motorcycle, automobile/SUV, blue truck, transport/delivery truck - operators here on the island and go from there. IMO it comes in at …barely adolescent.

I just don’t think that the majority of the motorists here would be able to safely adapt to safely allowing the needed rights and vehicular respect to motorcycles on their highways.
Hell, people are unable to stay in their own lane on the surface streets as it is.

I just don’t see it happening without a massive island wide, multi-lingual (Mando & Taiwanese) safety education campaign coupled with strict legal enforcement by the Police.
And we all know neither of those are bound to happen.

well, i’m riding a 200cc motorcycle and yes, it would be nice from time to time to go the distance on a freeway. but how often do you really do that?
i agree that it is too dangerous; i would not dare, not even alone.
also driving a car and having some experience with that on the freeways i think it would be just attempted suicide. the problem is not you or your bike, its the other one (on bike or in car) who’s mind you can’t read.

i’d rather like to see bridges here in taipei to be open for bikes; its a real pain to find your way over the rivers with a restricted number of roads you can take. for instance the da-du-road - zhou-mei-expressway - it is allowed for most of the way for motorbikes, just the damn bridge is off limits. thats really annoying.

but thats just me. correct me if i’m wrong.
will go out and ride my bike now. cheers

Money is the the only qualification here to big-bike ownership. A proper driving test would help.

The driving test isn’t too bad. It takes a bit of skill to pass it. I think I might of failed it, if I’d tried to do it without any practice.

A boating licence on the other hand…is a simple written test that can be passed by guessing most of the answers.

[quote=“Muzha Man”][quote]3. Taiwanese motorcyclists may not be patient, so should they squeeze between other vehicles, dangers would arise and traffic flow would be disturbed. (Proper safety edication for all should reduce the problems.)
[/quote]

Ths is much more of a serious problem than you are willing to believe Stag. This is Taiwan. Proper education will not solve the problem. Therefore, the problem will exist. Is it enough to justify contiuning to ban bikes on the freeway. I think it is.

Yes, blue trucks are bad too but they are already on the highways and to try to restrict them now is impossible. They are also necessary to the running of the economy.

Adding bikes to the highway equation is to add to the problem of dangerous driving conditions in this country. Surely you would not argue against this. Furthermore, allowing bikes on the highway has no positive net effect. Therefore, why add to the problem?

The other arguments laid out by the government are bogus, but the safety issue is not.[/quote]

Well, I think I might “argue against this”. Allowing bikes (or any additional traffic) on the freeway almost certainly makes the freeway more dangerous, but it is far less clear that it “has no positive net effect”, because if those bikes/idiots are not on the freeway, then they are on surface roads which, I would argue, are inherently more dangerous and give them more creative scope for their idiocy.

This argument for “net positive effect” is based on my belief (unproven but defendable) that the greater speed on the freeway is less dangerous than the complexity/anarchy of the surface roads.

Of course, this assumes that a “net positive effect” is the objective. If its the defense of privilage (as comments about the tax paid would suggest) then keeping it for cars (and maybe big bikes) is consistent with logic (but maybe not morality).

I think the core of the problem with this decision is that those who are charged with making it haven’t the slightest notion of what it is they’re legislating… they are looking at the pros and cons of the situation from the position of a totally uninformed outsider, since I doubt anyone in the Legislative Yuan has ever ridden a high capacity motorcycle and I think we can say with 100% certainty that they’ve never ridden one on Taiwan’s freeways… so any allusions to the dangers or suitability of big bikes on Taiwanese freeways is necessarily just idle amateur speculation

Plasmatron pretty much sums it all up for us right there…The only glitch with all vehicles going in the same direction on a freeway where accidents shouldn’t happen are the majority of the cage drivers that perform constant “brake checks” while driving along!..these brake checks can start a bad chain of events due to one idiot that is not focusing on what is ahead of him and instead looking in the lane next to him…

Has anyone noticed how many drivers on the freeways here don’t look ahead in their lane, but instead look at what is in the lane next to them and if there is a car or bus, they just hang back at 45 degrees and don’t pass, even though the lane ahead is totally clear?..

maybe you guys are right. let the laws of ‘evolution in action’ take over and the luckiest wins.

what plasma wrote is right, nevertheless i still would not dare to go on freeways, just because of the mind of the other one you just can’t read.
but then again, the same happens on every other road. and statistics show that most accidents happen on smaller streets with slower speed. i think simply because the faster you go the more you concentrate.

but thats just my poin of view…

lets have a nice ride-out on the weekend. anywhere