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sourdoughsushi
May 31st, 2014, 08:16
Hello, fellow expats. Amurrican, here. As I prepare to move into a suburban area, I face the decision of where to spend my money with transportation. I am looking to cut costs.

The schools seem like they're spaced in a way that requires moderate bicycling effort, but would be most convenient with a car. My current pred owns a car while the two before her rode bikes. I recently looked into electrically assisted bicycles and am wondering if anyone has had any experience with them. The extra push from an electric bike seems like it could save some sweat (and laundry) when commuting.

Feel free to share general transport stories of all vehicular varieties, as I'm not the only incoming ALT needing to make a decision this fall.

(Yes, I know I am a filthy landwhale for even considering an electric bicycle)

coop52
May 31st, 2014, 08:52
Only people I've seen with electric assist are 60+ years old. Get a regular bike if you're going down that route.

Or take over your pred's car. Driving isn't that scary!

sourdoughsushi
May 31st, 2014, 09:02
Only people I've seen with electric assist are 60+ years old. Get a regular bike if you're going down that route.

Or take over your pred's car. Driving isn't that scary!

I seeee. Fear of driving I can change, but the money that would require I cannot. I have a lot of debt, so I'm trying to save money.

uthinkimlost?
May 31st, 2014, 11:34
Are you anywhere where it will snow? Ice biking is miserable.

Ini
May 31st, 2014, 13:07
Life without a car is no life at all.

sourdoughsushi
May 31st, 2014, 13:21
Life without a car is no life at all.

I thought about it, and it's beginning to look that way. I may just try and supplement the gas usage with bike rides. Still, has anyone used these granny bikes? They're fascinating!

Lianwen
May 31st, 2014, 13:29
My friend, a 28-something, let me use her electric bike last year in the fall. She doesn't live in an area with a lot of snow, but even I, Lianwen, found it super easy to use but a little scary because you do zoooooom along.

It also seemed like a bitch to charge. She had to unhook the power pack when she parked in in her apartment garage and carry inside every night and then out again in the morning.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
May 31st, 2014, 15:00
Are you anywhere where it will snow? Ice biking is miserable.

It does make a cycle to work more interesting though.

therealwindycity
May 31st, 2014, 15:04
I thought about it, and it's beginning to look that way. I may just try and supplement the gas usage with bike rides. Still, has anyone used these granny bikes? They're fascinating!

They're really easy to ride. We did a group bike ride once when all but one of us were on rented tourist center-supplied electric bikes, and the poor girl on the regular bike got left in the dust a few times.

sourdoughsushi
May 31st, 2014, 15:14
They're really easy to ride. We did a group bike ride once when all but one of us were on rented tourist center-supplied electric bikes, and the poor girl on the regular bike got left in the dust a few times.

Bwahaha, that's so wrong.

Page
May 31st, 2014, 18:39
They're trying to market them to all people recently (especially to people that commute over hills) though so you probably won't get laughed at.

osakavamp
June 1st, 2014, 03:06
Electric bikes are so great. I got to borrow one once after I'd crashed my own bicycle into a pole (I'm graceful) and it was like riding a pedaled moving sidewalk.

ihatefall
June 1st, 2014, 23:56
They are fun, my GF's friend has one. It's weird because you start off with a regular pedal but within 10 seconds the motor kicks in.
If you're trying to save money seems like it would be a waste of money to charge that huge battery all the time!
Why not take the 6-8man that kind of bike will cost and buy a real bike. You can get an entry level road bike/ urban for that price. You'll get in shape too.

Use a work out shirt and shorts and change into your work clothes at school. I used to do that.
Electric bikes might be fast compared to a mama chari but they are still slow compared to anything with 700c wheels.
I think Jiggit is the other bike dude on the forum.


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BeckyJones
June 2nd, 2014, 10:47
or get a scooter. Also, getting a car won't be as expensive as you think it will be. Especially if you do the ALT thing and get a Piece of Shit Kei car

coop52
June 2nd, 2014, 10:53
Word. My kei was around 15 man, and it's in pretty decent condition and has actual safety features. You can find cars for even cheaper if you just want something that has four wheels and goes.

ihatefall
June 2nd, 2014, 11:20
But you have to pay for insurance + gas.


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Ini
June 2nd, 2014, 11:23
but you dont look like a complete tool.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
June 2nd, 2014, 11:25
but you dont look like a complete tool.

