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Confirmed you can buy a bike in Costa Rica as foreigner
As I was wanting to know what bikes you can buy where as a foreigner a couple weeks ago, I figured I would confirm that I was able to buy a bike in Costa Rica in June 2014 as a foreigner on a tourist visa only and crossed into Nicaragua today.
10 days wait for plates for me.
Presumably this would also work for a car as well.
I bought a new ybr125 e Yamaha for $1900 us dollars from the Yamahadealer in San Jose. They allowed me to use their temporary plate so I could ride in Costa Rica during the 10working days they quoted me for my plates to be ready.
It was actually ready in 6 working days or 10 days as it was two weekends. Friday to Monday.
Other dealers who didn't need the sale cough Honda cough were quoting three weeks.
I needed a permisso de salida to exit which was another $15 and you have to go to the registro for that.. Google it and you will find instructions.
I'll update as I go north especially if I have issues.
Very interesting - I have visited C/R a couple of times. I could see buying a small cheap bike and then riding it back home, though I think once I reached Canada I might have a hard time trying to register the bike here.
If the Yamaha dealer was more helpful than Honda, maybe you could give us some contact info or other details?
What are your long term plans? Are you riding up to the States, or returning to C/R sell your Yamaha after touring?
Yes selling it. My plan is to worry about that later, am currently waiting for TravelBugBlues who is riding a cgl from Chile. We are heading north to the states ditection
I wanted to ride it to new york, but I mightt not make it that far, my research from the actual government website says that I should be able to get a 12 month entry for the bike to the USA.
That would allow me to come back and ride it South later. Have got friends to leave it with.
I am in the fortunate position that I don't need any money out of it at the end so I may sell it between the us and Canada border for parts. That's really plan b.
Definitely can't register it in the states. Need dot approval including epa which it doesn't have. Hadn't really thought about Canada, might do some research.
A smarter person who wwas doing this might have chosen to buy a 250 dirt bike that was imported from the us down here. I had the option to do this but it was $4k for a drz250 and whilst I probably could have got maybe $2k out of its an in the usa and been able to sell it in the states as it used to be in the State, I chose not to take that path That might be an option for others.
Oh another thing the $1900 included a helmet shifty no name one and the 500and 2000km service not including the oil. I didn't argue with price either. Maybe you could get it down. Though the Suzuki gn125 was being quoted at 2300 so 1900 was a deal I thought.
If i do get the ybr back to Costa Rica bikes hold their value so it will probably worth more than $1500. If someone wanted to do a three month trip to say Cancun andback they could eeasily do this for less than $5000 usa without camping or cooking themselves, less if they choose to do that or if there were two people on two bikes.
You did great!
I would not part the bike out. I don't think there is a market for that bike, parts won't fit anything sold in USA. (not positive on this but doubtful)
Why not sell it off to someone heading South? Put the ad up here on HUBB.
You will be able to keep it in the USA as long as you want, but as you know,
it cannot EVER be registered in USA. The buyer might have to fiddle the paperwork to get a Mexican TVIP ... but could be done. Or with your notarized permiso? Not sure.
But for a traveler it could work out. They don't need to register it in the USA.
Have them transfer the title/registration into their name once they get to Costa Rica. With your documented/Notarized permission, should be possible, no? Perhaps your Yam dealer can help out with that?
Once transferred the Yam is good to go anywhere and title will be in NEW owners name.
Anyway, just a suggestion! Good luck! Hope it works out!
When I say part it out I meant put it on eBay for $1 and hope someone bids on it for the engine for a go cart. It's better than nothing.
Actuallyt what you suggest is plan b, in fact. If i can find someone. I would probably even go halves on thesale price for taking it back for me.
I'll probably put it up and see what happens.
As I said I am not that worried, lots can happen between now and then. I might only make it to Mexico.
If you bought a brand new BMW for this trip you would devalue it more than 2k. That's what people spend on panniers, Realistically it won't need chain and sprockets or brakes. Only oil no oil filter even, just air filter. That and the 100mlg plus it's getting. It's cheaper than a bus almost. If i have to give it to the us government to get out off the tvip. So be it.
There will not be a TVIP from the USA. If you're a US citizen, you just ride across. Done. They don't care about the bike ... just YOU. No TVIP or anything unless the bike comes in on a plane or ship. Even then, it's minimal.
If riding across the border, the bike is just not part of the equation. Why? Because they know you can't ever register a non US origin bike and they leave legalities to local police. They WILL run the plate to see if it's reported stolen ... but that's the extent of it ... AFAIK.
I crossed at Mexicali with a Danish friend (dual national) who was riding a friends BMW on a German plate, not in his name and expired registration.
NO comments about the bike at all. Border Security do not deal with vehicles, just people. They just checked my friends visa, that was it. Did not say a word about the foreign plate, never asked to see the registration.
