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Bad behavior


Policemen hand out penalties to "bosozoku" (motorbike gang) bikers for illegal customisation of their motorcycles at the Dangozaka rest stop in Yamanashi, west of Tokyo, on Sunday. Police halted a group of about two dozen bikers who paraded their noisy motorcycles during an annual New Year outing in the Mount Fuji region. This Japanese motorcycle subculture dates back in the 1950s and regularly chafes with the police because of their provocative traffic behavior and bike customising, that is often deemed illegal.

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How about impounding the bikes until the owners make arrangements to have them brought back to specifications?

that is often deemed illegal.

Let's be straight here, not deemed, IS illegal!

18 ( +21 / -3 )

When I first arrived in Japan over 15 years ago now, there was a group that would ride past the police station near my house, trying to goad the police into chasing them. This was almost a nightly thing. Their noise would have affected hundreds yet I suspect their behaviour only got a slap on the wrist at best.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Policemen hand out penalties to “bosozoku” (motorbike gang) bikers

just curious to know what kind of penalties..(!)

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I think the bikes are cool.

-16 ( +4 / -20 )

And the game continues. If the police really wanted to stamp out bosozoku, they could. I have seen so many TV specials with TV crews accompanying police on enforcement outings aimed at bosozoku and the like. And it just seems so half-hearted. Sort of like police efforts against yakuza syndicates.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Public display for the cameras, the cops never cops these guys otherwise.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I would love for the police to take these idiots seriously and come down hard on them.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

illegal customisation of their motorcycles

How about disturbance of the peace? Even those modified scooters can be noisy as hell. And I catch flack if I don't properly wrap my trash in the blue tarp...sheeesh!

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Are bosozoku associated with right-wing groups? Some of the images seem to point in that direction.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

their provocative traffic behavior

I've watched them do things like get in front of the traffic at a red light on HWY 16. Then, when the light changed to green, the whole pack would continually rev their engines and ride their bikes back and forth across all lanes preventing anyone from passing them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm still a newbie when it comes to modern Japanese culture, but why are these groups considered bad?

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

I'm still a newbie when it comes to modern Japanese culture, but why are these groups considered bad?

Read some of the posts above.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

why are these groups considered bad?


This footage from a Japanese TV variety program shows some of the antics of fairly hardcore bosozoku battling it out with the police: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWJ4aAkO_WM

3 ( +3 / -0 )

So, most bosozoku groups are considered violent. Make sense that they're disliked for that. But noise pollution? I suppose it would get annoying if it was frequent, but being noisy is a common trait of almost all motorcycles, and the designs are cool-looking. You could probably make an annual parade out of them and monetize the event. It would give them the thrill of being noticed and put money back into the system.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

So, most bosozoku groups are considered violent.

They're generally not violent.

But noise pollution?

50-100 bikes, modified to be loud, revving their bikes is extremely obnoxious. They are trying to be noisy, not just indirectly ending up being noisy.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Didn't someone somewhere deal with this problem by tying fishing wire between the lamp posts?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@shonanbb I agree with you that the bikes look cool. Too bad the riders are annoying, and the bikes too loud.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It's good that there is such strict gun control in Japan, because if these bad a$$ bikers were riding their noise making machines up and down the streets in the wee hours of the night and early morning of any town or city in the U.S., they'd probably get shot at.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I've been riding for over 20 years, more than 300,000 km. I detest loud motorcycles. Once watched two guys putting ear plugs in while walking to their Harleys, they then proceeded to attempt to blow the ear drums of those of us around them while still in the parking lot. Nearly as loud as a gun shot.

"Loud Pipes Save Lives" is what I always here from those narcissist, loud pipe riders. But in reality loud pipes lose rights for the rest of us. Its good to see the actual offenders getting stopped rather than the entire motorcycle riding community being penalized. I've never seen this happen in the US even though most states have specific noise limits. The local governments need to set specific db limits to noise, then give the police a calibrated db meter and teach them how to use it. Set fines and force the offender to prove the offending equipment has been repaired. This should apply to more than just motorcycles. Cars, motorbikes and those damn loud speakers should be muted.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

provocative traffic behavior and bike customising, that is often deemed illegal.

It's either illegal or it isn't. Strange how the J-cops suddenly start finding grey areas when the Yaks are involved.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I see bunch of sticker on their bike! Bad design!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So if they found illegally modified bikes, they obviously seized them in order to take them off the road, right?

No doubt the bosoz were allowed to ride off on them - which I'd be perfectly OK with if the police were stopping and fining them again every 50m. However, surely an illegally modified bike is a danger to other road users by its very definition?

Can you imagine the police stopping someone carrying a knife, or some drugs, and going through the arrest/fine procedure, only to allow the person to keep hold of the knife/drugs? It would obviously never happen (who knows in Japan), so why on earth wouldn't the same apply to illegally modified bikes that were being ridden down a highway of all places.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I hate those guys, waking me up at 3AM. And I'm really curious to know, if they can stay awake all night disturbing the peace, then what do they do in the daylight hours? Sleep? Work?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

because of their provocative traffic behavior and bike customising, that is often deemed illegal.

