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Two-up on the expressway

Back in December, I posted about a revision to Japan's Road Traffic Law allowing bikers to carry a passenger (ride "two-up") on major expressways. The new law went into effect April 1, and my girlfriend and I took advantage of it with a little weekend touring out to her parents' house in Chiba.

Traffic was light, and the weather was clear and warm. It felt great to twist the throttle, feel the engine roar to life, and blast along the open road. Sharing the experience with someone else made it even better.

Not all expressways are affected by the new law. Once we got back into Tokyo, we had to get off the Shuto Expressway at Shibaura, because after that point, riding two-up still isn't allowed. They actually had a motorcycle cop posted there, who flagged us down, pulled us over, and told us we had to take the Shibaura exit — which was kind of silly, because we were already signalling for it.

I hope the new law will soon be extended to the rest of the Shuto, and other off-limits roads. But cheers to Japan on this long-overdue regulatory reform.




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