Electric bicycles look super-snazzy.

coop52
June 2nd, 2014, 11:25
It's not as expensive as you might think. I pay less than 2 man a month for car related stuff. Kei's are really cheap to drive.

Ini
June 2nd, 2014, 11:30
Electric bicycles look super-snazzy.

If you ride an electric bike you might as well hang a notice round your neck announcing to the world that you have no intention of ever having sex again.

BeckyJones
June 2nd, 2014, 11:31
But you have to pay for insurance + gas.


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it isn't that expensive. Plus, you can go on trips outside of your town, get groceries, など

word
June 2nd, 2014, 11:40
If you're trying to save money seems like it would be a waste of money to charge that huge battery all the time! I get that you're trying to sell the OP on a real bike, but LOL. Charging a bike battery every day for 5 years would probably use less than 1000en worth of electricity.


or get a scooter. Also, getting a car won't be as expensive as you think it will be. Especially if you do the ALT thing and get a Piece of Shit Kei carword

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
June 2nd, 2014, 11:45
If you ride an electric bike you might as well hang a notice round your neck announcing to the world that you have no intention of ever having sex again.

Would that be in the form of a kei car numberplate?

therealwindycity
June 2nd, 2014, 11:48
Or you could just wear one of those brightly-colored T-shirts they distribute to teachers for sports day and things - they work equally well

ihatefall
June 2nd, 2014, 11:50
Would that be in the form of a kei car numberplate?

Dude, some kei cars are fast and RWD......


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ihatefall
June 2nd, 2014, 11:54
I get that you're trying to sell the OP on a real bike, but LOL. Charging a bike battery every day for 5 years would probably use less than 1000en worth of electricity.

word

I don't know, that is a huge battery. But regardless, if it was a second bike as an anti car grocery getter than sure get the electric bike but as a main bike......
Just get a real bike or a car. Do us proud


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Gizmotech
June 2nd, 2014, 15:17
Why wouldn't you just get a scooter? They are a pretty simple license, insurranceless (as far as I understand), and go much faster than an electric bike (I imagine they're cheaper too)

ihatefall
June 2nd, 2014, 15:19
Why wouldn't you just get a scooter? They are a pretty simple license, insurranceless (as far as I understand), and go much faster than an electric bike (I imagine they're cheaper too)

I believe only the under 50cc ones are insurance less and they have a speed restriction....which is slower than the speeds I hit on a road bike. But I agree: scooter > electric bike

Gizmotech
June 2nd, 2014, 15:34
I believe only the under 50cc ones are insurance less and they have a speed restriction....which is slower than the speeds I hit on a road bike. But I agree: scooter > electric bike

Slower than what you will hit on a road bike, sure.... faster than any electric bike I've ever seen seeing as I can usually WALK faster than most electric bikes.

Jiggit
June 2nd, 2014, 15:44
They are fun, my GF's friend has one. It's weird because you start off with a regular pedal but within 10 seconds the motor kicks in.
If you're trying to save money seems like it would be a waste of money to charge that huge battery all the time!
Why not take the 6-8man that kind of bike will cost and buy a real bike. You can get an entry level road bike/ urban for that price. You'll get in shape too.

Use a work out shirt and shorts and change into your work clothes at school. I used to do that.
Electric bikes might be fast compared to a mama chari but they are still slow compared to anything with 700c wheels.
I think Jiggit is the other bike dude on the forum.


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I cycle a lot but I know very little about bikes. But yeah there's a world of difference between the half ton mamachari with no gears and a decent road bike. I don't really get the point of an electric bike unless you're wanting to take a bunch of trips all over the place. Maybe if you get placed with a bunch of schools that are hours apart with no public transport?

ihatefall
June 2nd, 2014, 15:51
They are awesome when you're going uphill with a full basket of grocerys and a box of 1L water bottles tied to the back. But I don't think they capable of the range your talking about. When the battery dies they are at least 50% heavier than a normal mama chari

Jiggit
June 2nd, 2014, 15:56
I'll take your word for it.

sourdoughsushi
June 3rd, 2014, 02:36
They are awesome when you're going uphill with a full basket of grocerys and a box of 1L water bottles tied to the back. But I don't think they capable of the range your talking about. When the battery dies they are at least 50% heavier than a normal mama chari

Hunh, didn't consider that part. It's looking like biking will become a recreational and optional part of my stay, my main battle from here will be deciding whether to rent or buy.

chikorita
June 3rd, 2014, 09:05
Yep, the thing to remember is that unless you become a hermit, it's not just the commute but everything else you need transport for. My commute to work is an easy bike ride, but if I want to buy groceries/ visit a friend/ go to the swimming pool/ do more or less anything else, I have to drive. You might be within a short distance of your schools but miles from the nearest supermarket. Also if you need to go further afield public transport can quickly become much more expensive than having a car.

