This article is written by the author, who has traveled around Hokkaido on a moped type 2, about what he actually felt after the trip.
Hello! This is Kaoru Sugiura (@munenmusou_blog), whose skin is in great shape after soaking in hot springs in Hokkaido.
The other day, I went around Hokkaido on my 125cc scooter PCX.
Recently, moped class 2 is booming in Japan.
While touring, I often pass by 125cc class motorcycles such as Hunter Cubs.
Naturally, there must be many riders who would like to go to Hokkaido on a 125cc motorcycle.
As a rider, you dream of riding around Hokkaido at least once in your life.
However, Hokkaido is a vast land, and some riders may be concerned about whether it is safe to ride around Hokkaido on a Class 2 moped.
As it turns out, riding around Hokkaido on a Class 2 moped is quite comfortable!
In fact, for a round-the-world trip around Hokkaido, I can recommend a Class 2 moped as the best choice.
So, this article is about what I felt when I actually rode my beloved PCX around Hokkaido.
- What I liked about riding a moped in Hokkaido
- Points to keep in mind when driving in Hokkaido with a Class 2 moped
- Overall: A fun motorcycle trip in Hokkaido, even with a moped.
What I liked about riding a moped in Hokkaido
From here, I will write about what I liked about actually riding in Hokkaido on a Class 2 moped.
The pace of the locals is not as fast as I expected.
The roads along the coastline are like this all the time.
As I wrote in a previous article, the pace at which the locals ride is not as fast as I expected.
Even on the rattling national roads in northern and eastern Hokkaido, most drivers are riding at about 75 km/h.
Even if you are in the 125cc class, you will not have trouble going with the flow.
Since people in Hokkaido are smart about overtaking, even if you are riding a 50cc class bike, you are unlikely to have a near-miss when you are overtaken.
There are many people who ride bicycles around Hokkaido to begin with.
You don’t have to worry about speeding because you don’t go too fast.
In Hokkaido, straight lines go on and on.
If you are riding a big bike, you are sure to speed up without even knowing it.
I’m a bit of a flyer (only on straight lines), so if I were to ride my main bike, the TRX850, through Hokkaido, I wouldn’t be surprised if I got my license revoked for speeding.
On the other hand, a Class 2 moped has a low power output, barely squeezing out 100 kilometers.
Therefore, it is difficult to achieve the speed at which the Hokkaidō police will arrest you for speeding.
Touring in Hokkaido on a Class 2 moped, you are unlikely to lose your license for speeding.
Riding in Hokkaido on a motorcycle larger than 250cc is likely to be less enjoyable due to the fear of speeding violations, on the contrary
Fewer hills and no need to worry about lack of uphill power
The concern about the Class 2 mopeds is the lack of power on uphill slopes.
I used to ride a little Cub that was bored up to 75 cc, and I felt sorry for having to queue up behind it on narrow roads because its speed would drop rapidly on mountain roads.
However, although Hokkaido has ups and downs on the roads themselves, the undulations are relatively mild.
The highest point of the national highway is Mikuni Pass, which is about 1,100 meters above sea level.
Therefore, even small-displacement motorcycles without power will have no difficulty in touring in Hokkaido.
Even an unpowered motorcycle like a Cub is not likely to suffer from a lack of power!
Points to keep in mind when driving in Hokkaido with a Class 2 moped
Be careful of roads for motor vehicles that suddenly appear in the city.
I rode in Hokkaido in May, and most of the road riders are riding large motorcycles.
Since they can ride motorcycles only half of the year, people who live in Hokkaido and ride motorcycles tend to ride large motorcycles, which are more of a hobby.
Perhaps this is why I have the impression that Hokkaido’s road administration does not take 125cc motorcycles into consideration.
When you are riding normally on a national road in a large city, a general national road in the urban area may suddenly switch to a motor vehicle-only road.
There is a very beautiful bridge called Shirotori Ohashi in Muroran City, which I was planning to ride on with my PCX.
However, as I was driving on the national highway, a sign for a motorway appeared at the entrance to the bridge!
I had to turn off to a side road in a hurry.
In Nemuro, I was also in a hurry to get to the “Nemuro Road,” which is a road for automobiles only.
I was afraid of touring in Hokkaido because of the sudden appearance of green signs without warning that 125cc vehicles are not allowed to drive on the road.
Even though the roads are called “automobile-only roads,” the standard of the roads is not much different from that of ordinary national roads.
I wonder why they exclude 125cc cars, let alone 50cc cars.
In Honshu, there are signs that warn you many times before the entrance, but in Hokkaido, the road suddenly becomes an automobile-only road, which is terrifying.
It takes a long time to get around because you can’t use the free motorways.
The roads down there are also straight, so I don’t think it will save you as much time as in Honshu…
Related to the above heading, there are many free motorways in Hokkaido.
They are naturally closed to motorcycles under 125cc.
Therefore, the drawback is that motorcycles in the 125cc class cannot take advantage of the “free warp section,” a free automobile-only road.
This can cause the itinerary to be extended.
However, this problem is not a problem for those who want to travel slowly around Hokkaido.
But in the case of Hokkaido, the time it takes is almost the same even if you take the lower road.
Worried about being able to refuel
PCX has a long cruising range.
It depends on the type of vehicle, but the range of Class 2 mopeds is generally short.
For example, a Cub 110 should be refueled after about 180 km.
After traveling around Hokkaido, I found that I had no trouble finding gas stations in the area.
There are gas stations in larger settlements, so it is easier to get gas than deep in the mountains of Honshu.
However, most gas stations in Hokkaido are privately owned.
This means that many gas stations are closed on Sundays.
Therefore, there is a danger of running out of gas if you drive aimlessly on Sundays.
However, since Google Maps now shows gas stations that are open for business in one shot, there is no need to be that sensitive to the situation.
However, for Cub-type vehicles (especially if they have been bored up) and 4mini, you should carry a can of gasoline or “canned gasoline” in your luggage just in case.
Gasoline prices were about the same as in Honshu, except in the Soya region.
Overall: A fun motorcycle trip in Hokkaido, even with a moped.
After riding PCX around Hokkaido, I thought, “Isn’t it just fine to ride around Hokkaido on a moped? I thought “Isn’t it just fine to ride around Hokkaido on a moped 2 class?
I got the impression that Hokkaido, which has almost no winding roads, is more enjoyable to ride with a small displacement bike than with a sports bike.
Needless to say, Hokkaido is fun no matter what kind of bike you ride.
However, I felt that a relaxing motorcycle trip in Hokkaido on a moped or moped 2 is recommended.