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Old 18 Aug 2006
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Question cheapest place in europe to buy BMW or KTM?

In the planning stages of an Africa trip and looking at the various options to get a machine there... ship from the US, buy in Europe, or buy in South Africa. Are there any European countries where prices compete with US prices? I know UK prices are high, but don't know about other countries...

Also to be taken into consideration is the cost of a carnet in different countries as well as time and costs involved in getting a bike registered/titled/carneted. Any insight appreciated, thanks.
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Old 18 Aug 2006
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Steven,
You have to balance the cost of getting a bike prepared and ready at home, plus the cost of shipping against buying and preparing in Europe.
I am not sure we in the UK are most expensive but I have not done any real comparisons, it may look that way because of the exchange rate.
Shipping by sea is not too costly, particularly if you can condense the bike to a small crate.
To check out some prices look at ebay in the UK and ebay in other European countries, also have a look at Auto Trader in the UK for bike prices and have a look at
http://www.mobile.de/ for bike prices in Germany. You can choose your language on this site as well.

It is a number of years since a got a carnet so I am a little out of date on prices, I don’t think it is a problem for a UK resident and it depends on the value of your bike.

Other things to consider are language if you are prepping the bike and organizing carnets and dealing with bureaucrats.

What bike are you thinking of using for the trip?

Paying a little extra at home and arriving ready to roll maybe the best plan.

Steve
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Old 18 Aug 2006
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for second hand bikes UK is a good source. for new, not entirely sure. based on an enfield, Germany is 1000 euro cheaper than France, and 500 euro cheaper than the UK this is uk £3650 = 5100 eur, France 5700 eur and germany 4700 eur. for an electra.
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Old 19 Aug 2006
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BMW and KTM are cheaper in Germany and Austria than the US or Canada.
Even the UK has cheaper new prices for BMW than the US.

Japanese bikes are much less expensive.

I bought a used Triumph in the UK in 2001. At that time the US dollar was a lot stronger. Bikes were a bit cheaper in France and Germany at that time but
the UK had some pretty good deals on used bikes and the language and
paperwork aspect was very easy. I did on line research before I left, but I made some mistakes too. (UK bike trader and others....even Craig's List
and MCN classifieds online)

I was able to register and insure my Triumph Tiger very easily as an American.
No problem. You only need a local mailing address. I bought a pristine two year old Tiger for a very good price. Got insurance over the phone with
Bennett's for all of Europe for about $300 for the year. (full cover)

Still, for BMW, I'd look to Germany.

I learned a few things during this process.
If you can, do all your shopping on line from home. Its worth the extra expense to be able to fly in and ride away. I spent a very expensive week
in London while looking for a bike. London is NOT where you want to be
based for bike shopping.

Contact dealers online. Find the ones with the best reputations. Put down a
deposit or pay in full for your bike with credit card ahead of your arrival.
You just have to trust them that it will be good, serviced, new tires and such.

Maybe you can do the same in Germany or Austria?

In England I found an excellent Triumph dealer (On 'Yer Triumph) with perfect, low mileage bikes, totally ready to ride. For a litte extra money I could have gone this route and saved money overall. Wish I had done this. I spent a week at my friends house prepping my Tiger. New tires, chain and sprockets,
wheel bearings and a few other general things. No big deal but it all adds up.

I've asked about bike prices in SA and seems bikes are very
expensive to buy. If I go there, I'll rent a bike for a month
and tour round out of Capetown. DR650's are pricey but not
many reasonable options exsist as far as I know.

Good luck,

Patrick
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