As for buying/ running a car, it's not especially expensive in Japan. I think the general consensus on the buy/ rent question is that if you're here for a year or less, you're as well to rent, but longer than that and it becomes cheaper to just buy your own. If you do buy, just get a decent kei car with plenty of shaken on it. Dealers sell second-hand cars with 2 years shaken, but ALTs usually sell their cars for cheaper. If there are any toll gates nearby that you have to drive through often, get an ETC card (it nets you a big discount on all your tolls). You will need to buy an ETC card reader for your car, but I've found that the money I've saved on toll discounts has already paid that one off.

I paid 10, 0000 for my car (came with 2 years shaken). I pay about 5500 yen a month for insurance and 4000 yen for petrol. Add in the annual 6000 yen (approx) car tax, and I don't think it's a bad price. Granted, shaken is more expensive, but since it's a biannual expense you can just put a little bit of money aside each month and save up for it over time. My shaken (which was two weeks ago) cost me 70, 000. Shaken usually seems to cost most people between 50,000 and 150,000 depending upon the condition of the car, whether it's a white-plate or a yellow-plate, etc.

Ini
June 3rd, 2014, 09:10
real men dont drive kei cars.

sourdoughsushi
June 3rd, 2014, 09:13
I definitely enjoy the idea of saving money, unfortunately I won't be arriving with enough funds to make a purchase. Maybe later on after saving?


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mrcharisma
June 3rd, 2014, 09:21
Rent a car on contract hire for the first year. Unless you are placed near the centre of Tokyo or Osaka, not having a car in Japan will only reduce your quality of life.

ihatefall
June 3rd, 2014, 09:23
real men dont drive kei cars.

Depends on what you're looking to do 5 Spicy Kei Cars You'll Want In Your Garage (http://www.carthrottle.com/top-5-spicy-kei-cars-youll-want-in-your-garage/)

Ini
June 3rd, 2014, 09:35
Depends on what you're looking to do 5 Spicy Kei Cars You'll Want In Your Garage (http://www.carthrottle.com/top-5-spicy-kei-cars-youll-want-in-your-garage/)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_0gUrBCXw4 warning, you may need a good book to read while you wait for this video to end.

I repeat

real men dont drive kei cars.

chikorita
June 3rd, 2014, 09:43
real men dont drive kei cars.

well, if I ever mysteriously become male overnight, I will be sure to scrap my kei car in order to protect my delicate masculinity then

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
June 3rd, 2014, 09:45
well, if I ever mysteriously become male overnight...

... then the kei-car will be the least of your worries. :)

ihatefall
June 3rd, 2014, 10:00
real men dont drive kei cars.

Ok first of all, I have to give you credit for quoting yourself haha

Second of all, I like power too. The last weekend car I owned before coming over was a Z31 swapped with a EFI 5.0, thing was a monster. Prior to that it was a 4G63T vehicle with 350awhp.

But I don't discount kei cars as being worthless. They can be fun/ fast as well (which is exactly why one was in Initial D).
It has to be a forced induction model.

coop52
June 3rd, 2014, 11:02
Kei cars are great for puttering around town at 30kph since they're so cheap to drive. If you want a car for more than going back and forth to work or the grocery store (or if you live in a mountainous area), you'll want a white plate.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
June 11th, 2014, 08:27
Just buy a horse. You'll be the envy of your friends, if not your neighbors.

Plus, slightly more chance of surviving an accident than if you were driving a kei car.

word
June 11th, 2014, 11:28
Just buy a horse. You'll be the envy of your friends, if not your neighbors.

Plus, slightly more chance of surviving an accident than if you were driving a kei car.
This is true.

It would also probably be significantly cheaper than owning a car.

therealwindycity
June 11th, 2014, 11:54
What? Owning a horse is super labor-intensive and definitely not cheap.

