Monday, December 27, 2010
Random Asianess: Valentino Rossi...Baby!
Scooters are by far the best way to get anywhere in Taiwan. You can go around traffic jams; you can travel at the speed limit when all the cars have to go much slower. In Taiwan, in order to get a license to drive a car you have to already have a license to drive a small motorcycle. A small motorcycle is 50cc to 150cc anything bigger than that is considered a heavy motorcycle.
Scooters come in many varieties and sizes. They range from 50cc two stroke engines to 650cc four strokers. Of course, price and gas mileage are as variable as the size. A 100cc Yamaha scooter is around $60,000 NTD that equates about $2,000.00 USD. Before coming to Taiwan I was looking at scooters in the US, just to get an idea of what they run. Of course, most of the ones you see there are European. They ran around $2,900.00 USD for a 100cc. I paid about $2600.00 USD for mine but it needed some modification so that I could ride it.
It is amazingly powerful for such a small bike; and very fun to drive. Rain or shine I’d rather take the bike than the car. That kind of drives the kids nuts, they’re a little embarrassed, I think, to be seen on it.
Driving in Taiwan is complicated. There are a lot of driving laws; in fact, Taiwan’s vehicle code is much the same as California’s. The difference is that enforcement is minimal. The cops have a strategy of focusing on one particular type of violation a month. If you don’t do that, then you’re home free. So, driving here is a lot like anarchy, minus the bombs and guys with long beards. Nobody follows any rules.
(Part 1 of a three part series on Scootering in Taiwan.)
Photos by Emily Banducci: Thanks to our companion blog, "Glimpses of Taiwan" for Video
Other posts you may be interested in:
Scootering in Taiwan: New Helmet Technology
Traveling with M13: Custom Scooters of Taiwan
Posted by Chris Banducci at 7:58 PM