Pros and Cons of a Big Bike in the 'wan


Do you have a scooter now? Maybe you should take it up Yang Ming Shan one night, or to Ping Xi on a nice weekend, you’ll see other riders on big bikes you can talk to ( mostly locals ), and you’ll get of sense of what you can do with one in North Taiwan.[/quote]

Thanks for your recommendation , I don’t even have scooter in Taiwan only Giant XTC HB3, I ever rented in Hualian when I was arrived there and just roll around, I understood it’s can be predict what going to happen in next second on the road but so far I still thinking about that :unamused:

If you’re in decent shape, the ride toward ping xi is awesome on a bicycle.
There is a cafe on the way were motocyclists and bicyclists a love to hang out, I don’t remember the name but you wouldn’t miss it.

Wu zhi shan is another great place to cycle, and there are always some big bikers at the cafes up at the very top. Bicyclists come up from the shi lin side, and the motorcyclists usually come up from xi zhi or zhi shan.

Yang ming shan is doable on a bicycle, but there are too many big bikers and scooter punks racing up and down to make it pleasant. Lastly the tea shops up at mao kong make another good bicycle ride, but not really appropriate for big bikes, of which you are unlikely to run into up there.

It’s possible to take a folding bike in a bag on the Maokong gondola when it’s not crowded, then ride the velo down. Esp. in the summer.

In the long run, I think more people are going to die riding that gondola than motorcycles.

I am way too scared to ride the Mao Kong gondola…

But I rent a big bike every few weeks when the weather permits. No headaches, pick-up, drop-off. A few thousand per day. Haven’t rented a Harley yet, but had up to 1200 of BMW, Yamaha, Honda, etc. 600 size seems to be better for anywhere within a few hours of Taipei.

Taipei area sucks for riding big bike. So I decided to watch the weather, get one when weather cooperates, then ride, ride, ride… drop it off, and done.

tango, has your daily rental price decreased (assuming you rent from the same renter(s))?

Muana’loa (hawaii?), I haven’t noticed any price changes, but only because just starting to rent again after a few months off.

I live most of the time on Oahu, and some of the time in Bitan, and some of the time on a Tenere on a hot spring route down the cordillera (that word’s for Icon, but she doesn’t read C&M).

If you rent enough, the price will go down.

A big bike has the power to get you into trouble, and out of trouble. A scooter is plenty fast enough to get killed on. 90s racers didn’t get much faster than Norifumi Abe - sick as fuck on a 500, dead on a scooter.

Get a big bike if you can afford it. It’s not a death trap, the throttle works both ways.

Yeah… Abe-san. :frowning: A truck doing an illegal U-turn and him on a Yamaha T-Max. Could even happen in the 'wan.

  1. the argument that riding a scooter is safer than riding a bigger bike is nonsense. Any modern scooter will easily hit 100km/h which is plenty fast to get you killed instantly. I still don’t understand why everyone - foreigners included - thinks that because a scooter is ‘slow’ it’s okay to wear a shitty helmet, t-shirt and shorts. I didn’t buy a red plate bike because it’s safer but the fact is that it IS safer than a scooter. Let’s say I am in the car lane doing 60 km/h and someone else is in the scooter lane doing 50 km/h. If a truck suddenly pulls in front then a) I have more room to stop because I’m not wedged between 50 other bikes, b) I have better visibility and drivers can see me better, c) my bike can stop much faster in a more controlled way than the scooter and d) if the shit does hit the fan then at least my riding gear can offer some protection.

  2. Most of the posters saying that big bikes are impractical/useless/unsuited for Taiwan etc. live in Taipei. Well no shit, Taipei is one of the worst places in the world to ride or drive anything. A scooter ain’t gonna help you there.

  3. Taiwan (excluding Taipei) is a pretty great place to own and ride a big bike. That is firsthand experience of someone who commutes on their bike daily. After a few years the lower cost of insurance and maintenance more than make up for the higher purchase price vs. Western countries.