Cost of a Horse,Cost of Keeping a Horse,Cost of Owning a Horse
(http://www.equine.com/horse-cost.aspx)

word
June 11th, 2014, 11:57
http://www.quickmeme.com/img/00/00ddce11eb42d72fd22ab4b7d9875eea4419fd39916dbe8dd946dfe8558ec180.jpg

therealwindycity
June 11th, 2014, 12:02
:012:

Yeah I was confused for a minute because it sounds like you're pretty familiar with the labor required for livestock.

ihatefall
June 12th, 2014, 13:47
We (my family) used to own two horses....that was like a full time job. NEVER AGAIN

word
June 12th, 2014, 13:50
I don't mind the work; it's refreshing, somehow. I feel that way about a lot of farm work; I'm glad I live in an old farmhouse here. The work routine is nice; it's healthy, I think. Good for the body and spirit.

Antonath
June 12th, 2014, 14:03
I don't mind the work; it's refreshing, somehow. I feel that way about a lot of farm work; I'm glad I live in an old farmhouse here. The work routine is nice; it's healthy, I think. Good for the body and spirit.
3796

word
June 12th, 2014, 14:06
Pretty much. A bit scary, but the alternative would probably just be me sitting in front of my computer masturbating, so I'll go with the work.

ihatefall
June 12th, 2014, 14:10
I like having something to focus on as well. But fixing up a house, garden, etc is different than taking care of two 1 ton animals.

Ini
June 12th, 2014, 14:25
lianwen has a sister?

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
June 12th, 2014, 17:49
Wait, how is owning a horse full time work? Does it have batteries I didn't know about, maybe empty out the vacuum bag once in a while? It's a horse, not a kitten. They survived pretty well in the wild for the last few million years.

coop52
June 12th, 2014, 18:14
They also get sick at the drop of a hat since they can't vomit and tend to eat too much or eat things that aren't good for them. Also their hooves can get all kinds of fucked up if you don't keep an eye on them.

They also poop a lot.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
June 12th, 2014, 18:19
They also get sick at the drop of a hat since they can't vomit and tend to eat too much or eat things that aren't good for them. Also their hooves can get all kinds of fucked up if you don't keep an eye on them.

They also poop a lot.

So do I, but I don't need supervision to do it. If your horse starts slacking off and getting ill in its natural habitat you just need to toughen it up. Show it some Rambo movies, buy it a leather jacket, teach it how to climb a tree. You'll get a healthier horse at the end of it.

coop52
June 12th, 2014, 18:20
Now I'm imagining some little mini-horse wearing Rambo's outfit while carrying a gun, and it's pretty freaking adorable.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
June 12th, 2014, 18:23
See? You just need to be logical about these things. Horses have it too easy these days, they need to get back to their roots.

webstaa
June 13th, 2014, 08:48
Back on topic - kei car or scooter/motorcycle for puttering around town? I've wanted to learn to ride a motorcycle for a long time - now I've got plenty of time and plenty of spare cash, maybe I should give it a shot?

Ini
June 13th, 2014, 08:53
Stop mincing about and just buy a Nissan GTR

webstaa
June 13th, 2014, 09:15
Stop mincing about and just buy a Nissan GTR

I would, but I'm too cheap to pay ¥4000 a month for parking...

Ini
June 13th, 2014, 09:16
Have a word with the mayor and ask to leave it at town hall

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
June 13th, 2014, 10:48
Depends on how much snow you get, I suppose.

word
June 13th, 2014, 11:25
Back on topic - kei car or scooter/motorcycle for puttering around town? I've wanted to learn to ride a motorcycle for a long time - now I've got plenty of time and plenty of spare cash, maybe I should give it a shot?
A motorcycle would be fun but requires a license test and will probably be expensive, plus you're kinda limited by weather, depending on your fair-weatheriness (I prefer to be a fair-weather rider, but I rode my scooter through a winter here, even in horrific snow). A scooter has the same weather limitations, but you don't need a special license (assuming you have your regular J-license) and they're dirt-cheap to own and operate. Kei cars are fine for around town but I avoid them because I've seen what happens to their occupants when involved in an accident.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
June 13th, 2014, 11:35
Kei cars are fine for around town but I avoid them because I've seen what happens to their occupants when involved in an accident.