Don't forget, Mexicans driving Mexican plated cars cross back and forth everyday. They are allowed to drive a certain distance from the border on Mexican plates on the USA side. Did you know that? For you, once you are across,
you're home free.
If the Police pull you over you should have no problems if you are OUT of your home state. Once in your home state ... the cops may (depending on your state's rules) write you a ticket saying the bike must be registered in that state. (you can't do that) So best stay OUT of your home state ... or minimize you riding around on your bike. In a NON home state, you are just a tourist ... passing through.
Local cops won't know what to make of a Costa Rican plate, and as long as the plate and VIN don't show up as stolen on their computer, they will most likely wave you on.
If you have dual citizenship, then best show your "other" passport" from another country. Then for sure, cops won't hassle you.
If you sell the bike to someone heading South, they will need a Mexican
TVIP for the bike. The Mexicans require registration or title in the riders name. They want to see original copy. In this case, Photo Shop is your friend.
Once buyer is in Costa Rica, he can transfer title into his name ... may have to pay tax on the sale. Dunno.
There are several members on HUBB who are Costa Rica and Central American experts regards all this stuff. Ask for help.
That's the great thing about a cheap 125cc ... even if you can't sell it at the end of the trip and just give it away, you're only out less than you'd have paid for a typical motorcycle rental for two-three weeks.
If anyone in the states is interested in it. I might even deliver it to an eastern or southern state as long as not too far from airport.
For late august.
You'llhave to rride it back. If you have a few months and maybe five thousand dollars, maybe less, as that is$50 a day and my dorm today cost $7, a full tank cost $15for more than 500 km and here is $1 or $1.50 if it's a touristy place., you could do a nice trip.
I'll post an ad when I get some pics to put on there. Of the trip as that will sell it. So far Nicaragua has been beautiful and its just the start.
Ok, the selling the bike sorted itself out when I was taken out by a cyclist in Guatemala.
So, I travelled Costa Rica, Nicuragua, Honduras, El Salavador and Guatemala with no border problems at any.
The collision happened near Quiche, Guatemala in the mountains. I don't remember what happened. I have a vague memory of thinking I was going to have an impending crash with a cyclist, then I woke up in the Ambulance (I remember getting out of the ambo to get to my bike because I knew they had stolen my small tablet I was using for GPS. I was told to get back in but I picked up my bag with my cards and passport then threw up and decided to forget the tablet and get back in)
Taken to hospital I got catscan and xrays, I had four stitches in my forehead where i faceplanted (even with helmet but the shitty one from CR), and some scrapes on my hands. I got hassled by the police about an hour later about hitting the cyclist. Apparently I needed to come in because I was motorised and he wasn't. They wouldn't accept my foreign insurance. The cyclist had been in my room hassling me about hitting him as a pedestrian, but in bad spanish I just told him he was riding not walking. He wanted Q10000 which is about $1300 US dollars. I had made a couple of friends with the Christian Missionary who was across the street as they were called when I was speaking English at the nurses (I was acting a bit irrationally too from the concussion). I told them that I was happy to pay a little money, but he was hardly injured just some bumps and I was far worse off and that I would pay like $20 which should cover his wage for a week. It seemed that the police were his mates. The missionarys ended up paying him off (they wouldn't tell me how much they just said help someone else out in need). He admitted to them that he was on his bike and that he had lost control when checking his blind spot and we had a head on (and I saw his bent front wheel which confirmed that).
I am glad that it all worked out. I would have felt bad for the rest of my life if he had been killed as I would never have known if it was my fault or not. Killing a breadwinner in a poor part of a poor country would of made me feel terrible and probably would have compelled me to pay his family for the rest of my life.
I got invited to stay with the missionaries which I accepted. I had nothing else to do (I ended up helping them with building houses for the poor which was really worthwhile), they had picked up my bike as well, its forks were bent so I must have come down hard. I ended up giving the bike to the mission as they looked after me for a week (and didn't even want to take anything for it), I had already figured with the damage now on the bike it might only be worth $500 (now with the scratches) if I got it back to Costa Rica, so I couldn't be bothered and my hand was hurting, so I just caught a bus and plane out of there. The bike is going to be imported and then given to a poor farmer, as its almost new that makes me feel good, the scratches won't be important to them. I left by plane with no problems at the border.
It was a very cheap trip. Even with the loss of the bike. The bike was doing 110mpg or 2.1L/100km most of the time. The service cost $14 including oil in Guatemala. Really if you don't ruin the bike and got it back to CR it would be cheaper than the bus/taxis. And hotels are cheap in most of those countries, like $15 a night often less. If you want a cheap adventure for three months I would recommend it.
I decided to come back and get work so am back in Australia at home. I was over travelling and want to save up again and do it in a bit again.
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