Ride Outs

Suzuka Skyline

Tarmac Japan

Tarmac Japan

What a great road. If only there were no yellow painted lines!

What’s up guys. I had a fantastic day on my MT-07 today. I have lived in Japan for 10 years now, and unbelievably I have never visited the super famous Suzuka Skyline road in Mie Prefecture. It is a 2 and a bit hour drive from my house, but it was worth it.

Coffee break before hitting the road for real

After two hours in the saddle battling with Prius’s I reached the entry to the mountain and decided to take a pit stop and grab a can of hot coffee. After a quick re-charge I made my way up a pretty long hill and finally arrived at the gates (which are closed from November til April) which announces that you have arrived at the Suzuka Skyline.

These gates are closed from November through April – The snow here is pretty wild

As the road had only been open a day this season I was expecting it to be full of cars and bikes, but to my surprise it was pretty much dead. I saw maybe 10 bikers all day, and one guy in a sports car. Other than that, there were plenty or ramblers and rock climbers littered alongside the road. This meant I could pretty much ride as fast/hard as I wanted to. This was great…however, the yellow painted speed bumps were not!

Stunning view, but those yellow lines suck!

History lesson time – Suzuka Skyline was first planned in the 60’s and eventually work started in 1969. The road was completed in 1972 and it was used as a main road that connected Mie Prefecture to Shiga Prefecture. There are quite a few famous hot springs (spas) in the area, as well as a Ski resort. The road is known officially as National Route 477 and is 19km in total.

The road is super windy, and has many many hairpin type corners, some medium length straights, and some low to medium speed corners. Due to the fact that it’s almost all a hill-climb, the corners are cambered quite strangely. Some off-camber, some on, and quite a lot of damaged curbs and splits in the tarmac that you need to be cautious of. The actual flow of the road is perfect though. On my second run I felt like I really was flowing with the road and no corners came as a surprise. It’s a really easy road to learn. If they would only get rid of those horrible yellow frickin’ speed bumps. Not only do they slow you down due to how slippery they are, they also gave me a bit of arm pump because the forks are constantly bouncing up and down maybe 30 times in one corner. Luckily the whole road wasn’t covered in these, but maybe 50% in total. Lost the back end 3 or 4 times and have now started getting used to letting the back tyre slip a bit. I know they’re there to slow people down, but I think these things are more dangerous than NOT having them.

Anyhow, the on-board video can be found underneath the image gallery below. Feel free to give it a watch. As always, I’d appreciate a Like, Share, Comment, or even a Subscribe. Thanks guys.

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