They're congratulated for supporting the Japanese automotive industry? I thought kei cars (all joking aside) were supposed to be safer these days?

word
June 13th, 2014, 11:51
They're congratulated for supporting the Japanese automotive industry? I thought kei cars (all joking aside) were supposed to be safer these days?
Oh, I'm sure they're safer than they have been in the past. I wouldn't call them "safe," though.

I still wouldn't risk it. I like having functional legs.

coop52
June 13th, 2014, 12:23
Mine has airbags, but I had to do a search for one that also had ABS. I still don't trust it to not completely fall apart in an accident going at any speed above idle.

Ini
June 13th, 2014, 13:12
I've told this tale before on here but I managed to total a car a few years back. Walked away with a broken nose and some cracked ribs. Went to the scrap yard to recover my stuff from the boot a few days later and found my car next to a kei truck. The entire front of mine was missing and I was stood there to tell the story, the kei truck next to it looked a bit bashed up but nothing too bad. Looked inside and the entire interior was soaked in blood.....

ihatefall
June 13th, 2014, 13:15
I've told this tale before on here but I managed to total a car a few years back. Walked away with a broken nose and some cracked ribs. Went to the scrap yard to recover my stuff from the boot a few days later and found my car next to a kei truck. The entire front of mine was missing and I was stood there to tell the story, the kei truck next to it looked a bit bashed up but nothing too bad. Looked inside and the entire interior was soaked in blood.....

Have you ever seen a Japanese man use a seat belt? Because I haven't!

word
June 13th, 2014, 13:26
Have you ever seen a Japanese child use a seat belt? Because I haven't!fixed

Antonath
June 13th, 2014, 13:33
I've told this tale before on here but I managed to total a car a few years back. Walked away with a broken nose and some cracked ribs. Went to the scrap yard to recover my stuff from the boot a few days later and found my car next to a kei truck. The entire front of mine was missing and I was stood there to tell the story, the kei truck next to it looked a bit bashed up but nothing too bad. Looked inside and the entire interior was soaked in blood.....
This is something not enough drivers (Japanese or otherwise) recognise: if your car gets trashed in a bad accident, that's good! It's absorbing all the energy that would otherwise go towards turning you into chunky salsa. Kei-cars don't have crumple zones, or structure to send the energy around the cabin instead of through. In a low-speed accident (say in a car park), the kei-car may even come off better. It'll certainly less expensive to repair. But at anything approaching road speeds, the only crumple zone in a kei-car is you.

ihatefall
June 13th, 2014, 18:29
fixed

Hahaha I thought "Japanese Man" and "Japanese child" were the dawn word in Japanese?
(Read : sarcasm)

therealwindycity
June 13th, 2014, 20:29
Hahaha I thought "Japanese Man" and "Japanese child" were the dawn word in Japanese?
(Read : sarcasm)

Autocorrect was trying to save you from making that joke

ihatefall
June 20th, 2014, 11:09
#truth, unfortunately I don't really pay attention to what I type

therealwindycity
June 20th, 2014, 14:46
Maybe you should? You're going to have a hard time living in Japan if you aren't good at iiwake. At least go with "I was drunk"

ihatefall
June 20th, 2014, 16:10
What are you going on about? I am not having a hard time here? You know this isn't my first time living here right? And hasn't Señor Word taught you that "who I am here, isn't always indicative of who I am out there"?

therealwindycity
June 21st, 2014, 11:16
We Japanese have traditional skill of excuses to save face. Everyone can enjoy a good time and happy conversation if they are skilled at excuses. However, maybe some foreigners don't understand desu yo ne ...

therealwindycity
June 21st, 2014, 12:53
I don't really pay attention to what I type

I mean, you do realize why this is a ridiculous thing to say, right? Literally the primary activity on a forum is writing words for other people to read.

mrcharisma
June 23rd, 2014, 13:14
And hasn't Señor Word taught you that "who I am here, isn't always indicative of who I am out there"?

So in real life you aren't petulant, semi-literate and completely unable to laugh at yourself?

Great! Let's have a beer.

ihatefall
June 24th, 2014, 21:31
So in real life you aren't petulant, semi-literate and completely unable to laugh at yourself?

Great! Let's have a beer.

Interesting observation, Bagpipe.

Enlightening. Really.

Sorry my proclivity of not proofreading bothers you so, shall I start including "<read: sarcasm>" when I am laughing at myself or not being serious?

Ah screw it, I don't even have time to proofread. <read: sarcasm>

Ini
June 24th, 2014, 21:33
Come again?