Deemed illegal? These idiots are a damn menace! It's not just their noisy bikes. They weave in and out of traffic with no regard to other drivers or laws. However, this is just another 'token' campaign by the cops. They pulled over two dozen during their new year campaign on one stretch of highway. Big deal! There are hundreds, possibly thousands of these fools all over the country. They are a stain on Japanese culture and should be eradicated!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I would love to see how these "gangs" stack up against the motorcycle gangs in North America and Europe......

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The cops do nothing, people complain. The cops do something, people complain. Bunch of whiners.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@Strangerland - Did the cops confiscate the bikes? If not, then basically the cops did nothing again.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

If not, then basically the cops did nothing again

I don't think that word means what you think it does.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Just another little side point: Didn't Japan recently make gang activity illegal? Shouldn't these idiots be charged under that law as well?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think it was Singapore? But the cops in that country put a big curb on this type of thing by using metal pipes to the head when these kids were doing thier thing up and down roads. Maybe Japan might want to do the same?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If the keystones would just impound & destroy the bikes, fine these fools, etc then they would mostly give up due to costs etc

And for dangerous driving catch, fine & REMOVE points so these idiots know there are FINANCIAL consequences for their abnoxious behavior

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Honestly, this is the first time I've heard about these groups. I mean, I've seen the tropes in anime and manga, but I never knew they existed in reality. I thought the tropes were a stereotype about American bikers. I've never seen nor experienced them since coming to Japan. Granted, I may have seen a small group of bikers once or twice but never attributed them to bosozoku. The worst I've ever had was the ishiyakiimo truck blaring through my apartment walls.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Strangerland - Throwing out that comment again I see!

If the cops stop someone with an illegal vehicle, and then let them ride away on the same illegal vehicle, then yes, they've basically done nothing. 100m further down the road, the bosoz are riding an illegal vehicle. The cops haven't made the roads safer, they haven't sufficiently punished the riders, they haven't prevented the same thing happening tomorrow on a different road. Ergo, they've basically done nothing.

Yes, they have probably given them a fine, but whoop-di-doo, with the powers the cops actually have, and the responsibility they have in keeping other road users safe, that is akin to basically doing nothing.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

On the Tokyo 'Wangan-sen', at the junctions close to Haneda airport, you'll typically find 50~100 of these on Friday and Saturday nights, parked up ready for riding, along with the 'Fast and Furious' drift set. Not a J-cop in sight.

Kanjo-2-go sen, Isogo to Totsuka, same time of the week, you'll see the local version of the same, 'baby-bosos' with their un-silenced 50~100cc lawn-mower engines, weaving in front of the traffic outside the police stations. Have some good video of them on my drive recorder.

But a bicyclist with a missing light or only one padlock attracts 2~3 cops for a license check!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

"this is the first time I've heard about these groups"

Really? Just google Kanto Rengo - a former bosozoku group whose members graduated to theft, violence and murder. They're in the news quite often....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Take the bikes away, period. At least until they have been changed to fit the laws. There is no 'deemed illegal', they ARE illegal, and wouldn't it be nice if the police actually enforced the laws for the people who blatantly break them instead of having four or five police stop you and ask you if you're bicycle is yours.


0 ( +2 / -2 )


No sweat if your new to these isles, but they are real & if your unlucky enough that they ride in your neck of the woods the noise can be extremely disturbing, but not as disturbing as they way the keystones LET them do their thing!!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm a self-proclaimed petrolhead (or 'gearhead' for the US-born readers) - I love my cars & bikes. I respect the enthusiasts and their respective cultures. THAT SAID, these guys are a massive pain the neck. These bikes sound terrible, especially red-lined for hours on end through town. Every neighbouhood I've lived in Japan has had them. Unsurprisingly, the cops do nothing.

On a side note, let's get one thing clear - bosozoku and 'bikers' / ('bikies' as they're known in Australia) are two completely different things. Bosozoku are just harmless punks (albeit annoying). Bikers on the other hand...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Olrik, from what I understand , those Motorcycle cops are mostly ex-bosozoku that turned straight. And they're not cops, per se. They only deal with traffic related offenses.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I always found these guys so tacky.... j-cops come by 4, 5 to a "gaijin" party in a min when the neighbor complains about the loud but do virtually nothing to curb these clowns. lack of anti-discrimination and anti-bousozoku laws in this country always baffles me.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Bikes to the crusher, after removal of the ironing board and grovelling apology to Mother. Grow up!!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Spending so much money on modifying their motorbikes so that they can be as loud as possible.

What sad, sad people they must be.

How many of them have girlfriends?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Luckily, we don't have any of those bosozoku types in Sanin.

I've seen 2 or 3 together maybe 5 times in the last 15 years. One of the benefits of living in the least populated prefecture in Japan, I guess.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I detest loud motorcycles. Once watched two guys putting ear plugs in while walking to their Harleys, they then proceeded to attempt to blow the ear drums of those of us around them while still in the parking lot. Nearly as loud as a gun shot.

Japanese protest the noise of jets, from not only the US military but JSDF as well, I have often wondered why they dont get upset with the bosozoku and have come to the conclusion that it is because of the "romantic" side of the boso that appeals to the general population, that and the image of misguided youth, with the hope that they will "get right" when they become adults. Plus they are also affected by the images they see in the movies, TV dramas, manga, and anime that often project and image of these guys (and girls) of some romantic wild-side non-conformist, and identify or secretly wish they were one of them.

All along conveniently forgetting the crimes they commit and the nuisance they are to a society that values conformity.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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