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.