Just got my first scooter after doing bus, taxi and MRT thing for several months and the motorbike thing for a couple of decades before that. Take it from me, the scooter is helping me to an extent I’d never have believed possible! Its FANTASTIC! And, at NT$10,000, its probably around a 30th of the price of yours. I’m certainly a happy camper with mine.
(And that’s not even getting into the fact that I’ve NEVER seen a big bike traveling at 60kph here, 'less its coming to a halt. :laughing:
I DID see one this morning (trying) to blast through a junction on Beishing Rd. He sure as HELL wasn’t pootling along at 60! T-boned by an illegally u-turning car and went flying, whole frame bent to buggery, it looked like. The 50 scooters, on the other hand, were perfectly safe, being as they were like 200 yards behind tiny-cock and his big shiny thingy. :thumbsup:

Congrats on your new scoot, Sandy.

Today I saw a CB1300 or similar parked up in a scooter box in Taoyuan. Although I thought it is probably the done thing it did occur to me that it’s the first time I’ve seen it.

I am aware that parking a big bike in a scooter berth is illegal, but just assumed common sense would dictate that that’s probably where a lot of big bike owners would park. I mean, I Kymco Hipster cruiser may only be a 125, but it’s physically the same size as a much bigger red plate bike.

Could said owners please share their experiences of parking with us? Are you all by the book kind of chaps? Have you received fines for parking in scooter berths? Do you always wait in the queue instead of filtering to the front? Do you always park in legal car parking spaces? Do you ever ride in the scooter only rat runs?

A Taiwanese friend of mine drives a ducati red plate, he lives in Taipei and does that from time to time, so long as the bike is within his sight.
He says that law is only sporadically enforced. He is much more worried about the thieves and scooter drivers banging up his bike than he is of the police.

IME, sportbikes routinely behave like scooters if they physically can. If the space is too small to filter, or the approach to an empty box too narrow, that’s when they are stuck being redplates.

What I haven’t seen is a redplate filter down the right, cross in the pedestrian area to the left lane, then do a quick left when the light changes. That would be a very brazen move, and I’m sure some riders have contemplated it.

For me personally, the big trailie with side cases is far too big to pretend to be a scooter. It has “For non-urban use only.” on the MCO. :wink: :wink: :wink:

The argument that a big bike is more capable of avoiding an accident seems reasonable, though in practice it may be more likely to get most “real life” operators into trouble.

Once an accident happens, however, a “mind experiment” thinking through the consequences of, say, a low-speed T-bone, (at high speed one is probably doomed whatever) convinces me that any motorcycle, and especially a big one, offers more “passive danger” than a scooter does.

On a scooter you are not very connected to the vehicle. On a motorcycle you tend to be trapped. BIG rock and a very hard place.

Iv heard of passive safety but passive danger. Thats a new one, makes sense tho :slight_smile:

I’m considering getting my big bike licence in the summer break.

I went to speak to Rambo and Connie at the Ducati shop in Taoyuan. They gave me this bloke’s card but the explanation I got about the procedure was a bit ambiguous. Something like this:

You have to pay $7000 and enroll in a 2 week course. You don’t have to go every day. On the last day you take the test.

Can anyone shed further light? Is it simply you go however many times necessary to learn the course to the required standard, if you can do it in one day then one day is enough? I’m not so arrogant as to suggest I could do it in one day, but is it theoretically possible? I’m rather confused by the “you don’t have to go every day” part, which was poorly explained two or three times, in the end I gave up.

I’m keen to get in on the big bike gig sooner or later.

I did the big bike license a couple of months ago:

Only place in Taipei City is on Chengde road, in the big intersection where you go to Beitou / Danshui.
7000 NTD fee, the guy was Da Long or something like that.

You take your pick of the several FZ6’s or 650 CS BMW’s, practice to ride around the test track: left hand circle, right hand circle, traffic lights, acceleration using 1,2,3 gears, braking and balance riding on a narrow path.

You can practice once or 50 times, doesn’t matter, the price is fixed. You can go there all the time the place is open.
I just went on one day, rode with all bikes totally about 1 hour and then went to the exam couple weeks later.

Exams are arranged once in every two weeks.
Before the exam, you fill in your attendance record sheet. I had a one actual attendance and then I just signed on my name for rest 19 of them.
For the exam, guy from DMV arrives and sits in a booth and monitors you navigating the track successfully. Upon successfully completing the track, you can pick up your new license a few days later from the track.

If you know how to ride a bike, this exam is dirt simple.

Good luck!